Blogging is a cost-efficient way for businesses to drive traffic to their website organically. With that being said, simply positing frequently isn’t necessarily the most effective way to gain a high number of views.
It’s important to consider that not all blog posts are created equal. The good news is that there are a range of factors that will help your content stand out in a crowded space. Learning which components of a blog post will result in a higher ranking isn’t necessarily difficult, but it takes time and conscientious writing to perfect.
I’ll outline the top considerations you should have when writing a blog post for your business’s website.
1. Link Up
I could write 5,000 words on the criteria that search engines use to determine search results. Each is slightly different in the algorithms they use, but one thing remains consistent throughout: links are important.
Search engines determine the “relevance” of a page or site in part by how many pages link back to it. This means that if you’re able to link the content in your post to other pages on your site, Google and other important search engines will prefer your website over others.
Any time you mention a word or phrase that relates to other pages on your site, be sure to link to those pages. Keep in mind that the links should feel natural so avoid writing words solely for the sake of linking internally.
2. Utilize Headlines Wisely
Most internet users know that the “list-icle” (articles that are broken down into lists) have taken over in recent years. This isn’t just because it makes content easier to consume – it also provides a space to utilize headlines.
Because search engines have some difficulty scanning each and every word in your post, it places special importance on the headlines. Make sure your headlines are descriptive of the content you’re writing, especially if it’s something people might be searching for online.
Keep in mind that all headlines shouldn’t be “Header 1’s.” In fact, after the initial headline, stick to “Header 2” in most cases.
3. The Visual Aspect
An impactful blog post isn’t just packed with good written content. Incorporating pictures that are relevant to what you’re writing about is a great way to capture your audience’s attention.
Let’s face it – the majority of people are visual creatures. If the topic you’re writing about can be enhanced by a photo (think products, business locations, people using your products, etc.), include it! Even if you don’t have anything that necessarily represents your content visually, something is always better than nothing. Even stock imagery will have a positive impact on your blog post’s effectiveness.
In nearly all cases, including a “featured image” should be the minimum for including a photo or graphic. Choose something that would catch your audience’s eye, or increase their enjoyment of what you’re writing.
4. Meta Description
Even if the words “meta description” don’t mean anything to you, there’s a good chance you know what it is.
The meta description is that little snippet of text you see when browsing through your search results, and it’s absolutely crucial to make the most of this space. Although these descriptions are typically only about 150 characters, it’s extremely impactful to your search ranking.
To write an effective meta description, do your best to briefly describe the contents of the article. Additionally, it’s important to use key words that show up in your headlines within or title within the content itself.
5. Quality Content
Plenty of SEO tricks exist to help improve your search ranking, but at the end of the day it comes down to content. If you don’t write something that captures the audience’s attention, you won’t get the views or engagement you’re looking to gain.
Plenty of factors go into what both algorithms and real people will consider good content, but a few of the most important are:
What is good blog content?
- Sticking to the topic that is relevant to your site and business is the first priority.
- Length is important. Most experts recommend that somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 words is an ideal count to satisfy search engines. Anything under the minimum recommendation or over the maximum will be pushed down in favor of other content that seems more readable.
- Proper grammar, spelling, etc. is crucial. Who would have thought those lessons about active and passive voice would really pay off? Even algorithmic systems are able to pick up on the accuracy of your writing and will factor that into where you’ll rank.
- Do your best to keep paragraphs and sentences short. Sentences that go over 20 words typically are viewed less favorably than those under. Paragraphs that go on for more than four or five sentences are viewed as being too long as well. Essentially, write content that can be read easily by your audience.
6. Use Keywords…
Unfortunately, there’s no magic number of times you should include your keywords in a post. With that being said, it’s recommended to incorporate important words and phrases. The trick is that you can’t overdo it, or this will trigger search engines to categorize your content as “keyword stuffing.”
If you want to put a number on things, shoot for around 6 to 10 mentions of the key point of your article. Make sure it flows and doesn’t come off as a forced attempt to include as many key words as you possibly can.
7. …And choose keywords thoughtfully.
Not all blog topics are going to be set up to be interesting content. It’s important to do your research to find out which key words within your post or article are going get the most traction.
If you don’t know which key words are most impactful, there are plenty of resources online that can help you plan it out. Find a handful of reputable programs that can help you make these decisions and take the guesswork out of it.
The Wrap Up
Blogging is a great way to get traffic to your website. If you’re able to master the art of writing in the way that both your audience and search algorithms prefer, it can have major benefits.
Thoughtful, engaging, and keyword-rich posts will give you a leg up on the competition.