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Boost Your Blog #5: Check for Hot Posts

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of September 2011 Search Engine Optimization 20

Continuing our discussion of things you could be doing right now to improve your blog, today’s tip is:

5. Check your metrics for “hot posts”

One of the tasks that I build into my own blogging on a monthly(ish) basis is to dig into Google Analytics. I do a number of things while digging in but one simple task that can have significant impact is to look for “hot posts”—posts that attract a higher rate of traffic than normal posts.

Most blogs have a few hot posts in their archives, and they’re not always the ones you’d expect. These posts are real opportunities—there are people viewing them and chances are that once they do, they then disappear never to return.

Once you’ve identified your hot posts, think about how you can optimize them. You might put a bit more time into optimizing them for SEO, you might want to think about how to hook visitors of that page into subscribing, or you might want to even think about promoting a product (yours or someone else’s) from that post. Really what you do will depend upon your goals.

Does your blog have hot posts? And have you optimized them?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. What is the best way to find your hot posts? I have analytics, maybe I just need to dig more…

    • Lauren, there is, in my opinion, three ways:

      1- analystics: you can find the most read posts;
      2- a plugin (for wordpress) for the most read posts;
      3- another wp plugin, post rank.

  2. What about studying how to write other posts similar to them? I mean posts that can develop better the matter.

  3. I am often surprised at the posts that get attention.

    I always try to optimize these “hot posts” with link to other articles that need a traffic boost.

  4. I have a post that continues to get thousands of page views each month – it was written in February. Will be going back to look at why and possibly recreate it for this fashion season. Thanks for the prompt. Will also look at how I can optimize it.

  5. Hey Darren,
    I have one post that is ranked number 1 in Google for that title description and it brings me a ton of search traffic everyday.

    I made sure to add a link to my personal coaching page at the bottom of the post. It really does help to optimize hot posts.

  6. I have a post which only contain less then 100 words, what wonders me is that “DMAIC explained under 60 seconds” post attract 40% of blog readers.

    Thanks for reminding me to explore ways keep reader longer and read other post.

  7. Maybe a person could write a part 2, an update, or continue building on a hot or popular post if they had one that stood out. Once if falls off the radar (main site page) we sometimes forget to promote and build on it. Most do probably have something that they can continue building upon.

  8. Good point Darren.

    There’s also lots of opportunity with ‘cold posts’. Not so much to hook readers, but to generate more traffic.

    If you have 100 total posts and 1% attract 80% of traffic, imagine the results from turning just another 1% into ‘hot posts’ posts. Or maybe even 10%.

  9. I too have a post that brings a lot of traffic i too try this one….Thanks

  10. The most trafic I get from my blog is a post I am most ashamed of! I wrote it in twenty minutes and I have been making 300 dol a month for more thant one year! If only I could write on post a month of that kind I would be rich! Of course I made a few update on this post and tried to monetize it even more!

  11. I try to do this but it’s really difficult because I promote almost every post differently.

    For example, some posts are “featured”, others are highlighted in the sidebar, and yet again others are linked to from other posts.

    So, if certain posts are more frequently read than others, it might be because people are more interested in them or it might just be because I’ve promoted them better on the blog. Hard to tell the difference, if not impossible.

  12. One of my old posts ‘8 Things you did not know about Pakistani food’ always surprises me with the traffic it brings. Look in the category of ‘Past Life’ in case you are curious.
    I am not really thinking of optimizing this one as I wrote this when I had a personal blog, and now its not. But its know to know nonetheless.

  13. I also use Analytics to find such hot posts. These hot posts obviously depict the interest of the readers and the Search engines in them. I have one such post and I used it to redirect my readers to a sales page. The results were simply awesome.

    I would like to know what else can we do to get the best out of them. Any brilliant ideas?

  14. Yes! My blog has this very hot post and just like you suggested, I have been thinking about how to monetize it. Problem is that most of it’s viewers are on mobile devices.

    Maybe I will get an idea soon. But I would appreciate any suggestion. Thanks.

  15. Yes, we all have at least one popular post that brings lots of traffic and thank God for that! Optimizing them is one step beyond what most of us do. Until recently it didn’t even cross my mind to optimize my hottest posts, I simply thought that was the most traffic they could attract. Thank you for the tip, and after applying it to my hot posts, hopefully they will get even hotter.

  16. Thanks for this great reminder! I just checked my analytics data for my site for the first time in a week. I noticed my post about long-distance relationship movies was getting a lot of hits. I immediately linked the movie titles with my amazon associates links, added an extra AdSense ad at the end of the post, optimized the SEO for that posted and linked to another post of mine in the hope of keeping some readers there longer.

    Let’s hope the optimization is effective! :)

  17. Just today even has also announced to show which posts are performing well and who are contributing more comments. Although Google Analytics as always better (and becoming best) for effective matrix.

    Thank You Darren. Bless You and Your Blog.

  18. Good Point, Darren.

    There would definitely be posts on peoples sites which have great potential, yet, have been left out to dry.

    Going back over the post and giving it a good looking over, adding any improvements where relevant, can do wonders.

    Even posts that are not doing well, especially those long forgotten posts, can have some life added(Increased performance) through a simple edit here and there, just to freshen them up.

    Google Analtics and webmaster tools are quite amazing, with the length and breadth of data analysis they provide.

    The only down side of Google Analytics is it can become quite compulsive, leading to constant peaking in to see how well your site is performing.

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