How To Write Top Notch Blog Posts That Your Audience And Search Engines Will Love

Please pardon the extreme irony of this blog post… a blog about how to write a great blog, when I think about it, is pretty funny. But, I have proven strategies and loads of insight that I want to share about blogs! So, here it goes:

First things first – know your audience

Demographic analysis, buyer personas … whatever you choose to call it, arguably the most important step is doing the research to understand your ideal customer profile. Chances are, there will be multiple and the beauty of it is, you can write blog posts tailored to each segment. For instance, for the sake of transparency, I’m writing this blog specifically for digital marketers who want to gain an edge when creating blogs either for their clients or the company which they are employed. The ultimate goal of any blog post is drive conversions and in order for there to be conversions, there needs to be eye balls reading the post (specifically eye balls coming from the head of a qualified lead!)

Know what your audience is searching for

I wrote a blog a few months ago that urged content creators to lean on their data rather than gut instinct and though I have waffled at times on that thought, I always refer back to the data before making ANY content decisions. The best way to get a pulse on your audience is to research to find what keywords their searching for. Tools I would suggest using are: Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Keyword Planner. If you want to take it a step further and conduct a more thorough analysis, use moz, semrush, or BrightLocal to have a full evaluation. Because time is always of the essence, I suggest using the first 3 options to expedite the research process before writing. When doing keyword research, always keep this formula in mind for selecting the right keywords:

Search Volume + Difficultly = Opportunity

Analyze search trends and volume before starting your blog post.
Google Keyword Planner will be our go-to for this. Quick tip: make sure and enter short tail and long tail variations when researching! Now, the keyword planner will give you average monthly search volume and 12 month trends as well as difficultly level but the opportunity end of the equation is what you would use moz for. However, when you see search volume, CPC information, and difficultly level all laid out in front of you, it’s pretty easy to deduce whether you should target that phrase or not.

Bottom line, once you have your topics validated with search volume and you’ve selected a phrase with a couple variations that have the opportunity to get rankings for, start writing!

Where to place the keywords when writing

This next step is often times referred to as on-page keyword optimization. This is the section that the search engines like. Though, something important to keep in mind, only 20% of keyword ranking comes from on-page optimization. The other 80% is off-page optimization which, in short, is primarily based on influencer outreach and backlinking. (We’ll cover this topic more extensively in other blog posts in the coming months.) Here is a list of places where your keywords MUST be used when optimizing on-page content:

  • Headline
  • Within the URL
  • H1 Tag (typically the first part of the body section)
  • SEO title
  • Meta description
  • Category tag(s)
  • Post tags
  • a href or link title tags
  • Hyperlinks to internal and external pages with similar keyword content
  • Inner page content used at least 3-5 times with long tail variations
  • Image URL structure (aka, save your image files in a clean, non-caps format)
  • Image title tag
  • Image ALT text

An important piece to remember when strategically placing keywords throughout your blog is to make them appear natural and human. Yes – Google loves rich content with accurate keyword usage but if it sounds robotic, your audience might get turned off. An example of this would be if I made this blog post’s SEO title: Blog Writing in Indianapolis | How to Write Blogs – or some quirky variation of that.

Aside from keyword placement on your blog post, another piece to consider is worth length in general. It use to be “the more pages that Google indexes, the better” – which still carries a lot of weight – but the trend now is long blog posts with rich content. What does that mean in regards to word count? The answer isn’t that simple because honestly, it depends. Seth Godin, for example, has one of the most popular blogs on the internet and his word count ranges from 100 to over 1,000. As a rule of thumb, always try and aim for a minimum of 500. This post will be over 1,000, I’m sure, but that’s just because I’m passionate about blogging – if you can’t tell.

