Since the birth of the internet, blogging has been a big hit. Letting the world know about what is occurring in your part of the world and your life, after all, is what the internet was all about -connectivity.
Since those early days, blogging has continued to grow with every man and his dog publishing their escapades online. Many businesses have also taken up the craft; this helps them disseminate knowledge around their industry, set them out as thought leaders, but also to gain brownie points with the digital marketing overlord, Google.
Blogging for business is a great way to encourage your SEO results along. It offers a simple, natural ease in ranking for keywords, promoting products, linking to services and of course keeping your customers up to date with news about your business.
But what is the key to success with a blog for business?
You should start with a plan. This plan can be a short term, to get the ball rolling, or you might want to think long term, it’s going to be dependent on your subject, or subjects.
A good start to creating a blog plan, is to consider the different categories you could use. This helps to break down the blog but also to keep it interesting. It’s quite easy to get caught up writing about one subject so by using categories, you can keep it varied, holding your readership’s interest.
In researching blogs by competitors or by publications related to your industry, you can work out what topics are hot. Keeping your content up to date and relevant means it is more likely to be seen.
Once you’ve decided on your subjects, work out a title that entices the reader. Your title should indicate what sort of content the blog will contain. You can use questions, such as Can this or How to, lists like Top 5 or The 10 best and finally statements and teasers, e.g. Everyone should be using or This is how to.
Adding choice keywords related to your business, as well as links to relevant information from trusted sites and a few backlinks to keep the bounce rate low is going to really put your blog to work. Following guidance on blog writing will also help your blog rank.
Let’s take a more detailed look at SEO variables to really boost your blog….
Finding both short and longtail keywords for your blog will help it rank. You should look to use your keywords in the title, body of the text but also in your H2 and H3 headings. A range of popular and less popular keywords can play an advantage. Finding less popular longtail keywords that relate to search terms around the topic can often bring success.
The digital marketing overlord, Google, likes content that is easy to read and holds the users focus. In the fast paced, scroll-happy world we live in, that requires short sentences and short paragraphs.
As a rule, we like to aim for sentences of no more than around twenty words and paragraphs with no more than three sentences. This may feel like you are writing below your ability, and you probably are, but this is how Google prefers your sites content, appealing to and readable for the majority of users.
How many words you use in your blog plays an important role in its success. You should always aim to write over four-hundred words as a minimum, the upper limit really depends on the subject and your dedication.
Trying to write more words than necessary will do you no favours. There is no point in waffling, your readers will lose interest. Finding subjects that need a more thorough understanding can take you anywhere upwards of two-thousand words.
These kind of blogs can work great in conjunction with other blogs linked, explaining smaller parts of a process, in finer detail.
Using lists and bullet points within your writing is a good way to help drive your intentions home. When your blog is information heavy, technical or to be used as a guide, lists and bullet points will make for great reference points and drive blog engagement.
Finding an external link or two, relevant to your topic, such as the H2 & H3 headings link above, offer further reading for the user. They also have the benefit of pleasing Google. With content such as video, you can add links with the option to open in a new window, meaning the user stays on your site, continuing to help your metrics.
Backlinks to your own site also present benefits. Feeding users back to either landing pages, buy now buttons or other blogs mean more site interaction. You may be using the blog as part of your sales funnel, here, backlinks are an essential.
- Images, Video and Graphics
Again, in the world of endless scrolling, holding interest is key. Breaking up large bodies of text with relevant images keeps user focus and can improve their interaction with your site. We recommend using around two to three images every five-hundred words.
Likewise, infographics can increase engagement. Breaking down large bodies of text, into smaller blocks and adding some colourful, pleasing on the eye imagery around them makes learning enjoyable.
Links to YouTube or images from social media should always follow the above rule – open in a new window.
When it comes to publishing your blog, you will need some basic understanding of a websites back-end. With platforms such as WordPress, creating new pages for your blog can be relatively simple, especially if you already have blogs in expressed formats published. Cloning and editing is the easiest way to get your new blog out there.
Paying attention to meta titles, keyphrases and URLs give your blog the best chance of exposure. Ensure you complete as much of the meta data as possible, with a focus keyphrase that works with the titles and the body of the text.
The format in which your blog is presented should work as well on a desktop as it does on a mobile. Keeping images to a medium size, that is consistent, means your blog loads fast, reads well, looks neat and pleases Google.
ProTip: – Adding alt-text to at least one of the images in the blog that marries up with the slug, also gets you a little bonus point.
Once you’re a bona-fide business blogger, with weekly content stacking up, it’s a good idea to check how it’s performing. Using Google Analytics, you can find your blog pages and see which ones are performing well. Using this information will help you work out what type of content is working best for you.
Refining, refreshing and republishing will also yield benefits. When refreshing old content, perform new keyword research around the topic and be sure to update your H1, H2 & H3 titles to reflect that research.
Adding whole new bodies of text or the odd paragraph will see your most popular blogs jump in their stats. When republishing blogs, don’t forget to update the ‘published on’ date, that way it appears back at the top of your newly published blogs.
You no doubt have company profiles on several social media channels. These hold unprecedented potential for driving traffic to your site through your blog. People tend to scroll social media when they are bored or have a spare moment, offering them something to read during that time can prove one of your most fruitful assets.
Utilising your mailing list can also be a quick step to success. Sending out email shots with a link to your blog may spark the interest of a user who was just that moment pondering your subject. You’ve put the work in writing it, it isn’t going to read itself.
The final step to successful blogging for business is to remain consistent. When your blog excels, people are reliant on your content. If Jenny from the block enjoys reading your blog every Monday on her toilet break, don’t let her down by skipping a week.
If your main objective for your blog remains to inform and please your customer, any other benefit is merely a bonus. By following the above processes, you should find your efforts greatly rewarded. A boost for SEO, creating conversions and exposure on a global scale, all in a day’s work.
To read more from our blog and see how we’ve categorised our industry, you can follow this link.