Search engine optimization is the fastest growing marketing channel, but there seems to be a bit of misconception about the SEO aspect of a business’s blog. Oftentimes business owners and even “SEO experts” will think it is just a game of plug in and rank. So where do you draw the line? Right here, between a professional blog for business and just any ol’ regular personal blogging.
Personal blogs have grown in popularity over the years, but maintaining a professional blog for a business is much different. A professional blog is a must have for any business owner in order to bring in users to your website and to hopefully have them say a while and return. There are millions of blog topics that range in competitiveness- here is one example that dives deep into how business owners can properly market their social media channel, part of our series, “Guide to Better Marketing Strategy”.
Any well-to-do marketer with years under their belt will tell you how important it is to update your blog as often as possible, as well as to check your status at least every week to make sure your blog is going in the direction you intend. Any business that wants to grow their audience, expand on what services they can offer to land even more clients and expand their target audience will need to dive into strategic content creation for their blog.
Let’s take a look at why:
Why A Blog Is Important For Your Website
When you look at your base website, there is a finite amount of services, products and industries you can rank for, but when it comes to your blog, you are going from selling your website to selling to potential consumers and your knowledge. A blog is a chance to show those potential consumers why they should stay on the website instead of clicking away to any of the other hits they’ve gotten on google. It also shows them why they should choose your product or service, and most importantly, why they should come back. When your target user comes to your website looking for an answer, that’s your chance to let them know you can answer their questions and showcase your expertise to them.
When you start making content that your audience is looking for, it will organically begin to show up to them. Not only will you improve your brands visibility, but much of that traffic will begin to turn into organic leads.
The more knowledge you share with users across the web, the more your website/brand’s authority will grow which will eventually lead to your brand beginning to outcompete competitors and become a brand who people look up to when they think of your industry.
As you become a go-to in expertise and authority, you’ll find users will begin to simply trust what you are saying. That is why many marketing leaders link any good strategy to rank content will point to E-A-T (expertise, authority & trustworthiness).
Smart Steps to Take Towards Improving Your Blog
Recently, we took on the initiative of improving our own blog’s performance. What we were looking to do was make sure that our blog was doing everything that we wanted it to do. There are always ways to improve your blog’s performance and to be seen to help it grow in authority.
For ours, it was about implementing any steps necessary to get the most out of our blog. As we had a solid foundation for the optimization of our website and blog in particular, this update didn’t have to be a complete overhaul. Rather, with just the right smart strategies, we were able to ensure we were giving our blog all that it needs.
You too can get the most out of your blog with the help of our guide. Following the steps, you may discover that you have exactly what it takes to see greater returns on the efforts put into the blog.
1. Know Your Blog Readers
Before you can write any good blog post, you need to know who will actually be reading it. The saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and this is just as true for the quality of blog content. If you’re just starting your blog, you’ll want to make sure you know who your target audience will be- this is one of the most important steps.
You will need to know who your target audience is so that you can create a marketing strategy, and without knowing exactly who it is you’re marketing to, your strategy will fall flat. Additionally, the same thing will happen to any blog post you write.
Finding your target audience allows you to make sure none of your marketing strategies, time or resources go to waste. Why would you want to waste all your time trying to target a broad spectrum of consumers when some of those people don’t have any need or want for your product or service? Especially when starting out, those you are targeting are the only ones you need to focus on because it lets you determine what your goals should be, tactical opportunities, the message you want to associate with your brand, ad opportunities and communication style.
On the other hand, if you do know those that make up your blog readership, it becomes a much easier task to get right.
Take a look at who reads your blog. Figure out, with the assistance of your target audience research, who could ideally be reading your blog. Through your target audience research, you can determine their priorities, long term goals, and the like and then adjust your own marketing strategies to cater towards their needs and wants.
You should strive for those that you attract to the blog to be potential customers. If you’re choosing the right topics and creating the blog posts that your target audience wants, you’re going to get the right people on the blog. By using your audience research, you will get visitors to the blog that you can convert to customers, and to return because they trust your brand.
Just as the audience information has helped us to focus our blog, it can also allow you to better nail it with your own blog. One of the best things you can do to bolster your brand is to always keep the audience in mind every step of the way, which will help to guide things in the right direction.
