Blogging Best Practices: Optimizing Content and Design for Results
by gardenpatch Insights on Oct 23, 2023 3:48:59 PM
Did you know companies that published more than 16 blog posts per month got almost three and half times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts? Creating fresh, valuable content like blog posts is a key inbound marketing strategy to attract visitors to your site. By consistently publishing high-quality content that engages your target audience, you can increase website traffic, generate leads, and support branding and SEO efforts. But content is just one part of an effective inbound strategy. To maximize success, it is crucial to also optimize landing pages, calls-to-action, lead nurturing tactics, email marketing, and more. With a comprehensive and integrated inbound marketing approach, content creation can become a powerful driver of measurable business results.
Blogging Best Practices
Content marketing and blogging are significant areas of focus for marketers when it comes to promoting businesses online.
Blogging shouldn't be taken lightly. If done properly, you will surely get your business more online visibility. Blogs are one of the best tools, if not the best tool, to attract leads to your site. Blogs get that organic traffic flowing in.
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The best way to attract potential customers is through educational content.
You want to ensure you attract, engage and delight your leads and customers through blog content.
Blogging is a critical part of the attract stage but should not focus only on attracting a lead. You want to ensure you deliver blogs to people who are already your customers.
The purpose of blogs is to educate and to portray your business as friendly or as an advisor. This way, your content strategy can delight your customers and keep them returning for more.
Remember, the ultimate goal of having a blog should be to lead a visitor to your website and ultimately convert them into customers.
Here Are a Few Things to Keep in Mind Before Writing Top-Performing Marketing Blogs
Before you start writing anything, you need to understand your audience. You must understand what your buyer persona wants and, specifically, their problems and needs. Then you can bring a solution tailored to their needs through your blog.
After defining who your audience is, you must keep the buyer's journey in mind.
When you write content for your blog, keep in mind that each buyer faces different stages before making a purchasing decision. This is called the buyer's journey.
The buyer's journey is composed of three main stages:
You must write based on content specific to each stage. By doing this, people who view your blog feel like you are talking to them personally because you understand what they want.
What Type of Content Should You Write About During Each of These Stages?
Awareness Stage. The content should focus on your buyer persona's concerns during this stage. For example, Sarah's boyfriend just proposed, and she is getting married. All of a sudden, she has a wedding to plan. She realizes she needs a wedding planner. In this example, she has identified her problem. The problem is she needs to look for a wedding planning company. Your blogs could revolve around things like: "Ten things that go through your mind when you just get engaged." You have identified the problem and are addressing someone who has just been proposed to. It is attractive that you have the answer for them in your blog.
Consideration Stage. At this stage, the content you write about should be focused on providing solutions. The buyer persona is eliminating solutions that aren't a good fit. You want to be the fit in the consideration stage.
Following the example above, Sarah starts browsing for options. At this point, she is looking through different alternatives. Then, she starts asking questions to different companies trying to make the best decision and pick the one that best fits her needs.
In this stage, your blog posts could go like this: "The ultimate guide to picking the best wedding planning agency." You are giving her a solution and helping her through the process that she is going through.
Decision Stage. In this stage, the content you create for your blogs should revolve around answering questions about your product or service.
- They have decided on a solution, method, or approach to face their problems
- They have decided to purchase from you
Sarah has picked the wedding planning company of her dreams. Ultimately, she's decided and is about to sign the contract.
With all of this in mind, you should be able to attract, engage and delight your leads and customers through your blog. Blogs during this stage could look like "What to expect from our wedding offers [step by step guide]." Remember, you are engaging with Sarah giving her information on what to expect while she goes through the entire process with your company. Start this blog with impressive statistics highlighting significant benefits.
Be sure to recognize that having a blog online has more than one benefit.
Here Are a Few Benefits that Highlight Why You Should Have a Blog on Your Website
- It drives traffic to your site. Every time you write a blog, you have one more page inside your website for Google to index. You get ranked higher on search engines the more pages on your site get indexed. This shows search engines that your website is active.
