Get more traffic to your blog or website simply by using better content structure, designed to increase social buzz and organic search traffic from SEO – just follow a solid “blog post template“.
From blog posts to tweets, the way you structure your content and communications plays a crucial role in whether or not you generate social buzz and interest, and, further down the line, organic search traffic.
This article lists the structure (a social and SEO template for my content) I use to generate more traffic. From page title, to conclusion, everything I write is designed to boost SEO, attract readers, encourage re-tweeting and social buzz.
Social: The purpose of a blog post title (or the title for any content) is to entice readers into clicking on the link to read further. Often the title of a blog post is the only thing most people see of your content – if there’s nothing that promises value, they won’t click through.
SEO: A blog post title also plays a vital role in driving organic search because it is nearly always returned as part of the search result. The wording of the title can therefore play a huge role in how that content is found using search.
How to create the perfect title: Do some keyword research on the subject of the blog post. Make sure you know which phrases are most likely to drive traffic. Then create the most enticing sentence you can using important SEO keywords.
Tip: I often finalize my title once the blog post is finished. This help to ensure it is perfectly on topic. Something that is also vital to generating buzz. If your title sets up an expectation that isn’t met by the content, people won’t share it.
The first sentence of your blog post is special. It is more often than not the teaser that accompanies the title in search results.
Social: The lead paragraph is all about “selling” the content. What is the one feature of your content that will get people interested enough to click? Once you know that, you know what your lead paragraph will say.
SEO: The lead paragraph is often returned in search results, and on many blogging platforms it is also used to auto generate the META description tag. This means that it should include the same keywords as the title – to help drive it up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for those keywords.
How to write the perfect lead paragraph: Decide which keywords you want the article to rank on. Isolate the primary “value” your content offers. Combine the two, into one exciting paragraph or sentence.
Tip: Let the title and lead paragraph work together to attract attention and then convince and convert.
Images play an important role in setting the tone of the content or blog post. Use images to hint at the content subject matter, be playful, be mysterious, whatever you think will encourage a reader to stay focused.
Social: Images are a visual tag for your content. Something striking serves to make your content more memorable. Pictures are easier to remember than content, so think of your image as a “tag for the mind“.
SEO: By giving your image a proper title and ALT tag, you allow the search engines to associate the image with the subject matter. An interesting image tagged with relevant SEO keywords is an alternative method of driving traffic to your content via image searches.
Tip: Flickr offers an excellent free resource to find an include images in your blog posts. Remember to provide attribution where necessary, by including the owner’s name in the Title or ALT.
Headings & sections
In my opinion, proper headings and sections are what makes content “readable“. It is almost impossible to wade through dense material. Who’s got the time? Make your content light, airy, focused, with no fluff.
Social: Headings provide visual clues to what information is presented on what part of the page. They also serve to stick ideas into the reader’s mind.
SEO: Google takes SEO keywords and phrases used in headings H1, H2, H3, etc and places more emphasis on them, than regular content. By adding more headings to your content, you are giving your SEO keywords a greater platform to have an effect.
How to use headers and sections: Don’t write more than a few paragraphs without adding a new section heading. Most people glance over an article and dive in where they feel they need to.
Tip: Think of headings as visual bookmarks. Headings make it easy for readers to pick out the information they need.
References & links
Every blog post should include references and links to other people, products or services. By regularly providing unsolicited, free exposure for others within your content, you establish yourself as a desirable destination for others, and increase the rate at which people hear about you.
Social: By including links to the content of others, you “align your goals” and give them an incentive to talk about your content. It also serves to help you connect with people and build relationships with other influencers.
SEO: By integrating your content with other quality resources through links, you help to associate your content in the eyes of the search engines. While it is far more valuable to get incoming links, Google does check your outgoing links too.
How to generate engagement by talking about others: Check out these great articles that talk about (or demonstrate) how to generate social buzz and engagement by talking about others:
- Talking about other people is the most powerful way to get more traffic
- Top reasons why your content is not driving traffic and how to fix it
- Guest Blogging Secrets and Must Use Strategies
- 20 Social Media Divas You Should Be Following
- People on the Move in the Social Business Industry
Tip: Research who you would want to share your content. Find a way to promote them, their content and products and services in a natural way within that content. Then, let them know what you’ve done. More often than not, they’ll tweet the article and/or connect with you.