17 Actionable Content Marketing Tips For More Traffic

17 Actionable Content Marketing Tips For More Traffic

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Feb. 18, 2020

17 Actionable Content Marketing Tips

This is a list of actionable content marketing tips.

In fact, these same strategies helped grow my blog to 304,265 monthly visits:

Backlinko – Monthly visits

So if you want more traffic from every piece of content that you publish, you’ll love this list of tips, techniques and strategies.

Let’s get started.

1. Publish “X vs. Y” Posts

“X vs. Y” posts are posts like:

  • “Convertkit vs. MailChimp”
  • “Paleo vs. Keto”
  • “UberEats vs. Postmates”

And “X vs. Y” posts are a GREAT way to get more traffic to your site.


First, X vs. Y keywords don’t have a lot of SEO competition.

For example, I recently published a post optimized around the keyword “Ahrefs vs. SEMRush”.

Sure enough, that page rocked to the top of Google within a few weeks.

Second, people that search for “X vs. Y” keywords tend to be pretty advanced.

Think about it this way:

Somebody searching for “Ahrefs vs. SEMRush” already knows about SEO. They’re just looking for the best tool.

Which is why CPCs on “X vs. Y” keywords tend to be super high.

This is an EASY way to get more replies to your outreach emails.

All you need to do is add links to your social profiles in your signature.

Seriously. That’s it.

And there’s data to back this up.

When we teamed up with Pitchbox to analyze over 10 million outreach emails, we discovered that social profile links increased response rates by up to 9%.

Our data also showed that adding a link to your Instagram profile seems to make the biggest difference.

Which leads us to…

3. Use The Animalz Revive Tool

I boosted my organic traffic by 260% simply by updating and relaunching an old post.

Question is:

How do you know which posts to work on first?

Enter: The (free) Animalz Revive tool.

This tool uses your Google Analytics to find pages with the biggest traffic drop.

When you find a page that’s dropping, you have two options:

You can revamp and relaunch the post like it’s brand new.

For example, we update and relaunch our “Guide to SEO This Year” every November.

Or, you can quietly update your content. In fact, last year we gave our guest posting guide a much-needed update.

And that single update boosted search engine traffic to that page by 17.68%.

4. Try The PBC Formula

Your blog post introductions are HUGE.

After all, they’re the first thing people see when they land on your post.

Unfortunately, most blog post intros are way too long.

Well, I recently developed a short blog post intro formula that works GREAT.

I call it: “The PBC Formula”.

Here’s the full breakdown.

First, you quickly Preview what your post is all about.

Then, you list out a bunch of Benefits that someone will get from reading your post.

Finally, cap things off with a Call-To-Action.

That’s all there is to it.

5. Publish “Power Posts”

When we joined forces with BuzzSumo to analyze nearly 1 billion articles, one finding stood out:

A very small number of “Power Posts” drive the majority of social sharing online.

Our data showed that 1.3% of the articles published are responsible for 50% of social media shares.

I call these high-performing articles “Power Posts”.

To be clear:

There’s no formula for creating content that will get shared like crazy.

(If there was, everyone would do it 😀 )

But when you publish epic Power Posts you increase the odds that people will share your stuff.

For example, we recently published a Power Post called: “How to Write a Blog Post: The Definitive Guide”.

This single post took 50 hours of work.

  • 20 hours to write the post
  • 15 hours to design illustrations and visuals
  • 10 hours to take and edit screenshots
  • 5 hours to code and assemble the page

But in the end, that hard work paid off.

Our Power Post brought in 10,555 visitors in the first week alone.

And a good chunk of those visitors were from all the shares we got on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

In fact, that single page has 5369 total social shares.

Let’s face it:

Most topics are SUPER competitive.

For example, take a super niche keyword like “seo site check up”.

According to Ahrefs, this keyword only gets 90 searches per month.

And it has a keyword difficulty score of 86.

It’s the same story with most topics nowadays.

By the time you write an article about something, there are already hundreds (or even thousands) of posts out there on that topic.

What’s the solution?

Write about trending topics.

Trending topics are popular topics that aren’t super competitive (yet).

And if you want to find trending topics, I recommend checking out a free tool called ExplodingTopics.com.

This tool lists out topics that are growing fast in 29 different categories.

That way, you can pounce on these topics before they really take off.

7. Include Native Content With Social Shares

“Share your content on social media” used to be a useful content marketing tip.

Not anymore.

Today, most social media algorithms (like Facebook) bury posts that send users off of their platform.

While there’s no way to totally get around this, I recently found a little loophole that does help:

Post native content with your link.

For example, my social media posts used to just be my blog post title and a link.

And these posts would get BURIED.

Today, I write a little bit of native content to go along with the post.

This native content gives social media algorithms what it wants (original content and engagement).

And once the post starts to spread around the platform, you get what you want (more traffic to your post).

For example, this LinkedIn post got over 41k views.

And that’s mostly due to the fact that the post wasn’t just a link to my site.

