So, Your Company Has a Blog...
But is it using it to its full extent?
A well-run blog can deliver tremendous opportunity to your company's bottom line if you're leveraging it correctly. From bringing in new leads into your pipeline, to creating conversations around your brand and industry topics, receiving shares on social media and backlinks on other websites, and delivering real sales, the opportunities are all there for the taking.
So how can you make your company's blog truly pop in an age flooded with content? Here are 8 quick tips we rely on at AE Digital Environmental Communications.
1. Embed Awesome, Visually-Oriented Media
According to HubSpot, "the brain can process visual information 60,000x faster than the time it takes for the brain to decode text."
Using embedded media and/or infographics in your blog posts can be an effective way to display a lot information in a way that can be easily and quickly understood.
In this example, Misery Loves Co. (MLC) could've listed out, or even written a big paragraph about all the food and drink in these pictures.
Imagine if the post instead, said:
...you get the point. You probably would've scrolled past it.
Instead, and to MLC's great credit, they let the photos themselves do the talking and invited Facebook users to have their own look into "The Happy Hours" of the day at MLC.
The way the photos are displayed encourage Facebook fans to ask questions and tag their friends, which opens the door to more people seeing the post, which opens the door to more people coming in for happy hour with their friends. Well done, Misery.
2. Add Descriptive Image Alt Tags to Your Photos
If you're using beautiful images in your blog posts, make sure they're being picked up by search engines by adding an image "alt tag" to your photos, allowing search engines to read a description of the image.
Go back through your old blog posts and add descriptive keywords to your images by adding the <alt="Image Description" /> tag after the <img src> tag and before the closing </a> tag .
Above is an example of image alt tag additions AE Digital completed for Sarah Diedrick Yoga's website, which are now appearing in Google search results.
3. Use Headers, Bulleted and Numbered Lists, to Organize Information More Clearly
There's a reason listicles have become so popular. Like visual information, the human brain can process information more quickly based on how text is organized.
Using different headers (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>) and bulleted and numbered lists to organize your content will encourage readers to continue reading your articles due to their streamlined flow.
4. Mention Those that Deserve to Be Mentioned
Everyone enjoys to be recognized for a job-well-done every now and again. The same goes for a blog. If someone or something--relevant to your industry--is doing something worth talking about: Mention it on your blog.
Others are more likely to share your content when it's not all about you. Tastefully including others in your blog posts will lead to a greater number of shares and backlinks to your website, giving more authority to your website in search rankings.
Here's a great example of a collaboration between AllEarth Renewables and Vermont Smoke & Cure involving sharing each other's blog and video content:
5. Sprinkle in Calls-To-Action (CTAs) Throughout Your Blog Posts
The end of the blog post isn't the only place where you can ask your readers to take action. In fact, it's a recommended best practice that you give them multiple opportunities to take action.
Include CTAs early on in the body texts of blog posts, and also include them at the end using big, clear images detailing exactly what it is you're offering or what action you want your audience to take.
Here's a good end-of-the-post example from HubSpot:
6. When You Finish a Post, Index It!
When you publish a new blog post, head over to Google Webmaster Tools, and use the "fetch as google" tool to index your new URL. It usually can take weeks or months for a post to be indexed naturally.
Try this simple tip of forcing Google to crawl and index the new URL as soon as you publish it. You should see near-immediate results.
7. Check Your Google Analytics
After your blog post has been out on the web for a while, check in on your Google Analytics account.
Take a look at where referral traffic is coming from, which keyword searches the post is getting clicks for, and which geographic locations you're reaching, among many other available, valuable pieces of data.
The possibilities are endless: If you can think of what you want to track, there is a way to do it! Reach out if you have a question!
8. Repurpose, Redistribute, Repeat
So your blog is optimized, published, indexed, and you've shared it on your website and social channels... You're all done, right? Time to sit back and relax? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The best companies repurpose blog posts to extend their shelf life. Here are some examples of how to do this:
How do you make your company's blog pop? Let us know your top tips in the comments. We'd love to know!
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