As an agency, one of the things we notice is that many companies will have a blog on their website but most of the content goes unread or even worse, has no business value at all. We see lots of companies giving up as they feel there is no value to the content they are adding. If this is you, it may simply be that you are not writing about the right topics or going about creating content in the wrong way.
Here, we will help you gain a better understanding of how you can easily change this to get actual business value and ROI from your blog.
What content should you be writing?
Content that has been planned, constructed and written well will help drive more traffic to your site and even bring new customers to you that may not have known that they needed your services.
Every business owner knows there is often a largely untapped group of potential customers that don’t know your business or that your product exists and that it could be the solution they need to solve a problem.
As with most areas in business you need to have some sort of strategy. This is no different when it comes to writing for your blog. Having a plan makes sure that you are able to cover all of the areas that you think are important, consistently and efficiently.
Create a content strategy
This is your first exercise and one of the most important ones you can do. Sit down with your team or on your own and assess the areas of the business that you want to improve, or even target markets to tap into. Strategic blogging is a powerful tool and if done correctly, can help you break into new markets that you may otherwise have not been able to.
Once you have decided where you want to go, you now need to look at how you are going to get there, and for that, you need to do online research
Boost your visibility with keyword research
You can use a tool like Google keyword planner to get an idea of search volume for your target keywords. It can also help you get ideas about what to write about as you get a better picture of what people are searching for online.
It is important to note that this tool is not the most accurate. There are other tools out there, but many charge to use them.
Here are some alternative and free keyword tools:
Search Google to see your competition
Once you have an idea for a keyword then you should do a search on Google to see what is currently ranking. This is very important!
From this, you will gain an understanding of:
Who currently targets these keywords (your competition). If there are a lot of big hitters and brands, it may not be suitable for you.
How many words you will need to write to have a chance of ranking highly.
You can also use the subheading(s) they have to get ideas for your content (see below).
LSI keywords or related searches for extra punch
This tip will help your chances of ranking for the keyword you are targeting. When you do a search in Google, go to the bottom of the page and there is a section there called related searches – make sure you add these keywords to your content.
Google sees these as related to the keyword you are targeting. Making sure you are covering the relevant ones shown here will help you.
Try and set-up a plan for either 3 or 6 months with a realistic number of articles to aim for in that time frame. If you choose six articles, then you will need to repeat the process six times (the steps from Keyword research to LSI keywords), once for each article.
However, you may find other ideas to write about during this time. To make this process easier, use a spreadsheet; we have a recommended template here.
Write content to engage your audience
Once you have the backbone of your strategy you will need to work on writing the content. There is a formula you can utilise to make sure the content is effective
Your headline: to read or not to read
This is one of the most important points; your heading will realistically determine whether someone reads your content or not. You can use Coschedule for further inspiration (there is a free account) and it’s worth investing the time to try and grab your reader’s attention.
When people read content online they are most likely looking for a solution to a problem. Often it is advice but it can also be a product or service. This means they are most likely not reading at leisure but are driven by the hunt for solutions.
If you look at your own searching habits, you will most likely see that you initially scan content as opposed to reading it to see if there is any value in it for you. Making sure that your subheadings suggest benefits as the reader makes an initial scan will increase the chance of someone paying attention to your content and spending longer on the page and in turn, your site.
Turn your content into a business asset
The way you write blog content is very different from other forms of content. Service and product pages are technical and geared towards sales, written with the brand and business in mind.
With blog posts, you should aim for content that will benefit the reader. Your blog is where you can build trust and awareness of your brand/ product and as such should be more informational and helpful.
Remember, you are looking to target people who don’t yet know they need you.
How will the content benefit your business?
All of the content you write about should be related to the service or products you provide, and answer questions related to your business.
Use a tool like Answer the Public to find out what questions people are asking about a topic and answer them. It can be that easy to get started!
Poor images will reduce the value of your content. There are a range of sites like Pixabay that offer free images. Make sure the images are relevant.
This makes the content easier to digest and not so intimidating to read, which is essential for online copy where most people scan. Lists are very popular as a result and let you convey a lot of information in a short amount of time.
Optimise your blog posts
Once you have written your content and before you hit the publish button, there are a few things you need to do to help it rank better over time in the search engines.
Most CMS (content management systems like WordPress) will have the option to add in a page title and description. These are known as metadata. Think of metadata as the gateway to your content. This is what is shown in the results of a Google search..
Be sure to fill these in and look at what others have done; to do this, Google the keyword you are targeting and look at the top results.
Good metadata will increase the number of people clicking through to your content and this equals more traffic, which equals more potential conversions. Check out this article from Ahrefs on how to write title tags.
Optimise your images
Add descriptions to your images with the alt tag to help your SEO. You can use variations of the keyword or words that you are targeting here and this will, over time, help the article to rank for more keywords (this is called keyword spread).
Making the most of the traffic
Once you have traffic coming to the page you will want to make sure you maximise potential conversions. Doing this will in turn help your SEO.
When you are writing the content, were possible add links to your services or products that may help the reader. This will help drive traffic to those pages as well as boosting the SEO value of the page you link to.
Pointing your traffic in the right direction
Last but not least, you should have some sort of call to action on the page. This can be anything that will help encourage the reader to click on the link you supply or call your business to make an enquiry.
Work with experts
SEO and digital content strategies can be in-depth and expensive projects to run in-house. Our team of experts have years of experience in creating plans with ROI and proven results; growth in rankings, keyword spread, traffic and conversions.
Working with clients across a multitude of industries, we can create an effective plan tailored to your needs.
If you would like to utilise our SEO and content marketing services, please call 01403 261491. We would love to hear more about your business and your goals.