Learning Hub | Content Marketing

Why is Everyone Blogging? (Including Us!)

February 3, 2017 | Jon Teodoro

Everyone and his dog have a blog. Literally, there are dog blogs.

So, what’s the deal? Are all of these people really trying to get picked up for a book deal, or is there something more behind the scenes?

We can’t speak for everyone, but we can tell you that blogs hold a higher purpose than helping their writers land a publishing deal. (Still, we can hope can’t we!?)

Blogs are a powerful marketing tool and when used correctly (and ethically), they can be a excellent resource for your customers and you simultaneously.

Let’s take a closer look.

Marketing Tool Belt: The Power of Blogging

Blogging helps you connect with your target audience in two important ways:

  1. Successful-written blogs drive traffic to your website and get eyes on your page.
  2. Successfully-chosen blog topics that focus on your audience members’ needs go a long way in helping you to become an industry resource.

Let’s break these down a little.

You want to increase your site visits. More traffic means more likely customers are getting their eyes on what you have to offer, which increases the chance that they will move along in the buyer’s process, leading to whatever site goal you have set up – sales, signups, downloads, etc.

In order for blogs to generate traffic to your site, they must show up in a high ranking spot on search engine results pages. In other words, you have to match topics to keyword phrases that you predict your target audience members would be typing into Google. More on this later.

Once someone is on your page reading the post, it is up to you to strategically place calls to action (CTAs) throughout the text so that they take further action, moving deeper into the buyer’s process.

Examples of CTAs:

  • Download Your Free Whitepaper in Minutes
  • Sign-up for the newsletter to receive weekly articles.
  • Sign-up for the Course
  • Purchase This Item

Titling and writing your blogs around topics that match often-searched phrases will do a lot more than put your company in front of potential buyers.

Depending on what your business is, you may want to become a trusted industry resource, not just for clients, but also for the competition. Several large corporations do this, writing with a focus on educating rather than selling.

This is what we do here at Verde Media. Our blogs are geared toward information distribution. While some of them are generated for likely customers, several focus on marketing and design education in general – for anyone with any knowledge.

And, it works! We increased our site traffic by ____% last year, and a large chunk of that traffic, and sales too, came from our revamped blogging campaign.

Becoming an industry resource means that you will be driving loyal traffic to your site. Someone in the office have a question about marketing, fishing, plumbing, etc.? Send’em over to (Picture your name here)!

Not only will people be saving your site for future visits, but if you’re blogs are well-written, accurate and informative, other writers will link back to them as a resource in their articles. This is what is known as a backlink. It’s “an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website.”

Collecting these backlinks is an effective way to move up on a Google results page because Google perceives sites with more backlinks to be more reliable sources.

Just knowing that blogging is a great marketing tool is not enough, however, You must be able to construct your blogs in a way that they will be seen. Good copy is nothing without an audience.

Let’s take a look at five steps that can help you write for marketing successfully.

5 Steps to the Perfect Blog

1. Choose a Subject – Focus on SEO & Audience

First thing’s first: You need to decide what to write about. This is the consideration and research phase, and although you consider your audience members in every stage of marketing, they play an especially important role here, as you need to think like a customer to generate successful blog topics.

Things to consider in this stage:

  • How would you describe your ideal target customer?
    • What are his/her needs, wants, curiosities?
    • At what step of the buyer’s process are they in when they will be viewing your site?
    • What would they type into their search bar that corresponds with what your company provides?
  • What are topics that are relevant to your industry, services, products and ideals that are important to audience members as well?
    • Something that you want to write about personally?
    • Popular questions that you customers usually come to you with that you would like to address?
    • Some new product to highlight?
    • New industry standards or practices that you need to discuss?
  • What are keyword phrases that receive high search volume?

This step is all about marrying your audience’s needs and behaviors (what they are likely to search) with popular keyword phrases that will optimize your site’s SEO.

2. Layout the Hierarchy – A Focus on SEO

Not sure what we mean when we refer to SEO? It’s all good. We’ve written about it —> “What is SEO and How do I Improve it?

When laying out your blog – titles, headlines, sub-headlines and paragraphs – SEO plays a key role.

When a search engine like Google combs through websites to return results for searchers, it dissects pages into parts that rank high to low in importance. You want to be sure to place you focus keywords into the high-ranking parts.