My post had a little bit of valuable content to go along with my link.

8. Use Padlock Posts

You may have noticed these greyed-out posts in the Backlinko blog feed.

Internally, we call these “Padlock Posts”.

They’re basically normal blog posts that only Backlinko email subscribers can get access to.

And when someone clicks on a Padlock Post, a little popup appears that asks for their email.


And while it’s still early, these seem to be working REALLY well.

In fact, this Padlock Post has brought in 1,614 email subscribers so far.

Not bad.

9. Include a Keyword in Your URL

Keyword-rich URLs aren’t just for on-page SEO.

(Although they definitely help with that too).

As it turns out, including a keyword in your URL can increase your organic click-through-rate by up to 45%.

I should point something out:

Your URL doesn’t have to be a 1:1 match for the keyword someone’s searching for.

As long as the text in your URL is similar to the keyword, you’ll usually get a nice CTR boost.

For example, a few months ago I published a post called: “17 Ways to Improve SEO Rankings”.

My target keyword for that post is: “Improve SEO Rankings”.

Even though my URL doesn’t contain that exact term, it’s close enough.

10. Add More Cuts to Your Video Content

People want videos that move FAST.

This is something that I struggled with when I first started shooting videos.

I wanted my videos to look “natural”. So I filmed entire YouTube videos with only one or two cuts.


And this made my videos move SUPER slow. My videos were full of “umms”, “aaahs” and “you knows” that slowed things down.

Today, my videos have 80-100 cuts each.

That way, each video moves along at a super rapid pace.


Which helps my Audience Retention stay nice and high.

11. Write Longer Headlines

Want to get more social shares from your content?

Try writing longer headlines.

The BuzzSumo study I mentioned earlier found that longer headlines are strongly correlated with high levels of social sharing.

This was true when we measured headline length in terms of word count:

And character count:

We actually found that long headlines generate an average of 76% more shares vs. short headlines.

For example, this headline from one of our posts is 15 words.

Which may have helped that post rack up 2036 shares.

12. Optimize Around Untapped Keywords

Most keyword research tools have the same problem:

They show everyone the exact same set of keywords!

What if there was a way to find untapped keywords that your competitors haven’t found yet?

Well, there is.

Here’s how to do it:

First, log in to the Google Keyword Planner.

Then, click on the “Start With a Website” tab.

And enter a competitor’s homepage…

…or a blog post.

And the tool will scan the page for keyword ideas

Ideas that most people don’t see.

Very cool.

13. Use Blog Post Templates

Templates can REALLY help you scale up your content marketing.

For example, whenever I start on a new post, I don’t open up a blank Google Doc.

Instead, I work from one of our proven blog post templates.

For example, when I sit down to write a case study, I use this PDF workbook to help me get the important parts on paper.

Then, I transfer that to a Google Doc and start writing.

In fact, working from a set of templates has helped us scale up our publishing schedule. We used to publish a new post once a month. Now, we publish a new post every 2 weeks.

14. Use Emotional Titles

According to our analysis of 5 million Google search results, titles that pack an emotional punch get more clicks.

That said:

It’s possible for your titles to be TOO emotional.

That same study found that headlines with “Power Words” had a lower CTR.

So I recommend using titles that have some emotional sentiment. But if you go overboard, your CTR can start to suffer.

For example, this title is emotional. But it’s not “clickbaity”.

15. Optimize Around Brand Keywords

“Brand Keywords” are just like they sound:

They’re keywords optimized around brands and products.

Here’s an example of one of our posts that’s optimized around a Brand Keyword.

So: why optimize your blog content around Brand Keywords?

Because they’re usually NOT competitive.

For example, take a keyword like “BuzzSumo”.

According to Ahrefs, that keyword gets 49K searches per month. And it has a decent CPC too.

Despite those impressive numbers, the keyword difficulty on this term is only 13.

The downside of Brand Keywords is that you’ll never rank #1 in Google for that term.

And depending on the SERPs for that brand keyword, you may not be able to crack the top 3.

For example, we published this guide to the Google Search Console last year.

And considering that the top 5 results are all Google.com pages, #6 is about as high as this page will ever rank.

Even so, that post still brings in 1,126 visitors per month from Google.

16. Tell Relatable Stories in YouTube Videos

One of the powerful things about YouTube is that it’s a very personal medium.

Unlike a blog post, someone is actually watching YOU deliver your message.

Which makes it the perfect place to take your guard down. And reveal some personal tidbits about yourself.

For example, I try to include a 30-60 second little story in every single one of my YouTube videos.


Most of these stories share how I initially struggled with the topic that I’m covering in that video.

That way, I don’t come in like some know it all.

It shows that, like anyone, I had to learn things through trial and error.

As long as these stories are short and relate to your topic, you’ll find that your audience will appreciate them.

17. Write Compelling Meta Descriptions

No, Google doesn’t use the meta description tag to understand the content on your page.

But users use your description to figure out which result to click on.


