When it comes to increasing your traffic (and by extension, your revenue), there are many routes you can take. Many of these strategies require a full team, a lot of time, and plenty of dedication to execute. However, the following strategy allows you to work smarter, not harder.
While creating and producing more original content from scratch can help to increase your traffic over time, this article will explain why optimizing your existing posts is one of the best ways to get more traffic, much faster.
The video below features Sharon Gourlay, an Ezoic publisher and the founder of a large blogging community, Digital Nomad Wannabe. She’s built many successful websites across different niches, and was able to see a significant increase in traffic/revenue while putting in far less hours than usual using this strategy.
Watch below for her compilation of effective methods she used to fine-tune blog posts and see remarkable increases in traffic and revenue for her site.
Why should I optimize posts?
There are a few key reasons why Sharon recommends this strategy. First, optimizing a post is faster than creating an entirely new post. Doing the research and finding images for a blog could take several hours, whereas simply optimizing some keywords and updating some content could be done in under 30 minutes.
Second, “the post has already proven itself,” meaning you know it’s worth your time to focus on it. You won’t be optimizing every post, just the ones that have high-performing metrics. This means that through optimizing it, there’s a higher likelihood that you can increase traffic to it – and revenue.
Third, this is a great competitive advantage, as most sites do not regularly update their content. Optimizing your post will help you jump ahead in rankings over any similar blogs that have not recently updated their content.This also helps you have the most updated version of that content earlier than a competitor who has to create it from scratch.
How do I pick which posts to optimize?
According to Sharon, there are four key things you can look for when picking which of your posts you should work on optimizing:
- Posts with ongoing traffic
- You want proof that this could be an article worth posting. An article that has shown itself to receive traffic regularly is a great place to start. This is a good sign that Google already “likes” this content.
- Posts with high RPM (EPMV)
- You’re looking for posts that make the most money. Why? If these posts are already consistently earning more than other articles, you can venture to think that they would continue on the high-earning-per-visit trend.
- Poorly marketed posts
- If you did not promote a post much, or if it’s a post you wrote a while ago when you did not know much about SEO, it could be worth redoing to give it a fair chance in Google’s algorithm.
- Posts that are six months old or greater
- Working from this time frame ensures that the post has had enough time to give you data on how this post will perform over time. Sharon says that six months gives a post time to “get where it’s going to get in Google.”
Using Ezoic to find high-earning posts
First, navigate to Publisher Dashboard > Big Data Analytics > Content > Pages. Then, add a filter (optional) to filter out posts that have under a certain number of monthly pageviews.
Then, you can sort by pageviews and/or page PRM to find the combination of both highly-visited and high-earning posts. These will be the most useful to update.
Optimizing for more traffic by adding more keywords
Sharon uses Google Search Console to take the post(s) she has identified that would benefit from an update, then finds out which keywords that specific page ranks for. You can then export this data into a Google sheet to figure out which keywords you would like to add into your article.
In the video, she details more methods to narrow which keywords she will add. It’s important to be conscious of which keywords you are adding to make sure that they are actually relevant to the piece – you don’t want the post to lose its potency or focus. It’s also more beneficial to update keywords in the position on the second page of results so you have the best chance for that article to reach page one of Google searches.
Updating and adding to your post
You will want your article to be as updated as it can be, with current information on whatever topic is at hand. For instance, if you have a blog detailing which wallets are best to buy, but one of the wallets is no longer available, you will want to remove that wallet and find a new one to take its place. Think how many other websites don’t update this information regularly – and how many readers will be pleased you did.
In this step, you can use some of the tips from our last how-to blog to see what the top-performing results for that keyword are doing that you are not already including in your article.
Replicate “People also ask” and other aspects of search results
When you search your keyword, Google always includes a section on the page called “People also ask,” which is a goldmine of SEO keywords and phrases. Does your chosen article include any keywords/phrases on those same topics? If not, consider including some of them to increase the authority, usefulness, and SEO success of your article.
Take the below example. You publish a blog about pets and want to cater to people searching for “child-friendly dog breeds.” It would be beneficial to also include information like you see in the “People also ask” section.
This is one of the easiest ways to optimize your post and give your readers the answers they’re asking.
