Writing a blog post might be more complicated than it sounds. The biggest challenge is to produce interesting content which will engage a visitor enough that they will share it, or click through to other pages or articles on your website. At the same time we want to use strategic phrases to rank our website on long tail keywords related to our industry. Sound difficult? It isn’t if you follow some basic rules.
Why do I need to write blog posts?
Building content online is important. Search engines are rewarding websites that post valuable and interesting articles that are related to the industry you work in. Do you know how they’re deciding what’s relevant and interesting?
Google’s now looking at whether articles are shared to social media, or whether people are clicking through to view other related articles. Google looks at the time spent on page and bounce rate along with other analytical metrics. So it’s no longer good enough to bang up some basic articles and sit back hoping for the money to start rolling in.
You really need to do more.
The good news is, if you get the formula right the results are profound.
What keywords should I use?
Search engines rank webpages, not websites!
That means it’s best to create dedicated webpages or blog posts using high quality and original content that targets different keyword phrases. Each webpage or blog post should target a different keyword phrase.
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If you have a fairly new URL or if the domain authority for your website is low, you might have trouble ranking on highly competitive keywords. So working on a strategy to build up your domain authority is important if you want to get there in the end. It takes time.
Working with long tail keywords
Have you heard of a long tail strategy?
Let’s take ITunes as an example. ITunes offers just about every song you might want to download. But if we look closer at their sales data we’d probably find that the sum of all the songs downloaded just 10 times, is greater than the latest Justin Bieber song (we know you love him).
Our keyword strategy works the same way. Instead of competing with keywords which generate thousands of searches like “laser hair removal” you might choose to focus some of your attention on ranking longer search terms like “best laser hair removal in Melbourne”.
These posts will be easier to rank, and although each post might only earn 100 visitors per week, if you wrote 4 posts a month for 12 months, then after a year you’d have generated an extra 4800 visits per week of extra targeted traffic. Not bad.
Then why a blog?
There are many reasons why blog layouts are so popular, here’s a few:
- It’s an area on your website that you can produce a lot of content in a structured way without cluttering the website.
- In a blog layout you tend to write content about industry news and information rather than about your services
it’s good practice to then link internally to relevant products & services in your website.
- A blog is generally more casual in tone of voice than other webpages on your website so it’s a good tool for communicating a company’s personality.
- The ability to include commenting, like, share, follow features on your articles is powerful.
- A blog becomes a valuable entry point to your website
Writing content for potential clients not for BOTS
Writing content for search engines is powerful in theory because you get new traffic to your website! However what’s the point if visitors don’t read the article and engage it? None right? At the end of the day conversion trumps traffic!
Google is becoming more and more human (that’s a bit scary!). Search Engines try to promote quality content that’s actually useful to people. So if your blog posts have 70% bounce rates and time on page is really low, then Google deems your post of little relevance to your visitors and will adjust your rank on it accordingly (fair enough I think). This is important and it’s key to building out a good content strategy.
Good, relevant, keyword rich articles that engage customers is important and will always win out.
Ok but how to write a great blog post for visitors?
Let’s talk strategy and marketing before you start blasting out articles. We need to think about the following:
What kind of content would engage my customer?
Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before starting to blog:
- Who’s accessing my website and what content would be helpful and useful to them?
- What original content can I share that’s related to my expertise?
- What information is my customer likely to share with their network?
- What do I do better than my competitors that could share?
- Could I be a reference point or an authority in my industry?
If you start to jot down the answers to these questions then I’m sure some blog ideas and editorial guidelines will follow.
We suggest meeting internally to discuss blog topics monthly and to share the work around.
How to make my content interesting for visitors?
In today’s world of short attention spans and fast content, people won’t stick around to read a thousand words in a single block of paragraph text. The best way to keep people focused is to break up content into short chunks of information separated by Headings and images. Lots of Header2’s allow a visitor to skim read an article looking for relevant bits of the article worth engaging with. As a guild, you should know what an article is about “ONLY” by reading the Headings of an article.
Adding video, pictures, infographics, downloadable assets, embed content, audio files will all help to keep your reader focused on your blog post.
And you know what? Google might like it too!
What about SEO?
Now that you have a great content ready for your visitors it's time to think on how to enhance it for SEO. The second part of our blog post will focus on how to write great blog posts for SEO?