The copy in your meta tag will depend a lot on the page.

But here’s one template that tends to work well:

And here’s an example of that template in action.

Bonus #1: Reverse Engineer Your Competition

There’s a place for originality.

And creative thinking.

But there’s also a place for straight up copying what your competitors are doing.

And you don’t need their Google Analytics password to do it either.

In fact, there are a bunch of awesome content marketing tools that will show you what’s already working for someone else.

If your main focus is on link building, Detailed.com shows you where the top blogs in almost every niche get their links from.

And if you want to see a specific site’s most-shared content, BuzzSumo is the tool for you.

Or maybe you want to see the pages on a site that bring in the most organic traffic. Well Ahrefs can hook you up with that info.

Bonus #2: Create Stats Pages

Stats Pages are a great way to build backlinks without needing to do a bunch of outreach.

Here’s why:

Stats Pages are optimized around “[Topic] + Stats” keywords.

And who tends to search for “[Topic] + Stats” keywords?

That’s right: bloggers and journalists!

And when they use one of your stats in their article, they’ll usually link back to your stats page.

For example, we published this list of email marketing stats a few months ago.

And it quickly hit the first page for keywords that bloggers and journalists search for (like “email marketing statistics”).

Which helped it pick up some solid links, like this one:


What Do You Think?

Now I’d like to turn things over to you:

Which content marketing tip from this list was your favorite?

Or maybe you have a tip that I didn’t cover here.

Either way, let me know and leave a comment below.


  1. Brian, that’s are really helpfully tips, thank you! Can you make a post how to write blog post like you – short sentences, meaningful, a lot of useful graphics. That’s a magic and works like kids book!

    1. Great article. Thanks for your efforts. Appriciate it.

  2. 19 great tips, thank you. Now all I have to do is to put them into practice.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rob. Yup, that’s the tricky part! I tried to make these super tactical so that they’re easy to put into practice. For example, tip #11 should only take about a minute to do.

  3. How do you “Padlock” a post?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      It depends on your CMS, theme, and email service company (Mailchimp, Convertkit etc.). But the basic gist is you need a way for your email service to forward current subscribers to the padlock post. And have new subscribers confirm their email first. From there, you need to hack your CMS so that your padlock posts stay in the same spot in your blog feed.

      So yeah, not super easy to pull off. But it can be 100% worth it.

      1. Okay… so basically, I need to find freelance on fiver to hack my theme. 😛

        Thanks, that’s in my future todo list now. 🙂

        1. Or if you’re using WordPress you could always consider Ryan Stewart’s plugin:
          “Capture & Convert”

  4. Mel Avatar Melsays:

    Man, really upset this isn’t, “The Definitive Guide to 17 Actionable Marketing Tips.”

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Maybe next time 😂😂😂

  5. Hey Brian! I am a big fan of yours and read all of your articles. I am starting a new blog and I would love it if you made a blog post about how to get users/traffic on your website if it is brand new.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Josh, thank you. I appreciate that.

  6. I am in the real estate and mortgage niche in San Diego – everyone talks about PPC, sending direct mail, etc — I focus solely on creating hard hitting, targeted long form blog posts. Brian, we use your site, and how you lay out how to do these, as our guides. I can say that 2 items that are “secret” you talk about. (1) Using a “Table of Contents” at the start of the article with clickable links (2) We added Schema Mark up – real estate — and these were HUGE game changers.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Scott, that’s great! It’s always good to see someone using content marketing in local niches like that. It really does work! And as you’re probably finding, your competition is probably light years behind the stuff you’re doing.

      And yeah, adding a table of contents has been helpful for us in terms of getting sitelinks and for overall UX.

  7. Hey Brian! As usual, I have learned many things from this post. Thank you so much for covering this topic. Cheers!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. Glad you learned something new.

  8. I liked tip #12. Optimize Around Untapped Keywords.

    Great use of Keyword Planner for getting untapped keywords.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Cheers. Yup, that little tip still works super well even after all these years (I first started using it 5+ years ago).

  9. Cool, Cool Tips brian.

    I jotted down all the main points. Here they are.

    Publish X vs. Y post.
    Link to Social Profiles in Outreach Emails
    Try the PBC formula
    Write about the trending topic
    Use padlock post
    Use blog post templates
    Optimize around brand keywords

    And others I knew before 🙂
    However, I’ve sworn to publish only power posts (and have proudly removed all the mediocre posts from my site :p )

    But I have quick questions–

    How can I create a padlock post on my WordPress website? (I’ve also featured it in my most recent article)

    Thanks a ton brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rahul. To answer your question: I addressed that before (in my reply to Brian’s comment). But basically, it requires some coding to work.

      1. Yes Brian, just read it.

        Thank you.

  10. Thanks Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Danish. Glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Been enjoying the tips from your recent acquisition! Look forward to the emails each Tuesday.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Nathan. That’s good to hear. People seem to really like Exploding Topic Tuesday! I might write a post about it here soon.

