Top ten blogs of 2015 – and what we can learn from them

22 December 2015 By Northern Lights

Top ten blogs of 2015 – and what we can learn from them image

learning curveThe end or start of a year is a good time to reflect, analyse and plan. This week I have been looking at the stats for our blog and seeing what I can learn from them and planning what we should do in 2016.

A key task is to see which blogs are doing best, thinking about why and then writing more on similar topics (this blog on how to use Google analytics tells you how to analyse your stats).

So here I look at our top performers of 2015 and outline what we should cover next year – hopefully when we do our 2016 review, we will have followed our own advice!

1. What were the top blogs of 2015?

Yet again, our most popular blog has been What is a good bounce rate for a website? This was a guest blog from our associate, Jonny Ross from April 2013 (thanks again Jonny!) – and written in response to several of our clients asking us about bounce rates.

There are two lessons from this

  • Listen to the questions your clients ask you – they are goldmines to help drive traffic to your website/blog
  • Get your partners, associates, clients to write guest blogs for you on topics where they are the experts

The next popular blogs were, in order

board meeting

One particular blog interested me, ‘Building social media stakeholder engagement’ and made me dig further. You might say our blog How to create a social media strategy for universities is quite similar, but this has only half the traffic. My thoughts on this are

  • The words ‘social media stakeholder engagement’ are good search words and we need to write more blogs around this in 2016
  • Putting the word ‘universities’ into the social media strategy blog has made it very niche. It may have turned some readers off – but we should not worry too much. Having the word ‘universities’ in the blog has helped us come top of Google searches around ‘PR for universities’ and we have won business from this (do a search and you will see this blog comes second on Google – I have only just discovered that!). So being very niche can be good for winning business, even if it is not the biggest driver of traffic
  • Actually ‘social media strategy’ is still a good topic and we should include this in our 2016 blog plan

Other observations from these are

  • Internal communications is a big issue for companies – the intranet and internal comms blog are top performers. We should write more blogs on this and develop our services
  • Directors’ LinkedIn profiles – this is winning us work and an issue for senior people. More blogs on this topic are needed!
  • I wrote the blog ’10 successful income generation ideas for your business’ more as a game to see if it would work for traffic. Clearly it did! It is not particularly the way we position ourselves – most of our clients talk about ‘winning new business’ rather than income generation. It hasn’t won us business. I think I will leave it as a useful exercise in trying out blog titles that work
  • I had not spotted that the blog on how to chair a board is working so well. This is part of the services we have put together on leadership communications and is a useful affirmation that there is a need for this
  • A client had emailed me ‘where should internal communications sit – HR or marketing?’. The lesson, again, is listen to the questions your clients and customers are asking

what planet was I on?

  • What planet was I on when I wrote that blog title ‘How to get new business in Dubai from standing start in less than a month. Through LinkedIn. Here’s how’? It breaks all the rules for blog titles – much too long. But I suspect it gets picked up for ‘new business in Dubai’ and just shows that if you get the angle and content right, that’s what matters
  • I just went to the end of our Google analytics to see what titles are NOT working so well, which include ’10 take-aways from the CBI conference to make you optimistic’ and ‘Social media is changing crisis communications – are you prepared?’ We should not bother with these ‘thought’ pieces but focus on sharing our expertise and tips

    3. Your blog plan for 2016

So what lessons can you learn from all this? Here are my thoughts for your blog plan

  • Spend an hour on Google analytics and make notes. What is working, what is not? Are there themes of the blogs that are working? Choose five of them for your 2016 blog plan
  • Which types of titles work best? Is ‘5 tips’ or ‘How to’ or does your audience like the more reflective types of blog? Every business is different, understand your audiences. Do a list of blog titles that work well and use similar ones for 2016
  • Are you using your blogs strategically to win business? What blogs could you write to support your sales focus? Do a list of key services that you want to sell in 2016 and then write blogs to support these.

Good luck for 2016, hope these ideas help. And call us if you would like to discuss how you can use blogs strategically and win business from them. You might also find our Amazon bestselling ebook useful, How to write a top-ranked business blog’.

And do share your stories of which blog titles are working best for you and why.



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Written by Northern Lights