Borrowed, Learned, & Thought (or BL&T) is a weekly newsletter sent on Mondays. In every edition, I share weekly themes and progress in running an agency business/team and doing my best to live a good life. Published posts do not include all details shared via email to subscribers. Subscribe here.
"A study from Harvard Business School shows that we learn more when we couple our experiences with periodic reflections. Even though people prefer to learn by doing, 'participants who chose to reflect outperformed those who chose additional experience.'"
From "The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You" by Julie Zhuo [Book]
Thanks to everyone who read my 2022 year in review and took the time to reach out. I appreciate it. In the spirit of reflection, I was curious to look at the top posts on my website last year and see what I might learn for 2023.
Here are the top 10 posts based on traffic from January 1, 2022-2023 (via Google Analytics):
1) Keep writing posts about agency processes. Most of my top posts offer a "how to" or perspective on an agency process. One of the reasons I started writing was to share experiments and learnings, so it's nice to see relevant content resonating.
2) Explore untapped potential in writing about what I read. My essay on The Path of Least Resistance took the #2 slot last year; 71% of users found it via Google search. On average, users stayed over 6 minutes to read. I enjoyed putting this piece together in preparation for my quarterly session with the other Barrel partners. Seeing it at #2 is an inspiration to write more essays like this in 2023.
3) Improve the discoverability of relevant content on post pages. I was happy to see that average time on page for top posts was generally in line with the time it would take to read the post. However, the bounce rate for all posts was 75% or higher. When I look at these two stats together, I assume users found what they were looking for, stayed to read, then moved on. Currently, post templates end with the most recent posts within the current content type and a random display of all posts. Redesigning the bottom of the template to highlight more relevant posts would likely increase the probability of users exploring more.
4) Amplify social posting. Most of these posts were not those I promoted on social. Looking at the breakdown of traffic on my site further shows that social is a small percentage of how people find my content, with 50% of traffic coming through organic search. Overall, I could be better about sharing my posts on social channels.
5) Continue writing! I published a lot of new content last year on several topics. I like seeing that all the top posts, but two, were published in 2022. I'll continue publishing more content in 2023 with some of these takeaways in mind.
Also featured: Why We Started Recording New Business Calls
What insights am I missing out on by not taking time to reflect on progress of recent initiatives?
When a user visits a website on mobile, one of their first actions is often viewing the menu. For new visitors, reviewing the mobile menu is a quick way to learn about the brand before shopping. The mobile menu is an opportunity for brands to highlight their offering and make it easy for users to explore. For example, a brand with multiple product categories that uses a "Shop" link in their mobile menu is missing out on the impact of showing all upfront and is asking users to take extra steps.