Your purpose for writing a business blog should be to grow your business. Writing just any blog article vs. a blog that captures leads are two different things. While publishing any new content on your website will generate traffic and, to some degree, help your SEO, your bottom-line question should be: “How much new business am I getting from my efforts?”
Our agency playbook on blog writing guides us in our deliverables. In it, we have something we call the 7 laws of content publishing. These laws form the core keys we use to writing any blog that captures leads. We advise clients to adopt these guidelines for all their articles and we incorporate them into every article we publish. Furthermore, our Hubspot software monitors these key actions to keep us on track.
If you adopt the following 7 laws (or keys) you’ll be guaranteed success every time in writing blogs that capture leads from your website.
Key #1) What Content Are You Publishing?
We do both a free marketing analysis and paid inbound marketing consulting. This question is one of the first we’ll ask. What are you doing for content? You need to have a blog, it needs to be visible, you need to post links to articles on your social networks and lastly if not most importantly, you need to have a passion for writing—getting your information out there. Do you have a blog?
Key #2) Are you publishing on a scheduled basis?
We discovered that if we didn’t have a schedule it was harder to be consistent with our publishing. Here are some suggestions to get started:
- Decide how many articles you’re going to write and publish each week.
- Nail down those days and add both your publishing dates and your writing times to a calendar or your project application. Plan on spending a couple of hours to several hours writing, depending on your skill level and the amount of research needed.
- Make a separate list of topics.
- Turn those topics into SEO-rich titles (check out Key #5 on keywords).
You may be tempted to write just when you have time or feel like it. But your SEO will suffer and so will your readers who will be looking for your content. If you want a blog that captures leads you’ll need to be consistent.
Key #3) Are you publishing major content at least once per week?
Sometimes we’re asked, “If I publish a lot on Facebook is that equivalent to writing a good blog article?” Nope. Why not? Most of your audience will be heading to social media for short quips or “tweets” on Twitter, cool ideas, or links to blog articles. Use social to promote your blog, not as a content venue.
We like to see businesses publishing a good blog article at least once per week. I know others including some at Moz, are good with less than that. The thing everyone will agree on is the more you publish the faster you’ll get found. For a blog to capture leads it first needs to get found.
Key #4) Is the content relevant and educational?
Does your content add a contribution to everything else that’s on the Internet? If I said it a thousand times, you need to target your key persona. Every blog you write should supply some solution to those key persons in your audience.
What do you have to say to them that would be helpful and not promotional? They’re sick of getting nagged. What can you write about that will delight them?
Key #5) Do You Have a Keyword Strategy?
Keywords are the words people use a search engine (like Google) for to find your content. If you’re writing content that contains those keywords, your pages will display in search results.
If you write enough good content using those same keywords, you’ll stand a chance to move to the coveted #1 rank in Google search results. For a blog that captures leads plan on choosing at least one keyword and using it once in your title, and three to five times throughout the body of your article. Use the keywords in a natural, not forced, way.
Key #6) Are you Linking to Other Content?
Linking multiplies domain bulks up ranking because when you link, your blog becomes part of a network of like content. Linking helps SEO but it also helps your audience find more of what they’re looking for.
Be sure to link to other relevant sources and link to other content you’ve written. If you are doing a series of articles be sure to interlink them. That way your readers can find the other really valuable knowledge you’ve shared.
Key #7) Are You Using SEO Best Practices?
Last but not least. A great many blogs on the Internet are an SEO mess. In every city there are businesses investing in content writing that’s not getting found in organic searches and never will.
Want a simple way to find out if a blog has any SEO value without investing in fancy software? Here’s a test you can do right at home.
- Load a browser you rarely use. For example, if you normally use Chrome for most Google searches, load Firefox, or IE, or Safari, etc.
- Alternatively, use your favorite browser but use another search engine. If Google is your default, use Bing or Yahoo. Don’t follow the rather bad advice that says you can open a private browsing window to do a test search. You can’t. Private windows don’t disengage you from search providers' external search catches. These are hooked to your IP address. Every time you search on Google, they keep a record of that search just like your browser does. You can only clear your browser’s catch; you can't clear Google’s.
- Now that you have your browser or search engine up, go to that blog you're testing and find a keyword. Just find one, or select some random text.
- Search for the keyword(s). Did the search results display that blog article's listing? If not, and in many cases not, then the blog has horrible SEO, bad keywords, no keywords, bad title, non-friendly-SEO URL, scraped content, thin content; otherwise it is a “junk” blog.
The fix is simply fixing everything that’s wrong I just noted. The good news is that it’s possible to take a “junk” blog, heavily edit it, change the title and do a 301 redirect to preserve whatever SEO juice may be there and re-publish the blog.
Google (and you) will be delighted. The Google-bot will return to your site in time, see you’ve fixed things, and index your site accordingly.