It’s common knowledge that blogging is a great benefit for business. Businesses with blogs typically have 97% more inbound links, and over 400% more indexed pages in search engines. It also has great benefits for your brand, including consumer trust, and engagement. But are these benefits purely because blogs exist?
Many businesses take this information, and simply create a blog, churning out 1-2 posts per week or month depending on available time & industry type. And most of these blogs fail to gain more than a little attention, if any at all. So what’s being missed?
Should This Be A Blog Post?
Ask yourself if your guide is time sensitive. Is it seasonal, or related to a particular event? If the answer is no, consider creating a page to give this information instead. For example, if you’re writing a how-to guide for your customers, an information section in your website (rather than a blog post) may be a better idea! You could then create a blog post about the new release of your help section/page (remember to target different keywords and point links to the original content), and promote the new content through social media channels.
You could, of course, create the content as a blog post, and then link to it in your website’s navigation, too, but consider the way your blog pages look, compared with static pages, and how much control you can have over these.
You should also consider if the piece will be standalone, or if it will be part of a series. If it’s part of a series, you should make sure it’s in a content hub!
If you’re writing content as part of a series (or if you already have), you can gain some quick wins with your linking structure. Create a “Hub” page, which will hold links to all of the separate articles or pages relevant to the topic. Link to them all, as visually as you can- if you can create banners or add an image for every link, this will help your users navigate better & enjoy the experience more.
This “Hub” style of organisation gives a great boost to SEO, giving search engines one master page, rather than lots of pages competing for rankings. Ensure you add links back to your hub from every single article, and try to link to it from other pages on your site, too. Linking in your footer, or main navigation system, is also a great idea if your users will find it helpful.
Set your aims
To achieve goals with your blog or page, you must first decide your aims. Generally, these will fall into one of the following categories (or both):
- Attracting fresh potential customers to your website
- Engaging users already on your website
Choose a topic for your blog post, based on questions your users might have, knowledge they may want to learn, guides on your products and services. Use tools like Ubersuggest to discover what Google Users search for by typing your industry, or some related words, into the search bar. This is an excellent way to reveal the terms people actually search for.
Most searches on the internet are for information, for example how-to guides. So, don’t just describe your product, also write how to use it, when to use it, who should use it.
Choose a Direction
Many businesses will write content without direction. They will choose a common theme and write a quick article, on a topic which has been covered many times before by competitors. If choosing a very common theme- for example, “How To Clean Your Jewellery”- the blog post must be phenomenal. In order to gain a lot of attention with search engines and searchers, you need to add value. Your blog post needs to be better than everything else that’s available. If you’re not sure you can spend hours and hours making your blog post the most valuable of it’s type, pick a more niche topic which will have less competition. Instead of “How to Clean Your Jewellery”, for example, you might choose “How to Clean Your Gold Engagement Ring” instead. Although less people will search for the more niche terms, there will be less competition from other websites, making it easier to rank on a search engine’s first pages.
Many bloggers will also over optimise their posts. This means they will pick an exact keyword, and try to force that keyword, or similar keywords, into the post over and over. At best, this may read unnaturally and be hard to follow, and at worst, your article will be penalised for keyword stuffing/over-optimisation. Try to write naturally, and as an expert on the subject.
There’s no point in creating content if nobody will read it! And if your content is better as a static page, rather than a blog post, you should create a new page instead.
Choosing a topic is half the battle when it comes to blog writing. Once you’ve established a general direction to go in, choose a focused topic, which customers will be interested in. After you’ve published your blog post, don’t forget to advertise it, across all channels- from social media, to on your website’s homepage! Remember, Google will index new posts much, much quicker if you post the article on Google +.