By Luke Pickering
About ten years ago blogging was all the rage, businesses from every industry were starting to put out content in the form of blog posts. They became a great place to share advice and niche information that didn’t make it onto a website’s service pages. Then very quickly marketers started to click onto the fact that you could use blogs as a very powerful way to get your business onto the Search Engine Result Pages. Now it wasn’t just a great way to share information and advice with your audience, but it was also a great way to expand the reach of your business. Businesses started to realise the positive effects a blog had on their SEO efforts but not only was it improving rankings it was also allowing businesses to rank in other niche areas. However, we’re now a decade on from that, is blogging just as popular now as it was then?
Well, the answer is yes, blogging can still have great effects on your business but like anything, it has to be done properly. We’ll go through all of the best practices when it comes to writing blog posts and things that you should look at doing if you’re going to start your own blog.
This is a huge thing that has always been relevant in life, and it’s the same with blog posts. People don’t have all day every day to sit and read your blog posts, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be regularly uploading content to your site, but it does mean you should only be posting once or twice a week. This means you’ll be able to keep up the consistent upload schedule without feeling overwhelmed. Also, you’re going to likely have a better user retention rate if the content you’re putting out is top quality, they’ll slowly start to become returning users who rely on your blog for the latest news and best advice.
Before starting your blog, you need to make sure you know what you want to write about. While yes you may be a business like ourselves who focus in two separate areas, digital marketing and website design, and we make sure to focus our blog on both of these subject areas. However, if one week you’re deciding to write about Fashion statements of 2020 and then the next it’s the best video games of the 80’s, you’re going to struggle to get any returning users. You need to decide on one audience that you’re going to target and then write content that is focused on them and will appeal to them. This is how you’re going to grow your audience.
Like we mentioned earlier, your audience doesn’t have all day to sit and read your blog posts, this means that you need to make sure your post can be skimmed through and they can get all the information that they need. The best way you can do this is through the use of your headings. Making sure you use your H1’s, H2’s and H3’s so that the user is able to find the section that they’re looking for or even just learn what the key points of the article are.
We understand that within your industry there’s probably going to be somewhat of overlap in topics that you’re talking about, after all, there’s only so much that can be spoken about. But have a think about how you can offer your users the most value possible, what are they really going to enjoy reading about that they may not have already seen. If it is a topic that is heavily covered already but you’d like to write about, put your own twist on it. How can you make it yours? How can you make yours stand out from all the others that the user is going to read?
Don’t be scared to include hyperlinks in your posts. Writing an article is all about providing your user with value and giving them the information that they want to read. So if you’re talking about a service or a product you offer, link to it not only is it going to help your user’s understanding but it also will help with your SEO efforts. When writing your blog posts it’s important that you’re linking to other articles where possible because sharing authoritative sources is a brilliant way to build more trust. Furthermore, it adds trust to your post if you’re including statistics they need to know that they can trust it and know that the source is reliable.
Don’t be afraid to shout about your brand new blog. Put it on your social media pages telling people to go and read it and what it’s about. Social media is a brilliant way for you to expand your reach. A few shares or retweets on social media can greatly help the reach of your post. You can also add a signup feature on your website so that your users can sign up with their email address and then you can set it up so that your business will send them an email as soon as you post a brand new blog. This is a great way to build up returning users. Also, signups are a measurable goal so you will be able to see how well your blog is doing, along with other metrics such as the number of users and the average length of a session.
When it comes to the content you’re putting out you need to make sure it’s going to be content that your users will want to view and is going to perform well. A blog post doesn’t always have to be in written form if it’s going to suit the subject better you could always spend the time in creating an infographic or a video. Both of these can have just as much success for you if not more, they’re an excellent resource for other people to link back to you which will greatly help with your SEO. It’s important that with photos and videos that you’re optimising your alt text to help with your rankings.
If you opt for written content it’s important that it’s keyword-rich and is targeting the keywords you’d like to rank for. The best way of doing this is carrying out some keyword research before you start writing your content, tools like google keyword planner, uber suggest and answer the public are brilliant for providing you similar keywords you could look to rank for along with their search frequency. This will not only make the content informative for the user, but also will go down well with Google’s rankings. But how do you decide what to write a post in the first place? There are a number of places you are able to find inspiration when it comes to writing blog posts:
All of these are great places to find inspiration for your blog posts not only is it going to be content that will provide your users with value, but sometimes you can be the only business writing about something. This will provide you with a great amount of exposure as everyone will have to come to your website for the answers.
Overall, blogs are still an amazing resource to be putting time and effort into. They can help with your digital marketing efforts and also help to expand the reach of your business.