Blogging plays an important role in SEO, and according to algorithm updates, high quality here is a must. You can’t simply fill a page with keywords and hope for the best. Blogging is about much more than that, and if you want to rank higher for SEO, as well as provide real value to your customers, you’ll go back to the basics. Here are some key elements of excellent blog content.
1. Make the Point Clear
Amateur bloggers often write 500-1,000 words in a blog post without a clearly defined focus. The article has plenty of words, but it doesn’t have anything memorable. So, readers aren’t compelled to share, comment, or engage with it.
You likely have a purpose behind writing every piece of content. That purpose might be to generate more shares on social media, to inform about a useful topic, or build links for SEO purposes. Use calls to action to direct reader insights, and keep things relevant to the topic at hand.
2. Vary Your Topics and Keep Them Relevant
A good blog should publish a combination of timeless pieces and news articles. A timeless piece offers information that a reader can access at any time of the year and it’s valuable. For example, if you’re a plumber, a timeless article could be about unclogging the bathroom sink.
A news piece focuses on a current event or timely topic related to your industry. A plumber, for example, might write about the newest smart toilet on the market. It’s relevant in the moment, and provides new value to the reader.
If you’re really creative, you can combine the two. Here’s an article from an HVAC company about reducing your AC energy costs. This is timeless because it can be useful for several months out of the year, and it’s news-focused because it’s relevant to summer.
3. Write Compelling Introductions
The point of an introduction is to initiate the topic of a post. However, a brilliant blog post that’s shared often and generates engagement will have an introduction that does more. It should engage readers from the start, perhaps with a question, a quote, a case study, or a story. It promises high value that compels readers to keep going.
4. Use a Simple Structure
Simplicity is best with blog posts. Your followers don’t want to waste time deciphering the structure of a post. Stick to what works. The two most common structures are the list structure and the news structure.
The list structure, as it sounds, is a bulleted or numbered list with tenets supporting the main topic. It might be something like 12 Ways to Eat a Peanut Butter Cup or Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Web Conversions. It starts with a strong, catchy introduction and provides a list of actionable tips or insights.
The news structure is a report in the inverted pyramid style. It starts with the most important information first and brings in less valuable information later. It has short paragraphs and includes quotes from authorities.
There are other ways to structure your blog posts, but these are among the most effective for attracting your audience and removing unnecessary complexities.
5. Short Sentences & Paragraphs
As you structure your blog posts according to common conventions, remember to keep sentences and paragraphs short. Sentences can vary in length, but they shouldn’t be too complicated. Additionally, the wording shouldn’t exceed high school level, and the reader should have no problem following along.
Paragraphs should be no more than four sentences. Most people are visual learners. If they scan a blog post and see huge, blocky paragraphs, they’re likely to be intimidated and abandon the post.
6. Take Advantage of Imagery
The average attention span, according to Statistic Brain, is 8.25 seconds. That’s almost four seconds shorter than it was in 2000, before media shifted predominantly to the internet. Bloggers use several tactics to combat short attention spans, but most effective is the use of images.
Images help to capture attention while helping your blog posts flow more effectively and facilitate understanding of complex topics. When readers scan your blog content, the images will help them connect with your point.
7. Check the Grammar
Before hitting “publish” on any piece, comb through it carefully for grammar and structure errors. Nothing will diminish your credibility faster than an article riddled with misspelled words and unintentional sentence fragments.
Nobody expects perfection, but the writing should be fairly clean. Tools like Grammarly and Spell Check on Microsoft Word can facilitate the process of cleaning up your grammar. It’s the finishing touch that will make your blog posts memorable and valuable to readers.