Let’s talk about blogs
First off, we should go over why a successful blog is important to your business. Blogs can accomplish multiple objectives for your business, the most important being increased visibility through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Keeping it simple: the better your blog, the more visible your website will be to your target audience, leading to an increase in customers.
However, competition for visibility is getting harder and harder. 7.5 million blogs are posted every day and while most of them may not be from your direct competition, those in your industry can certainly affect how easily your business is found online. So, if you’re asking the question: “What can I do to make my business’s blog posts stand out more online?”, we’re here to help.
This is the first of a two-part blog series on how you can create a successful blog for your business. In this blog post, we’ll go over what you can do to structure your blog in a way that is pleasing to both your target audience and the search engines that you want to rank on.
Planning your blog post:
Before you can start writing a masterpiece of a blog post that will drive loads of traffic to your website and convert your visitors into customers, it’s important to plan out how you’re going to do so. A good way to do this is to map out the specific sections and elements of your post so that when you do start writing, it flows in a way that is both easy for the reader to follow and engaging enough to convince them to stay longer on your site. We’ll dive more into the specific elements that can make your blog post more engaging, but it’s important to remember that search engines like Google consider pages with longer page view times to be more valuable to users, therefore these pages and their keywords will be more likely to rank well.
Creating the perfect blog title:
Part of the reason why your business even has a blog is the potential to improve your website’s SEO by using specific keywords in your blog content. When writing a blog post for your business, it’s important to know that the more specific the topic you write on, the easier it will be for it to rank well. A general topic that relates to your business won’t have as much of an impact as dividing that topic into different subtopics and focusing on a keyword that matches it. This will not only help you target specific keywords, but also give you ideas for future and related blogs.
According to Hubspot Academy, it’s a good idea to focus on just one long-tailed keyword per blog post. An example of this would be “best protein supplements for men”, instead of just “protein supplements.” Working that keyword into your blog post title and into your writing is how search engines recognize what to rank your post for. Once you have your keyword and topic picked, it’s a good idea to come up with a couple of options for a title that will include that keyword. Remember that your title will need to convey the value of your blog before your audience even clicks on it, so take your time in creating the perfect title to catch their attention.
Hooking your Audience:
Now that you have your blog mapped out and a strong working title, you need something that catches your reader’s attention right from the start. Just like a strong title is necessary to convince a reader to click on your blog post, a strong intro or hook is key to making sure they see the value of your blog post and don’t lose interest after reading just a couple of sentences.
There are many ways you can hook your audience’s attention. You can start with an interesting fact or statistic, an interesting question that makes them think, an interesting story, etc. As long as it is interesting it’ll be more likely to keep your readers on your page, which means more value for them and to your SEO. In the end, it’s up to you, but many blog authors wait to write their intro paragraph and hook until they’ve finished the rest of the blog post. This allows you to summarize the value of your blog post and introduce the topic more clearly.
Formatting your blog post:
Make it look good
Looks are important. When it comes to writing a blog post, the content you write isn’t everything. Another way to keep your readers around is to make your business’s blog posts more visually pleasing. Huge blocks of text are heavy and may discourage readers from continuing. However, simply cutting these blocks into shorter paragraphs will help readers perceive the blog post as being shorter or easier to read. The space between your paragraphs or sections of content (white space) is just as important in providing a clean look and leading readers from one section to another.
Organization is key
Since there are plenty of visual learners out there, it may also be a good idea to include an image or two. This can help illustrate a point that you are trying to educate your readers on and add to the aesthetic of the post. Organization is key; not only to readers, but to search engines as well. Headings, subheadings, bullet points, and lists are ways to make your blog more readable and look more organized. Search engines see headings and subheadings as especially important and when related to your keyword, they help boost the SEO.
Blog post styles
While planning out the format of your blog, you should also ask, “what style of blog do I want to write?” There are many ways to write a blog that will engage your audience and it’s always a good idea to experiment with different blog styles to see what works best for your business and its target audience. Here are a couple of the most popular ones below:
- List- A list post can be a list of whatever you need it to be. It strays away from the traditional paragraph style and allows you to educate your readers on a set of points you want to educate them on along with a short explanation.
- Narrative- A blog narrative is more of a story. It is shared from the author’s perspective and may help the reader to relate to the content more easily.
- Multimedia- A multimedia blog post will usually feature a video or audio recording along with a shorter amount of written content which usually summarizes what is happening in the video or audio recording and why it’s important to the reader. Variety in types of content is valuable to both readers and search engines.
- How to/tutorial- Tutorial posts can include different elements from different kinds of blog posts like lists, videos, etc. However, this type of blog post focuses mainly on educating readers on how to do a certain task step-by-step.
- Resource or link list- Very similar to a list post. A resource or link list post incorporates almost all the elements of a list but includes links to useful resources that may be on your site or others. This is a great way to show your readers where else they can find valuable information on a subject they’re interested in.
- Review- With most blog posts, an author will need to first research and collect information from credible sources and then write it in a way that is useful to readers. A review post is different in the way that it is mainly your opinion. It can be a review of a product, a service, or whatever you want to review. Your audience may find your opinion and the points you share to be valuable and interesting.
It’s your blog, so it’s up to you. You can choose whether to follow any of these blog styles, use a different one, or mix multiple styles. As long as it’s organized and engaging, it will lead your readers to where you want them to go.
Your blog should never not have one. Every blog post you write should have an objective and CTAs are your way of encouraging your readers to fulfill it. Of course you want your readers to learn and find value in what you write; but at the end of the day, you want them to perform an action that leads to more conversions for your business (and more value for them). The best way to accomplish this is by inserting multiple CTAs in different places.
Just in case your readers don’t make it to the bottom of your blog post, it’s a good idea to include a more subtle CTA near the top, in one of the first paragraphs or points of a list. A good way to do this is by including the call-to-action as hyperlinked text or even as a linked image. If your reader is more convinced early on, they’ll be more likely to fulfill your desired goal.
The calls-to-action on your page must correlate with your goal for the blog post. For example, if you want readers to subscribe to your blog, include a form they can sign up for with their email. If you want a reader to reach a certain destination on your site like a landing page, then fit the link into a spot that will have your readers clicking on it. Another way to make sure readers see a CTA is by inserting it as a pop-up that appears as they scroll down or reach a certain point on your page.
Putting it together:
Better blogs mean better business. And you now have the tools to start working on creating fantastic blog posts that both convert your readers into customers and improve the SEO of your website. Your business is either about to take off or it’s already in the air gaining altitude. Either way, your business’s blog is a valuable resource to both your business and its customers. So for our own call-to-action, we would like to invite you to apply these blog-writing strategies to your business and see the results for yourself. Grow Team is dedicated to helping your business grow online. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what we do, please feel free to visit our website here.