  12. Great tips once again Brian. I’ll try your PBC formula and Padlock posts. Also using blog post templates sounds great if that’s going to speed up the content creation process. Wasn’t even aware that longer titles lead to more shares, I always tend to make it around 10 words max. Thanks

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Anthony. Blog post templates have been super helpful. It’s allowed me to double out blog post content production (still only 2 posts/month. But still).

  13. Hi Brian,

    Content marketing shouldn’t be hard. The only thing content should understand the users need and try to create content that visitors can relate.

    The content marketing tips you have mentioned in the post, are incredibly awesome, especially the Create Stats Pages method.

    I hope it will work for my client.

    Umesh Singh

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Umesh.

  14. Even I subscribed you with the padlock 😆

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice! That goes to show that it really does work.

  15. Aamer Avatar Aamersays:

    Awesome post!!!!
    Shared on Twitter…

    My very first week of email subscription and I got the blog post of my own niche… Thanks a lot for this post… Really helpful…

    Is there any blog post regarding the latest usage of WordPress that covers useful tools, plugins, widgets… especially for beginners?

    I have been writing content for others and want to start my own website using WordPress but it seems somewhat complex to me…

    If there is, let me know… It would be a HUGE help…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Aamer. Have you seen WPbeginner.com? It sounds like the exact site you’re looking for.

  16. Thanks for another great post Brian. I will be sure apply this to my content marketing strategy.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Darshana.

  17. Your style is the best, Brian. When I receive an email from you, I always know I will learn something interesting. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Romain! I really appreciate that 👍👍👍

  18. Hey Brian, another great post! I do see people rank for a brand name and it seems to generate them traffic but do you have to choose a brand name related to your industry? For instance, I am in branding but if I rank for nike, won’t it be untargeted as they are looking for clothes or trainers?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Alex, thanks. I recommend choosing a brand name related to your industry. It doesn’t have to be a competitor or a site in your exact niche. But it should be a brand that your target customer searches for. For example, I don’t have an SEO software company, but I still want to rank for Ahrefs, SEMRUsh etc.

      Why? Because my target audience of professional marketers uses those tools. So this is a way to get in front of them.

      1. Excellent post Brian. I really like the PBC formula. Packing in so much value right at the beginning is important and I think your formula is perfect.

        Thanks Brian!

        Take care,

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          You’re welcome, Steve. Yup, you gotta hook them right away or they’re gone.

  19. Can Google still crawl the page with the Padlock content on it?

    This seems great and I look forward to trying it out.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Anthony, no they can’t. And you don’t really want them to. It’s meant to be for email subscribers only.

  20. Great tips, Brian. I’ve been curious to see how your Padlock Posts have been performing for you since seeing them go live on the site. So I’m glad you shared those details.

    But my favorite tip from this list is much simpler than that: it’s the meta description template formula in tip #17. I know how important meta descriptions are, but I always feel like mine are a little lackluster regardless of how much time I spend on them.

    Seeing one broken down into a little template like you did helps quite a bit — not just because I can follow that exact structure for my own descriptions, but also because I can come up with my own templates for different types of content. It sounds simple, but it hadn’t occurred to me to do that before.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Kyle, thanks man!

      Meta descriptions are kind of strange. Google doesn’t always use them in the results. But when they do, it can boost your organic CTR by 50%+. So they’re 100% worth spending some time on.

  21. Keri Avatar Kerisays:

    Another great piece of content, Brian. Thanks for always publishing information that helps us elevate our content marketing efforts!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Keri, thank you!

  22. Thanks, Brian – as usual, some good to know and some even better to know about tips! Always something new to learn – thanks for sharing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Alison. Absolutely: there’s always a lot to learn. And I try to document what I learn here on the blog.

  23. Again a great content Brian and amazing tool the Padlock thing. But how I can create a Padlock post on my worddpress site?
    But how Google can crawl this page?


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Claude. You basically need a coder. There’s no plugin that I know of that can do the job. Also: Google won’t be able to crawl the page. To me, that’s OK. I’m not trying to rank the content.

  24. Hey Brian,

    Awesome post as always.

    I do have a question for you about the padlock posts.

    1. How are you creating them? Are you using a plugin for it?

    2. Does the padlock keep them from being indexed by Google?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Thomas, thank you! If you ctrl + f “CMS” you’ll see my reply to another comment.

  25. I have a team of writers and I always send them links to your articles all the time. Because this is so awesome and real. Thanks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thank you, Makysm.

  26. Dear Brian.

    Am I allowed to put a backlink in my review I will make the review relevant.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      It’s your call but I usually do.

      1. Yuhuuu
        Thanks brian

        Always amazing me

        I love your “x vs y” post

        I got idea create blog with focusing comparing item

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          You’re welcome, Helmi.

  27. Brian, I congratulate you. You guys keep posting really great content.. Awesome!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Marcelo. We all work hard on every post so that’s always nice to hear.

  28. Very impressive post Brian.

    Your PBC formula is very good to write an impressive article.

