More and more business owners are choosing to create video content as a part of their Marketing Strategy. Does this mean that written content’s days are done?If done right, a well well constructed and engaging piece of writing can lead to an increase in sales, build credibility, nurture new leads, and help you convert and build long term, repeat business.
The issue is there is a lot of content out there that just doesn’t cut it. The writer or blogger is too focused on what Google wants, or what keywords are SEO friendly, rather than focusing on what the reader wants to read.
In our most recent episode of The Marketing Strategy Show, we interviewed Leanne Shelton, a self-proclaimed English nerd at heart, who shares inside knowledge on how to write great, engaging written content with ease.
What is Blogging?
Once upon a time, blogging was an online diary. Collated writings all published on a personal blog site. There was no strategy behind it and these content pieces were never meant to be repurposed.
Blogging has come a long way since then, especially in terms of business. Corporations, big and small, are using blogging as a Marketing Strategy because it helps them with branding and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It has become a great way to give your business a personal and human element because blogs come across as conversational, educational, informative and entertaining if written keeping the reader in mind.
Key Elements when structuring your blog
1. Giving your Blog a Voice
Writing blogs has become even more important because it shows the person behind the brand. People who are your potential customers don’t want just facts. They want to know who they are buying from. They want to know why you are different from others and what makes your service or product stand out.
If they like what they read, they are more likely to buy from you. Therefore, giving your blog personality and making sure your voice and your point of view is heard through your words is important. It sets yourself apart from the competition and allows you to connect with your readers.
2. Creating New Content
When creating a content marketing strategy, it’s important to be consistent in publishing new articles or blogs on your website. If you want to be found by your potential customers, give them something new to read when they visit.
If you have nothing new and exciting on your website, people will get bored of seeing the same thing every time they land on your page. Keep them interested. Add new and interesting content so when people come back to your site, they have something new to explore.
3. Blogging helps SEO
Another reason to remain consistent when blogging is that Google recognises your website as being active. That’s the beauty of blogging from an SEO perspective. Google sees fresh content and is ultimately going to give you a higher ranking. You also start coming up in searches which is why businesses blog as a marketing strategy.
Now, we may not know how Google ranks things but there’s no doubt that one of the main key ranking signals in their complex algorithm is how engaged a person is when they visit your website.
There are two indicators that Google considers:
- Time on page: this is the time one spends on your page, reading your content. If you write rubbish, chances are your reader will be put off and move on to the next thing. This can also be affected if you have short blogs.
- Page Visits: this is when your website visitor takes the time to go through your pages and how long he takes to view each page.
4. Content Creation
What you write in your blog is key. There are so many blogs out there that reflect business services rather than highlighting key facts or case studies. For example, let’s look at lawyers.
If a lawyer publishes a blog about commercial law and goes on about contracts and amendments, it will not appeal to most readers. But, if that same lawyer writes a blog about one of their clients and how he helped them win a case, that is something readers want to know about. That is something that may entice the reader to choose this lawyer over others.
5. Repurposing your blog
Once you have written a blog, don’t waste it. This is some great content that you can use in your Marketing and Sales Strategy.
Some ways you can repurpose your blog:
- Highlight 4-5 key elements in your blog and use them as posts for your Social Media platforms
- Use those same elements and create separate topics for video marketing
- Publish this article on LinkedIn
- Do a podcast or a Facebook Live on this topic
6. Fresh Content
Nowadays, there are at least 15 – 20 touch-points before a person will buy from you. Your market is looking at your Facebook Page, your website, your blogs and your other Social Media platforms. They research you in multiple locations before they are ready to buy from you. This could take anywhere between 6-12 months at times.
Having an updated blog, with fresh content, shows you keep up with the times and that you know about current trends and strategies. If you don’t have an updated website, fresh content and current articles, your potential sale will move on to the next best thing. They are not going to waste time on something that doesn’t appeal to them because there are so many other options out there that are easily found.
7. Writing your blog
Leanne shares a few strategic tips that you should keep in mind when writing and structuring your blog. Most people scan blogs and online content. Keeping that in mind, here are some tips you can use when blogging:
- Keep paragraphs short and to the point
- Use important keywords in your heading. That also helps with SEO
- Use sub headings in your blog. It makes the blog more readable
- Make sure your sub headings have different sizing as it helps break down the content and makes it easier for people to scan
- Don’t be afraid to use short sentences or short paragraphs. Using the YOAST SEO Plugin notifies you if your sentences are too long
- Have lots of bullet points
- Use imagery where you can
- Add a call to action somewhere in the middle where relevant and at the end
- Avoid using jargon to fill up the page
- Keep it conversational using rhetorical questions
- Use hyperlinks to link back to internal and external articles
When creating a blog, it’s important to have a strategy behind the content and the headline. Using keywords in your headline is key and when you are thinking about what to write as a headline, you need to research what people are looking for.
A great resource that bloggers use is Keywords Anywhere. Have a think about what your key phrase may be and put it into Google. Keywords anywhere generates a list of headlines related to your phrase that are ranked high. This is a great guide that you can use when creating your headlines. Pick words that work well with your content piece and let Google do what it does best. Don’t try and overthink it too much and don’t create blogs to please Google. Remember, your readers come first, robots second.
Side Note: Google has “robots” that are little crawlers that look over your content and your website and works out where your site ranks. The robots as Google calls them, are looking for good content relating to the search word or keyword people are searching for.
How long should your blog be?
Now that we have worked out how to structure your blog, let’s look at how long a blog should be.
The guide for Google is 1500 – 2000 words and the reason for this is because it helps people stay on your page longer. The more words on the page, the more time people are going to spend on your page reading it. This is not necessarily the case.
But be careful because sometimes, writing 1500 – 2000 words can be detrimental to your SEO. Some writers start filling the space up with unnecessary words and people lose interest. Which is why you should keep it as succinct and to the point as possible.
Guidelines to determine how many words you should write:
- 600 – 700 words: For a blog that covers 5 steps, 7 tips or 5 ways, you could probably do with 600 – 700 words. A great tip to use is uneven numbers. Keep that in mind when creating this type of blog.
- 1500 – 2000 words: If you are writing a technical document that has manuals and explanations on how to use something or do something, 1500 – 2000 words may work
- Over 3000 words: If you are creating cornerstone content, that is content that acts as an authority guide, then you may have to spend hours on research and creation. This document or article could be 3000 words or more
How frequently should you blog?
Structuring your content is important, however, it is equally important to know how frequently you should publish your content.
What is realistic?
If you’re doing it for yourself, you need to look at how often you can fit blogging into your schedule. If you are outsourcing it, then you are more likely to post weekly or fortnightly, but if you are writing it yourself, then monthly is more realistic and that is okay. Doing a blog once a month is still better than doing no blog at all.
Sharing your blog
It’s no good writing a blog and then letting it sit there. Don’t wait for Google to find it, you have to put in some effort to be found.
Marketing Tips to promote your blog:
- Add it to your LinkedIn Page as an “Article”
- Share it with your database
- Send out a newsletter
- Create Social Media Posts
In Summary:Key elements to consider when structuring your blog
- Give your blog a personality and a voice
- Create new content for your website to keep it updated and fresh
- Use keywords in your headlines to encourage SEO
- Repurpose your blog whenever and wherever you can
- Structure your blog so that it’s readable for readers who visit your website
- Determine the purpose of your blog to determine how many words your blog should be
- Share your blog
If you need help creating a content strategy, we'd love to help to make this happen for your business. You can reach us on (02) 9125 0520 or visit our website.