In the past, blogs were for the lifestyle junkies, the travellers, and the chronically expressive people who needed an outlet (which is great!). But now, they’re for the businesses as well, except they mean something a little different.
In a previous post, we established the importance of creating good content for the sake of your prospects–your target audience. Blogging is no exception to that.
According to HubSpot, “businesses that are the best educators will be the most successful.” Blogging for your business is, by a simple definition, a means of putting out content that educates on topics related to your field.
Why does it matter?
Without going into too much detail and jargon, I’ll answer that burning question: “Why do I need a blog on my website? Does it even matter?” Yes, it does.
Not only are blogs a good way to produce quality content, they are also a fabulous way to optimize for SEO.
Writing blog posts gives you an opportunity to incorporate those long-tail keywords that the robot search engine police love while also giving you another way to reach out to your specific targeted audience. Creating and producing new content regularly keeps your website current in the eyes of search engines and prospects.
Finally, writing posts with relevant content related to your industry establishes the credibility of your business and your expertise.
The above reasons are only a few of a long and detailed list of reasons why maintaining a blog within your website can help you rank higher in online searches and gain trust with your potential customers.
What should I be writing blog posts about?
First, ask yourself who you are trying to reach. Then, ask yourself what kind of questions these people will be asking. In other words, what kind of searches are they making on Google? You should be writing blog posts that answers their questions.
Someone may not Google your business first thing, but they might Google “How to Know Your Transmission is Going Out.” If you have written a post on that topic, they may find it and, by default, spend time on your website. Make sense?
Write high-quality, solid content on topics related to your industry, written specifically with your demographic in mind.
What should my goal be?
Ultimately, your goal is to educate.
Don’t think of it as a sales pitch. Think of it as a gift to your potential customers.
If you offer them something worthwhile, like an informative article on a subject they connect with, they’re more likely to offer you their business.
What are some practical tips?
There are some practical tips to keep in mind when you are writing a blog post that will be effective:
Focus on Readability
Writing simplistically (avoid too much jargon) and in short paragraphs makes the post much less overwhelming for your reader, and having a lot of white space keeps things clean and uncluttered. You want your readers to be able to get the information easily with few distractions.
You also want to have good sentence variety, proper grammar, and accuracy in word usage. This might not seem like a big deal, but you are bound to have at least one of those readers who is a stickler and will analyze the quality of the post more closely than some others might.
Have Good Topics and Good Titles
Just having a topic related to your industry is not quite enough. You also want the topic to be relevant and interesting.
Similarly, titles are important. Actually, they are the most important, because they are the first thing those Google searchers and website visitors will see.
Keep the title peppy and concise. First, you want to snag people’s interest, then you want to make sure that the reader is actually getting what you promised them in the title.
According to experts, a good length for your blog post title is between 8 and 14 words, and promoting a list in your title gets a notably positive response from information-seekers.
Utilize Internal linking
Do not underestimate the power of linking when writing your blog posts! Both internal and external linking is a fool-proof way to boost SEO, and internal linking is especially powerful.
When you take the time to link your previous related content into your posts, you are telling Google what, within your site, is connected, creating a web of relevant content that is easier for Google to detect when processing searches.
It also serves to keep prospects on your site longer by ushering them from one post to another on the same or a similar topic. Again, this establishes credibility and trustworthiness.
Follow a Good Formatting
This one may seem like a given, but for SEO purposes, it is important to follow some good formatting tricks.
Headings and subheadings significantly help optimize your blog posts, because you can be sure to add those fabulous keywords into them, which make those robot search engine police very happy! No, it’s not just for aesthetics.
We also recommend including lists in your post, which goes hand in hand with those subheadings. Google loves lists, readers love lists, and everyone is happy.
Finally, be sure you are reaching a good length in those fantastic articles. Studies show that blog posts of over 1,000 words rank better in Google than those less than. Depending on the context and purpose, your blog posts should be roughly between 1,000 and 2,100 words. Potentially a little more, but then you’re at risk of losing your readers’ attention.
There is so much to say on this topic, and there are tons of other great resources out there (such as this one), but this should get you started.
If the whole idea of blogging and digital marketing in general makes you nervous, you’re not alone. If you are interested in a free consultation with inbound marketing experts, schedule one with us today!