When it comes to content writing, articles and blog posts are two of the most common and versatile forms you can use. They are also extremely easy – all you need to publish a blog post is a blog (obviously :)) or even just a social media profile. Running a blog is free and can help you significantly increase the efficiency of your SEO efforts. Let’s take a look at what articles and blog posts (sometimes referred to as blogs) are about and how to make them effective and engaging.
The whole point of blogging and writing articles can be squeezed into one sentence: It helps you provide customers/users with the knowledge they need or are interested in. As a result, a blog can increase your position in Google (which is all about helping people find what they are looking for, right?) and boost your website’s UX. I’ll talk more about that in a minute. Moreover, companies that actively run blogs are often viewed as open-minded and reliable. Why? Primarily because running a blog is an ongoing effort that takes a lot of time and expertise. A company that’s focused solely on making money rather won’t be interesting in giving away its precious knowledge for free.
With this introduction done, let’s have a closer look at blog posts and articles. In general, these two forms are extremely similar, especially in the online world, so I’m going to use these two terms interchangeably.
The effectiveness of blog posts
In February, Ahrefs, the company behind an excellent SEO tool, published very interesting statistics about blogging. I’d like to turn your attention to four of them:
- 77% of internet users read blogs
- 60% of marketers report that content marketing generates demand/leads
- 65% of B2B buyers cite vendor websites as one of their most highly influential content types
- 71% of bloggers say SEO is the most important source of traffic
All these numbers tell one story – it’s worth running a blog, but to be successful, you have to publish content regularly and co-operate closely with an SEO expert. Let’s talk about that a bit more.
How blogging affects SEO
I work with several experienced SEO agencies and freelancers. They all say the same thing – a blog is the best tool to improve your visibility in the search engine. Why? There are a couple of reasons. For starters, with blog posts, you can provide satisfactory answers to your current and potential customers’ questions. To achieve that goal, you should create blogs that answer questions like:
- How to…
- What is/are…
- Five different ways to…
- The best…
Here, you can use a great free tool called AnswerThePublic. All you have to do is type in a specific keyword, and you will get a whole list of topics for your blog posts. Suppose you want to write about SEO. Here’s what you get:
It’s a list of topic ideas (300+ of them, it’s not the only list you can generate) for many weeks to come! And because these ideas answer specific questions, your content can be displayed to users looking for something similar on Google or other search engines. Of course, this high visibility won’t happen overnight, but it’s a good place to start.
And what’s the second reason? You can input more keywords and key phrases on your website through blog posts and articles. And yes, keyword stuffing is a no-go, but that doesn’t mean that keywords are no longer relevant. They sure are! You can easily add hundreds of keywords to your website with blog posts.
How to make blog posts effective
Here, you need to tick several boxes. It all starts with an idea. You can use tools like AnswerThePublic or Ubersuggest to come up with ideas for articles, but you still have to look at them through the lens of your customers and their needs. Every piece of content you publish has to be, above all, relevant and useful.
FOCUS ON QUALITY
In general, it’s better to publish one high-end article than ten mediocre ones. Think about what you want to talk about and gather all the necessary material so that your text has a substantial added value. That’s the prerequisite for getting interest and engagement. High-quality articles are exhaustive and unique (no copy-paste!). They cover all the relevant facets of a given subject and talk about it in a plain and practical way.
Furthermore, it’s important to add visual elements like screens, graphics, bullets, and headings. They make the article you write more attractive, engaging, and also better from the positioning perspective (headlines are excellent to put more keywords in your text).
And what about length? You can set a minimum length of 1,000 words. Some experts say each article should have at least 350 words, but from my experience, that’s not enough. A 1,000-word text will be richer and more comprehensive but not too long (you don’t want to tire your readers, correct?). It’s a good golden mean.
CONSULT YOUR SEO SPECIALIST
In order to be effective, blogs have to be SEO-friendly. If you work with an SEO agency/consultant, ask them to help you craft articles that are useful from the SEO perspective. An SEO consultant should help you with designing each article’s:
- List of keywords and key phrases
And your content writer should be able to put all that together to create a text that’s capable of ranking high on Google.
Google values consistency. If you decide to run a blog, do it every week, every month. It’s better to publish one post a week, EVERY week, than 52 posts within three months.
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG POSTS
You need to remember one rule: No art for art’s sake. Every blog post should be purposeful. In other words, you should use it to drive more traffic to your website. How can you do that? Let’s go back to the list created by Ahrefs. In their article, you can find this chart:
As you can see, there are four crucial ways to promote your content. You can do so via social media, SEO, email marketing, influencers, and ads. Although this last option got only 13% of answers in the 2021 edition, don’t underestimate this way of promoting content. In many instances, using Google Ads to promote your blog posts can be very effective, and rates for such ads are frequently a bit lower, at least compared to those leading to your main page.
Social media is the most popular way, with a whopping 90% of answers. If you have a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn, use them to tell others about each new blog post on your website. It’s quick and free! We’ve already discussed the role of blogging in your webpage’s SEO, but what about email marketing? If you send a newsletter (monthly or weekly), include new articles in it. Above all, explain to your subscribers why they should read each article. Lastly, we have influencer collaboration. It’s a great way to get more backlinks. If you work with external websites and publishers – ask them to mention your articles in their communication channels.
You can also write so-called guest posts. It’s yet another vital way of getting high-quality backlinks and traffic because this way, you make the most of your partner’s target audience. If you co-operate with a large and recognizable brand, one blog post can give your website a decent kick!
Final thoughts on blogging
Blogging is surely a long-term investment, but so is SEO. If you approach this matter appropriately, you will see that running a blog can really be a core element of your content marketing strategy. And although blogs are not direct sales tools, they will help you gain your customers’ trust and engagement. And that’s where each sale begins.
If you need help with running a blog, you’re in the right place! We’ve been doing that for years. We’re especially experienced in B2B content, mainly marketing, e-commerce, and IT. Drop us a line if you need our help or want to know more.