The Cream of the Blog Method: A Way to Increase Blog Traffic 2


Cream of the Blog Posts

Are you pulling your hair out trying to get traffic to your site?

Are you struggling to Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Here is one simple technique that you can implement right away to start generating more traffic to your blog. Not only that, you can do it from your own website without having to visit countless other sites. 

In fact, this is a technique that I recommend you do on a regular basis, as part of your complete arsenal of traffic generating methods.

I like to refer to it as the Cream of the Blog Method because it targets the best of the best posts in a blog.  

The saying ‘cream of the crop’ or ‘cream of the cream’ refers to the best of the best. Cream rises to the top (of the milk). Similarly, these posts that I am concentrating on are the ones that have risen to the top; they have already proven themselves to be frontrunners, to be the posts that have the best chance of being seen in the search results.

So how do I identify these posts?

And what do I do about them once I have identified them?

How to Increase Website Traffic Fast

When I say “fast”, I am not referring so much to the time required to implement the method as I am to how quickly I started to see improvements in my own niche sites.  I hope you can enjoy the same kind of results.

Stage 1: Identify the Cream Posts

This method concentrates on the pages that have already bubbled to the top with respect to how often they are appearing in search results.

They have already proven themselves with respect to ranking better than other posts that have been published from this blog.

So the choice of keywords must be doing at least okay. And most likely the posts themselves are attracting a lot of long tail keywords.

BUT there are numerous steps I can take to make them even better.

AND because they already have the attention of search engines, they have a great chance of quickly reflecting any improvements I make. 

Let’s see how….. 

Steps for Identifying the Cream Posts:

  1. Start Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).
    The Webmaster Tools provide so much information; in fact I would say I refer to them almost daily.
    If your site has not yet been added to Webmaster Tools, then you can follow the steps listed here: Webmaster Tools Setup to add a property (your site).

    It is part of the Google Search Console.

    Once you have activated Webmaster Tools, click on the site that you want to manage  (you might have more than 1 site that you have added to GWT).

  2. From the dashboard, click Search Traffic >> Search Analytics.

    Google Webmaster Tools Search Analytics

  3. Select your metrics.
    Make sure that the following have been ticked:  Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position.

    Webmaster Tools Stats
    Make sure that you have selected Pages

  4. Sort Impressions
    Scroll down to where the pages are listed and sort Impressions from largest to smallest.
  5. Identify the top 5
    Take note of the top 5 pages; in other words the ones that are receiving the most number of impressions, the cream of the blog.

    Here is an example screenshot from a small niche blog:

    Best web pages
    Because these pages (posts) are appearing in search results more often than the other pages, they have the most chance of attracting lots of traffic. 

    You can see that 3 of the pages in this example (a small niche site) have an average position that puts them on page 1 of Google search results.

    Note also that page #3 has the best click through rate (CTR) even though, on average, it is on the 2nd page of the search results. This might mean that the title and the description better match what people are looking for when they type in phrases that trigger its keywords.

  6. Record Scores
    Record the stats for the top 5 pages: the number of clicks, impressions, percentage CTR and average position.

    This will allow you to track improvements. I prefer to use a spreadsheet for this purpose:

    Blog Posts Spreadsheet

  7. Record Traffic
    Record the average daily traffic that this blog has received over the past 30 days (via Google Analytics). Add this to your spreadsheet.

Now, what to do with this information?  We could spend all day analysing why page #3 for example has a better CTR than the others. And that is certainly useful and will be part of your analysis but let’s get stuck into the technique itself first. 

Stage 2: Improve the Cream Posts

The 5 pages identified in stage 1 currently have the best chance of attracting visitors and of earning you money if you have monetized your pages.

Work on one page at a time. Depending on how much time you get to spend on your blog, this could take you a day or several days per page.

Steps for Improving Each Cream Post

  1. Check the page speed in Pingdom.
    Use the Pingdom Speed Test tool.
    Do this 3 times and average out the speed and the Performance Grade score. Record these figures in your spreadsheet.

    Check speed of site on Pingdom

  2. Analyse Pingdom results
    * Click on the Page Analysis tab to see if there are any Connection Errors. These are often pages that can’t be loaded (such as a required page that is missing from your site).
    * If there are connection errors, click on the Waterfall tab and look for files listed in red. Check these to see if they are pages or images that you have forgotten to include. Sometimes embedded videos can throw these errors. Sometimes, it might be a file that still resides on your own computer instead of on the server.
  3. Improve page speed
    Try to make at least 2 improvements to the page based on the Pingdom analysis in order to make the page load faster.

    For example, this niche blog had ads on each of those pages. Excluding ads on each of the cream posts, made a huge difference to the load times and performance score. 

  4. List the keyword(s) used in your title tag. 
    Check the average Page Authority (PA) of the top 10 sites competing for that search term. 

