What HubSpot’s Highest Performing Blog Posts Have in Common & Why These Elements Work

Wondering what elements make up a successful blog post? We reviewed our top 8 blog posts on the Marketing Blog in 2022.

Traffic-wise, each of these posts has received over 500,000 organic views since publishing and earns at least 40,000 views monthly.

Let’s see what they have in common and what marketers can learn from them.

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1. Eye-Catching Headlines

What you’ll notice with all of our top-performing posts is that they have an attention-grabbing headline.

Some of the components of an eye-catching headline are:

Action verbs
Descriptive adjectives

In 2013, Moz ran a study that found that articles with numbers in the headlines outperformed those that didn’t. Our data suggests that the same is still true nearly a decade later.

All but one of our top-performing posts features numbers, at the beginning of the headline. One reason why numbers are effective is that they set expectations. Blog posts can be a bit overwhelming and when you add a number in your post, it removes some uncertainty and lets the reader know exactly what they’ll get.

2. Descriptive Intros

When a user lands on your blog post, the first thing they’ll likely read is your introduction.

Your intro should cover three areas:

Who this article is for or about
What will be covered in the article
Why the reader should care

Your intro can also be a good place to present a new piece of data or an anecdote that leads into your topic. You can also present a situation or a question that invites the reader to keep reading.

For instance, the 20 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We’ve Ever Seen [+ Templates] post starts by posing a question: “Be honest, does your professional bio make a statement?

From there, the writer outlines a common challenge that many readers have likely experienced and then highlights the importance of a professional bio.

There are so many ways to approach an intro but as long as it covers those three Ws and has an empathetic lens, it will surely keep your readers engaged.

3. Comprehensive Listicles

In 2020, a study by one blogger found that 41% of the top Medium articles in 2020 were listicles. Similarly, our top 8 performing blog posts from this year are also listicles.

Listicles are great because they are inherently scannable. The reader can quickly navigate to the section(s) they’re most interested in.

These listicles are also very comprehensive, serving as a detailed guide that readers can bookmark for future use.

Take the “445 Best Instagram Captions for 2022: Good, Cool, Funny, & Cute” blog post. When it was originally published, the article did not feature 445 examples. However, with every update, we consider the SERPs and how they will fare against competitors.

From there, we decide what content updates will be most valuable for readers. For this post, in particular, that meant adding more captions to make the post more comprehensive.

4. Table of Content

When you have a lengthy blog post, one of the best elements you can add to the page is a table of contents with jump links. A jump link is a link that, when clicked, will take the user straight to a section on the page.

However, a table of content can be just as valuable as a short post for readers who are looking for specific information.

In the 445 Best Instagram Captions for 2022: Good, Cool, Funny, & Cute article, the table of contents section is broken down by category.

5. Featured Snippets

A featured snippet is a Google search feature in which an excerpt from a website is shown at the top of the SERP if it matches the search query.

Image Source

Because a featured snippet will appear at the top of the page, it leads to more clicks – making it a coveted feature that every website wants. But to gain a featured snippet for a particular query, your webpage has to be optimized and beat out other web pages.

Although this can happen organically, bloggers can optimize sections on their page to increase their chances, such as:

Schema markup
Headings and paragraph tags
Paragraphs that are 50 to 60 words long

6. Scannable Sections

Another common element in all of our top-performing posts is an emphasis on scannability.

Every post features short paragraphs and bullet points – and that’s not by chance, it’s by design.

Image Source

We know readers often scan blog posts to find the most relevant information. Large text blocks can be visually intimidating and lead to high bounce rates. To prevent this, we opt for bite-size paragraphs that work on both desktop and mobile.

7. Visual and Interactive Elements

With so many distractions at our fingertips, it’s not enough to have a blog post with just words. The more interactive and visually rich elements you can add to your post, the more engaged your readers will be.

This can range from video embeds, jump links, and images to quizzes and polls.

In addition to increasing engagement, these elements also help to break up the visual monotony of written text. They give the readers something new to see, read, and engage with.

There you have it – seven elements that have contributed to the success of our top-performing posts. Although every reader is different, these are universal elements that will provide a better user experience and higher engagement rate.

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