You understand the importance of regular, quality blogs to your marketing strategy and growing your business (if not, see 8 Benefits Of A Long-Term Blogging Strategy).
Next question – what exactly should a great blog look like?
Never fear, here’s a guide to what should be included in a top-notch post – whether you write them yourself or outsource them to a professional Content Writer.
1. A Compelling Title and First Paragraph
People have got to want to read your words of wisdom. Pique their interest with titles such as “How To…” or ” The Top 5…” to win maximum click-throughs.
The first (lead) paragraph must draw visitors in to want to read your second paragraph – it should be promising valuable information or unmissable insights.
2. Interesting and Useful Info For Your Target Audience
Your blog post must be engaging for your ideal customers. It might outline new ideas or trends in your sector, or give your expert opinion on how to deal with a situation.
The language and level of detail should be a reflection of what works best for your audience personas (What are Audience Personas?).
This could mean establishing your authority in a field using technical language and references, or a friendly, informal dialogue if you want to build personal relationships with new and existing clients.
Either way, as Google gets better and better at working out context and how well you answer searcher queries, it’s essential your blogs provide quality content.
3. Use of Headings, Subheadings, & Bullet Points
Headings and subheadings have a dual function:
- they make the text much more readable and appealing for humans
- they improve SEO by pleasing and guiding Google (and other search engines).
If a reader wants to skim paragraphs, or return to a particular point quickly, headings and bullet points improve the user experience.
To get maximum ‘bang for your buck’, take time to research the short and long-tail keywords that your ideal customers are using to search for your service, and the amount of competition different keywords attract (Keywords – What To Know).
Keywords should naturally occur (not be stuffed) in the title, headings, paragraphs and also feature in the URL address, for maximum SEO benefit.
Think carefully about ‘searcher intent’ – are your keywords those used by early-stage information-gatherers, or serious buyers? Which do you want to attract?
For example, ‘What training is needed for my managers?‘ versus ‘ IOSH Managing Safely course in Cardiff’.
Also remember that most searches are at the informational stage, and could become future potential leads, so a mix of blogs with keywords covering different search intent makes sense.
5. Attractive Images
A good scattering of relevant pictures makes the article more attractive and enjoyable to read.
This reduces the chances of visitors ‘bouncing back’ quickly from your page, which Google penalises you for.
Images can also display something of your company brand and values – such as playful, humourous, corporate, or traditional.
6. Relevant Internal Links
Internal links can be inserted into your blog where appropriate to add even more value to your readers, by showing them another relevant blog you have prepared for them.
You are trying to provide an excellent User Experience with your blogs, so visitors stay on your website for as long as possible.
This tells Google you are a truly great resource for that particular topic, and it should feature your website higher in Search Engine Results (SERP).
It also allows you to build trust and credibility with your readers, making them more likely to consider doing business with you.
7. Call To Action (CTA)
Every post should have a Call-To-Action (CTA). This tells the reader what you want them to do, rather than just click away and forget you.
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