If you’re looking to capitalize on blogging and all the great things it can bring your business, here are some tips to help you learn how to write a blog post, as well as some SEO tips and a blogging checklist that can help you get great results.
Why Should My Business Have a Blog?
If you’re not already aware, blogging offers a lot of benefits. Blogs provide significant SEO benefits, offer you content for social marketing, and can help you drive new leads as well as continually build relationships with customers and prospects.
Continuous Content Drives Results
Blogging gives you an opportunity to continually add new content to your website. Add a blog to your existing website, rather than creating a separate URL. Because search engines crawl new content looking for how to index it, new content equals new opportunities to rank for keyword phrases that are relevant to your industry. Leaving your website static with no new content will eventually lead to traffic and rankings dwindling. Conversely, publishing blog posts on a regular basis keeps search engines and resulting web traffic coming back.
Blogging Can Help Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine
Every new blog post can drive a new lead to your website. Because of the nature of a blog, you can rank for very specific long tail SEO keywords, meaning that in many cases, the reader is a hot lead that’s ready to hit the ‘buy’ button. Also, readers can subscribe to your content. This gives you an ‘in’ into their inbox for longer sales cycles. You can use blogging as another way to continually inform as well as serve as a place to drive new leads.
How to Write a Good Blog Post
Blog posts should be useful and informative. Remember that you’re not just catering to search engine bots. People will read those blog posts and every post could drive a lead deeper into your site or turn them away.
Making your blog posts interesting and visually appealing is essential. If you’ve got a great post, optimizing it for SEO elements before you publish will help immensely.
- Length – Length is subjective. There are no hard and fast rules for length of a blog post, but it’s a good rule of thumb to post at least 250 words.
- Format – Formatting your blog posts for visual appeal as well as search engine optimization makes a big difference. Short paragraphs, scannable bold headings, visuals, and a call to action are important.
- References – Where applicable, a reference or source link adds credibility to posts. Linking to a relevant authority or source will also help with SEO (if you link to an authority site in your niche). Tip: Format your links so that they open in a new window, that way your website doesn’t disappear, and you don’t send your potential customer away.
- Links – Link to other internal content. Not only is it good for SEO to have internal links, particularly if the clickable link is a keyword you’re trying to rank for, it also gives people an opportunity to learn more by digging deeper into another blog post that could be relevant to them.
Another Tip: Don’t get so stuck on how to write a blog post for SEO purposes that you neglect to ensure it’s information that your target audience wants. Dig into your analytics and do some competitive analysis to come up with topic ideas.
SEO for Blogs:
Here are some things to keep in mind after you’ve got a great blog post so that you can get good SEO value for your efforts.
- Consider a blog plug-in that could be effective in helping you optimize. The Yoast SEO plug-in is a good one as it helps you leverage SEO for blogs elements as well as offers you the ability to add navigational breadcrumbs.
- Ensure your permalink uses your title and optimize that title by making it attention-grabbing as well as SEO-friendly. (Use a keyword related to your niche, if possible.) Subcategories and tags related to your niche are also a good idea for your blog layout. You might tweak the organization/structure/appearance of your blog as you go, based on results.
- Tag your subheadings. H2 and H3 tagging doesn’t just make the text bigger and stand out more, it also tells search engines that there’s something in that subheading that’s relevant to the topic.
- Use keywords wisely. Finding a few relevant industry keywords for your topic is important. Don’t keyword stuff your blog post to the point it impacts your reader’s experience or leads search engines to identify your blog/site as spam. It’s a good idea to use them toward the beginning, the end, and in a subheading and title.
- Link to and from your post. Not only is your new blog post good for social media sharing to get more eyes on it, linking to it from other content can do things from both user experience and SEO perspectives. You can link to this week’s blog post in a future post while you link to last week’s post in this week’s post. Occasional round-up posts or other content marketing efforts (guest blogs, article marketing, press releases, etc.) can also link to your content to drive traffic and search engine spiders your way.
Here’s a checklist to help you learn how to write a good blog post:
- Research. Write a blog post based on good, factual, useful information.
- Outline. Think about what you want to say. A good rule of thumb for writing a useful article is to write an introduction that tells them what the article will do, then you provide the information, and then conclude with a summary and any suggested next steps and / or links to further information. You can also write a list-type post that expands on each list item. A call to action at the end may or may not be a good idea, depending on your subject matter.
- Optimize. After you’ve drafted your blog post, optimize it for SEO. Keywords, links, tags, a relevant photo (that you have the rights to or permission to post).
- Proofread it. If needed, have someone else proofread it, too.
- Schedule or Post it. It’s a great idea to plan ahead, if possible. Though timely news can also provide great results for SEO if you blog about a hot topic at the right time).
- Share it. Link to it. Draw attention to it.
- Check on your past posts. Are there comments you should answer? What do your traffic reports tell you about how traffic arrived and what they did when they read your post? Use that information to help you with your future blogging and web marketing strategy.