Blog flow and ending with a bang

Blog writing has been mastered by Seth Godin.The flow of a blog post has a high level of importance because if you don’t have your copy broken out with sub-headers, bullet points, and images, it’s going to look like a sea of letters that nobody will have an interest in reading. Aside from BuzzFeed’s edgy way of blogging with topical humor and nostalgia, how do you think they originally went viral? Here’s a hint; it wasn’t because they wrote in a traditional manner with paragraphs, grammar, and punctuation! They pushed the envelope and wrote out lists… lists with digestible information that were funny and interesting.

Now, I’m not saying every blog should be like BuzzFeed. Though they have mastered the art of going viral, they are, as the aforementioned Seth Godin put it in a Ted Talk from years ago, the Purple Cow of the internet. They created something remarkable that gets viewed by millions of people everyday. Not many companies can say that about their blog let alone their website.

So from top down, really zero in on your blog before publishing. Since you are the author, you of course will be biased and think it’s the greatest piece of literature since Shakespeare. But before you start comparing your blog to Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, make sure it’s something that flows nicely and is approachable, readable and, most importantly, interesting and entertaining.

That “ending with a bang” I was talking about

Every blog post serves a purpose and as previously mentioned, the purpose of this post is to empower you with blogging knowledge. I’m not the only one who knows how to blog at StrataBlue! In fact, it’s something that we’re known for as an agency. If you’d like to look into options for us taking blogging off your to-do list, simply give my man Tyler Moore a call at 317-207-0195. Or, click the button below to fill out a brief online form. Thanks for tuning in and happy blogging!

Blog writing - redefined.

Is Anyone Out There?: Why Your Business Should Be Blogging

The practice of blogging has been around for awhile, but it’s still a crucial part of crafting a digital presence. So if you’re leery about starting a blog for your business; reconsider. Blogging can ultimately help engage with your potential customers and solve their problems. Below, I’ve listed a few reasons why your business should be blogging.

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s first review what a blog is. Blogging is a regular update to a website or web page. A blog is written in an informal or conversational style. Typically blogs are also arranged in chronological order; with the most recent post as the first one to be displayed. Blogs can also be written by one author, multiple authors or even anonymously written.

So why does your company page need a blog?

Establish Expertise

Sometimes it’s good to toot your own horn. A blog on your web page allows your business to show off its knowledge and it also makes it easier to help generate leads by showing that you know what you are talking about. Well written content demonstrates leadership in your industry. By writing about topics that resonate with your audience it shows your expertise, which will in turn build trust.

What are constant questions your customers ask you? These are great topics to blog about!

Beef Up Your SEO

If there is anything you take away from this post, remember search engines LOVE new content. In fact, it’s key to beating out competition for the same keywords. If you’re frequently publishing SEO friendly content on your website, you’ll be sure to rank higher than websites with static content.

If you want to take your blog to the next level, I recommend installing the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin or another appropriate SEO plugin that helps optimize your blog.

As a reminder, you don’t need to be an SEO whiz to create a successful blog for your business. Just always remember to use keywords for each post and categorize content into relevant topics. Keywords and topics are essential for Google and other search engines to find sought-after content.

Content Influences Social

Blogging creates a basis for your social media presence. By linking your posts and tweets back to a blog, this ultimately increases traffic to your website. More often than not, people tend to be more willing to click on a blog post through social media than just a post that links to your about section. This also opens the door to reach people via social media who want to learn more about your business through your blog and other various pages on your site. (Hello FREE advertising!)

Develop a Voice

Let your audience know what you’re all about. In today’s digital world, people are more likely to research a company on the Internet, rather than walking right in the front door and asking questions. A blog on your page can help create a place to talk about services and products you offer, comment on current news topics and even take a stance on current issues. On a blog, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine; people will appreciate that.

You’ve seen how blogging is essential to creating your presence on the Internet and beyond. So who’s going to write all the blog posts? You never know what hidden Hemingway may remain undiscovered in your company. If you aren’t ready to tackle this on your own, I recommend reaching out to a digital marketing firm that offers blogging services. These skilled experts will take this burden off your hands and help produce content that will get your name out there in the most optimal way.

Has blogging helped your business? What are some of the best blogging practices your company follows?