In Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy

How to Write Successful Blogs to Catapult Business and SEO

5 steps to improve your marketing ROI with blogging

Do you want to attract more customers? Do you want to rank higher in search results? Do you want the right people to find you for the right reasons? Then let’s get straight to business: blogging needs to be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Believe it or not, you ARE an expert on what you do. And, on top of that, people DO want to hear your ideas. Blogging is the perfect avenue to share a little tip or inspiration and, in turn, attract loyal followers.

The facts:

  • 79 % of marketers with a company blog reported inbound ROI for 2013 (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • 43% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • Blogging helps you become an industry leader through education
  • Each post you write gets published as its own, individual, indexed page on your website. The more indexed pages you have, the more opportunities you have to get found online.

The definition of a business blog:

“A collection of articles that provide helpful, valuable, educational, and remarkable content to your target audience. By providing this value, blogs can easily and effectively draw prospects to your website.” – HubSpot

The steps:

Step 1: Do your research

  • Do you know who you’re writing to? Posts that target a specific persona’s pain points will drive more qualified traffic.
  • Do you know what you’re writing about? Remember, this is to drive business. The blogs you publish should help you meet your SEO ranking and business goals.
    • With that in mind, some great topics to jump off of are:
      • Recent industry and industry-related news
      • Common questions from your customers
      • “How to’ posts about what you do best
  • Each post should focus on one idea and a keyword ranking goal. Not sure where to start? Here are some keyword resources:
    • Search a topic, discover alternative phrases, and see who you’ll be competing against.
    • Do a Google search of your topic. Scroll to the bottom to see “searches related to ______ .” The results will help you measure what people are searching for on your topic.

Step 2: Write your blog

As you write, keep a few important things in mind.

  • SEO Best Practices: Make sure the keyword you selected is in your title, meta description, image file names and alt tags
  • Make is scannable: Use bolded text, subheadings, numbers and bulleted lists. If someone only read your subheads, would they still receive helpful information?
  • Make it attractive: You need an image. Period. But, you also need to embrace the value of white space. Use shorter paragraphs and sentences. Break up your text and give the reader breathing room. Odds are they’re reading this on a mobile device…give their eyes a break!
  • Make it easy to read: My favorite tool to make sure I’m not writing a jargon-filled book is the Hemingway App. This free web app looks at your writing and identifies opportunities to make it simpler.

Step 3: Write a compelling headline

Write the title last. Allow your writing to naturally flow and then test it at the end against your goal. Did it stay focused to your topic? Give yourself a title once you’ve given the blog your seal of approval.

Headline hacks:

  • Don’t make it too difficult. Creative writing has it’s place…but the milliseconds you have for someone to decide to read your post may not be it. Keep it simple, direct, and clear.
  • Think of the headline as a “fill in the blank.” Take note of the articles you read and swap out the keyword.
    • How Safe is Your [thing/person/something of value] from [a threat]?
    • Uncovering the Truth About [keyword]
    • Five Real Customer Questions About [keyword] – answered.
    • Six Secrets Every [target persona] Should Know about [keyword]
  • Test it out. I use Headline Analyzer to score my headline’s quality. The app rates it by sentiment, word choice, SEO value and more.

Step 4: Convert

The information in your blog is only the first step for your soon-to-be loyal followers. Make sure to wrap up a post with an action to keep the relationship going. Have a piece of downloadable content related to the post? Awesome. Add it to the end. Or, provide a link for readers to subscribe to your blog, follow you on social media, or email you with questions!

Step 5: Share

You’ve worked hard! Make sure you use every avenue you have to get your beautifully-crafted message out. Post it on social media, email it to prospects, submit it to local community boards or other blogs, and start referencing it in networking conversations.

The takeaway

Since the Allegory team started blogging, we’ve seen our website traffic increase from the hundreds to thousands of visitors per month. We’re not making this stuff up. With a few simple guidelines, you can write successful blogs drive business.
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