Over 80% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content, like blog posts, from a brand with which they identify. It allows them to further their relationship with the business and reinforcing their impression of the company’s message and what it says about their own identity. Blog posts can serve as a gateway to generate increased purchases and leads, especially if you include a call-to-action to visit the shopping part of your website or to download additional content in exchange for contact information. Here are four things you can do today to improve your blog posts:
1) Write Longer Posts
Many businesses complain that it’s difficult to engage their readers and present compelling ideas in 300 words or less. This is true, but these companies are missing a crucial point:
Your blog posts don’t have to be 300 words.
This word count may have worked well for search engines in 2005, but those rules no longer apply. Now, search engines give the best rankings to content that provides value and comprehensive coverage of a topic (all other things considered equal). So, unless it’s something inherently short like an introduction to a video or an infographic, it’s difficult to do those two things in 300 words. Instead, focus on writing fewer blog posts and instead write blog posts that provide value and a thorough explanation of the subject matter, even if it takes 1,500 or 2,000 words. If you don’t have time for that, then shoot for 600 to 800 words — or produce even fewer posts to make sure you cover each topic completely. Quality now trumps quantity and brevity.
Formatting typically means adding organization to your blog posts, whether you use subtitles, bullet points, a numbered list, or a combination of the above. Formatting helps your blog posts because it improves readability and digestibility. Presenting a post as one large, uninterrupted block of text will make even the most interested reader struggle to grasp the material. Formatting makes it easier for a visitor to see, at a glance, the main points of the article — and that will help with engagement.
However, formatting can also refer to the type of blog post featured, and you want to offer a variety in most cases. If all your posts are how-to articles or numbered lists, then readers could lose interest because of the lack of variety. Instead of writing only one or two types of articles, try also a posting an interview, a curated post of other relevant content around the internet that would interest your audience, a FAQ post, or a newsjack. By doing this, you create the opportunity to attract more visitors while also keeping your current audience engaged.
3) Include Photos and Video Where Applicable
Even if it’s just a stock photo, as often as possible you should include at least one relevant picture in your article (something I’ve been guilty of not doing). Not only is it an additional SEO opportunity, but it builds visual appeal into the blog post. Just like how formatting breaks up the text, any multimedia you can include to the blog post does this as well by introducing variety and additional content to engage the reader (I’ve noticed higher shares when using images, which brings me to the next point).
Articles with images get 94% more total views! Images provide an incentive for readers to share the post, and when it is shared on social media, that image appears and makes the post look better in the news feed than a lonely hyperlink. And with image-based social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest, any blog posts that don’t have a photo can’t be shared on these sites.
4) Don’t Write About Yourself
Your blog needs to engage your audience about issues that matter to them. Therefore, every blog post should provide value to customers and potential customers by addressing their pain points and offering information they are looking for to help them resolve those issues. Instead of talking about how great your services are, write a post about why they would need such a service and how such a service could be used or could benefit them. The truth is that your customers don’t care about the details behind your business unless they somehow impact the outcome of what you are able to do for them. They only care about solving their own problems. Use your blog posts to show them that you care about them and can help them live better lives and watch your sales climb.
Over 70% of businesses are blogging, and even though it’s great that you’re in that 70%, in order to become one of the top companies in your field it takes more than just “showing up” and posting whatever you feel like a few times a month. If your blog is not driving your brand’s online image, generating leads, and helping increase sales, it’s worth taking the time to improve your posts. Without assessing what could be done better and just repeating what you’ve always done (but hasn’t worked), you’re giving your competition the chance to innovate and gain an advantage. By doing any or all of these four things starting with your very next post, you can ensure that your blog posts stand out and help your brand become one of the leaders in your market.
Leave a comment and let us know which tip you think will be most helpful for your business!