Seriously — I doubled my website traffic without writing any new blog posts.
As a matter of fact, I actually ended up with less blog posts now when I started, and we’re going to look at why.
So long story short, the way that I was able to do this on my first blog — LearnVue.co — was that instead of creating new blog posts, I really took a look at the existing content on my site and just made it better — I optimized it for search targeted, better keywords, and other SEO.
However, more important than SEO techniques is to make useful content that people want to read, share, and actually get value from.
I decided to update my content all of January 2021, and just look at the growth that optimizing 10 posts did.
Okay…how do you figure out what pages to update?
You want to find content that already is ranking for some keywords, but is low enough in the rankings where it needs some serious improvements to make it receive traffic.
And this can really only be done after you have a few months of traffic and analytics data, the Google Search Console data.
Basically, if you really want to make your content update system efficient, and not just take shots in the dark, you have to do your research. And to have that kind of data available. It’ll take time.
Fortunately, for me, I actually had a lot of data. I started LearnVue in late December 2019, early January 2020, and worked on it till March 2020.
Then, honestly, I forgot about it between March and November, I barely wrote anything during those months. But regardless of my activity, I had months of data.
Looking at this graph actually reveals one really interesting thing though. Even when I wasn’t actively writing content, the Google search algorithm was still promoting it so that over those several dry months, my traffic actually increased.
So by the time I decided to start updating my content, I had about a year’s worth of traffic data to look back on and see which pages could be improved and get me thousands of views.
So the pages that I was looking for were ones that…
- already getting some views
- and more importantly, were ranking for high traffic keywords.
This means that Google already recognizes that that high traffic keyword is somewhat related to your content. So if you optimize it correctly, and really focus on those keywords, your content can climb in those rankings.
So what did I do?
So a little bit of background on what I did, my website teaches a programming framework called Vue. And December 2020, when I started updating my content, one of the most popular topics was the newest update to view called Vue 3.
Coincidentally, one of the pages that I wrote months before was a preview of Vue 3 — so it was already ranking for that view of the keyword, “vue 3 tutorial”.
Granted — I think it was somewhere around like Position 15 to 20 on the Google search list, but it’s a lot faster to climb in the Google algorithm’s rankings than it is to even get new content ranked in the first place.
So I updated my content specifically with that high volume keyword in mind, I’ll write a post about some detailed ways to optimize for specific keywords, but summarize…
- Updating the title to include the keyword
- Fixing your meta descriptions
- Adding the keyword to some of your headings
- Putting internal links to this page from others on your site
- Getting backlinks and driving strong initial traffic to the site
Then, I did some similar to about 10 pages on my site: I would look at the analytics, really analyze which ones were getting a lot of impressions on relevant keywords, then I would have to really make the content better.
One common thing I would do is make a comprehensive guide on popular topics, literally anything that someone might want to know I tried to include in the article.
I knew that these were going to be some of the highest traffic pages on my site, so wanted to make sure that people associated LearnVue with amazing content.
Joining related pages to increase their SEO ranks
Another really useful thing that I did to make my existing content more efficient was joining short, related posts into longer, more complete pages.
In the early stages of the website, I was just writing as much content as possible. I wasn’t really thinking super hard about keywords, SEO and things like that.
But one thing to look out for when you’re doing what I did is to making sure that your articles aren’t competing with each other for certain keywords.
For example, if I was talking about “best computers” on Page A, and the title of the article on Page B was “Best Computers in 2021”, both would be competing for that same “best computers” keyword.
This really hurts the search performance of both pages.
What you can then do is combine those two articles into one resource that has all that information. And not only will this be easier for the people visiting your site, because they only have to go to one page, but it will help your content out in the algorithm.
Now that we’ve seen the strategies I used to double my blog traffic in just three months…
Are you ready to see exactly how to read your Google Search Analytics so you can improve your traffic?
How to Identify Pages to Update Using Google Search Data
So here’s my Google Search Console as soon as I login.
To get the same view as me, you should…
- Click on performance in the sidebar
- Change the timespan to the last 28 days
- Include CTR and Average Position in our analytics
- Sort the table by Impressions
And when going through this list, you really have to consider which keywords are super relevant to your content. Your content may be ranking for keywords completely out of the usual for your target audience so you have to decide what that means to your overall content strategy.
For me, most of these keywords are relevant to my content like vue watch, vue lifecycle, but ones like parallax effect are only slightly related to my content. So the traffic I get from those keywords will be less focused. So I’m probably not going to dedicate a whole bunch of time into updating that article.
But with those awesome target “vue watch” keyword, the average position is about 7.2. So the article is still on the first page, but since it’s not in the top three or four results, we’re only getting a click through rate of 0.8%.
That’s crazy low. Only giving us 89 views from 10K+ impressions.
Now just imagine if we can climb up to at least rank three get maybe 10% of the impressions.
That’s an extra almost 1000 views just from this one keyword.
And same thing with the second one view lifecycle! 1000K+ views from this one keyword that we are already ranking for.
If you want to know exactly what pages are ranking for that keyword, you can click on the keyword and then head over to pages, and it’ll show you the exact breakdown, the vue lifecycle keyword is hitting almost entirely the same article with some other ones down here.
But if there were several articles that were getting high impressions for a certain keyword, then you you might want to consider joining those articles into one longer form content.
And another trick that you can do is head over to pages without any select keyword.
There, you can see exactly how many clicks and impressions each one of your pages is getting.
So that article on Vue three that I was talking about that I spent a lot of time optimizing, it has almost 2000 clicks more than the second highest page. Small optimizations like me choice to specifically target the keyword “vue 3 tutorial” really helped increase the click rate for this particular page.
That’s all — now go update your content!
So there you have my little hacks if you want your existing content to drive more traffic to your blog.
This is an amazing strategy all the time, but especially when you feel like you’re running out of keywords that you want to write about and aren’t really sure what kind of content you want to create.
Updating and improving your content is an insanely efficient way to increase traffic to your site because you don’t have to wait several months for the search algorithms to start picking up your pages.
That was just my experience with increasing my traffic with a dedicated and intentional content strategy, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Originally published at https://mattmaribojoc.com on May 13, 2021.