A blog can be a huge marketing asset. It's a smart way to generate organic traffic to your website and an effective strategy for nurturing relationships with prospects. But not all blogs offer valuable content — and simply having a blog doesn't guarantee its indelible success. With the rapid rate of technological evolution and a torrent of new content flooding the web daily, it's critical that your blog stays current, useful and contextually relevant. To deliver on these points, you'll have to give your blog some periodic TLC.
To Optimize your Blog, Start Here
Maintaining a blog is a large project, but it's easy to follow through when you have the right tools at your fingertips. Remember all that raw data you've been tracking through the Hubspot portal? Metrics on content performance, SEO ranking, click-rates and "contact" stats can help guide your content auditing strategy, signaling what areas of your blog need attention and what kind of work they might required.
Take a look at the top 100 posts in your marketing portal. Check on the performance stats for each individual post and use this information to guide your improvement efforts. If a post is performing well, make note of what's working so that you can apply that strategy to other areas. The majority of your upkeep efforts will likely be spent finding old posts to archive — the ones that have only drawn a couple of visitors in their lifetime or have been rendered altogether irrelevant with time.
For posts that aren't performing well, consider the possible reasons. Is the subject still relevant? Is the content clearly written? Does the post target a specific buyer persona and pain point? Are there keywords included in the title and body of the piece? Does the post include opportunities for leads to convert through CTAs?
Retroactively adding keywords to older posts (based on target keyword research) is a good way to ensure that they're seeing the maximum possible traffic from search engine results. To determine the best course of action, look to your HubSpot metrics to tell you what articles are receiving the most touches and organic traffic. For example, if inline CTAs are performing better than image CTAs that are placed at the bottom of posts (perhaps the result of visual "ad blindness" and the ubiquity of pop-up ads on the web), it may be beneficial to add inline CTAs to other posts. You should also be cognizant of the clickthrough rate for each piece of content in your repository. If visitors are clicking on a PCO or an inbound link, make sure that it is still functioning, up to date and relevant to that buyer persona.
It's also a good idea to check that your top-performing posts (the ones with the highest organic search rates or highest clickthrough rates, depending on your goals) are in top shape, which means reviewing more than just metrics.
When New Breed conducted a blog seo audit, we discovered that a post written back in 2011 about adding a video to your LinkedIn page was still receiving a lot of traffic. The sustained click-rate indicated that people were still interested in this topic six years after its original publication, but it didn't guarantee that the content was still delivering on its promise. LinkedIn has undergone various user interface changes in the last six years, so best-practice standards for using the web-based platform have inevitably changed. We updated the original post by bringing it up to par with LinkedIn's 2017 product model and giving it a current timestamp and author. The update ensures that the post will continue providing value to readers, rather than sending them away disappointed.
Remember that your work isn't done when these changes are complete. The most successful marketing blogs are the ones that are perpetually evolving, driven by data and a keen awareness of the marketplace. Our blog seo audit strategy chart (above) to get an idea of what you should be tracking and how often you should update.