Tortoise vs. Hare: Content Strategy Competition

It’s definitely fun when a blog post or other piece of content catches on and starts getting passed around. People comment on it, re-tweet the link, share it on Facebook and your traffic spikes.  “I’m popular!” you think. “People like me!”

Is that really the most effective strategy? Sure, if you can do it all the time.

Otherwise, you should look at your traffic patterns over time and analyze which is really your most popular content.  Here at the Innate Blog, we have 2 posts that were immediately popular because they got picked up and passed around:

Since these posts’ popularity came largely from social media links and StumbleUpon, we saw large spikes in our traffic. But after a few days that traffic dropped off and has since pretty much dried up. Hopefully we picked up a few RSS subscribers.

Then we have two other posts:

  • Chess for the Blind – from  May 2006 about a design competition to create a chess set for the blind which we liked because of our client American Foundation for the Blind and it’s about accessibile design
  • 3 Tips for Taking the Google IQ Test – since both Heidi and I pass the test to become Google Analytics Individually Qualified, we shared our top tips on preparing for and taking the test.

Neither of these posts had a huge spike in traffic when it was posted. But because they are well optimized for keywords that are searched on consistently, they rank extremely well and drive (a small stream of) steady traffic. And over a couple of years, that adds up to being in the top 5 most popular posts on our site. No big flashy debut, just steadily doing the job and bringing visitors to us consistently.

What does this mean for you?

Don’t just look at the last month or the last quarter of data. Go back several years and see which pages are consistently driving traffic.  Take a look at the Entrance Sources – is it traffic from one really good referring link or organic?

Rather than looking at individual keywords, use the search feature to look for groups of similar words driving traffic to the page with Entrance Keywords.

Re-optimize old posts to take advantage of changes in search patterns.

Don’t overlook a few visits each week – over several years, that adds up to a steady stream of new visitors finding your content.

Lisa Crotty

Marketing Manager

Lisa is a Senior Optimization Specialist at Innate – her friends even teased that she A/B tested her name change. Lisa studied Philosophy of Science & Technology at Virginia Tech and is always asking why.

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