Blogs are an important part of any business’s marketing plan many good reasons. When done correctly, these cost-effective bursts of information will help bring traffic to your site, boost sales, transform your company into an industry authority, and help put you in front of new markets – and they continue to work for you for however long they sit on your website: months, years, even decades if their content is evergreen.
The problem is that a lot of businesses – both home-based start-ups and mega organisations alike – often just play lip-service to their blogs, or throw them up in an ad hoc way, almost as if they are an afterthought.
If you’re failing to make connections with your online audience through your business blog, here are ten key pointers to keep in mind:
One: Write for your audience and not for yourself
What industry-relevant topics do your readership find interesting? What are some of their common pain points that you can either solve or commiserate with? Find out what they want to read and produce content based on that.
Two: Strategically plan your posts
Businesses don’t maximise the benefits of their business blog for one or both of the following reasons:
a. Not enough time
b. Not enough ideas
You can solve both of these with planning. By taking some time to run through some post ideas, you’ll have enough blog post content for weeks or months ahead of time. Plan your posts so that they are most relevant when published, like a gift-giving guide in November for the upcoming holiday season.
Three: Get cosy with keywords
Your riveting post may get tossed by the wayside by Google and other search engines if it isn’t properly optimised.
Take some time to familiarise yourself with how to best incorporate keywords and key phrases into your business blog content. There are a number of free tools available, starting with the Google Keyword Planner which has been created for people wanting to optimize their paid ads, but work just fine for other keyword research purposes too.
Learning which keywords your target audience uses will help you come up with attention-grabbing content ideas.
Four: Include a concise and interesting headline
Your blog post’s headline will be doing a lot of the work in terms of attracting audiences. Some blog post titles tend to work better than others, such as “How To”, “X Reasons” and “Top X” posts.
Five: The first two sentences are key
Within those first two sentences of your blog post, you should lay out what the post is about and why your audience should care. You want to draw them in and continue to read your content, which will be a lot easier for them if you also do the following:
Six: Break up your content with space and other media
White spaces, images, infographics, videos – whatever it is you can incorporate into your blog to break up your text, the more likely your audience will stick around and read the entire post.
Seven: Link to previous posts
Link back to your previous relevant blog content through anchor text, like I am doing now to this previous post of mine Why Case Studies Make Great Content. There are a lot of benefits in doing this, such as:
- Reducing bounce rates (i.e. the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page)
- Increasing the time visitors spent on your site site (“session stickiness”)
- Providing context for search engine crawlers
- And last, but certainly not lease, a better user experience.
Eight: Include a call to action (CTA)
Each post should be asking your audience to take action at the end of the post. From checking out new product details to making a sale, a compelling call to action will clearly define what it is you want your readers to do.
Nine: Measure the performance of your posts
Keeping tabs on how well your business blog posts are doing will tell you exactly what’s working and what’s not. Through tools like Google Analytics, you can find out how people are finding your content and which posts are the most popular.
Ten: Post regularly and often
The best way to increase revisit rates is to post at predictable times. Whether it’s once a day or once a week, readers who know when to expect a new blog from you are more likely to return to your website for your next latest and greatest post.
If you need help, ask for it
Before they come to me for help with content writing, almost all of my clients have struggled to do this for themselves. They are lawyers, plumbers and other trades, health professionals, environmentalists, fashion designers, engineering companies, innovators, and quirky gift retailers.
The thing is, they are experts in their own field, but not necessarily in writing website content. It is a specialized field in itself. So if you are struggling with the writing, but understand how important it is to your business, I invite you to contact me to discuss how I can help you – wherever you are in the world.