Writing and maintaining a blog is a great way to attract customers that you can eventually convert to leads, then to buyers, and then hopefully to repeat customers. With many websites and blogs online, you need to make sure that your information stands out from the rest to attract readers. But what is essential to making great blog content?
Image via Flickr by DigitalRalph
Blog content needs to be valuable and useful to the reader, and without the proper research, you may struggle to achieve that goal. You will want to research not only the information that will be included in the blog post, but also what topics and keywords are commonly searched by those who would make up your target market.
Next focus on researching the information that will be included in the content of your blog including data, statistics, and links to reputable sources that can demonstrate to your customers that you know what you are talking about. This presentation will help establish your credibility with your readers as someone who knows the problems they may have and how to address those issues.
Keywords are an essential part of getting your content in front of the appropriate audience. Since readers will search by specific phrases and keywords to find information that they are looking for, using those keywords in your content is crucial. With proper keyword density, your content can rank higher when readers search for those keywords, and readers are more likely to click on content that displays in the first few spots in the rankings.
While you want to make sure you use keywords throughout your content, you will want to make sure they sound natural and are not overused. Keyword stuffing can actually have the opposite effect and end up lowering your rankings.
A catchy headline is not only important for search engine optimization, but also for drawing readers’ attentions and attracting them to your content. Make sure you don’t overpromise and underdeliver. You will want your headline to be relatable and reflective of the content you intend to provide. Many readers will be turned off if they are attracted to your site by a headline and then presented with completely unrelated information.
When creating your title, you’ll want to know what titles are more likely to be viewed and shared. As a general guideline, 60-character headlines often draw the most attention with titles between 8 to 12 words shared more often on Twitter and lengths of 12 to 14 words being more prominently shared on Facebook.
The meta description may seem like a small part of your blog post, but it is an important one nonetheless. The meta description is what readers will first see on a search results page, and it will provide them with a brief one- or two-line summary of what the content contains. Meta descriptions work best when they are under 155 characters while delivering as much detail about what readers can expect to find.
Image or Graphic
Every blog post should include at least one eye-catching image or graphic at the beginning of the piece that will relate to the content and information you are about to present to the reader. Additionally, you should have other photos, items such as infographics, screenshots, or images above the subheaders in other parts of your content to illustrate relevant information that you’re about to provide.
An introduction is meant to hook your readers and convince them to read the rest of your post. Readers typically first scan content for a few seconds to see if it is what they are looking for, so those first few lines are extremely important for grabbing attention. Typically, introductions that use humor, surprising facts, questions, or an exciting statistic will often grab readers’ attentions and keep them interested in finding out more.
Subheaders are a way to make content more easy to read and scan by breaking up the content into appropriate sections. These subheadings are also a meaningful way to gain rankings in SEO and help to signal Google and other popular search engines what information the article will contain.
The body of your blog post is considered the meat of your content and it’s where readers will expect to find the most valuable information. On average, blog posts that take readers seven minutes to read and run between 2,000 and 2,200 words will gain the most engagement and hold the attention of readers, although shorter posts that run between 500 and 800 words will often get scanned and shared.
Two most essential items in regard to the body of the blog posts are that the content is valuable and relevant to the reader and that the information is easy to read and scan. These essential items also include writing in short paragraphs and breaking up the content by subheadings when appropriate.
Your conclusion will most likely be the shortest part of your post and should mainly recap what was discussed in the body. A good guideline to follow is to word your conclusion as though the problem that the reader had has been resolved through the information you have presented in the sections of your post.
Call to Action
This portion of the post is where you can entice readers to interact with your company by contacting you to find out more information or downloading information that can help provide a solution to the problem they may be looking to solve. To keep from turning off readers, you will want to provide a call to action that is natural and relevant to the post. You should always provide a link to take them to more information that they could locate on your website or a contact page to find further resources.
Follow the tips above to help create a blog post that will help you to attract, engage, convert, and delight your readers, turning them from potential readers into repeat visitors and customers of your business.