If no one will read your blog post, is it worth writing?
Hmmm. Now that’s a question for a content marketing guru, ninja, or king to answer.
Many marketers have met the challenge of finding and motivating co-workers, internal thought leaders, and executive leadership to write blogs. These subject matter experts (SME) are excellent reputation-building resources for a brand. This blogging ‘win’ is huge, since only a few years ago, finding in-house content creators was like finding a four-leaf clover.
While some marketers have solved the content conundrum of using a blog to drive awareness, engagement, and pipeline acceleration, most are just still figuring it out. Blogging is now a key performance indicator (KPI) for many modern marketers – to build solution awareness, engage customers and help the sales process.
Checkmarks (for a marketing plan execution to-do list) and editorial high fives are given when someone writes a blog – whether or not anyone reads it. And that’s the writing rub. Many great ideas that manifest in a blog post never get read shared or clicked – missing out on the next step of brand engagement. Underwhelming blog post-performance is not attributed to wrong ideas. Rather, it’s the fact that the blog isn’t built to be found. Writing powerful prose is one thing. Building a blog post to be an always-on marketing magnet is another.
A solid keyword strategy will make your blog work harder and drive more results for you.
Before you begin writing and building your blog post, create your list of keywords and variations. Use Google Ad Words tool or Hashtagify.me to find keywords and variations. Here’s a handy dandy 10-step checklist to build a better blog post.
1. Blog Title (title tag, H1 tag.) Always place your primary keyword and variations early in your attention-grabbing blog title. If you are torn between a catchy headline or a keyword headline, always choose the catchy headline!
2. Meta Description (the descriptive text below the search description below the blog.) While including keywords and variations in your post’s meta description do not impact search ranking, their addition will help your readers better understand why they should read the post.
3. Blog Copy. Include 1-2 keywords and variations for every 100 words you write (i.e., maintain a 1-2% keyword density) to capture a search engine’s attention … and eventually your readers’ attention. Please make sure not to over-stuff your blog post with keywords since Google does not like that, and it makes for an amateurish blog. Remember, the rule of thumb is 2% density for each keyword or variation, not collecting keywords.
4. Graphics. Include keywords in your graphics’ descriptions and alt-tags to set up a picture-perfect search for Google.
5. URL. Add keywords in the structure of your URL (i.e., the areas that you see in the browser.)
6. SEO Plugins. Yoast’s SEO plugin is the best source for automating your keywords strategy!
7. Linguistic Plugins. If you are writing for the masses, then the Yoast plugin is an excellent solution. However, if you blog for a particular type of reader (or place in the sales funnel), then Atomic Reach provides a must-have tool!
8. Subheads (H2 Tags.) Every blog post should have at least one subhead, so it’s easier to read. And, every subhead needs to have keywords and variations in it.
9. Blog Promotion. Readers find your blog posts in one of the three ways – search, email delivery, or social referrals. When writing your LinkedIn, Twitter, SlideShare, YouTube, or Facebook posts, make sure to use similar keywords and hashtags to map back to the story you tell in your blog.
10. Analytics. Creating content according to these best practices is a great start to building the foundation for your blog post’s success. However, using a Google Analytics tool will help you understand your referral traffic to see if your SEO keyword and social referral strategy are working.
Do you have another blogging tip? If so, please share below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think of these ten tips as the planks that build a great blogging platform so more people will read your blog post. If you follow this advice in your next blog post, you’ll never have to wonder if you write it. Will anyone see it? Now, when that tree falls in the forest, it may not make a sound.
NOTE: This blog post was updated on January 24, 2021.