Adapted from Social Capital Podcast #272
A blog is literally fuel for the search engine fire for your website. It gives you more content to share on social media and provides a format to prove your expertise. Studies have indicated that businesses that are actively blogging acquire more customers because they have a stronger brand presence online.
This is true for Keystone Click. We often check our analytics to see what elements of our site are driving the most traffic. What continues to fascinate us is a blog post from 2014 that continues to be one of the top-visited pages on our website. This blog post was like so many others – written by a team member, based on maybe 3 hours of research on a topic that seemed interesting. What a small investment that continues to pay dividends years later!
What Should you Write About?
First and foremost, start with the top questions that are asked of you; from your everyday customer contact, when you're in that discovery phase, or when you're getting to know someone from a networking standpoint. Anytime someone is asking you a question, just write it down. Do that exercise for a week and it will give you a ton of ideas for what to write about.
Questions are also a common search query. People search using a question to find an answer or solution. So if you're writing questions, or answering questions as a form of your blog content, this is going to help elevate your opportunity to be found in the search engines.
You could also start by identify what your core offering is, and then make a list of the eight types of questions that people could potentially ask related to that offering. For example, Keystone Click offers website design services. This goes in the center.
- Who am I going to be working with? Who's my main point of contact? Who's actually designing the site? Who on my team needs to be involved in this project?
- Then you look at the what questions. What kind of features am I going to have on my website? What kind of training Am I going to get with my website? What kind of materials do you need from me?
- Then look at the why questions. Why should we use WordPress content management system? Why should we have our site on Squarespace? Why should I renew my domain name for 10 years?
- Next up are the when questions. When is my site can be done? When do you need me to learn to sign off on things?
- Then come the where questions.
- We'll look at how questions. How do I make edits to my sites? How do I know that the site is safe and secure?
- Next up are the which questions. Which image is going to be better? Which color palettes? Which fines should I be using? Which content management system should I have? Which hosting provider?
- Then the last question is a yes or no question.
Identify that core offering, product, or service. Look at the eight types of questions. Then you brainstorm and map out what types of questions people ask related to this offering. Every one of those 8 questions could be made into a blog post.
Interviews are another great blog content source. Your team and/ or partners all have different areas of expertise. Ask them about the questions they have about your business OR the questions that they get asked about theirs. The beauty of doing this is that:
- It gives you a lot of content that you don't need to really polish up because you can simply transcribe the conversation.
- Because you are highlighting someone else's expertise, they're likely going to share that content with their audience, which extends the reach of your blog and potential guests to your site.
The 80-20 Rule:
80% of the content that you create should be considered evergreen content. What that means is, it is a value to your audience today and tomorrow, and it was valuable yesterday. So it has a longer shelf life. Referencing that blog post that I talked about when I opened up, it was written in 2014, it is still relevant content today, therefore it is still providing value, it is still bringing visitors to our website. So identifying information, that is your expertise that will work for a long time, as opposed to saying, "Hey, we've got a special going on that ends on Friday," that is considered time-sensitive content.
5 Best Practices:
- Make it Easy to Read: When you're looking at a blog or an article, it needs to include visual components that are going to help relay your message and break up the heaviness of the text. Bulleted or numbered lists, images, larger fonts to break up segments, and embedded videos are all great ways to improve the readability of a blog.
- Evaluate the Strength of your Title: What you want is to make sure that it's easy for the reader to know what it is that they are clicking on. You don't want to write the blog title to be “Read our Blog,” or anything along those lines. At the end of the day, people decide to click on something because it's connecting with them on an intellectual or emotional level. A great tool to determine the strength of your blog title is the Google Headline Analyzer which will analyze the emotional marketing value of the words that are used in your title, which will give a score to that strength related to the intellectual or emotional strength.
- Target More Words: A best practice that we really strive for is a minimum of 800 words. You want to use words that are going to connect with your audience which means not using heavy industry jargon. Most importantly, you need to know what your audience is searching for and that's where understanding your keywords is going to be beneficial.
- Optimize your Posts: Your keywords should live in your title, in the body content, in the URL, in the alt tags or meta description tags, and in any links that you have embedded in your site.
- Be Consistent: You have to have a plan and consistently publish content in order to maximize that exposure and maintain the trust with your audience.
Have any questions about blogging? We would be happy to help!