6 Ways to Make Your Blog Work Harder
If you have a company blog, you’re probably trying to do two things:
1) Generate awareness of your company by getting as many readers as possible, and
2) Get existing readers to do something next like fill out a form or buy your product.
Most bloggers know how important it is to publish regularly, but many fail to consider the above two goals as they publish content week after week. A lot of the blogs we see publish regular entries, contain useful information, and are well-written, but at the end of the day, they struggle to generate meaningful results.
The smartest blog managers plan their goals and content strategically, and almost all successful blogs have a few relatively easy components in common. Here are some of the top components to add to your blog to increase results:
If your primary goal is to generate awareness of your company by getting more readers:
1. Create blog titles that are search friendly
When writing blog titles, headings, and subheadings, think about the problem you’re solving for the searcher. Or, put another way, what question would the searcher be asking in order to find your blog post? For example, if your post explains your product pricing, your title could be, “How much does x product cost?” rather than “5 factors that contribute to x product pricing.” Wording titles and headings carefully can help your posts drive visits to your site long after your blog is initially published.
2. Include internal links
An internal link is a hyperlink that points to another hyperlink on the same website. They’re important for helping your readers find other information they might be looking for on your site and Google looks at the number of internal links on your site when deciding how high you’ll rank in search results. Here’s some more detailed information on internal link best practices from Moz.
3. Include a topic mix that captures short-term traffic as well as long
When building your editorial calendar, you should think about whether each post idea is likely to capture traffic over time or just within a few days or weeks of publication. For example, a 2016 predictions blog post is likely to be popular during December 2015 and maybe January 2016, but probably won’t continue generating traffic long after. A post on what your services include might not be the sexiest clickbait on the web and isn’t likely to generate huge numbers right away, but is a useful and engaging topic for the right reader, so it will probably get visited often over time. A balanced mix of short- and long-term traffic drivers ensures steady readership and consistent growth over time.
4. Include more references to other people’s content and let them know you wrote about them
A great way to drive traffic to any blog or website is to feature perspectives and viewpoints of others, especially experts in your field. Reach out to anyone who might have something valuable to add and ask them to answer a few questions. Publish their answers, include links to their website, and ask them to share with their followers on social media. This approach positions you as well-connected in your industry and drives new readers to your site.
If your primary goal is to get readers to take action like filling out a form:
1. Add calls-to-action
Picture this: a reader who is your idea customer stumbles on your blog, reads it, and gets fired up. They want to learn more about your offerings! They read to the end of the blog post and they’re not sure how to get more information or learn more. They might click through your site navigation, but likely don’t find quite what they’re looking for, so they move on to a competitor -- you lost them. Don’t let this happen -- add contextually relevant calls to action (CTAs) to every blog post (and site page) on your website. CTAs provide opportunities for you to meet your visitors needs while guiding them toward purchase. For example, a blog post that lists some tips your prospect might care about could end with a button CTA that reads “Download the Ultimate Guide to Tips on XYZ,” a more comprehensive list of the tips your visitor was reading about. That button could then link to a landing page where the visitor could fill out a form to access the guide. Once they fill out the form, you have their information, and can nurture them to purchase. It’s a win for them because they have more of what they were looking for and a win for you because you have their information.
2. Include re-engagement opportunities in your blog template
Your blog page template = all the parts of your blog that stay the same even when the visitor clicks to read additional posts. It usually appears at the top and side of any blog and ideally includes a subscribe form, a list of past posts, keyword tags, and a CTA or two. These are all opportunities for your visitor to engage further. The subscribe form allows them to give their information so you can send them future blog posts and other email updates. The past articles and keyword tags allow readers to access past content that may interest them. It’s great to include a CTA, again, because it provides one more opportunity for your visitor to move deeper into your sales/marketing funnel and get closer to buying.
Follow these relatively simple tips, and your blog will be that much closer to generating the results you're looking for.
Looking for more ways to optimize your blog? Click the below CTA download our free blog optimization toolkit (see what I did there?;) ).