The hierarchy is as follows:

  • Page Title
  • Heading 1 <H1>, then Heading 2 <H2>, Heading 3 <H3>, and so on
  • Subheads h1,h2,h3 and so on

Also place your focus keywords in the following areas to increase your SEO:

  • First 100 words of your article
  • Image file names and captions
  • URL

Consider the following non-keyword-focused options for boosting SEO:

  • Include internal and external links in your copy
  • Connect to your social media profiles with icons
  • Engage readers with dynamic photos, videos or animation.
    • This reduces chance of bounce rate.
  • Make sure your site is responsive.
  • Make sure your load times are low.

Things to consider in this stage:

  • How Google reads your page
    • Be up-to-date on popular search engines’ SEO practices, as they change a lot.
  • Optimal places for your keywords
  • Different variations of your keyword phrase
    • You don’t want the exact same order of words repeated over and over again throughout your copy.
    • Google is smart. It can detect synonyms, meaning, etc. Let it.

3. Get to Writing – It’s all About the Audience

You’ve hopefully gotten your audience members onto your page, but now you have to convince them to read through until the end…and hopefully to click through to your desired action. (How am I doing?)

You’ve already laid out your blog with a focus on SEO so now’s the time to let your creativity flow. Simply, write.

Things to consider in this stage:

  • Pepper in bits and pieces of your SEO keywords throughout your text.
  • Your main priority should be the readability of your text.
    • Make sure your copy doesn’t sound robotic even though a lot of strategy went into it.
    • Don’t let your focus on SEO hinder the quality of your copy.
  • Readers shouldn’t be able to tell you were even considering SEO when you wrote your blog.
  • Focus mainly on your audience here.
    • What is the average reading level?
    • How much time do your audience members spend reading?
    • What do they want to know?
  • Present facts and/or opinion.
    • Be straightforward, as if you were speaking to a friend.
    • Let sales jargon stay where it belongs – taglines, landing pages and ads.

4. Link Powerful CTAs to Powerful Landing Pages – Be a Little Selfish…

In this step you finally get to think about yourself. What is it that you want your customers to do after reading your blog?

Do you want them to sign-up for your newsletter, download a brochure or reserve a spot on a romantic river tour? Whatever it is, you need to tell them with strategically-placed calls to action.

Good places on your web page for CTAs:

  • Somewhere in the top third of the page at a natural page break.
    • Before the next heading or paragraph
  • In the footer
  • In the sidebar

The copy may make them aware, but the CTA has to persuade them to decide, to actually click and follow the link through to the next requested action. Successfully doing this will move them further along the buying journey (awareness —> consideration —> decision).

For a good example of CTA blog placement, check out what we did for our clients at CTC Technologies, Inc. Notice the CTA in the copy and in the footer.

Things to consider in this stage:

  • Page placement for CTAs
  • CTA copy
    • Short, persuasive and to the point
  • Landing page
    • Which page does the CTA connect to? The number one reason for landing page bounce rate is that people do not receive what they expected when they clicked the CTA button.
  • Aesthetics
    • Font, color, size, shape
  • Paragraph copy
    • Make sure to place your CTA into your blog where the text will support it.
      • It shouldn’t disrupt the flow of the blog.
      • It needs to be natural for the reader.
      • It shouldn’t randomly break up text.

5. Publish Smartly – Eyes on User Behavior

After planning and writing your blog, you still need to get it in front of your audience. You can’t just put it on your site and expect the Internet to do all of the work for you. Believe it or not, most things don’t go viral.

Instead of fully relying on what is no doubt your best writing ever, you need to share your blog on multiple platforms:

  • Social media profiles
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Collab sites that would publish and share your blog
  • etc.

This is where you get the word out to your loyal and likely customers.

Things to consider in this stage:

  • What social platforms are your target audience members on?
  • What times of day are your target audience members online?
  • How often are they online?
  • How often do they check their email and at what time?
  • Do they use email? (If not, don’t worry about email marketing, but you would be surprised how successful it is!)
  • Do you have any influencers?
  • Can you pitch to any local media outlets or community papers?

Basically, in this stage, you pinpoint the wheres and whens your audience members are most likely to interact with your post. Then, just be sure to get it there.

Verde Media Can Help With Your Blogging Campaigns

Not much of a writer?

If you’re unsure about your ability or you don’t have the time to create a blog campaign yourself, we’d be happy to help you out. We have run numerous marketing campaigns and have written several blogs for customers, ranging from a tech sales company to a dentist’s office.

We like to work as transparently as possible, and we will work hand-in-hand with you on your campaign. You can help us choose subjects and understand your audience, and you’ll always get final approval.

If you’d like to chat, please contact us.