There are numerous benefits to having a blog on your website. Sharing blog content:
- Increases your online visibility
- Brings traffic to your website
- Solidifies your position and reputation within your industry
- Provides extra value to your audiences
- Gives you more content to share on social media
Creating a blog strategy
We’re firm believers that working to a strategy is one of the keys to success. By doing your research and making a plan, you have the assurance that the work you’re doing is informed by real results and, as such, should generate real results.
If you share blog posts already, take a look at your web analytics. Specifically, you should be looking at which posts have achieved the most hits, and which haven’t. Note these – perhaps doing a top 5 or 10 for both categories – and try to identify themes. Avoid writing further blog posts that contain the themes common in your least successful posts, and focus on creating new content that hits some of the themes present in your most successful posts. You can also take a look at data such as which posts had the longest dwell time – think about what in these posts may have caused the reader to stay interested and stick around.
If you don’t share blog posts already, you can use other web analytics to achieve insights similar to the above. If you’re reading these, we feel it’s safe to assume that you have a website. Look at your web analytics and identify the most popular pages on your website. These pages are likely to contain information that your audience comes to you for – writing blog posts on these topics may well encourage them to come back for more.
Another way to gain an understanding of the kinds of topics you should be writing about is looking at your social media analytics. What content does your audience engage with the most? Take a look through your most successful social media posts and, again, identify themes. Using these themes, brainstorm some ideas for blog posts. Then, when you promote these blog posts on your social media – about a topic you know your followers are engaged in – you’re more likely to generate traffic to your website.
The form your strategy takes is entirely up to you and how you prefer to work. Maybe you could write a list of the next 5-10 blog posts you plan to write and work your way through it. Alternatively, you could incorporate your blog posts into your digital marketing calendar, and work from there. It’s important, though, that you revisit the research phase on a regular basis so that you can pay attention to what’s working and what’s not, and you can continually improve your blog offering to get the results you want.
The principles of a 'good' blog post
Whatever the topic, there are a number of principles that can help you to create an effective blog post.
Are you providing genuine value to the reader? Will they come away from it having learned or gained something? If not, there’s probably not much reason for them to bother reading it or coming back to your blog in the future. Make sure you’re offering real value in the content you share, whether it’s through information, exclusive content or promotions.
Does your headline communicate the need that you’re fulfilling? For instance, if the main benefit of your blog post is that the reader will learn from professionals the steps they took to become a ballet dancer, your title should demonstrate this, e.g. – ‘How To Become A Professional Ballet Dancer’.
Are you writing about topics that you’re an expert in? If you’re an expert, the chances are you’ll have an awful lot of interesting and useful information to share on the topic.
Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to the wordcount. While there are SEO guidelines, remember you’re writing for humans. Say as much or as little that needs to be said on the topic at hand. Don’t fill the page for no reason or the reader will get bored.
Make sure you proof-read your blog post numerous times. Perhaps even get a colleague to cast their eye over it. Whatever the length, try to cut it by about 15%. We could all do with being more concise.
Make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for readers to navigate through the post. Ensure sections are clear and if you mention something that can be linked, pop a link in for them to make their reading journey seamless.
Optimising your blog posts for search engines
The rules of search engine optimisation are continually changing, so the best way to make sure your blog posts are SEO-friendly is to stay on top of the current guidelines and apply them to your content. However, there are some basics we can suggest:
- Keywords – Use a relevant keyword in your title and include keywords throughout your body text. But use them in a natural way and don’t just cram them in for the sake of it. To find the keywords for your blog topic, set up a free Google Ads account to access their Keyword Planner. For instance, if you’re writing about how luxurious yoga retreats in hot countries are great for team-bonding (particularly if you work at a digital marketing agency), type in ‘yoga retreats’ and you will generate a number of related keywords that you can use in your post.
- Structure – Use headings above each paragraph to split up your post and make it as readable and digestible as possible. Bulleted or numbered lists are also incredibly effective for improving your SEO.
- Links – Not only is including links to things you mention in your post useful to your readers, it improves your SEO. Include relevant internal and external links throughout the post, particularly if those links contain content relating to your keywords.
- Images – When using images in your blog post, make sure you also add alt text. This is a description of your image, which is another great opportunity to use a relevant keyword.
While there’s lots more to bear in mind when it comes to SEO, such as optimising your meta title and description, SEO really is constantly changing so the best approach is to keep reading up on it to ensure you’re up to date. We work with clients to enable them to easily incorporate SEO into their websites, so do get in touch to find out how we can help you.
Promoting your blog posts
Once you’ve created a great blog post, you want to show it to all the right people. To promote a blog post, you can:
- Let your social media followers know about it. Give them a snippet of information from the post and let them know they can learn or find more on your blog
- Share the post with personal contacts that you think might find it interesting or useful – or even a contact who has a similar audience to yours and may want to share it with them
- Include it in your email signature, so everyone you get in touch with will see it
- Run some PPC (pay-per-click) Google Ads. With the right targeting, you can attract people who are most likely to engage with the post, and you only pay for the clicks you gain
- Add it to a newsletter and make the most of your mailing list
Blogs are a great opportunity for you to showcase your brand offering and personality. With the right preparation, you can ensure that each post you share has the best possible chances of getting the exposure and interaction it deserves. If you’d like to discuss your current blog or website, drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.