It helps convert traffic into leads. You can add Call to Actions (CTAs) on your blogs. This is your opportunity to use your content to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers.
- It builds authority for your brand. If you blog around the awareness, consideration, and decision stage and write educational, helpful content focused on your buyer personas' needs, you’d portray yourself as an advisor. If visitors see you as an advisor, you will begin to build authority on your site.
Organic Search Increase Over Time
One in ten blog posts is compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. On top of that, compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic.
Four Blogging Best Practices
- Pick a topic and title
To pick a topic, you must first do some research. Choose a topic that answers the questions of your audience. The topic you choose should answer the queries people are searching for in search engines.
Do your homework and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my buyer persona looking for?
- What do they need help with?
- What are the most frequently asked questions you hear?
- What do you wish people knew about your industry?
- What are industry bloggers, social media, and other competitors talking about?
After choosing a topic:
- Narrow it down and do keyword research.
- See what has more search volume and pick a long-tail keyword.
- Use this long-tail keyword in your title and on the body of the blog.
- Focus only on that keyword throughout the blog.
Using many different keywords can actually hurt your SEO. Long-tail keywords keep your blog focused on the specific goals of your audience.
How Long Should a Blog Post Title Be?
The ideal length is 60 characters, but titles with six to 13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. Also, headlines between eight to 12 words are shared most on Twitter. Headlines between 12-14 words are liked most on Facebook.
Using the long-tail keyword at the beginning of the title is best.
Pro tip: "38% of headlines that have bracketed specifications and clarifications perform better"
2. Format the post
Your blog should have the following format:
- Strong CTA
Keep your introduction captivating; this is the first thing your readers will see. People won't keep reading the rest if you have a boring introduction.
Keep it captivating and grab their attention by using humor or including an interesting fact or statistic.
The ideal blog post length is 2,100 words. Use your long-tail keyword at a regular cadence throughout the body of your post and headers. You might get penalized for keyword stuffing if you use keywords too much.
- Use images and have proper use of white space
- Don't write long paragraphs
- Use sub-headers (they should be written in H2 tags or smaller)
- Use bullets
- Bold important text
- Use multimedia content wherever possible inside the blog (video, image, social media post, or audio)
3. Promote Offers on Your Blog to Increase Lead Generation
Promoting offers can be a source of lead generation. CTA's are one of the most common ways to promote an offer inside your blog. However, a pop-up or submission form can also do the trick.
You might insert a CTA after the first two paragraphs, which are called passive CTAs. This comes in the form of hyperlinked text. These types of CTAs are essential because you can't always count on your readers to finish the entire blog.
Be sure to include a CTA at the end of the blog. It should always be relevant to the content.
Pro tip: "Passive CTAs produce the highest click-through rates."
4. Optimize the Post
The best way to do this is to optimize the entire blog using long-tail keywords.
Your long-tail keywords should appear in:
- The title
- The body
- The URL
- The alt-text images
- The meta description (the copy should be engaging)
You should also include external and internal linking.
- External linking means giving outbound links to other sites.
- Internal linking means linking to pages inside your site to build more authority on those pages.
The pillar page/content cluster strategy is an excellent internal linking strategy. These blogs serve as content clusters that include hyperlinks to more information on your pillar page.
Another way to optimize your blog is to:
- Add social sharing widgets to encourage people to share your content
- Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly
- Write consistently and frequently
- Choose quality over quantity
As with everything else in marketing, blogging is not an exact science. However, if you follow the above, you will start to see results from posting regular blog content.
By putting all of this into practice, you'll surely begin noticing more organic traffic flowing into your site, improving your overall SEO, and start converting visitors into leads and leads into clients.
Don't hesitate to reach out if you want to know more about blogging, blog monetozation, or other content marketing strategies and approaches.
We are always here to help! Talk to one of our growth specialists at gardenpatch today!