Writing blog posts for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For a lot of business owners, web content is a bit like sleep: they want more of it, but can’t seem to find the time to actually generate it.

That’s understandable enough. For most of us, writing web pages and blog posts is difficult. Still, if you look at the top of Google listings for virtually any market or industry, you’ll find that the first few positions are populated by companies that blog a couple times a month, or even (more likely) once per week.

Generating fresh content and knowing how to package it are important if you want to bring targeted visitors to your website as part of an ongoing SEO strategy. So today, we want to share with you a quick formula you can use to build the perfect small business blog post again and again…

Start With an Attention-Grabbing Title

If you have trouble coming up with titles and headlines for your blog post, take a cue from the professionals: study a few of your favorite websites or publications and see how they get you to pay attention. You’ll identify a handful of tactics (like how-to articles and numbered lists) that the pros use to draw in viewership. You can also study these wonderful headline tips.

Choose an Interesting Photo

Readers will click on your blog post based on a title, but the first thing they notice when your page is actually loading is the photo that’s attached. You should use one that draws them into your content emotionally. Faces and bright colors are useful for this purpose. At the same time, it helps if your image can get them thinking about the topic or theme you’re going to present.

Open With a Strong Preview Paragraph

The first paragraph of your blog post is what makes or breaks you. If readers like it, they’ll probably hang out to read your thoughts. If it isn’t interesting enough, they’ll click away and take their attention elsewhere. So, open up with an interesting thought or question they can relate to. Or, promise a payoff that makes them want to see where you’re headed.

Pay Attention to Length and Format

It’s not enough to write clearly when you’re posting a blog (although you do need to write clearly). If you’re going to keep readers engaged, you have to pay attention to length and format. Generally speaking, blog posts between 400 and 800 words can be read by the average adult in a few minutes. You’re probably not going to get much more of their time than that. Also, it’s important to break your post up with subtitles and bullet points so it doesn’t look overwhelming.

End with a Related Call to Action

Sharing ideas on your blog is fun, but generating conversions is more productive. So, make sure you end every post with a strong call to action that invites the reader to do something new. Sometimes, just asking people to sign up for your newsletter or make a purchase (as examples) will be enough to convince them to do so.

Generating any kind of web content, and in particular, a weekly blog post gets a lot easier when you have a proven formula to follow. So, we encourage you to take ours, fill in the pieces, and see what you can come up with. You might be surprised at what kind of difference it makes in your marketing campaigns. You may even get to the point where you actually enjoy writing new posts, especially when you see the results! And if you don’t, feel free to contact us and we can help out.

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