The 7 Most-Read Posts of 2020 (Why they work and how they can be updated)
Can you believe it’s the last day of 2020?
This was the shortest, longest, most painful, and interesting year of most of our collective lives.
If you had asked any of us what we thought 2020 would be like on December 31, 2019, I don’t think many of us would have had a pandemic and public shutdown on the bingo card.
Despite how different 2020 has been, we decided to keep with our tradition of looking at the HIPBlog reader’s favorites. We look at how many page views our most popular blog posts get and I’ll provide my musings on why I think the posts performed the way they did.
To find this list, I went onto Google Analytics then clicked Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. I pulled this data on December 31, 2020, to ensure it is as close to accurate as possible.
This list also serves as a “pending” update list. Each one of these pieces of content will be best served with a yearly set of updates with new statistics, quotes, and value added. I’ll write about what I think it needs, though our team would love to hear your feedback as well.
Listed publish date: October 10, 2017
This post was originally posted in October 2017 and has moved to the top-performing spot on the HIPBlog.
It has received several updates in the last few years but has retained its original publication date. The research and the graphics have both been updated as well, which lends it credibility.
This piece includes original research, which could likely stand an update and/or a compilation with the historical data.
Listed publish date: October 13, 2015
This used to be the top performer in years past, but this year it dropped by about 9k views. To me, that means its time to experiment.
I suspect it could use an update, despite how evergreen the content may be. The real question is, should we update the publish date or leave it?
As of December 2020, it ranks 2nds on google searches for “what is a lead what is a prospects what’s the difference”.
Perhaps it needs to be optimized to be read better by Google. The top-performing post by Marketo brought me to the exact answer to my questions when I clicked the link.
Listed publish date: June 16, 2020
I’ve always imagined this post was popular because of my strong opinion and introduction that includes definition from Urban Dictionary. Better yet, it’s a strong sounding opinion with lots of examples and valuable insights to back it up. I even included a bit of original research in the post.
Updates for this piece will likely include trying to wrangle some stats, maybe adding different types of media. I might update the examples of alternatives for the word blog.
Listed publish date: April 30, 2019
This article was inspired by the most popular post on this list. If people are curious about how to capitalize their subject lines, they certainly want to know the options of how to capitalize the headlines or titles of their content as well.
This post needs more capitalization options in my opinion. It would also benefit from some increased use of mixed media. Maybe a slideshow or a video.
Listed publish date: October 16, 2018
This post is getting more popular as it ages, like wine or cheese.
Marketing attribution is getting more and more important and simultaneously more difficult looking forward at the future of marketing tech.
I think that’s this post is gaining more steam. It’s hyper informative in the business marketing niche. It would be interesting to add more information that’s new to marketing attribution, add some more current information about the changes in 3rd party cookies coming up, etc.
Listed publish date:
I must hand it to the former Marketing Director Matt Leap. The title of this post is ridiculously good, and the content backs it up.
He did a lot of original research in this post. It looks into various ways that white paper is used and melds all the different sources together to come to a verdict.
Language changes with time, so I can’t help but wonder what going through the same process years later would do. That will likely be part of the update process with this post.
Listed publish date: June 2, 2016
We modeled this post after “What is a lead? What is a prospect? What is the difference?”
Like most experiments using similar title formats to top performing posts, this was a success. It has a very old publish date from 2016, but still ranks well to this day.
This post could be updated to be more consistent and skimmable. It contains good knowledge but it would be better with more statistics, sources, and a better way of digesting that information.
What can we learn from this list?
Here are some of the observations I made:
- Original research reigns even if it is older
- Posts clearing up the differences between niche vocabulary do well
- Posts that ask questions and give valuable answer do well
- Most of the posts that perform the best have older publish dates
- Much of the content is evergreen on the surface but could use some updates
These observations lead me to the following questions. If you have thoughts on them, feel free to share them.
- Should we update the dates on our posts? How should we do this without messing up the SEO?
- What additional content formats would add the most value to this post?
- How can we update the copy to add more value?
- Can we make more successful posts using these successful title formats?