Blogging is a great way to spread your message and pull traffic to your site. But, with an estimated 4.4 million blog posts published every day in 2022, it is hard to get heard.
So, what helps some blogs perform better?
What does good blog performance mean?
Every small business needs a blog! But what makes a good blog? A high-performing blog needs the following characteristics:
- Targeted – for whom are you writing it?
- Discoverable – e.g., optimized for search engines
- Signposts other web pages you want users to see
- Well-pitched and engaging
- Well-presented and structured
These things are all linked. Well-pitched and engaging content is, of course, a good thing in its own right. But that also makes your blog more discoverable in search engine results. Likewise, good presentation helps engage your readers and also, once again, helps your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
A well-targeted blog is more likely to engage its intended audience. And so long as the links are clear, engaged readers are more prone to click through to other parts of your website. It is all interlinked. And, of course, many other specific tactics can support SEO.
For those who are looking for a more comprehensive solution, you can consider partnering with an agency dedicated to WordPress. They can help you with all aspects of your blog performance, from targeting your audience and optimizing for search engines, to providing well-pitched and engaging content and improving your blog’s readability.
Do you want more people to find your site? Do you want more people to engage with it and invest some of their time in it? And do you want people to use your blog as a stepping stone to other content on your website?
If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ (and it probably should be!), you need to work on the five points above. This article will offer a few tips to support each one.
1. Identify your audience
Appropriately identifying your target audience is fundamental to the performance of your blog. You need to know and understand your users: what will entice them to engage with your blog?
Establish a user persona. Imagine a typical member of your audience. What are their demographic characteristics, interests, and buying behaviors? What online habits inform how they interact with blogs?
Every aspect of your content should target that audience: from where your blog is hosted (take note of the flexibility registration services like OnlyDomains offer here), through to the nature and presentation of your content.
2. Use SEO to help people find you
You might have fantastic, engaging content on your blog. But what is the point if nobody can find it? That is why search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial. Use SEO to ensure your blog appears high on relevant search engine result pages (SERPS).
SEO is complex. There are entire businesses dedicated to supporting other organizations with it. But here are a few tips.
Utilize keyword research
Keyword research identifies topics to address in your blogs. You can discover what your users are interested in, based on the search terms they have used. By identifying the most popular keywords, you can create blog content that explicitly covers these: make the content people seek.
Provide a meta description
The meta description appears on the search engine results page (SERP). It sits just under the title and provides a short description of your blog. Many users consider these when deciding whether to click on a link. Use it to ensure your blog link stands out.
The meta description is limited to just 155 characters. Stick within that, making sure it is catchy, concise, and includes your keyword.
3. Include internal links
Include links in your blog to other pages on your website, e.g., older blogs. That creates pathways for your users toward other content and information. As you publish a growing body of blog posts, internal linking gives older blog posts a bit of a push.
Internal linking is like using yarn to create a web between various pages of your content. As well as aiding your readers, this web of links helps search engines navigate your content; it makes your website discoverable to Google bots! That, in turn, helps your content show appropriately in a SERP.
Creating this web also allows your blog to cast a wider net. Try publishing blogs on slightly different but connected issues (still relevant to your audience); then, use internal linking to signpost your core proposition. For example, if the core focus of your blog is the digital product you are selling, publish a blog about a proximate issue and then link it back to your core offer; so you might blog about how custom workflow integrations could usefully interface your service with others.
4. Provide well-pitched and engaging content
It is crucial to consider what well-pitched and engaging content means for your target users. What are their blog reading habits? What tone, word count, and level of technical detail do they want? Is storytelling effective with your users? Such insights about your audience are invaluable.
In addition to this, it’s also important to ensure that your content reaches your intended audience by having a high email deliverability rate on top of a well-functioning sales platform. If your emails are marked as spam, it can be damaging to not just your outreach, but your brand reputation.
Whatever you decide, ensure your content is easy to read. Most users reach a quick decision (just a few seconds) about whether to engage with a blog. Improving your blog’s readability makes users much more likely to linger. Simple language is generally better; stick with straightforward vocabulary and avoid long, overly complex sentences.
Good readability makes good SEO. If users linger longer, the search engine will see that as an endorsement of your content, ranking you higher in the future.
5. Use visuals and headings
Study after study has shown that web users love visual elements when browsing online. Their use engages users, pulling them into your article and enticing them to read more. Once again, search engines will interpret greater engagement as a signal to rank your article more highly.
You could use infographics to present technical detail concisely. Or photos to support your text. Videos are also fantastic, albeit more investment heavy. One helpful strategy here is using APIs to pull resources from elsewhere (e.g., YouTube videos) into your blog – take a look at this API integration definition to get started.
Effective headings and subheadings serve a similar function. Users often glance through an article before they commit to reading it. Does it look stimulating and helpful? A catchy title and well-chosen subheadings (giving an overview of coverage) support a favorable assessment. And an article organized into short, coherent sections is kinder for the reader.
Search engines like Google consider visual elements and subheadings when ranking results. These features allow the search engine to establish the relevance of your content to the search.
Give your users the blog they want!
Look to refine your blog strategy as you go. Just as you should monitor and test the technical performance of your website, you should also monitor how users interact with your content. Analyze what works best with your target audience. The very best blogs perfectly match their needs.