Are you cutting content short?
Blog posts are the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
Which is why it makes us frown when we land on a blog with:
- No on-page images
- Poor readability
Or even worse…we never find the page (because it wasn’t SEO friendly).
Content missing key SEO and UX elements is a missed opportunity.
Rather than publish a plethora of mediocre content, use your same budget to create one or two high quality posts each month instead.
When readjusting your content strategy, take these 7 essentials in mind:
1) The Right Keywords
Content needs to be written for people and search engines. Picking keywords that are relevant to your audience is just as important as finding keywords offering low CPC.
Because they’re so important for readers and search spiders, keyword research is often the starting point for a new blog post.
But finding the right keywords is much easier said than done. (Tweet This)
Picking search terms targeted to your audience is much easier said than done.
If you choose to let your content writer pick keywords for a clients’ content strategy, ask which tools they use to collect the information and why the keywords selected will be effective.
2) Topic Research
Data-backed content is one of the hallmarks of a good blog. (Tweet This)
Experienced bloggers spend significant chunks of time researching a topic before they ever sit down to write.
Professional writing services craft articles by conducting extensive topic research before the first sentences of a first draft are even written. Any statements, claims, or suggestions made in the article should be backed by credible sources or statistics.
High quality content writers ALWAYS (yes, always) edit their content. (Tweet This)
There’s nothing worse than finding a hodge-podge of serious spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes in your latest blog order. 1-2 minor errors is acceptable, but serious mistakes (like missing words, incomplete sentences, and jumbled text) should never be tolerated.
Adjusting finished blogs to fit with your clients’ brand style is incredibly time consuming – especially when you’re ordering content for five or more accounts.
To bring more value to their customers, the best blogging services will offer 1 or 2 complimentary adjustments to “touch up” style and QC issues.
5) Basic Formatting
As we all know, formatting and publishing is half the battle of blog content.
A quality blog service will make the publishing process as easy as possible for the end user by formatting text in Word documents.
To do this, vendors should use the following in each post:
- Bolded words and phrases
- Italicized words / phrases
- Numerical or bulleted lists
- Very few large chunks of text.
- Headings and subheadings (i.e. Headings 1-3)
6) On-Page Optimization
Well-written blog posts are useless if they can’t be found by search engines.
With literally millions of blogs being published daily, adhering to on-page SEO best practices has never been more important. On-page optimization is a white-hat technique used to improve UX and SEO.
The most important elements of on-page optimization include:
- Keywords (don’t stuff them!)
- Title Tags
- Internal Links
- Outbound Links
- Images (and their alt tags)
Get an in-depth run through about how to use on-page optimization for your clients from Kissmetrics.
7) Visual Media
Because visual media (like images, videos, and infographics) are one of the preferred content types, incorporating them into your blog posts can increase engagement and reduce bounce ratio.
Unfortunately, few freelancers (and content agencies!) include visual media as a complimentary part of their work.
Ask your writer to start incorporating visual media into your blog orders, or work with a graphic designer to create images for each piece in-house.
These 7 essential elements of blog posts can transform your clients’ sites from boring to bold. Not only will these tips help to improve the visual appearance of your blog content, but tips 6-8 will help to improve site SEO as well.
In the future, request content vendors incorporate each of the above factors into every blog post – even if it means cutting quantity to improve quality.
Get started now by downloading this blog in a printable checklist.