So, you’ve perfected your website. Everything is running smoothly and now it’s time to start adding that blog. You were told that blogs were a must-have these days for websites. But when it comes to putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), it’s often hard to know where to start. What topics do you include? Which ones should you avoid? How do you know the blog post you are writing is something your customers will care about?
Being able to empathise with your content consumers is the key to creating better content. Better content means captivated customers and converting clicks into leads.
In an earlier post, we talked about website visitors. This offers a more general starting point to understanding your online audience. In this post, we will be focusing specifically on your blog page and how to craft content your customers will want to read.
Create valuable content.
Before starting any blog post, you should always ask yourself this question. Will my audience find the information valuable?
Valuable content is often concerned with the customers’ biggest problems. Content can also be used to address frequently asked questions, offer a detailed explanation of a product or service’s new and popular features, as well as provide company updates which directly or indirectly impact your customers.
Feel assured that you, as the business owner, will be able to draw from your existing understanding of your customers and experience of your industry.
It is also important to do your research. This will help you understand and prioritise the topics most important to your customers.
You may decide to do your own research, using free tools like SurveyMonkey. These allow you to create questionnaires and collect information about your audience.
You should also find out what your audience is searching online in relation to your business. For blog posts, we recommend focusing on queries which drive questions. For example, if your chosen topic is running shoes, commonly searched for questions include “how to choose running shoes” and “when to replace running shoes”. These questions will frame the title and content of your blog post.
Create original content.
Copying and pasting content from other online sources can hurt your rankings on search engines. It can also damage your reputation if you’re caught out by your audience!
We understand that creating original content can be hard – especially if writing isn’t your forte. Always remember that your chosen topic doesn’t have to be unique. As long as the post is written in your own words and is consistent with your company’s personality, the content is original.
For inspiration, we recommend reading similar blog posts during the research stage. Look at the parts of the post you like, as well as which areas you thought could have been improved and why. This will form the basis of your own writing and how to stand out from other blog posts.
In the event that you are really struggling or don’t have the time, we recommend contacting an experienced and trusted content writing service. A professional writer will be able to take the key points you want to make and present them in an engaging and readable way to your customers.
Create timeless or timely content.
The best blogs will have a balance of content which is always relevant and content which is only relevant to the current moment.
While the former is often easier to write because there is no foresight involved, the best way to ensure your content is timely is to stay up-to-date with trending topics in your industry. This also includes topics which are becoming popular. Staying ahead of trends means you can avoid rushing your blog post or being late to the game, at the expense of your competitors who have released their content faster than you.
Google provides a couple of free tools for monitoring trending topics. Google Trends can show you the top searches in your region, as well as Rising Searches, which looks at what the next big searches will be. You can also set up a Google Alerts and receive a notification each time new content which matches your focus keyword is added. This is especially helpful for monitoring competitor content!
Humans first. Computers second.
If you’re new to the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), it may be tempting to do everything you can to get your blog post to the top of the search results.
While stuffing blog posts with keywords may have been a popular tactic used by content marketers in the past, the humans reading the posts found it off-putting. Search engines providers, like Google or Bing, realised that they were losing users (and profit) from promoting spammy content. They have since put measures in place which demote spam – and in some cases, completely remove it from searches.
Search engine providers are very secretive about what technology and methods they use to rank content. This is why many companies employ the help of an SEO specialist, to help crack the code and ensure best practices are in place.
What is clear, however, is that search engines will always focus on good content. And with time, the technology they use to identify good and relevant content improves. This is why, as a long-term strategy, it is always better to put your customers first.