For your information, Content Marketing Plus isn’t the only blog I run. As of present I have three other blogs: one about general health and wellness, one about senior product reviews, and one about making money online for beginners.
My general health and wellness blog has the most posts (32 as at the time of this writing) and attracts more traffic from search engines than my other blogs.
Here, I want to share with you an amazing discovery I made on my health and wellness blog as well as tips on how you can get the same – or better – results.
For some time now, I’ve discovered that a particular post on the blog (titled: 6 Bitter Truths Manufacturers Never Told You about Energy Drinks) is generating far more views than others. But my Google Analytics reports keep showing that this post gets less clickthroughs from Google than some other posts.
In fact, the post is not ranking on Google’s front page for any of the keywords that brings readers to it. Yet it generates far more views than other posts and tops the list of the blog’s popular (most read) posts.
As at the time of this writing, the post has attracted 840 views – over 600 views more than the second-placed post. Ironically, the second and third-placed posts attract more views through clickthroughs from Google. So, the big question is, how come the post under study attracted much more views in total?
After digging more into the blog’s Google Analytics reports (visitors’ flow), I discovered that most visitors attracted by other posts also read the post under study before leaving the blog. Also, most visitors who landed on the blog’s home page (through referral links or direct visits) read the post under study.
So, there must be something interesting about the post. Or let me say something must have been attracting attention to the post. I saw this as a puzzle, which I must solve.
After some brainstorming, I concluded that the post, despite not doing too well in search engines, was attracting attention for three main reasons:
- The killer headline: The title of the post (6 Bitter Truths Manufacturers Never Told You about Energy Drinks) is very catchy, and it triggers curiosity. This compels visitors to read it.
- The social proof: In the popular posts area on the sidebar, the number of times each post has been read is shown below its title. Naturally, people are compelled to imitate what many others are doing. So, they think “If so many people are reading it, that means it’s a must-read. I have to check it out.”
- The positioning: Because the post under study tops the “popular posts” list, it is shown above the fold, where visitors can easily sight the link without having to scroll down.
Now, have your takeaways
Let me now share with you some tips on how you can make your posts attract more views – like the one we’re talking about here. (I know you may have gotten a clue of some things I have in mind. But keep reading, as you’ll most likely learn something new.)
Takeaway #1: Write killer headlines
Whether your post gets read or ignored hinges majorly on your headline. Many posts that contain highly relevant information don’t attract attention as expected because of their drab, unattractive headlines.
Never be too eager to hit the “publish” button after writing and editing your post. Look at the headline and see how best you can make it. How much time you spend on this doesn’t matter, considering the results you’ll get if you do it right.
Place yourself in the position of a reader or visitor. Would you be attracted by the headline? If your headline doesn’t attract you, then it won’t attract others as well. It’s that plain.
Crafting killer headlines may be difficult, but with some free resources that you can get online, you can easily come up with great headlines that will attract attention to your posts.
I particularly recommend Jon Morrow’s “52 headline hacks”. This resource offers 52 ready-to-use formulas for coining catchy headlines. You can download it free by subscribing to Jon’s blog (you can’t miss the form in the home page header).
Takeaway #2: Show social proof
Wikipedia defines social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation”.
In other words, social proof describes a situation where a visitor to your blog, upon seeing proof that many other visitors have taken a certain action (click, subscribe, download, etc.), takes the same action.
Social proof works – magically. So, whether you want to attract more clicks on a post, more subscribers to your blog, or more buyers to your product, simply show the number of people who had done the same and watch more people join the train.
This strategy is what you see when a Facebook like button has the phrase, “XX people like this” below it.
To show social proof for your blog posts, I recommend that you install the WordPress popular posts plugin and check the option to display the number of views each posts has attracted.
Takeaway #3: Place posts strategically
Even if you display your blog‘s popular posts in the sidebar, they won’t attract attention if your visitors would have to scroll down to see the list.
So, placing your list within the upper portion of your blog pages would help visitors find them easily. This way, they can click on the ones that appeal to them.
Similarly, this tactic can attract more subscribers to your newsletter, more buyers to your product, and more prospects to ads on your blog.
With these three tactics, you can attract attention to your posts and send them viral. Even if some authority sites have manned the top ranks. Even if Google ignores your posts for other reasons.
Do you know of any other tactic that can attract attention to posts that are not doing well in search engine listings? Do you disagree with me on some points? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.