    I didn’t here about Animalz Revive Tool yet.

    I will use this tool to check my old posts.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Abuzar, thank you. Yeah that cool is pretty helpful 👍

  29. usha Avatar ushasays:

    Good content keep it up

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

      1. April Avatar Aprilsays:

        All hail King Brian: Master of SEO, sharer of knowledge, and all round friendly human.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  30. Very useful as usual… Thanks Brian

    Though, i run an entertainment blog and I start to be writing about “X vs Y” posts

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good Ahmmed. Let me know how it works for you.

      1. Rayhan Abdullah Avatar Rayhan Abdullahsays:

        thanks #Brian that was really helpful ❤️

  31. Thank you for publishing this awesome post! I am going to be using Animalz and also finding those hidden keywords through Google Keyword Planner! I am always struggling with finding Arts & Crafts information for blogs – you have given me some that will work perfectly!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Bette, you’re welcome. Happy to hear that you found advice that will work in your niche.

  32. Thank You, Brian for this great content ideas but can you tell me How I can Use Padlock Posts?? I am using WordPress as CMS

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Vipul. I talk more about that in an earlier comment.

  33. Nick Avatar Nicksays:

    Great job dude. I don’t leave comments usually but wanted you to know.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks man. I appreciate it 👍 👍 👍

  34. Ava Ferguson Avatar Ava Fergusonsays:

    Hello Brian,
    Thanks for your email. Great ideas and usu-full help for most marketers. I am lunching a new blog site Ava’s Nook, scheduled for
    Mar. 30/2020. If you come a cross it, please let me know your thoughts
    Best regards

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Ava. Good luck with the new site.

  35. Hi Brian,

    Great content as usual.

    When your SEO course “SEO The Works” will open?

    Also, I have a question:

    You optimized your SEO training page here in Backlinko with the keyword “SEO training”…

    Will this SEO training page rank globally in Google?

    I mean: Will it rank several countries Google?

    As most of the time Google might shows local SEO training results…

    Please answer.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Rintu, thank you. We plan on opening up enrollment for SEO That Works in a few months.

      To answer your question: most “SEO training” results in the SERPs are for online training (not local). So we should hopefully rank globally for that keyword.

  36. Samsuzzaman Riton Avatar Samsuzzaman Ritonsays:

    Hey Dean, I read the entire post and found it super insightful.

    Writing content isn’t enough. Rather writing contents with a proper strategy on the table makes or breaks SEO’s goal. That’s where this post will come handy for me, Dean.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said 👍 👍 👍

  37. Lorenz Avatar Lorenzsays:

    Dear Brian,

    how Do you implement the “padlock – posts“ technically ?

    I have an already existing detailed guide with >70 visitors a day and it would be cool, if I could implement this technique for this post.

    The people come directly with the URL to this post.

    Kind regards,


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Lorenz, I talk about that in the comments section here. But it should be relatively easy to padlock a public post like that.

      1. Lorenz Avatar Lorenzsays:

        Thanks Brian! 🙂

  38. Great suggestions Brian. I really liked the one about the PBC Formula and I am going to try it out.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Bob, thank you. Let me know hot it goes.

  39. Hey Brian, awesome tips, as per usual, thank you! Question: how highly would you prioritize allowing comments on our blog posts for SEO purposes? We do a lot of product reviews, and do quite well on the SEO front, but have never allowed comments on posts as I haven’t wanted to prioritize responding/managing spam, etc. BUT, starting to wonder if the SEO value is worth it. How would you decide whether or not to do this? Thanks!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Paul, thank you. I honestly don’t think comments have a direct SEO benefit. But they can indirectly help in a bunch of ways. Plus, you get to build a cool community like we have here at Backlinko. So to me, the moderation issue it worth it.

      1. Paul Zalewski Avatar Paul Zalewskisays:

        Thank you Brian!

  40. Hey Brian,

    Thanks for sharing this in-depth post on content marketing tips.

    I love the idea of updating old blog posts using the Animalz tool.

    Will definitely check it out and see how it works for me.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good. Let me know how it goes.

  41. Hi Brian, how do you think I can apply the “X VS Y” technique to my flower site
    Roses VS Gerbera?
    Thanks for the interesting post!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Itamar, in that case I’d maybe look at brand names. Like brand name X vs brand name Y.

  42. As always, your information you deliver is gold. Thank you Brian! I truly appreciate the work you do.

    I am going to try writing longer blog post titles to improve social click through rates.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Austin, thank you. Keep me posted on how it goes.

  43. Nice content you’ve unleashed here!

    But I would like to know if template also goes a long way in affecting S.E.O.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Victor. The template is just for producing content. It doesn’t directly impact SEO.

  44. Great post as usual Brian. You’d have elevated this to the status of epic if you’d provided examples of “great” and “bad” approaches for each tactic. For example, you’d say newbies do this, while a pro would do this. As a newbie in SEO and content marketing, such examples would add more clarity.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Paul, thank you. I honestly don’t think newbies and pros should take different approaches. If something works, it works.

