Blogging is a pain.
Not because content is hard to write (in the worst case, you can only hire one writer or agency), but because no one can guarantee that your blog post will be read or not.
Just think about it … you spend all of the time writing content, but no one can guarantee that it will be seen, shared, or even linked.
So I thought it would be fun to analyze popular blog posts and see what common characteristics they share.
That way, you can replicate what they are doing and make your post more likely to be read.
For this study, we looked at a popular blog post as something that was generating at least 1,000 visitors per month from Google organic search (this was based on Ubersuggest data).
We also didn’t exclude any countries and looked at the data on a global level.
Here’s what we learned:
A popular post is usually ranked at least 38 keywords
A big commonality was that popular blog posts contain at least 38 keywords.
What is interesting, however, are posts that generate at least 5,000 visits per month from the Google rankings for 51 or more keywords.
However, the big difference between posts with 1,000 or more visitors and 5,000 wasn’t in the number of keywords they targeted, but rather in the fact that they ranked for keywords that were searched an average of 984 times per month.
Granted, they didn’t get 984 clicks for every keyword they ranked because no website really gets all of the clicks and there is no guarantee that it will rank # 1.
Looking at this data, we decided to do a little more research and we randomly selected 300 blog posts that were generating at least 1,000 visits per month from Google to see how many keywords they mentioned on their page that Contained at least 50 searches per month.
Can you imagine what the number was?
Well, after we removed common one-word terms that aren’t really considered keywords (like I mentioned words like “analyze, month, generate, data” in this post, but I’m not really targeting those keywords) , the number comes to an astonishing 76 keywords.
But wait, how do you come up with 76 keywords for every blog post you write?
Before I summarize how to make a laundry list of keywords to include in every blog post, remember …
- You should never put keywords in a blog post for SEO traffic. Your post should flow and adding the keywords should feel natural. (If you’re hiring a writer, a good writer shouldn’t struggle with that.)
- There are outliers and some blog posts generate a lot of traffic without targeting dozens of keywords in their content.
- You shouldn’t be blogging for “Google traffic” alone. If the content is of no value to the user, it will affect the ranking of your website in the long run as you may be affected by the Google algorithm update if your website is rated as inferior.
With that out of the way, you can head over to Ubersuggest and follow the steps in the video below to find blog post ideas as well as 76 plus keywords per post.
The average blog post that is popular is 1839 words
Over the years, the game of SEO has changed. In general, the longer your content, the more traffic you can get. But there are many edge cases to this rule.
And Google doesn’t care as much about word count as it does user experience these days.
A user doesn’t care if a blog post is short or long. He just wants to be satisfied with what he just read.
Even so, we looked at the word count to see what the average post length was for a popular post.
It is interesting that posts with an average of over 5,000 visitors per month were not much longer than posts with 1,000 visitors.
The biggest difference was that they included more popular keywords in their content. You haven’t necessarily ranked each of these terms, but this gives a post more opportunity to rank up and be found.
As I mentioned earlier, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, there are popular topics like “how to tie a tie” and it doesn’t really take many words to explain how to tie a tie. You need more pictures or even videos.
Popular blog posts are a little new
When we looked at every popular blog in our database, we found that many websites did not have a publish date or an update date (the update date is used for content that was originally published years ago but has been recently updated).
However, we noticed something interesting about the posts that had a date in it, whether it was the date it was published or when the content was updated.
Content that generates an average of 1,000 visitors or more per month is typically 388 days old.
And content that generates fewer than 1,000 visitors is usually 593 days old.
This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t want to rate new, fresh content because there was fresh, new content in both categories that generated traffic. But many of the ranking blog posts were a bit old (but not too old).
Again, remember that there are always exceptions to the rule. Going back to tying a tie sample, even if this article were 3 years old it would probably still be relevant as not much has changed in ties.
However, with over 1 billion blogs on the web, Google seems to prefer newer content to outdated content.
If you have older content don’t worry, you can always update it to make sure it gets more traffic continuously.
To do this, proceed as follows:
It’s so effective that I have a team of people just updating my old content.
Like it or not, if you want to write content, the first thing to do is to look for keywords.
Choosing the right and wrong keywords can result in your content not receiving any traffic or thousands of visitors per month.
Of course, there are other elements in your SEO, like links and on-page SEO, but for this analysis we wanted to focus on the features (the ones that you can easily control) that make a popular post.
Are you doing keyword research out of curiosity before writing content?
See How my agency can drive Firmly Traffic volumes on your website
- SEO – Unlock tons of SEO traffic. See real results.
- Content Marketing – Our team creates epic content that is shared, links accessed and visitors drawn.
- Paid media – effective paid strategies with a clear ROI.
Book a call