I've written a lot of blog posts on the importance of blogging and sharing information of value:
However, I've never written a blog post on how to write a blog post and I was recently asked several questions about how to optimize a blog post, and other content, for SEO.
There are five steps:
- Provide unique information of value.
- Format your blog, or other content, properly.
- Optimize your blog, or content, for search engines.
- Use calls-to-action.
- Promote your blog using social media.
1. Provide Information of Value
Don't sell, inform. Write about your industry, or something you are passionate about, not yourself.
Identify the persona for whom you are writing your blog.
Answer questions your buyers and prospects have asked. The more specific the question the better. Answer without selling. Answer to educate and build trust.
Focus on one topic per post. Don't cover too much. Don't take too much of the readers time. Today readers want "snackable" content. If it's too long, or a gray wall of type, it won't get read.
Think about the content you, or your firm, produce on a daily basis. All of that is information of value. If a restaurant is changing its menu daily, it's menu can become a blog post and then be reposted on other social media channels.
A retail store may want to feature products that are currently in demand or on sale.
Images, both photographs and videos, make great content. Lowes is doing a great job of producing "how to" videos for do-it-yourselfers and posting them to their website, their YouTube channel and their Facebook page.
Write consistently and frequently -- at least twice a week. The more frequently you share information of value, the more traffic you'll drive to your site.
2. Format Your Blog Properly
According to Copyblogger, eight out of 10 people will read your headline but only two out of 10 will read your content.
As such, spend half your time writing your headline and half your time writing the content.
The title should be less than 55 characters and include the keyword of the topic you are discussing.
Include plenty of white space and images. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words. Make your post inviting and easy to read.
Don't let any paragraph be more than five lines long. This will help your read focus on the content, not the clutter.
3. Optimize your Blog Posts for Search Engines
Keep your readers in the front of your mind and the search engines in the back of your mind.
People will share your blog posts if they find the information your share with them sufficiently valuable.
Think about the long-term keywords you want to rank for. Pick one long-tail keyword to focus on.
Place the long-tail keyword in each of the following: title, URL, image alt-tags, body and meta-descriptions. This is what a search engine will scan to understand what you are writing about.
Include anchor text for your posts -- a word or phrase which links to other blog posts. By linking to trustworthy, reliable content you are building trust with the search engines.
Assign topics to each blog post (e.g., I write about customer experience, customer satisfaction and employee engagement).
4. Use Calls-To Actions
Consider different offers for each point in the buyers journey or the sales funnel.
I've found eBooks to be good top-of-the-funnel offers, webinars to be good middle-of-the-funnel offers and a free 30-minute consultation to be a good bottom-of-the-funnel offer.
Calls to action are critical. If you don't tell your reader what to do next, it's not likely they're going to engage with you.
Invite readers to subscribe to your blog and engage in a discussion. Ultimately that's what social media is supposed to be -- a social discussion.
5. Promote Your Blog Through Social Media
Include social media links of all of your posts and make it easy for readers to share with their family, friends and colleagues.
Ideally you will share information of value that readers find so compelling they'll want to share it with everyone that's following them, some of whom will want to share on their social networks.
This is how content goes "viral."
What has worked for you when blogging?
How are you getting more readers and more engagement with those readers?