What Our Highest Performing Blog Posts Have in Common & Why These Elements Work.

28 Nov

Written by: John Wylde

Wondering what elements make up a successful blog post? We reviewed our top 8 blog posts on the Marketing Blog in 2022.

Traffic-wise, each of these posts has received over 500,000 organic views since publishing and earns at least 40,000 views monthly.

What you’ll notice with all of our top-performing posts is that they have an attention-grabbing headline.

Some of the components of an eye-catching headline are:

All but one of our top-performing posts features numbers, at the beginning of the headline. One reason why numbers are effective is that they set expectations. Blog posts can be a bit overwhelming and when you add a number in your post, it removes some uncertainty and lets the reader know exactly what they’ll get.

When a user lands on your blog post, the first thing they’ll likely read is your introduction.

Your intro should cover three areas:

Your intro can also be a good place to present a new piece of data or an anecdote that leads into your topic. You can also present a situation or a question that invites the reader to keep reading.

From there, the writer outlines a common challenge that many readers have likely experienced and then highlights the importance of a professional bio.

There are so many ways to approach an intro but as long as it covers those three Ws and has an empathetic lens, it will surely keep your readers engaged.

Listicles are great because they are inherently scannable. The reader can quickly navigate to the section(s) they’re most interested in.

These listicles are also very comprehensive, serving as a detailed guide that readers can bookmark for future use.

From there, we decide what content updates will be most valuable for readers. For this post, in particular, that meant adding more captions to make the post more comprehensive.

When you have a lengthy blog post, one of the best elements you can add to the page is a table of contents with jump links. A jump link is a link that, when clicked, will take the user straight to a section on the page.

However, a table of content can be just as valuable as a short post for readers who are looking for specific information.

Because a featured snippet will appear at the top of the page, it leads to more clicks – making it a coveted feature that every website wants. But to gain a featured snippet for a particular query, your webpage has to be optimized and beat out other web pages.

Although this can happen organically, bloggers can optimize sections on their page to increase their chances, such as:

Another common element in all of our top-performing posts is an emphasis on scannability.

Every post features short paragraphs and bullet points – and that’s not by chance, it’s by design.

We know readers often scan blog posts to find the most relevant information. Large text blocks can be visually intimidating and lead to high bounce rates. To prevent this, we opt for bite-size paragraphs that work on both desktop and mobile.

With so many distractions at our fingertips, it’s not enough to have a blog post with just words. The more interactive and visually rich elements you can add to your post, the more engaged your readers will be.

This can range from video embeds, jump links, and images to quizzes and polls.

In addition to increasing engagement, these elements also help to break up the visual monotony of written text. They give the readers something new to see, read, and engage with.

There you have it – seven elements that have contributed to the success of our top-performing posts. Although every reader is different, these are universal elements that will provide a better user experience and higher engagement rate.