  45. Wow Brian, love all your tips. Thanks for this awesome post! I thought I read once in one of your posts (maybe on skyscraper content?) we should use power words in titles, but here you prove they can harm your ctr?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Stephanie, thank you. Power Words can help CTR in social media. But, as it turns out, not so much with Google organic.

  46. Santosh Avatar Santoshsays:

    One the most useful content marketing posts I a really long time. Thanx Brian! This is gold!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Santosh.

  47. You are reading my mind, everytime you write a blog its exactly what I am busy with at the moment. Im struggling heavily to keep producing content. I spend to much time over editing the post to make it look perfect. Then the next day I do it again.. I hope the post templates can help me out 😛

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Tim, on the other hand, it’s OK to spend time editing and improving your post. It’s tough to get your content to stand out. So that extra effort can be worthwhile.

  48. Hi Brian, Once again You’ve managed to open up my mind to some new stuff..
    I tried the optimizing untapped keywords technic but unfortunately came up with pretty much the same keywords. I suppose it has to do with the competitor I ran my check on. I’ll give it one more shot soon. Thanks anyway.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Raz, yeah that could be. I’d try it with a few different sites.

  49. This is great stuff! My company writes a lot of guest posts for link building, so we’re always looking to improve our titles so we get better rates of placement with our publishers.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Joshua, thanks! In that case, this should help.

  50. Hey Brian,

    Awesome post. Thanks for always creating greatness! Definitely going to use these tips for my website!

    Question – how many people do you have on your team? Do you have in house people or do you mostly outsource everything in order to create your high quality content?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Isaac, you’re welcome. I’m going to break that down in a future post that’s coming out soon. But the short answer it: I write every word myself. But I get A LOT of help with every other step of the process (design, editing, tech etc.)

  51. David Avatar Davidsays:

    Hey Brian, interesting reading as always. I own a niche media in the engineering sector, problem is no one is advertising anymore so even if I could get a lot of traffic to the site with these techniques it wouldn’t help, any ideas?
    Also I’m no engineer so writing high quality content that our audience will fine useful is really tricky, and it would cost a lot to get an engineer/journalist to write it and probably impossible to find one anyway! Pretty stuck tbh 🙁

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi David, that’s a tough one. If there’s no money in that space then it may not be worth investing in content.

  52. I’m happy to have received this post in my email. Reading it has unveiled free helpful tools to change the way I blog and bring a turn around so I can share in your success stories some day.
    The Animalz and Explodingtopics tools are now my new friends.
    Thanks again Brian Dean.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Joan.

  53. Thanks for sharing something with real information.

    How are you turning all of this into money?



    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I have my ways 🙂

  54. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

    “We discovered that social profile links increased response rates by up to 23.4%.”

    Why do you think this is, Brian? Seems odd to me that this would help convince someone to respond, but I assume there’s a reason for it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Matt, my theory is that it makes your outreach seem more human. More and more people are blasting out generic emails from generic accounts. And having social links in your email shows that you’re a living, breathing person.

  55. Hey Brian,

    I saw most of the time X vs Y type of keyword doesn’t have search volume. But getting traffic from when people search just to know about the X keyword.

    Thank you for all the content marketing tips.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s true: Arif. Not huge search volumes but usually good CPCs so therefore valuable traffic.

  56. I am not really sure how to apply many of these tips for my blog and my niche. I write about parenting and emotional health. E.g. on Exploding Topics .com there’s nothing I could actually use.
    Most of my topics are quite emotional, so I guess that’ll be my favorite.
    And I didn’t know about the need to include native content on social media. I never post a link alone, but now I’ll know I need to focus on more actual information in the posts themselves.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Natalia, that’s true: Exploding Topics probably won’t have great topics for every niche. And yeah, posting native content has made a huge difference for me (especially on Twitter and LinkedIn).

  57. So grateful for these great tips, Brian. I need all the help I can get hacking my way through the SEO jungle.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Jodi. I’ve been there: when I first starting learning SEO I had no clue what I was doing. But with time it does get easier. If you want to learn more about figuring out SEO, I recommend checking out this guide: https://old.backlinko.com/seo-expert

  58. Hasibul Hasan Avatar Hasibul Hasansays:

    Hey Brian, sounds interesting. I’m going to apply for my Ongoing project.

    Let’s what happens. Thank You.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good. Hope it helps you out.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Katharine, you’re welcome. This post took a while (not quite 50 hours like some of our guides. But still). So I’m to hear that glad you found it useful.

  59. Clare Nash Avatar Clare Nashsays:

    Really useful information that I am sure I will keep returning to again and again. Many thanks.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Clare. Happy to help.

  60. Great post Brian,

    Looks like you’re getting a whole lot of feedback about the padlock posts… An opportunity there for a topic maybe?

    Would love a good ‘how to’ guide on creating padlock posts.

