Read time 5-10min
In a world where content is king your blog can become one of the most valuable marketing tools for your business.
Your blog can have a variety of purposes. It can build trust with your customers, build leads, generate brand awareness and make you stand out from your competitors by going above and beyond to provide your customers with the information they need.
The best blogs are not a sales pitch. They provide meaningful information that is engaging, delivers value and aligns with your companies brand values. It will allow you to deliver a consistent brand message.
Understand your audience
Who are your target audience and what do they want to know about? Your message needs to resonate with your audience and engage them. There’s no point in writing a blog post targeted at millennials on how to set up social media accounts. However, write a post targeting millennials on how to be more business savvy with their social media accounts and now you’re talking.
Nail your title and opening paragraph
Statistics show that 80% of people will read a title and ignore the content. 20% of people will read the content. Make sure that your title entices people to read your blog in full to make sure you are getting value for your content. Your opening few lines need to be clear and concise. The reader needs to know what they will gain from reading further.
It isn’t show and tell time
Your goal should be orientated around providing people with rich content that is of value to them. Nobody wants to read a sales pitch. You need to orientate your blog post around learnings, teachings and value. The content should provide the reader with information that doesn’t press them to purchase your product or service, but learn about how that product or service can add value to their lives only redirecting them to the product/service at the end or where appropriate.
Optimise your content
Google is your new best friend and despite Google’s love of new algorithms and search engine policies, the fundamentals of search engine optimisation (SEO) should be adhered to and will work if you have well written content.
- Use Google AdWords to your best advantage. Stuck for a new topic to write about? Keyword research using Google Adwords can provide you with a wealth of information about what information people are looking to find around your product or service. It can be easily used for inspiration as well as being helpful for SEO. People use conversational language when searching for you and your content should respond to that accordingly.
- Your keyword research will now come into play for your headline. Google takes the headline as the most important aspect of your blog and keywords will perform best when they are the first words in the headline. If your post is about email marketing you should phrase your headline should be “Email Marketing: Your guide to nailing your subject line” as opposed to “Your guide to nailing your subject line for email marketing”. Also this headline should feature in your URL.
- Link out and link back, but anchor it correctly. Google likes to see links to reputable sites and pages. It also likes to see links back to your content. Google recognises the value in this. People won’t link to your content unless it is of value, same as you won’t link elsewhere unless that is of value too. This is why links are important, google recognises the value of them and therefore it will impact your SEO.
When it comes to anchoring the text, your keyword research from AdWords is going to help here again. www.corkchamber.ie is a link out, but if you rename is with something of value from your keyword research it will have a better outcome for SEO. Instead hyperlink renaming it Google Analytics Training . Add value when and where you can.
- The importance of Social Sharing and Social Search should never be underestimated. Social search is when search engines factor in or add weight to the writer’s social network. If the content has a social connection to you it will be prioritised. For example content shared or redirected through them sharing social will rank your content higher. This would include Facebook, Twitter and other sharing platforms. The more your content is shared on social media, the better it will rank. Make sure you have your sharing options set up and integrated at the end of all of your blog posts.
Ready, Steady…. Action
Your content is there for a reason. To engage the reader and trigger a call to action. End your blog with that desired action whether it be to check out the product or sign up to a mailing list. Make sure your blog content is not going to waste. Action creates reaction and your content will be more valuable than ever if it is providing you with conversions. But be careful not to end on a sales pitch. Stay on point and stay informative.
- Time how long it takes you to read your blog post – and post it at the start of your blog. This will give you two takeaways. One, your reader will appreciate knowing in advance the amount of time they are going to spend reading and secondly if it takes you more than 10 minutes, you need to scale back to avoid people leaving your website. Nobody will spend 20 minutes reading a blog post unless it’s a technical process they need to follow or a guide.
- When using links in your blog post make sure that links that are to other websites open a new tab and links to your own website don’t. This will keep the user on your website even if they check out the website you have linked to. You want to keep them on your site instead of redirecting them entirely.
- Always get a second pair of eyes to read over the content and edit and shorten where possible.
If you’d like to know more about digital marketing or writing for digital we have a range of digital and design courses that can be viewed here.