Online Marketing Exclusive PostWhether it’s by planning or good fortune, a single article on your site has gone viral. It’s been picked up by a LinkedIn group, or shared on Twitter, or has sparked a debate on a Facebook page.

The traffic may have come in a sudden burst, or it may slowly build and remain constant over several months. Whether you’re dealing with a general uplift or a traffic spike, it doesn’t matter: you’ve achieved what thousands of people try to achieve every day. Congratulations!

It’s time to capitalize on the popularity of your article. But you must do it quickly. Viral traffic is free publicity, but many of those visitors will never return unless you do something to tempt them today.

1. Make a Call to Action

Consider whom you’re selling to, and what you’re selling. You need a goal: something you want all of those new visitors to do. Perhaps make a purchase? Join a mailing list? Follow you on Facebook? All are valid outcomes.

In order to harness traffic, you need a strong call to action on the blog page. That could be something like a button inviting the visitor to take a free trial, or a download icon for an ebook you’ve written. You might want to duplicate your call to action so it appears above and below the fold.

Look up advice when creating a call to action: it’s a complex task, but it works. Experiment with different formats, wording and color schemes to harness some of that viral interest. But stick to just one action: don’t confuse the reader with multiple calls on one page.

2. Create Themed Content

You’ve clearly hit a nerve and posted about something people are passionate about. Is it possible to create more content on that theme? Ideally, you’re looking to reduce the bounce rate and get people exploring your website, so it should be relevant without duplication.

If you can generate more useful, relevant and interesting copy, consider making your popular post into a series so that users have a reason to visit again and again. Aim to make every article as good as, or better than, the original viral article. Then link the posts together in a way that makes sense to the reader – and post frequently.

Stuck for ideas? You can also use the information from step 3 to generate themed content topics.

3. Harvest New Keywords

Popular blog posts are a fantastic way to refresh your keyword research in an instant. When it comes to keywords, there are no better sources of information than the real-life visitors you’re attracting to your site, and in searching for your popular blog, they’re doing all the hard work for you.

Scan your analytics data. Assuming your popular article is closely related to your niche, you should find a gold mine of keyword ideas that you’d never truly considered before. Within those keywords, pick out the long-tail queries and think about new articles that you could create around those terms.

Not sure where to find keywords: try your Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics accounts first of all.

Measuring Results

You won’t convert every new visitor after a surge in traffic, but you can certainly make the best of that interest. Don’t forget to measure, test and quantify results so you know what works next time around.

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3 Ways to Capitalize on a Popular Blog Post

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