A business blog is a powerful marketing tool in the digital economy. As part of inbound marketing efforts, we encourage our consulting clients to write regular blog posts to build authority and traffic.
As a strategy & digital marketing implementation firm, our blog is a source of valuable, helpful content for clients and readers. It helps us connect with our target to share our business approach, which is essentially their business. This post will offer a detailed checklist of things to consider when writing a successful business blog post.
OBJECTIVES OF A BUSINESS BLOG
There are three main reasons to keep a business blog:
- Build Authority and Credibility
- Draw Organic Traffic
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Build Authority and Credibility
To build trust in prospects and customers, you must have authority and credibility. Blog posts are excellent ways to showcase your depth of domain knowledge, experience, and expertise. Multiple posts will allow you to write about various topics in your field and establish yourself as an authority on your subject.
Most websites only showcase a company’s offerings and background. It can be a challenge to convey high authority with just these webpages. A business blog with regular blog posts can help build this authority over time.
Draw Organic Traffic
Blog posts help bring traffic to your website when you share your blog posts through your email list and social media, collectively known as content marketing.
Good blog posts also make sharable content that can bring traffic to your site when readers share them on their social channels. Maintaining a regular business blog can help build returning traffic as readers come back for good content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the primary reasons to maintain a business blog is for SEO, i.e. to ensure your site can be found on Google when users search for keywords related to your company, industry, field, products, & services.
Google feeds on content, specifically valuable relevant content. Blog posts are precisely the type of content Google wants. Google also favours recency, and blog posts allow you to add new content to your site to be indexed and ranked by Google.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WRITING A BUSINESS BLOG POST
Besides writing a business blog post with the above three objectives in mind, here are things to consider before you write the post:
Interest in the Topic
Before you invest your time and effort into writing your blog post, it is essential to determine if there is interest in the topic you will write about. There are several ways to assess the interest level of a topic.
The easiest is to Google the topic in question and see the number of blog posts or articles written. Popular topics will also have a featured snippet or list of related questions generated based on search volume. If you see that your topic has been widely written on, has a featured snippet or addresses one of the popular questions asked, you know that there is interest in the topic.
Another way to judge interest is to check the search volume of a particular keyword. This can be done through Google Keyword Search. I will not go into a technical guide on how to use Google Keyword Search in this post as you can learn it here.
The purpose of Google Keyword Search is to provide various search metrics and information on the search volume, competitiveness, and advertising cost for target keywords. Ideally, you want to look for topics with a reasonable monthly search volume in your market with low-medium competition.
Google Keyword Search also provides keyword suggestions and potential topics that may work better than your original one. For example, I searched for “how to write a business blog post”. But that keyword phrase only has 0 – 10 monthly searches. However, “how to write a blog post to promote your business” has 10 – 100 monthly searches, although the competition is high. As you can see, this first round of research offers insight into the exact phrasing of the topic I should be writing on.
Keyword research can also help you craft the blog’s title that is likely to appeal to readers the most and be optimized for Google. For example, this blog post’s original title was “How to Write a Business Blog Post”, but it was changed to “How to Write a Successful Business Blog Post that Builds Authority and Traffic” after doing topic and keyword research.
It is vital to keep your intended target audience in mind when choosing the blog topic and to write the post. Your audience will determine your topic, content, depth of discussion, voice, length of post and conclusion or call-to-action at the end of the post.
As a business, your intended audience should be specific. The readers are potential clients or customers who might buy your product or service. The blog post might be the impetus to cross over from “consideration” to “purchase” in the customer journey.
So, never lose sight of who the blog post is written for.
Purpose of the Post
As important as writing a blog post for your target audience, it is just as essential to have a specific purpose(s) for your post. Three primary objectives were discussed above, and you need to know the purpose of a specific blog post.
All blog posts should always be written with SEO in mind. That should be a given. Most business blog posts are written to showcase authority or expertise in a particular field. However, some blog posts may be written to make a company announcement or promote a product or service.
Do not lose sight of the purpose of your post.
Key Message of the Post
After you determine the topic you are writing on, decide what the single takeaway should be. This could be the key message of the post or a call-to-action you want readers to take.
Ensure the takeaway is clear and should be summed up in the conclusion of the post. It might also be a good idea to introduce it in the first paragraph to grab a reader’s attention and SEO purposes.
Include Relevant Images
Relevant images, especially infographics, can enhance a blog post significantly. Besides breaking up a long blog post visually, images can help communicate or reinforce critical points succinctly.
If it is a technical how-to blog post, screenshots or instructional diagrams will make it much easier to understand.
Write the Post in a Word Doc
It is always a good idea to keep a copy of the blog post on file. So, write the post in a Word doc that you can save outside of the website you will be uploading to. There are several reasons for this.
First, if the only copy of the blog article is on the website and the website is compromised, for whatever reason, having a back-up copy ensures your source material is not lost. Second, writing the post in a Word doc will easily allow you to perform a spell and grammar check.
SEO TIPS WHEN WRITING THE BUSINESS BLOG POST
A blog post is designed for online media, so it is necessary to consider SEO when writing it.
Perform basic on-page optimization so that the post will be ranked by Google such as:
- Ensure the target keyword is in the title, first paragraph and headings of the post. Headings should be categorised with H1, H2 and H3 tags appropriately.
- Repeat the target keyword at least twice in the body of the post or more times if the post is more than 1000 words.
- Create a minimum of 3 relevant internal links and 2 external links in the body of the post. Cite and link to external authoritative references where possible.
- Craft the right slug (url text), SEO title and SEO meta description by including the target keywords in them.
- If you are using a third-party tool or plugin for your website, optimize the post as recommended.
Read this post on on-page SEO for more tips.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A BUSINESS BLOG
Besides following all the above recommendations when writing business blog posts, it is vital to work on blog posts regularly and give the blog time to deliver results. Like building and maintaining brand value and equity, the key to getting success from a business blog is consistency and time. You cannot build brand equity overnight, and likewise, you cannot build a successful blog overnight.
Expect to publish at least 15 – 20 blog posts regularly before you see your traffic and SEO improving. And there is no “right” time to start a blog. Start building your blog today.
Once you get your blog rolling, try to maintain a regular schedule. Make it a habit to blog at least once a month. That is just 12 blogs a year, which is quite manageable. It just takes a bit of discipline. But remember, more is more in this case.
Google likes regularity, recency, and quantity of content. So, the more blog posts you publish each month, the higher your chances to reach your marketing objectives with your blog. However, never sacrifice quality for quantity. Your blog posts must have high value and provide a good user experience for readers to rank well with good. Regular quantity alone is not enough.