You are probably reading this because you know that quality content creation is a fundamental part of your company's digital presence and overall success. You may also know that a lot of other people know that these days, and the net result is a whole lot of content "noise" (the bad stuff) degrading the "signal" (the good stuff). Understanding that fundamental difference and knowing you definitely don't want to be part of the noise is half the battle. Next, it's about choosing and writing about the right topic and then optimizing your post.
Part 1: Choose the right topic. Write a great post about it.
Nobody reads "content"
So how do you go about creating truly effective content? You stop writing "content" and start writing about things you are close to. It's then that you can offer something of true value, whether it's based on inspiration, frustration, insight, opinion, or even an experience. That's the stuff that gets read. Then, take it one step further and add personality and even humour; that's the stuff that gets shared.
- Is this refreshingly interesting?
- Am I creating "signal" by offering a unique opinion, insight, or something else of value that will push through all of the noise around this topic?
- Is my own voice and personality coming through to make this read less like a boring textbook and more like a fascinating conversation?
Make your blog work for you
While you want to write about a topic that really breaks through the noise, you also have to make sure it ties back to your business goals. Sharing knowledge is one of the best ways you can prove that you are THE expert your ideal client should be talking to.
- Am I solving a problem for my target market? Bonus points if you solve a problem they didn't even know existed.
- Is this timely? Is this insight, analysis, or opinion coming at a time when people are seeking this information and can action it?
Part 2: Optimize it. Get your blog (and your company) found.
It starts with the platform
Blogging can't stand on its own without a great platform that helps get it (and you) found. We choose to work exclusively with the WordPress platform for ourselves and our clients. Why? It provides everything we want & need and nothing that we don't. WordPress offers a simple CMS that even newbies can use. Not only does it look great, it's also easily adaptable & expandable, and has built-in SEO tools.
Here are some easy ways to work on SEO in WordPress:
- Pick a "Focus Keyword" and include it in the body of your post as often and as naturally possible, as well as in the title.
TIP: It can be a word or short phrase, and should be something people would naturally type into Google if they were looking for this info.
- Include images to visually break up the text & give them descriptive Alt Tags containing the Focus Keyword. They help Google decipher image content, and they count towards your total keyword count.
- Break up your text with headings and use the Header paragraph formatting to make them stand out.
- Categorize your blog (check off the most relevant Category) and add in 1-4 descriptive Tags (to tie similar posts together). While categories and tags don't necessarily have a direct impact on SEO, they help readers easily navigate your blog and ideally stay on your site longer.
Then give it a boost
Although WordPress generally makes friends easily with search engines, we boost SEO with a free plugin called WordPress SEO by Yoast. It offers comprehensive SEO tools in one spot with a red/yellow/green light indicator to let you know how your SEO is scoring. Not doing so hot? The built-in page analysis tool spots SEO issues to help you bump your score up. Yoast also displays a snippet preview of what your post looks like in Google search results.
Here's a quick Yoast checklist to help you make the most of this plugin:
- Enter your Focus Keyword
- Write an SEO title for your blog that is worded in the way someone might type into Google. Include " - Your Company Name" at the end.
- Write a short description for your blog in the Meta Description box that includes the Focus Keyword (Sum up your blog nicely instead of having Google pull your witty introduction that doesn't clearly communicate the whole idea)
- Save your post as a Draft and check your SEO indicator in the Publish box. If it is green, you're good to go. Grab a coffee. If you're seeing yellow or red, check Yoast's Page Analysis tab to see what you can adjust to improve your score.
We've pulled out these checklist items and put them in a neat & tidy one-pager that you can download here and refer to.
Good luck with your blog posts!