— January 2, 2019
Blogging is often a central component for both successful organic search ranking and content marketing, but it requires careful planning to reap maximum benefits. If your goals for 2019 include growing your organic reach, read on for some key tips to get started on the right foot.
What Are Your Blogging Goals?
It’s not enough to say that you want “more organic traffic” when setting up your blogging strategy. Take some time to consider what you want from your organic traffic before you begin. Is it:
- more sign-ups to your email list?
- more targeted audience traffic for retargeting campaigns?
- more sales from current customers?
- something else?
Once you’ve decided what kind of results you want from your organic traffic, you can begin planning out your content schedule. Aim for consistent, regular posts that fit with your capacity for content creation. The goal is to develop a regular blog production schedule that your audience can rely on. And because fresh content helps with organic rank, you’ll be giving your SEO a boost as well.
What to Write About: 5 Tips for Blog Topic Research
One of the best ways to ensure consistency is to find topics to write about before you sit down in front of a blank screen. Here are some ways to brainstorm topics that will bring you relevant traffic:
- Dig deep in Facebook & LinkedIn groups—find relevant groups to join and make use of the search function to see what kinds of questions come up over and over. Are there ways you can address these common challenges in a blog post (or a series of blog posts)?
- Use a content research tool—tools like BuzzSumo and ContentStudio help you to find what kinds of content are already trending for your keywords. You can use this information to find ways to either improve upon what’s out there, or to address gaps in what’s already been covered.
- Check review sites for common themes—sites like Yelp and Angie’s List offer deep insights into the kinds of concerns that customers have for service-based businesses. Look at reviews for your competitors as well as your own business. What topics could you cover that would help customers feel more at ease about doing business with you?
- Raid your helpdesk—chances are good that there are at least 5-10 topics that come up over and over for your support team. Can you turn those questions/common issues into a series of blog posts that offer fast solutions? This is a great option for current customers that may be searching for the answer, even if you already have a knowledgebase or help docs.
- Get local for big impact—local search optimization doesn’t have to end with semantic markup for locations. Are there local events that you support? Conventions you’ll be attending? Seminars that you’re hosting? All of these can make excellent topics for blog posts that will rank well for local search.
More than Written Words: Multimedia Blog Content
Creating multimedia content to supplement your blog posts offers the potential for additional engagement as well as additional opportunities for both on-page optimization and inbound traffic.
- Video—video hosted on sites like YouTube and Vimeo can be optimized to help draw additional traffic to your site.
- Audio—podcasts or voiced blog posts provide accessibility to the visually-impaired and podcasts can be used as another inbound channel to bring traffic to your site.
- Images—alt text and captions provide additional opportunities for on-page SEO, while informative or entertaining imagery helps to drive engagement.
- Slides—whether you create a new slide deck highlighting the main points of the blog post, or repurpose slides used for a similar subject, slides provide another means to help people understand complex topics and gain further insight.
Post Publishing Push: Outreach & Promotion
Once your blog posts are published, the crucial step of promotion ensures that you’ll get traffic to your site even before the pages are indexed. While basic promotion across social media channels is a given, don’t stop there. Think of creative ways to get your content in front of your audience.
Content promotion through paid services such as Outbrain is one option, but you can also get traction through guest blogs, influencer marketing, supplemental content (think videos and slides linking to your blog posts).
Ongoing Blog Optimization: Test, Tweak, Repeat
As your blogging efforts take shape, remember to take the time to regularly assess performance. Which blog posts are doing well in terms of bringing in not only traffic, but results? What kinds of topics engage your audience most? What kinds of blog post formats get the most conversions? The answers to these questions should form the basis of how you move forward with your blog as the year progresses.
Don’t be afraid to test new blog post types, topics, and promotion techniques in order to find out what works best for you. Once you have a formula that works, continue testing new options to turn your blog into a top driver of organic traffic (and results)!