How My Most Googled Blog Post Unexpectedly Happened

There are unexpected events along the blogging journey, and those ahead of me that share provide insight and inspiration to help me along. So here I am, doing the same. One of these surprises included discovering the blog post driving a majority of my site's organic search traffic (Three Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help).

Until recently, I wasn't writing articles with a focused intent to generate organic website traffic. So, it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered success ten months after publishing my article on how to respond to an offer of help. Out of everything I wrote, I would not have guessed this post to be the one to drive a thousand visitors my way.

It turns out it was a perfect storm of factors and now that I’ve got a taste of, I’m interested in positioning more of my blog posts to pull visitors from the search engines. The first step in replicating the success is understanding how this happened.  

Blog Results By The Numbers

 
Unique Pageviews - For My Top Blog Post Before it Got Ranked
March - December 2016 (First 10 months of publishing)
 
I wrote the article in March 2016, and ten months later in January 2017, I hit a Google jackpot jumping up in rankings and a boost of organic traffic. I suspect the article was slowly making it up the Google rankings without me knowing it. When it finally hit the top slots, the traffic began flowing in. It wasn't a highly competitive searched phrase and my take was quite unique from the other articles in the top ten. 
Unique Pageviews - All Time For Top blog
March 2016 - January 30th, 2018 (1,003 Unique Pageviews)

Maximizing This Traffic Opportunity

In July 2017, I noticed this upward trend and decided to make a few tweaks to take advantage of the opportunity to get ranked number one on Google and maximize the traffic.

The first action I took was simplifying and focusing the URL (as well as redirecting the old to the new).

Old URL

/community/176-three-ways-we-can-respond-to-those-who-offer-their-help

New URL

/community/176-ways-respond-offer-help

Also, Google prefers when websites have a title and H1 headline which are uniquely different from each other as a way to process different signals to better understand the page content. To take advantage of this preference and make the page more focused, I changed the title to match the most common phrases used for finding the page; "How To Reply When Someone Offers Help". As you see in the graph above, these changes fostered an even higher level of traffic for this post which now sits at number one on Google. 

Shifting Gears With Future Blogging Activities

Before I ventured down the road of my weekday blogging challenge, my plan was to do a full blog audit. I'd review past articles and make them better. This high performing post is short and focused, but at just over three hundred words it could use elaboration and further insights to make it stronger. 

Also, when I read the other results for the search phrase listed above, I noticed I'm missing in the article how to decline the offer in a positive way. I'm simply giving people three ways to respond with a yes based on my experience of helping people.

For now, I've punted the blogging audit project until well after I hit four hundred blog posts. I suspect it'll make more sense to do this project between six and seven hundred published articles. In the meantime, I'll monitor my successfully searched articles and tweak them for better rankings. The learned lessons along the way will improve my blog publishing checklist.

The Small Wins At The Beginning Are Hardest To Earn

I've had numerous success helping boost search engine traffic with clients, but this hard and long road is most difficult from the starting point to the tipping point. It's usually an extended period of time with limited results and is much less satisfying. But, like launching a rocket into space, there's nothing quite like breaking the atmosphere and sliding into orbit. Until I hit that point with this blog, I'll continue to relish in the little successes along the way.


Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

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