This post outlines how to maximise the impact of your content by using content titles for high social impact and to maximise search traffic. 

Short Term and Long Term Web Traffic

Any content you create and share via social media will create a “spike” of traffic to your website. However, by the fast moving nature of social media, this traffic spike will be short lived as your Tweet, Facebook post, LinkedIn update,etc fades into history and moves out of site on users timelines. This could mean that we are forever creating content just to get a short spike of traffic and never gain any really growth from building our content library. Happily however, each time you create content  and share it via social media, you also have the opportunity to increase the volume of traffic you are receiving from the search engines. The key to getting the maximum impact from both social media and search optimisation are the titles of content, whether that’s a blog, podcast, video or any other form of content.

The Importance of Content Titles

When you title content effectively it not only grabs people’s attention when they see it in social media, it will also contain keywords that will match the searches they make in the major search engines. For example a blog post titled “Top 10 Social Media Success Stories” will make a great Tweet to grab attention and also contains the key phrase  “Social Media Success Stories”. As the image below shows, this should mean we get an initial spike of traffic from social media, followed by growing search traffic as the content is picked up by the search engines.

Content Titles for SEO and Social Impact

Chart shows website traffic driven by the initial spike of social traffic followed by longer term growth of traffic from the search engines.

Keyword Research for Content Titles

When you are selecting the kinds of content you will be creating and deciding on how to title that content we need to make sure we understand what users are interested in and what kinds of words they are searching for. I’ve highlighted 3 free key tools below to help with keyword research and deciding on content topics:

  • BuzzSumo – search by keyword to find the most shared pieces of content on that topic. This can help you understand what users are interested in and see examples of what other people are doing.
  • Google Trends – when you go to “Explore in Depth” you can see search trends over time and see what else people are searching for. Remember though, Google Trends doesn’t give you the actual numbers of searches, just the relative volume.
  • Keyword Planner – part of the Google paid search system, but also great for SEO. You’ll need a Google Adwords account, but it’s easy to set one up without the need to actually spend any money. You can then see what people are searching for and see the actual numbers of searches.

Analytics for Page Title Optimisation

Once you’ve started titling your page titles effectively, you should start to see an increase in traffic from the search engines in the long term. The screen shot below shows a report in Google analytics that tells us how much traffic we have received to different content on our website. This report can be found under Behaviour->Site Content->All Pages.

Analytics Title Optimisation

The Behaviour-Content-All Pages report in Google Analytics shows us how much traffic each page is driving to our website.

We then want to drill into and find out how much of that traffic is from social media and how much is from the Search Engines. We can do this by clicking on the title of the piece of content we are interested in, then clicking on add “Secondary Dimension” and selecting “Source/Medium”, as highlighted in the image below:

Traffic Source Analytics

By adding a secondary dimension we can see where our traffic is coming from.

We can now see for the piece of content we have selected that the majority of traffic is now coming from organic search in Google (227 Pageviews), some directly (30 Pageviews) and the rest, except for 1 Pageview from Facebook. This content was actually written over 18 months ago, so this demonstrates that once past the initial spike in social traffic, the content is now driving long term search traffic each month.

The title of the blog post works well in social media but it also answers a question, so has managed to pick up lots of search engine traffic over the long term.

Social Media and Search Working Together

As we can see from this example, not only will creating content give us something to talk about in social media, it will also drive long term search traffic if we title the content effectively. Make sure you think about both social media impact and search keywords every time you title any of your content.