2. Craft Keyword-Driven Articles
In order for a blog to fulfill SEO objectives, the blog content needs to originate with SEO strategy. Behind every blog topic and making every single piece of content work should be well-researched keywords, meaning, you have to think about what you’re writing and how it will make you stand out in search results.
One thing that you should keep in mind that there will always be someone doing something similar to what you are- and you need to use those keywords to your advantage. First, you’ll need to figure out what your search volume and organic CTR (click- through rate) is for your specific niche. You can determine this by a quick search for your keyword to see how many websites are listed, where you rank, and if there are any featured snippets that make it so that you don’t get very many clicks regardless. This will give you an idea of what keywords to use and what keywords you should avoid.
There is no doubt that keywords are an integral part of any SEO strategy, whether it’s a blog or website, and without the right keywords, you’re not going to get very far. The more keywords you add to your blog, the more likely you are for it to create traffic to your site.
One method is to discover the blog topics that are right for your products or service that have the greatest chance of catching the eye of those who are in the market for what you’re providing. For instance, if you are offering a carpet cleaning service, you’ll want to look at what kinds of things homeowners are searching for to be able to tailor your posts so that they stumble upon your service over someone else’s.
Use your keyword research to clarify what may be best for your blog. In particular, seek out what you can on searcher intent. Your potential customers are using the specific keywords they chose for a reason. They aren’t just looking for a website that mentions their keywords in its text – they’re looking for answers.
When you go to google to look something up, you try to type in your question as specific as needed so that you get those results fast and hopefully not too far down the page- your target audience is no difference. You need to make sure that you’re among those results and that your blog stands out from the others because with your keywords, you signal to your reader that you can address their needs in a way that others cannot.
The first step we take when planning something new is always keyword research because it ensures that every time we write a blog post, we maximize our business potential and we can power the entire SEO strategy with our blog. Your blog can too! Targeting keywords is your opportunity to be the one providing those answers, to offer real value in your blog content, and to see the results that come from satisfying the desires of your website visitors.
3. Include Custom Graphics and Screenshots
Content is not all that matters to making a blog into a success. Visual appeal can play quite a large role as well. Ever visited a website that didn’t look trustworthy or like the best place to shop for whatever item you were searching for? The key is to grab that customer’s attention long enough to keep them on the page, as well as what is written in order for them to take a look at what you’re offering, as well as look presentable and trustworthy.
Humans are much quicker at processing visual content than text. It does, after all, still take the most voracious reader some time to comprehend words on a page. A picture, on the other hand, can flash into our minds in an instant.
And they do say that first impressions are everything.
The way your website looks will immediately leave an impression on anyone who views it. If you have a large chunk of text with no negative space, your customer is more likely to click off of the site to something a little more user friendly. Besides making sure that your font and formatting look appealing, one of the best things you can do to have your blog look more inviting is to spice it up with some high-quality images.
If you’re just starting out, you may have a lot of stock photos in your blog. While they’re better than nothing, if you have the budget, you should consider personalizing your blog posts by incorporating original images. Personalized images scream to your customer that you take your work seriously, and that you are knowledgeable on your specific subject.
One of our favorite ways to draw in the reader is by using custom graphics- something that can only be found on your site, making you stand out from the crowd. Also, another way to demonstrate your points is to screenshot relevant images and display them for future customers to see.
We create our own custom graphics, while of course staying within a set color scheme and elements that work for our brand. This lets us stay original and helps us stand out, as well as creating a greater visual appeal. Loud patterns or colors, crowded text or not enough breaks in texts are sure to frustrate and overwhelm a reader. When figuring out what to use for your own blog, just make sure to stay within the guidelines of your brand, and remain unified and consistent.
These graphics are, in one part, a way of branding the blog. They also simply make the posts better.
As previously mentioned, most readers will turn away from giant blocks of texts. Studies show that most people won’t even make it to the end of an article without getting bored and turning away. So it’s imperative that you make your consumer stay on your page until you’ve gotten enough of your point across so that you can make the sale. With the right images, it’ll be a lot easier to capture and hold your reader’s attention.
