We’ve written about the importance of auditing and reporting to ensure your tactics are working, and if there are ways to improve. For clients that we oversee the majority of their marketing efforts, we produce a comprehensive quarterly report, looking back at wins and losses and addressing challenges.
It’s not exactly a surprise when we see a lot of checkmarks in the win boxes — not to brag — and that is because we strive to have a constant pulse of how things are going. When we face roadblocks or bumps, we address them quickly to get back on track, or adjust course if the track has moved.
In an effort to streamline things further to give a clearer look at our journey, the team recently spent quite a few hours evaluating what was working well with the quarterly reports and where they could be improved and chiseled.
We’re debuting these new-and-improved reports with clients later this month. And, we’ll be open to future adjustments and additions in order to provide a clear, cohesive and helpful tool for all of our efforts going forward.
Looking back at the first quarter of 2019 and even further back into Q4 of 2018, we see that writing regular blog posts for clients continues to drive traffic to their websites.
You may have seen several headlines over the last year or two saying something like, “It’s 20XX, Should I Still Be Blogging?” Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. That said, just shoving blog posts out there on the regular does not guarantee your page will continue to rise higher in search engine rankings. There are many elements to having a blog post that earns an organic rank and that grows and maintains a strong ranking for a long period of time. No one has ALL the answers as to how to achieve that (partly because Google changes its algorithms so frequently).
Here’s a little peek at what we found in our recent reports for clients:
One blog post saw a 67% increase in visits in Q1 2019 over Q4 2018 and a 66% increase in page entrances from quarter to quarter. This is a blog post that is nearly two years old, yet has seen consistent growth.
Why? One reason is research. Here’s a even deeper look behind the curtain as to how and why we do what we do. (Shh, don’t spill all our secrets!)
High-Ranking Posts Don’t Just “Happen”
Before we write one word of a post, we look at the most-recent keywords that are ranking for the website provided by regular search engine optimization research. We look at things like which keywords rose or dropped in the rankings. We also look to see how many people are searching for specific keywords and phrases.
Once we have a keyword or two in mind, we write with them in mind, but we are careful not to just slap keywords into the post willy nilly for a couple of reasons. One, we have a background in journalism and that would be a bad practice. Two, Google is smarter than that and can spot when you plant keywords just to have lots of keywords in a post.
Even though we have kept our audience — which includes Google — in mind through the writing and editing process, the research continues before a post is sent. We then have our in-house SEO expert go through the post to ensure the metadata associated with the post is poised to catch Google’s attention.
These aren’t all of our blog writing tactics, but that gives you an idea as to how our approach has had long-term positive effects on our clients’ websites, driving traffic — and leads — their way.
Growing Through Consistency
We mentioned being consistent with a blog above. That doesn’t just include the SEO tactics for each post. We also post regularly, as frequently as once a week —sometimes more — for clients. In Q1 2019, one client’s blog posts had 58% more visits than the previous quarter, and there were 63% more entrances to their website via blog posts.
We credit that to all of our tactics working together. We are constantly creating new, relevant content based on our research, because we know for this particular industry, it takes Google a little longer to reward higher rankings.
Our posts that have been around a year or longer continue to rise and rank highly, as newer posts also begin to take hold. Some of the older posts have even earned the highly-sought Google Featured Snippet or Position 0!
Our work is not finished. As we often say, websites are not a “set it and forget it” project. We will still have to work hard to maintain and grow rankings. We will continue to be vigilant in regard to monitoring and developing content to encourage a stronger relationship with Google while maintaining overall site health and integrity.
Looking ahead, we plan to fine tune SEO with new initiatives, we will refine blog posts to be useful in more ways to drive engagement with the sites, and we will continue to research, as we know that will be key in future success.
Want to know how we can take an existing blog — or start one from scratch — to begin moving your site up in Google’s rankings? Reach out!