    Ever since I first saw yours I knew that they would be a really great spin on the bribe-to-subscribe idea, and a fantastic opportunity to boost email subscribers w’out super annoying pop ups (which seem to definitely be on their way out finally!)

    Keep up the great work Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Geoff, thanks. Yeah, I should probably create a video or a post on that. It’s a little bit tricky because everyone’s site is different.

  61. Hey Brian,

    Great article!

    Really digging that “create stats pages” idea you mention.

    It makes sense too because bloggers need data!

    I recently wrote one on “eCommerce Stats” and ended up ranking number one in Google.

    Didn’t expect that:

    But, I sure hope it pays off.



    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Chris, nice! If you monitor the links to that page in Ahrefs I can almost guarantee that you’ll start picking up some links real soon.

      1. Thanks for that info!

        I’ll have to do that

        That is one thing I have been a lazy-bones on


  62. Hi Brian, you’re post blew my hat off of my head.

    Love your practice trumps theory down to earth-style [much what I’ve got in mind for my own niche, words].

    Value? For one like me, gold.

    Favorite tip? Once I recover my hat, I’ll figure it out. In the meantime a glorious 5-star all the way.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks 👍

  63. Jason Avatar Jasonsays:

    It has to be said that your site provides the most helpful content by far. I have never been bored or had that feeling of, “Why am I wasting my time”; and that is extremely unusual in today’s overloaded content bouillabaisse. Thanks man!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Jason. I aim to please 🙂

  64. My website had many visits, until toxic links began to appear.
    Please, can you tell me what I can do to eliminate that negative SEO.
    Thanks for excellent help.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You can try the disavow tool. But it’s risky…

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Matthew. It works like a charm 🙂

  65. Hey Brian,

    Great Article !!! I wrote so many blogs but worried about not ranking.

    This article makes me want to update all my old posts.

    I am very impressed with X vs Y posts, PBC Formula, and Padlock post. Let me try these tips on my blogs.

    Great work Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks. Hope it helps you get more traffic + email subscribers.

  66. Really a great post Brain. Whenever I receive an email from you, I always know I will learn something interesting.

    Thanks for being an inspiration.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

  67. Hello Brian, fantastic article. When you update an old post, as a percentage, how much of the article do you change? After you republish the post, how long before you started seeing an increase in traffic?

  68. Great tips Brian. eagerly waiting for your next post.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Cheers. The next one should be a good one.

  69. Once again a thoroughly researched complete article. Thank you for all the 17 tips. X vs Y – my next post is going to be that. Thank you. Keep writing

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good 👍

  70. Jordan DaSilva Avatar Jordan DaSilvasays:

    Great tips! The first one tip I’m gonna look into is Exploding topics.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Jordan. Let me know if you have any suggestions for ET.

  71. Dear Brian,
    Hats off. Amazing post like every time. Content marketing is crucial for a website’s SEO. And you have provided outstanding tips on content marketing. Definitely we are going to implement these strategies in our content marketing campaign.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

  72. Kennedy W. S Avatar Kennedy W. Ssays:

    Hi Brian,

    Always churning out nice content, really helpful as I plan to start a blog.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Kennedy.

  73. Hello Brian
    I have read many Digital marketing (SEO) blogs on backlinko mostly, but i need to learn about SEO advance technique like site architecture building for ecommerce site with also some content marketing tips for building ecommece site products specifications with providing help to improve our main focus keywords.
    Your content matters a lot to all the digital marketing learners
    Thanks Brian

  74. The guide is amazing like always.
    Excellent Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Idris. Glad you liked it.

  75. Hello Brian, Thanks for these working content marketing strategies, but I have one question about the point “Compelling Meta Descriptions”, Google always tries to show the best-suited meta desc in google search so most of the time they pick up desc from the content itself. So how can we say that user will visit the site after seeing the “compelling meta desc.” if google will not pick it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Ravindra, that’s true: Google won’t always use the meta description that you write. But in my experience, if you have a good one, they will use it pretty consistently.

  76. mickey Avatar mickeysays:

    Great content, can u please tell me how to write content for business service pages

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Mickey, I have a guide coming out that should help with that.

  77. Devendra Singh Avatar Devendra Singhsays:

    Brian Dean becoming a brand of digital marketing..🤔🤔🤔
    This name has been printed in my mind🤣🤣🤣
    50 hours writing a post oh my god…What diet do you take for it.. I’m going to read that article….

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Devendra, I eat paleo but I don’t think that helps. 50 hours is 50 hours!

  78. Thanks Brian for sharing these actionable Content Marketing tips. Establishing an online presence these days through the way of SEO, social media is getting tougher day by day. Applying these tips in content marketing strategy will give an edge over the competitors.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Devesh and well said.

  79. thanks for sharing. great stuff!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Filipp.

