10 Tips To Improve Your Blog
Often times, when companies first start out, they don’t take their blogs as seriously as they should simply because they don’t have the resources for it, or sometimes because they don’t realize its importance.
Generally speaking, a lot of thought isn’t put into the creation of blog content when a website is first launched.
While putting together whatever you can in terms of blog content is better than nothing, taking the time to really improve your blog for users and taking the necessary steps to improve your blog efforts can have a lot of benefits for the overall growth of your brand.
Blog content brings users to your site, and typically can be what brings them back a second, third, and fourth time.
Return visitors are always going to be more likely to convert than a first-time visitor. If your users can count on your brand to always provide excellent value in each blog post, it’s no surprise that they’ll continue to read your content, simultaneously moving further down the funnel so that you can continue marketing them.
While your blog may be performing just “okay” or average, there’s no reason why you can’t take it to the next level. Below are 10 tips that can be applied to blogs across all industries that can help to improve the overall effectiveness of your efforts:
1. Use Imagery and Bullets
The use of vivid supporting images throughout your blog posts, as well as the use of bullets when appropriate, makes the reading experience much simpler and easier to digest. Readers don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph of text, and instead, typically prefer to skim copy.
If you include images that represent the copy, and use bullets for sections that don’t need complete paragraphs, the reader can grasp most of the messaging you’re trying to convey without having to read every word. The easier the reading process is, the more likely they’ll be to actually read it.
2. Consistent and Creative Featured Images
When you land on your blog, you want to show users a general look and feel of what your blog evokes. For all of your posts, you should have a “featured image” that represents what the post details.
It’s important that these images be consistent with one another, reflective of your branding, and offer value. Simply having text on an image isn’t always the best option. Instead, design an image that serves a real purpose and shows icons or imagery of what the article is about.
3. Focus on Top-Performing Subjects
By using a tool like Google Analytics, you can easily be able to see what type of blog content has historically performed the best in terms of visits, engagement, traffic, or any other key performance indicators.
Leverage the ability to understand what content has resonated best with your audience, and use it as a starting point when developing what type of content you want to write about.
If a certain topic has garnered the most traffic time and time again, it’s probably a good indication that the subject should be something you share with your audience often. This brings us to our next point—content calendars.
4. Plan Ahead
Each month you should be planning out the content for your blog in a cohesive, detailed content calendar. Based on historical data related to past performance, select topics that you can predict will be likely to engage your audience.
Aside from the subject or title of the blog posts, you plan to create, your calendar should show the date or posting time of the article, the author, as well as any keywords you may try to rank for with that particular content.
Staying organized with your blog makes it much simpler to stay on track and establish a consistent schedule that your users can rely on.
5. Timing Matters
Determining the time of day, as well as days of the week that your audience is most active online is essential to the performance of your blog content.
Use Google Analytics to identify when your posts receive the most traction, and whenever that may be should be the time you post, as the fresher your content is for users the more likely they are to read what you have to say.
It’s a no-brainer to leverage that knowledge and base your blogging schedule around that timeframe so that your content isn’t published or promoted on social media during a time that fails to capture the interest of most of your target audience.
6. Certain Post Styles
Generally speaking, “list” posts, how-to articles, guides, and checklists tend to attract the most engagement and readership.
Of course, there are some outliers with this – companies within select industries may need blog content that is more detail oriented, requiring more basic text than anything else.
However, aside from those instances, content styled in an easy-to-read format that explicitly shows its value and in a way that provides a next step or some sort of actionable direction for the user is quite effective.
These types of posts should be actionable at their core and provide the user with a clear takeaway that they can move forward with.
7. Categorize Your Content
In terms of blog design, using some sort of navigational structure that houses a full list of blog “categories” makes it much easier for users to stay on your site and continue engaging with additional blog posts related to their needs after they finish reading their first article.
While all of your blog content is in some way related to your business, there may be certain topics that may not apply to all visitors. Instead of dissuading the user by presenting them another article that isn’t relevant to their needs, categorized content allows you to appeal to individual consumer needs.
Additionally, including functionalities on your blog that enable you to serve the reader automatically with a related article after they get to the bottom of one post can help to keep them engaged.
8. Social Media Signals
With the growth and importance of social media for all industries so astronomical in recent years, it’s surprising to see that some brands still don’t have social media signals or social media buttons built into their blog.
This design element is essential as it makes it incredibly easy for users to share a blog post they found valuable across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
The sharing of content on these social platforms is critical as it can greatly extend the reach of content, opening up the door for potential customers to discover it from the channels they trust and frequent often.
As has been stated many times before, user-experience plays a massive role in the relationship that users have with brands.
Encouraging visitors to share blog posts with their online communities is much more effective if it’s very simple for them to do so.
9. Encourage Conversation
The bottom of every blog post should have a section that is available for comments from readers, and the authors of each post—or a representative from your company at least—should actively respond and engage users that leave comments.
Your efforts at trying to encourage users to ask questions or share their thoughts via comment sections will be far more effective if visitors see that the comments from others are never left unheard and are instead part of a genuine conversation.
10. Technical SEO Elements
As all digital marketers know, content and SEO go hand in hand with one another. When you’re trying to garner organic traffic from your blog posts, it’s important that you keep SEO in mind.
At its core, SEO is all about user intent. Google wants to provide users with results that are the best and most relevant to their search queries, so if your content isn’t high-quality and offering a good user experience, you’re not going to find your rankings at the top of a search engine results page.
Ultimately valuable content is essential, however, there are many technical SEO elements that could also help with rankings. For example, keep title tags under 55 characters and make sure they contain terms that reflect user intent as well as the content on the page itself.
Craft compelling meta descriptions between 150-160 characters with the objective to help drive clicks and tell the user what they’ll find on a given page.
Use H1 tags for headlines that are relevant to blog content and mirror what you would project a user to search for--Google’s “Keyword Planner” tool makes it quite simple to identify what phrases or terms produce the most search queries.
While these elements are important, they are only a handful in the “bigger picture,” so be sure to stay up-to-date on Google’s search engine guidelines.
The Importance of Blog Content
Blog content is considered “top of the funnel” marketing, as it’s how you can first capture user interest and move them further down the conversion funnel.
Without effective blog posts, it’s difficult to continue to engage users once they’ve expressed initial interest.
To keep bringing users back to your website and to show them your expertise, a well-written and valuable blog is essential.