    I use Long Tail Pro for this and here is how I do it:

    a) Enter your keyword
    Enter your keyword in the box beneath Find Keywords and click Add.

    Add keyword to Long Tail Prob) Analyse the top 10 sites
    Look at the top 10 pages listed for that keyword by Long Tail Pro and note the average Page Authority (PA).  The average is listed at the bottom of the 10 sites.

    c) Change the keyword if necessary
    If the average PA of the top 10 pages listed is >= 30, then I try to find a better keyword, one that has a PA < 30.

    Example:
    As an example I have entered ‘cat food’ in Long tail Pro.

    Long Tail Pro now lists this keyword along with its monthly search volume of 14,800. Immediately I know that this term would be too hard to rank for.  I generally find keywords easier to rank for if they have less than 1,000 searches per month. 

    Once I have entered this keyword, Long Tail Pro lists the top 10 sites along with the Keyword Competitiveness Score (if you have the Platinum version) and Page Authority (PA).

    In this example the average PA for ‘cat food’ is 43. 
    As indicated, I prefer keywords that have an average PA less than 30.  So if this were a page on my real site, I would definitely look for a different, more competitive keyword for my title tag. 

    How?

    I would click on Find Keywords and enter “cat food” as the seed keyword.

    Seed keywords in Long Tail Pro
    And then click Generate Keywords to Fetch Data.

    When the list of ideas appears, you can filter accordingly to try and narrow down a better long tail keyword that comes in under 30 for PA.  

    I’m afraid this requires trial and error by clicking on each keyword that you think might have a chance. But it will be worth it in the end. And it will usually be a keyword that has less search volume (most likely less than 1,000).  

    I don’t look at keywords with less than 20 searches though as they tend to come and go. That is, there might be searches using that keyword this month but it might not be indicative of an ongoing pattern. 

    So how did the current title keyword from page #1 in my case study fair?

    Search Volume Average PA Average Position
    390 16.3 9.5

    When I see an average PA like that, I know I have a very good chance of ranking on page 1 of Google search results for that particular keyword. It has very little competition.  The search volume is enough to expect it will probably continue next month, unless it is an extremely seasonal phrase.

    Now looking at these results, I would suggest that this page should be able to do better than sit at the bottom of page.

    Note: Don’t worry about the fact that the search volume might be lower than you would like to see.  You will find that if your page has ample content, it will generate lots of other long tail keywords, related to your main page topic. 

    In fact, whilst page #1 in my case study has a keyword with only 390 searches per month, it is triggering 109 long tail keywords, according to GWT.

  5. Add internal links
    You can see how effective this step can be here.
  6. Check the title keyword (s)
    Check that you have the title keyword(s) in heading tags, at the beginning of your post and at the end. 
    Make sure that this keyword is towards the beginning of your title tag.
  7. Check title keyword in the content
    Check that you have used the title keyword(s) in the content, in a way that makes sense and adds to the reader’s understanding, rather than just for the sake of it. 
  8. Improve content of page
    Check the length of your content on the page. It should be at least 1,000 words. If it is not you can add to it and indicate that the post has been updated.
  9. Add 10 long tail keywords to the content
    You can get these from the generated list from Long Tail Pro, as per the example above. 
  10. Check outbound links
    If you are linking out to other sites, or to affiliate products, make sure that the links are working. Perhaps a product that you once promoted is no longer available. Or a site that you have connected to in the past might no longer exist.  These would need to be corrected.
  11. Other improvements while you are about it.
    If you are trying to make an income with your blog, check to see if there are any opportunities to monetize, or better monetize, your page. 
  12. Rinse and Repeat
    Repeat the improvement steps for each of the remaining Cream of the Blog posts (in your top 5 list).

Stage 3: Track Improvements

Refer to both Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to track your changes over the next several weeks, in particular changes in each of the metrics listed in your spreadsheet.

The Cream of the Blog Method Going Forward

Keep an eye on the top 5 posts in Google Webmaster Tools in case a different post starts to rise to the top. Then you can apply the approach to it as well.

With this method, you are targeting your time and your effort towards the parts of your blog that have the best chance to make rapid improvements.  This is a very effective approach, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks that you think you need to do. It is impossible to be ‘everywhere at the same time’.  This is one way to make good use of the time that you have available for blogging.

Let’s know in the comments below how it goes for you. 

Learn Search Engine Optimization

 

Feature Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 


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2 thoughts on “The Cream of the Blog Method: A Way to Increase Blog Traffic

  • Adam Joshua Clarke

    I’ve bookmarked this page under ‘Pages Worth Linking To’ as I think it very greatly describes the process I am most fond of. Not only can you focus on improving those pages you also then know which pages to try and give yourself the strongest internal linking structure for. So if you’ve got other pages with some power that aren’t linking to those posts and they could then you certainly have found a gold mine.