I’ve been analyzing successful and unsuccessful content on my niche sites lately.
I have more unsuccessful content than I care to realize.
I want to change that.
This exercise got me thinking “shouldn’t every article be published with the goal of ranking #1 for its intended keyword?
My immediate answer was “yes, it should.”
Especially if it’s been 18 months. I say 18 months because I do have content that took 18 months to eek its way to #1. So you can’t throw the towel in too quickly.
But there’s content 12 to 24 months that performs horribly.
As in 5 visitors per month.
I know it’s a numbers game. I still believe that and approach this business as a numbers game. Some content will rank. Some won’t.
As I dwelled on this longer, it occurred to me that search traffic isn’t always the goal.
I do publish content for Facebook traffic. Over the last 30 days FB sent me 244K visitors:
The content that attracts FB traffic doesn’t really rank but I don’t mind. It’s easy to produce and post. It’s worth doing.
It’s the same with some Pinterest traffic which sent even more traffic over the last 30 days:
So it’s not all search but admittedly search is still my most cherished traffic source.
I’ve rifled up on thousands of articles over the years.
It’s worked great. I’ll rifle up thousands more in years to come.
Why wouldn’t I? It’s working.
But I’m also at the point where I need to circle back and improve my content success ratio. In fact, I’ve hired two people who solely improve older content.
It’s slow going.
I can’t update/improve hundreds of articles in a week.
But I can update/improve a few each week.
But where do we draw the line?
Even with improvement not every improved article will hit #1.
And that’s when it hit me.
A lot of my content ranks for all kinds of keywords that I never intended to rank for.
And that’s one of those very cool aspects of being a publisher.
We find keywords. Publish articles targeting those keywords. But lo and behold, we inadvertently target and rank for so many more keywords.
Here’s the Ahrefs snapshot of KWs on my biggest site:
I don’t have 1.1 million articles. Not even close.
Here’s another for a smaller niche site:
That site doesn’t have close to 46.3K articles.
Why bring this up?
Because it goes to show you that content can pull in so much more traffic than . you expect.
It’s an amazing thing.
Yes, you will publish articles that get 2 visitors per month on a good month.
But you will also publish articles that get 5x what you thought it would. Those winners make up for the losers.
It is indeed a numbers game.
But that doesn’t mean once you have a good chunk of content that you shouldn’t go back and improve the losers or near winners in an effort to get more traffic. This is worth doing as well.