Get more links to your blog post (including internal)
Creating more links to your articles is an obvious and proven strategy to continue getting traffic. You can work on getting external links from other sites sending traffic to your article, but you can also work on linking from page to page within your own site. As Sharon said, your site has power – and you control all of it! If you include a link to the article you’re optimizing in another relevant snippet of information from another article on your site, this automatically creates a stronger SEO presence for your articles and your site in general. You could also consider linking to this content from your home page, which typically has the highest authority from Google.
Share your updated content to social media or email lists
You can also leverage any social media followers or email lists to further optimize this article. You can promote this updated post like you would a new post, sending it out across your various social channels or even sending it to your subscriber list, especially since it will likely be adding value since it has been recently updated.
How to optimize for more income
Besides improving your SEO to get more traffic, Sharon suggests adding affiliate links to different posts.
A few key things to remember about adding affiliate links:
- Done is better than perfect. Don’t let the small details keep you from adding links overall. A successful website will have a plethora of optimized articles, each combining to bring in revenue over time.
- Placement is important. Affiliate links almost always perform better the higher they are in an article, so be sure to place them in the introduction or shortly after.
- Additionally, a strong call to action will help the affiliate link perform better than a simple one-word link.
Optimize your advertising
Optimizing your articles does take time, but it directly helps you make more money. Setting aside just a few hours a month can make a huge difference in your advertising income.
Are you limiting any categories of ads that you don’t really need to limit from your site? Do you have enough placeholders on your pages? You can also use Ezoic’s new feature, Site Scores, to gauge your overall setup on Ezoic. This will give you an overarching look at your site’s health and things you can do better to set yourself up for maximum earnings.
Add keywords with high CPC
The higher this number, the more advertisers are bidding for this keyword. This means you could earn more money from ads shown on this page.
Add keywords with buying intent
Keywords with “buying intent”are keywords people search for when they have a problem that needs fixing, a problem that has a solution they can pay for on the spot. Keywords that are an answer for a potential buyer’s problem are usually high-performing and bring in more revenue. An example of a keyword that has buying intent: “Best [product or service] in 2022.” (Here are some other examples.)
Seek out sponsorship
Some blog posts about certain products or topics naturally lend themselves to sponsorship by brands. Is there a company that would potentially sponsor a section on your website related to that product? In her video, Sharon recommended that travelers to Kuala Lumpur are probably Googling ways to travel from island to island, creating a natural sponsorship opportunity for buses, planes, ferries, or other modes of transportation. It’s a natural, SEO-friendly way to make more money through your post.
Create a related product
Some of the highest-earning income streams for website owners are personal products they make and sell themselves. 6-figure podcaster Pat Flynn created a simple eBook for security guards in training to study for their certification exam, and ended up selling thousands of copies, earning him two to three thousand dollars a month!
There could be several digital products or courses that could be very helpful for your audience. For instance, if your article is about picking the right dog breed for your family, you could think about including a downloadable checklist or guide on the topic.
Wrapping it all up
Sharon emphasizes that it helps to try and optimize posts at least annually. It does take time, and you could spend days perfecting a single post. But it’s not about making one perfectly-optimized article, it’s about optimizing lots of articles over time that, combined, help you earn a significant income.
It’s also important to make this a process that you can actually replicate so you don’t feel overwhelmed with dread about the process. Taking notes down of each step you take on an article or how to update one of your posts could help you go through the process much more quickly in the future.
One last tip: Don’t spend too much time updating one single article. Sharon recommends setting a timer and being done once the timer goes off, as it could be easy to fall into the trap of trying to update every single thing. Again, done is better than perfect.
As publishers, we rarely have several extra hours a week to spend on side-projects. While creating new content is always going to be important, optimizing pre-existing articles is one way that you can reduce the time spent laboriously writing new things, and use what you already have to your advantage.
For more tips on getting more traffic and earning more revenue, check out these other pieces of content from Ezoic:
- Video: Perform an SEO Audit on Your Site By Following These Simple Steps
- Blog: 10 Ways to Effectively Market Your Website
- Blog: How Every Website Blogger Can Gain More Traffic
- Blog: How is Website Traffic Tied Into Ad Revenue?
- Blog: How to Find Articles to Update & Improve SEO Performance
For more about Sharon Gourlay, her story, and her blogging tips, check out her website Digital Nomad Wannabe.