Companies sometimes forget how valuable their blog is. With all that has to get done in a day, putting together another blog post ranks somewhere in between organizing that jam-packed file drawer and restocking your desk with paperclips. “What’s the point?” some may ask. “It’s not like our blog is getting us any leads. No one even reads the thing!” And if you’re writing purely for SEO purposes, it’s hard to get excited about bending sentences to include a few keywords that are supposed to help your page rank.
Your blog, however, is one of your company’s most important assets in attracting potential clients. Blogs are 63% more likely to influence a buying decision than magazines. Your blog is how your company will be judged. Those who read it will determine the worth of your product or service. If there’s no value in the content, then there might not be in what you’re selling. And with the changes in Google’s new algorithms, content that’s not being shared by readers or is heavily optimized will rank lower.
So what to do? You’ve got no time. It’s just an SEO pencil drill, and readers couldn’t care less.
There's actually quite a few things you can do--25 to be exact--most of which are easy. In this 5-part series, you'll find 25 tricks that can help with all these areas and add value to your company’s blog.
1. Have a Tagging Strategy
Most blogs have “Categories” and “Tags,” and without a plan, this can confuse readers who might be looking for specific information. Use “categories” to segment general topics and/or products and services, but keep to a minimum. For “Tags” use related keywords as well as the category names related to the post. Make sure, too, that your tags are visible to readers in case they want to read more on a similar topic.
2. Make Lists
Lists can be quick to write; they’re quick to read and stick out in Google searches. Use the actual number, rather than spelling it out, and put it at the beginning of the headline. Another related tip, make a checklist that readers can use, for example, “5 Things to Check Before Publishing a Blog Post.”
3. Convey Value in the Headlines
The headline can be your one and only shot at getting someone to click, so it needs to convey what a reader will get from it. “Closing Tough Sales” is too vague, but “How to Close Sales Your Competition Cannot” tells readers they will gain both knowledge and an edge over their competitors.
4. Lose the Jargon
If SEO is your blog’s purpose in living, then shoot it now and put it out of its misery. Sure, a few keywords are fine. Too many becomes jargon (and Google will penalize you for it). Instead, write the way you would when talking to another person. There are plenty of other SEO tips in this list that will compensate for writing a post readers can use and relate to.
5. Ask Questions
You have a post with useable content. You have a headline that captures readers. You have relatable content. Now you need engagement. A good way is to ask readers for their suggestions or opinions. One effective tactic, if it makes sense, is to save a main point and leave it up for discussion i.e. “My reason why X is the most effective way to reach clients is Y, but rather than explain this, I’d like to hear your thoughts on why or why not this would work.”
Take a moment to think about how these first five items might apply to your company’s blog. Maybe some do, and maybe not. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments section. Continue on to Part 2.
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