Wondering why your blog posts aren’t performing? You know that content marketing is important for your small business, so if you are struggling to rank content or convert visitors, keep reading for our best tips on how to write blogs that outperform the competition.
Know Your Content Goal
Remember, your content has a goal. Sure, you might write brief posts to inform followers of company updates, or longer papers to establish your expertise in a particular area, but most blogs are often tied directly to conversion goals. So how do you convince blog readers to take action? Your blog posts will need to build trust with readers and solve a customer’s problem, but first your content must be found.
How to Write Blogs that Can Rank and Convert
1. Take Your Time
Google’s goal is to present high-quality content to search engine users. Publishing a blog post that will outperform competitors doesn't happen in a matter of minutes. It takes time to draft a well-written article. Some of the best content can take weeks to compile and fact check.
Choose topics that interest you to make it easier to stay focused on the writing process. We tend to write on evergreen topics that can bring in traffic for a while.
2. Write a Clear Headline
Headlines should be descriptive so potential readers can quickly determine if a post is something they'd like to read. Do your blogs generally perform well in search? If so, then your headlines are probably clear on topic keywords. Catchy titles may be fun, but they're not descriptive.
Perhaps analytics show your readers primarily find your content on social media and forums. If so, then you have more leeway with headline wording. But no matter how readers find your content, a headline should clearly indicate what to expect from the blog post.
3. Craft Your Introduction
After a great headline, give readers a little information about what the post will cover. Let readers know how the content will help them. Grab their attention and keep them interested so they continue to read, otherwise you risk having them bounce on to the next article.
4. Evaluate SEO Elements
Keywords — Keywords help attract readers to your blog post. They tell search engines what your blog post is about. Use keywords sparingly as too much repetition is frowned upon by search engines - you don't want your blog post penalized by search engines.
Internal Linking — Link to other relevant pages on your site.
Learn more about SEO — Mastering SEO best practices helps to ensure you create optimized content.
5. Make Content Scannable
Content marketing best practices dictate that your article should be digestible because readers are scanning quickly. Studies show that while most users visit websites for information, paradoxically they only read at most 28% of the words on a page. So if readers are scanning your content, are the main takeaways obvious? This is especially important for longer, in-depth articles.
How do you create easy-to-read content?
Format Your Text
Certain formatting helps to create an organized flow to a blog post as well as make it easier for your readers to scan quickly, these include:
Keep Paragraphs Short
Long blocks of text are intimidating and difficult to read, so break up longer paragraphs into manageable chunks. Review your article, if you see any blocks that are longer than about five lines long, evaluate how you can break up that text. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule.
Make Font Size Larger
Check your font size. Is it at least 18 pixels? Your content needs to be easily readable by all demographics. If your readers have to pinch and zoom or squint to read, then you’ve created friction in the user experience. Anyone over the age of forty will thank you for a larger font size. When it comes to fonts, bigger is better.
Use Legible Colors and Fonts
Is your font color too light against the background? Can you choose a simpler font? If you currently use a serif font, consider switching to sans serif for the main body text.
Adjust Column Width
How wide are your text blocks? If they are too wide, it makes reading difficult. Try tightening up your column width to a max of 75 characters — this can help make blog content easier to read.
6. Optimize for Mobile
This step often gets overlooked. Use your phone to make sure content is optimized for mobile. On platforms like Squarespace, you can use device view for a quick look.
7. Include a Short Conclusion and Call to Action
If someone reaches the end of your blog post, give them a conclusion of what was covered in the post. You have one last chance to encourage your reader to spend more time on the page or explore your site further.
Finally, ask your reader to take relevant action. Perhaps your readers will want to subscribe to a newsletter, shop for a product, follow you on social media, or download more information. Whatever it is, make it is easy for them to do.
Build a Better Blog
If your small business publishes content, you want that content to engage your audience and stand a chance of ranking. These tips on how to write great blog posts are the same ones we use for our clients. Implement the suggestions and you will be one step closer to building a better blog. Good luck!
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