How to achieve big results with small optimisations
What if your blog’s numbers begin to stagnate after a time? Do you change everything and rethink your strategy? No, with small optimisations and on-going assessment you can keep the numbers high. This is how we do it for the pharmaceutical company Takeda.
On the blog wijhebbencrohn-colitis.be, people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis respectively, explain what it’s like living with the disease. Just a few months after we launched the blogs, we had already built a very tight community.
The blogs have now been running for four years and are more popular than ever: together they attract 162,510 visitors per year. On Facebook, the community also appears very engaged, as it has an average engagement rate of 9.33% for Crohn’s and 10.07% for colitis.
Yet these good results do not come about by themselves. On the contrary, there are times when the numbers decreased. By regularly making adjustments where necessary, we keep the target group interested and reach new people.
This adjustment can be very small-scale:
1. Stay on top of things
Projects that run over a longer period, such as a blog, need to evolve non-stop. For example, have you thought about the updates for Google? What does that mean for your SEO? Or that social strategy … is it still working as it should? Social media changes at lightning speed, and these changes influence your results.
We keep a close eye on the SEO of the blogs, and respond to the most sought-after keywords. In the meantime, we have achieved a featured snippet on no less than 30 keywords for both blogs.
2. Evaluate your conversion paths
Don’t just look at your project itself, but also the channels that you use to reach your target audience. Do you have a newsletter? See if you can increase the number of subscriptions via small adjustments. For the Takeda blogs, for example, we adapted the call to action (CTA). We changed the copy and gave it a more visible place.
The result? In less than three months, we had growth of no less than 217% for the newsletter, with an average click-through rate of 5,57%. We also saw a growth of 134% in organic traffic.
3. Evaluate the content
Which content scores best, and which works less well? Why is that? Try to find the patterns and act on them. Do not hesitate to revise existing content thoroughly. Always think about your target group.
In March 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty for everyone, but also for people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. What did corona actually mean to them? Were they at particular risk or not? Even doctors could not reassure them at that time. It caused a lot of stress for many of them. And stress is precisely the trigger for an outbreak of the disease. That is why we pampered them during this period with extra informative and relaxing content. The result was the best scoring article of the year.
4. Ensure permanent evaluation with the entire team
Everyone has their own specialisation. Plan discussion moments and listen to what everyone in your team has to say based on his or her expertise. Ask for the opinion of someone who is not familiar with the project: a fresh view can often help identify blind spots.
For Takeda, we hold regular discussions to evaluate the results. In this way, we avoid tunnel vision: if the digital marketer notices a drop in click-through rate (CTR), which she cannot immediately explain, then perhaps the project manager may have noticed that certain stories didn’t do so well. Or if the strategist sees potential in certain keywords, the editor is immediately briefed on them.
5. Optimise and test, test, test
Have you altered something? Now test whether the changes you made have actually produced the results you had in mind. Analyse your results over a period of time, and keep testing.
We advertise the articles we post on the Facebook page of our blogs in the hope of creating ‘engagement’. To increase the CTR and absolute clicks, we ran a series of tests looking for more ‘traffic’. In theory – and often in practice – this should have resulted in more clicks and a better CTR. Remarkably, the CTR turned out to be slightly lower, despite these expectations.
A possible explanation could be that Facebook’s algorithm pushes our posts more for the engagement objective because of the many interactions, likes and comments. This may contribute to the total clicks and result in a better CTR. So ultimately we reaped the benefits of both objectives (higher CTR and more engagement), despite the fact that only one of them was targeted.