So, create your own custom graphics, include a few screenshots, or do both. Just make sure every blog post has some strong visual element.
4. Integrate CTA’s
Obviously you’ll want more than just to have people look at your blog and then leave without anything occurring. You’ll want to have a goal in mind for what you want them to do once they arrive at your page. Subscribe to a newsletter? Download a PDF of your services? Purchase something?
A primary goal for anyone that lands on a brand’s blog will almost always be conversion in some way, shape, or form. One of the best ways to get a conversion is by specifically asking for it through a call to action (CTA).
If you’ve got a successful website for your brand already up and running, you probably already know all about CTA’s. If you’re selling a product, you’ll obviously want a “buy now!” button after your description of the product or after the sales page. If you have a service you want to provide, you will want a way for the reader to contact you after you’ve told them why they should!
That being said, obviously this means that CTA’s on the blog portion of your website are just as important as anywhere else, if not more so.
For many of your blog visitors, their viewing of one of your blog posts will be their very first time interacting with your brand in any capacity. Driving new traffic, a blog creates incredible opportunities for your brand. Only, you can quickly lose the opportunity if those who arrive to read your content and enjoy the insights it offers, afterwards, just leave.
All of the hard work that you put into your blog comes to nothing if CTA’s don’t drive readers to continue their journey with your brand, and it would be a shame if all of your effort to get them there was wasted.
With the right CTA’s in the right places though, a blog truly allows for so much more to be possible.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or cliche, either. There are lots of ways to go about your call to action that avoid the typical cliches and actually do make the reader want to pursue your product or service. One way to make sure you pick a good CTA is by using active verbs that hold power, and going from there. That being said, you don’t want to seem pushy, you just want to coax them into the right direction of what the next logical step would be, without it seeming forced.
As they’re browsing your blog content, what might a site visitor be looking to do next? As they reach the end of a blog post, what does the next step with your business look like? As mentioned earlier, is this when you will decide to ask them to sign up for that weekly newsletter? Is this where you place that ”buy now!” link or link for them to contact you? Depending on your service, you’ll want to make sure that your call to action is in the best place to optimise business.
By making it easy for your readers by providing that call to action and by gently nudging them in the right direction, you’ll see all of the conversions that a successful blog can bring.
5. Perform Weekly Analysis
So, you’ve done all four of these steps, your business is booming, you think your blog is getting a lot of attention and doing well- but how can you be sure? What if a bunch of blogs are getting hits on search engines, while some are underperforming?
How can you tell if there is any positive progress at all, or if you are actually heading in the opposite direction?
What we suggest is a routine, weekly analysis of your blog’s performance so you can keep up with what is going on with your blog, see your achievements, and work on things that your blog might be lacking or things that may be underperforming. When you regularly check in on your blog’s stats, you’ll be able to see things you need to fix before they become a problem or lose profit, so you can make a correction in a timely manner.
One warning- when it comes to blogs, changes happen swiftly and sometimes without you even noticing. If you have any hope of keeping up with the changing internet and market climate, you’ll for sure want to keep up with your weekly routine of monitoring your progress.
It is our weekly blog analysis that allows us to ensure we’re always moving in the right direction with blog initiatives.
A weekly analysis can really allow you to learn so much about how your blog is performing. As you continue to strive for its continuous improvement, the insights from this weekly report will help to lead the way. You can even find ways to increase areas that are already getting a lot of attention as well.
See what you discover through analysis and then see what new changes, like a re-optimization of blog content, can result in.
Getting Your Blog Where It Needs to Be
All of these items are sure to help you really get the most out of your blog. They are steps in the right direction, so you should have no problem seeing success if you implement each one and with your effort, it will result in a very successful blog, and a happier you!
If you can make the commitment to give your blog the attention and care it needs, you will find yourself with a blog that is thriving , like a house plant, and returning everything you need from it. All you have to do is get started, and you know when you can get started? Right now!
So, why are you wasting any more of that valuable time?
Get the most out of your blog now. By following our guide, you can learn what you need for success.
Still in need of help with your blog? The blogging experts of Regex SEO are available and always ready to answer any questions.