With another year in the books and 2019 now underway, it’s time again for us at the HIPBlog to do our yearly reflection. We’ve crunched the numbers and combed through all the best posts of the past year. What better way to put yourself on track for the new year than to learn from your biggest successes of the previous year?
Those familiar with our past Readers’ Choice posts will remember there are a few rules to our post selection process. We aim to measure posts with the most reads during the 2018 calendar year and understand what made these posts work. To do this, we look at unique web pageviews of a reasonable duration. We then dig into the sources and cadence of readership for each of our top posts as a way to better understand their success.
Without further ado, here is our 2018 countdown of the HIPBlog’s top five posts of 2018, as chosen by our readers.
5. “How Many Emails Do I Have to Send for a Statistically Significant A/B Test?“
by Matt Leap (Originally Published February 9th, 2017)
Starting off our list is “How Many Emails Do I Have to Send for Statistically Significant A/B Test?” It takes on the topic of reliable email testing results as opposed to those that can’t be counted on. The post explains the concept of statistical significance and explains how to test for it. The post also puts forward a tool to calculate the threshold of statistical significance in your own campaigns.
This post, like many others in our top five, is based on a common question. “How Many Emails Do I Have to Send for Statistically Significant A/B Test?” is different than many of our others in that it takes tackles a more specific angle of such a question and gets more technical.
The biggest key to success for this post is the utility. The post is dense and educational. It covers everything needed for a reader with limited knowledge of the topic to become familiar and execute their own tests. Integrating a tool, like the Optimizely calculator, provides a tangible takeaway and adds a lot to the post.
4. “A Professional Content Creator’s View on the Word ‘Blog’“
by Acadia Otlowski (Originally published June 21st, 2016)
“A Professional Content Creator’s View on the Word ‘Blog'” is a bit of an anomaly on this list; It’s not based on a frequently asked question, it doesn’t aim to settle a debate or provide a how-to, and it’s written with an emphasis on the author’s personal perspective. As an editorial on the applicability of the word “blog” to modern marketing practices, this post certainly stands out from many of our others.
As different as this post may be, there are commonalities. “A Professional Content Creator’s View on the Word ‘Blog'” ties in external data points to support and expand on Acadia’s expert opinion. Supplemental references are a common thread between many of our most successful posts.
The success of this post begins with a novel but widely applicable topic made possible by the reflections of HIPB2B’s most prolific content creator. A quality concept doesn’t ensure the success of a post, however. “A Professional Content Creator’s View on the Word ‘Blog'” is a great example of a post that needed some time to mature as well. Despite the age of the post, the current level of success really didn’t come about until 2018. The fact that a post could reach its height two years after being published is a testament to the power of links, shares, and search rankings to grow readership over time.
3. “Is It White Paper or Whitepaper? The Final Word (or Two)“
by Matt Leap (Originally published May 12th, 2016)
The idea for “Is It White Paper or Whitepaper? The Final Word (or Two)” was born out of the diverging spellings used to describe the informative PDFs that are common throughout B2B marketing. There were notable people/organizations on both sides of the debate – it even got to the point where I was questioning my own personal choice. So, this post aims to settle the debate once and for all.
“Is It White Paper or Whitepaper? The Final Word (or Two)” is a very solid example of a search-friendly post. The objective is to clearly and comprehensively answer a question that might be typed into a search engine, like Google. It’s also important to point out that this wasn’t a topic that was already answered a hundred times on Google before the post was written. Though it made research a little more difficult, being the primary post to take on this topic helped it rank well.
This post succeeded because it added to the discussion. Rather than just providing a single opinion or covering the history of white papers in general, this post looks at the question from several different angles. It provides cases for both white paper and whitepaper, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusion. Routine updates have also helped to keep the post relevant to readers and search engines alike.
2. “How Should You Capitalize Your Email Subject Lines?“
by Acadia Otlowski (Originally published October 10th, 2017)
How should you capitalize email subject lines? Even email marketers can’t agree on the answer. It’s a great question. It’s also a common one. At some point, most of us have probably wondered what was the “right” way to go. “How Should You Capitalize Your Email Subject Lines?” explores the various alternatives and indicates what industry sources recommend.
To start, this post benefits from a great topic. Obviously, it’s a post designed for email marketers, but also has appeal for anyone curious about inconsistency in their inbox. It’s another great example of a search-friendly post, taking on a query that might appear in a search engine and explaining it thoroughly.
The other thing that makes “How Should You Capitalize Your Email Subject Lines?” work is the methodology. It’s well-researched. It pulls opinions from respected industry sources and real-world examples, then presents the key findings in clear, concise, scannable charts.
1. “What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?“
by Matt Leap (Originally published October 13, 2015)
“What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” is one of our oldest and certainly our most successful post. It has now come along with us through two full website redesigns. It’s been updated and tweaked countless times. In fact, no matter the circumstances, month after month, “What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” continues to be the most popular article on the site and significant driver of overall website traffic.
This post is a great example of the power of evergreen content, that is, content that’s informative, comprehensive, timeless, and broadly applicable. Evergreen content rises above the typical post (hence the name) to cement thought leadership, rank highly in search, and act as a dependable source of traffic.
In some ways, “What is a Lead? What is a Prospect? What’s the Difference?” is like the other search-friendly posts on the list. The difference is it takes on a much broader mandate. Rather than focusing tightly on an individual query, this post aims to compressively answer three closely related questions.
The post succeeds because it has a low bar for entry without compromising depth of information. On one hand, someone who has never been involved in the lead gen industry could read the post and know walk away with a solid baseline. At the same time, it has the depth and visual support for someone with industry knowledge to confirm existing notions, foster debate, or even rethink their previously held views. This post is also closest to the core of what we do at HIPB2B. Who better to explain leads and prospects than a company that specializes in generating them?
There you have it, the top five best posts of the HIPBlog in 2018. This year’s list featured quite a few old favorites, along with a couple of more recent additions. We saw strong themes of search-friendly structure and support from external sources, but there’s certainly room for variation as well. We look forward to putting these learnings to purpose and continuing to produce compelling demand generation content for you in 2019 and beyond!
Let us know what you think:
- Which HIPBlog posts did you most enjoy this year?
- What did you think of the posts on our list?
- What would you like to see on the HIPBlog in 2019?