In previous blogs we’ve shown you how content marketing continues to be one of the most important digital trends in 2015. Content isn’t just king – it’s the whole kingdom. That’s why blogging for businesses has never been more important. Because ultimately it’s not just about engaging readers, it’s about generating traffic, leads, and eventually, loyal customers. But what really makes for a successful business blog?
Recently, Hubspot decided to find out. In April 2015 they created a unique tool called InboundRank that effectively ranks U.K. blogs based on a variety of metrics. This includes traffic stats, social shares, and domain authority. The tool blends elements of both SimilarWeb’s APIs as well as those of BuzzSumo and Moz (yep, that’s right, they brought out the big dogs!) Hubspot then filtered the list to the top 10 blogs, and decided to compare the characteristics of those top “winning blogs” to the rest of the blogs ranked on the list.
The results illustrated how any blog can become a truly remarkable content machine, regardless of industry, target audience or country of origin.
Hubspot created a whitepaper on this very subject, which was co-branded along with SimilarWeb and BuzzSumo. You can download the full report (link below) to uncover the secrets of successful business blogs.
Just to give you a general idea of the trends uncovered by the whitepaper, the main insights were broken down into three categories: Social Media, Search, and Content.
Here are just a few fascinating finds revealed in the report:
- Social media isn’t the main source of referral traffic – on average, the top 50 blogs are receiving less than 7% of their total traffic from social media. Still, social media is important for a whole host of reasons – from customer support to generating leads and promoting content.
- Twitter wins – in terms of which platform refers the most traffic to successful business blogs, Twitter takes the lead (although traffic from Twitter has declined considerably YoY). Twitter is followed by Facebook, and LinkedIn, with other social media platforms (G+, Tumblr, Reddit, etc.) trailing not far behind.
- The Top 10 Blogs have a strong following – on average the top 10 business blogs had 5x more of a social media following than the blogs ranked 11-50.
- The numbers are neck-in-neck when it comes to posting on social – the Top 10 blogs posted on average 7x a day, while blogs ranked 11-50 posted 6x a day. Not much of a difference there, indicating success on social media has a great deal to do with brand recognition and brand strength.
- The Top 10 Blog’s posts were shared much more often – related to the last insight, the blogs ranked in the top 10 received 4x the number of retweets than those ranked 11-50.
Key Takeaway: Social media is still important, but a strong brand presence is key. That’s why it’s important to invest time and effort in cultivating a strong social media strategy – more followers equal more shares.
- Search is an important referrer for top business blogs – the blogs ranked in the top 10 received 49% of their traffic from search while those ranked 11-50 claimed 46% of search traffic.
- The Top 10 business blogs are dominating keyword search – both branded and non-branded keywords are driving huge amounts of traffic to the top 10 business blogs, but the majority of traffic to the top 10 blogs is coming from organic, non-branded search terms. Conversely, blogs ranked 11-50 received 3x more traffic from branded keywords as opposed to non-branded terms.
Key Takeaway – companies need to spend more time researching popular long-tail keywords to help them command more traffic from non-branded search terms. You can do this easily (and mine great keyword gems) with SimilarWeb’s many keyword tools available on our market intelligence platform.
- The Top 10 Blogs post much more frequently – they post a lot more often. The top 10 blogs posted on average 8x more than those blogs ranked 11-50.
- People love lists – the blog type that was shared the most were lists, followed by how-to types of posts.
Key Takeaway: Post often, but make sure it’s quality content for your target audience. Posts should be informative, creative, and with useful tips (hence the popularity of list and how-to types of content).
To see the full list of the top most successful business blogs, and to discover the secrets of their successes, be sure to download the full report.