  80. This is great stuff. My favorite part in your tip, is that you spent 50 hours on this article. When I spend 2-3 hours, I get exhausted. My lot of sites still doesn’t get good traffic, although they have good contents. Now, I understand, writing blog is not just couple of hours and thousands lines of work. It requires lot of fresh contents, dedications and organization. thanks again.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Deepak, for sure. The best bloggers that I know spend A LOT of time on each post. Maybe not 50 hours. But definitely more than most.

  81. As always, your information you deliver is gold. Thank you Brian! I truly appreciate the work you do.

    I am going to try writing longer blog post titles to improve social click through rates

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Guddu. Let me know how it goes.

  82. Thanks, Brian. This is really awesome tips. I must write some “X vs. Y” posts now 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Mary, you’re welcome. For sure! I also plan on writing more X vs. Y posts.

  83. Thank you Brian. I learned a lot of amazingly useful things from you, including the fact that you actually take time out of your schedule to reply to each or most comments on your blog. Your contribution to the world is incredibly powerful and I get a ton of inspiration from that.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Momen, you’re welcome. Replying to comments from my readers is super important to me so I plan on doing that for as long as I can.

  84. Jason Avatar Jasonsays:

    Hey Brian,

    Which WordPress theme is the BEST for blogging?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Jason, there’s no one best theme for everyone. It kinda depends on what you’re looking for and what type of design that you like.

  85. As usual, I’m loving your content Brian.

    I see a lot of questions regarding the padlock posts. We had something similar when I worked for Frame.io. It does requiring coding. But people can do a “poor man’s padlock.” Basically, you have a blog post that summarizes the content you want padlocked, then give people an opportunity to sign up for your email list. Have the confirmation page link to a password-protected page with the needed content. Naturally, it’s not as graceful and clean as a padlock. But if the goal is to collect an email address, it works.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ron! Very cool. I’ve seen something similar at ESPN for their ESPN+ product. It’s actually in many ways more enticing than a padlock post because you already sort of get hooked with the first section.

  86. Hello Brian,
    I must say you are making your user’s experience really good…I mean this new theme is really good, I really like it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Mohit. I’m also really happy with how this new design turned out.

  87. Very helpful going through all this, step by step, without getting lost.
    Is it likely to work for ‘not for profit’ blogs and web sites such as this UK-based mental health site adaptationpractice.org, which is for getting people out of depression, anxiety and stress, etc. without drugs?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Clive, thank you. Which strategy are you referring to?

  88. Brian, very helpfully tips, thank you! I not sure about the 11th point, but will try out this, earlier I have used only 30-55 characters in the Title and your post also have 50-55 characters 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Ashok, you’re welcome. It’s worth testing for sure.

  89. Hey Brian! As usual, I have learned many things from this post. Thank you so much for covering this topic. Cheers BRO :)!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Great. New, fresh ideas, concepts and strategies: That’s definitely one of my main goals with each and every post.

  90. My favorite tip from this marketing plan? The padlock posts and short, engaging blog post intros. I am so tired of publications giving 80% unnecessary, LONG introduction before providing the core information, hinted in the Title. I get it that we all need low bounce rates and time on page, but jeez am I tired of reading such posts and desperately scrolling to the last two paragraphs to read what this is ACTUALLY about. Thanks for the awesome tips, Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Gregory, thank you. As an avid cook, I hear you on the long intro thing. Some of those recipe intros are literally 1500 words!

  91. Solid work as always! You know your stuff Brian 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Paul. I better! I have an entire blog on this topic 😆

  92. Ruti D Avatar Ruti Dsays:

    Great post!
    The graph for the statistic about how adding social links on outreach emails increases response rate seems wrong, it looks like the response rate is about 5% without social links and 23.4% with social links – which doesn’t match the text. It’s also different in the article with the original study that you linked to. Is the graphic done wrong or am I misinterpreting it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ruti. I just double checked and I think you’re right. I think it’s mixed up absolute and relative numbers. I’ll have that changed.

  93. Nice work Brian!

    Not a huge commenter but had to leave a compliment!

    Have a good one!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Gale, thank you! I appreciate it.

  94. Andy Kordyban Avatar Andy Kordybansays:

    Love the content as always Brian. Just to further elaborate on point #7, I have had a lot more success with publishing some awesome native content and then putting the link to your post in the first comment. This has increased my LinkedIn engagement quite a bit.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Andy. Same here. I get a lot more engagement, but I don’t get as many clicks. It’s a trade off for sure.

  95. Brilliant, In-depth article on content writing it’s really helpful for me I shared with all my team as well thank you, Brian Dean. Keep up the good work.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      👍 👍 👍

  96. Damn, this is so good. Thanks Brian. I am working on my new blog , these tips are very resourceful. Really appreciate your hard work.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Emma. Best of luck with the new blog!

  97. Wow Brian, love all your tips. Thanks for this awesome post! I thought I read once in one of your posts (maybe on skyscraper content?) we should use power words in titles, but here you prove they can harm your ctr?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Tejas. Power Words can increase CTR… in moderation. The platform (Twitter vs. SEO etc.) also matters.

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