How to Write an Informative and Engaging Blog Post
Written by Marc Dane
29 May 2018
As a writer and SEO expert, I understand the value of creating high-quality content that is not only informative but engaging as well. This is especially true when you own a business and are attempting to provide content about products, write ‘how to’ guides, produce copy for social media or initiate an automated email marketing campaign.
If your business has an online presence, it is also important to write a blog. This is because, not only will your site rank better in terms of search engine optimization, but it can be used to field questions visitors might have - if executed properly.
On top of this, having a well-written, up-to-date and informative blog provides a level of free publicity when someone performs a search of your company. This has the power to give your business yet another avenue to educate and ultimately, convert new leads.
Think Like A Reader
More often than not, content is written with a disregard for providing high levels of information to readers. In some cases, businesses think merely having a blog on the internet will enable them to increase traffic or conversions. This is untrue if the content is not regarded as king.
So what does this mean? Think about the structure of the latest news article you’ve read. Was it informative? Chances are, it was, because bloggers and journalists seek to provide a clear understanding of the subject matter they are writing about.
Google has identified the importance of providing high-level content and ranks website content based on accuracy and how informative it is. Google has even taken the liberty of defining what you can do to ensure your content is quality:
1. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines
2. Don't deceive your users
3. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to your business competitor, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
4. Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
If you can adhere to these guidelines, you can already guarantee that your content is on the right side. You can find the full list of Google best practices, as well as some points to avoid when creating content for your website.
Finally, when thinking like a reader -- pay attention to the trends and the conversations that you hear on daily basis.
If you are an automobile manufacturer and the companies in your field are experiencing a recall, writing a blog post on the importance of resolving the issue as well as safety tips for drivers if they should find themselves in a similar quagmire - is recommended.
You can take this and apply it to any number of possible situations.
Today, SEO is more important than ever before, and elements that seem trifling, (like headings) are actually quite important and can affect your blog’s search ability, as well as credibility. Take the time to play with your blog platform’s headings and learn the purpose of each one.
For example, the heading labeled ‘Title’ is identified first by Google, and communicates to the search engine that the post can be summarized by the title of the post.
Next, focus on page title and Meta Description tags. The page title summarizes your page's content, which you can edit. After this, edit the 320 characters of text search engines show when someone performs a search.
Link building is another component of SEO puzzle, which is where you provide valuable content to outside websites in hopes of receiving inbound links that increase search engine rankings.
Lastly, if you want to make sure your blog is truly SEO-friendly, ensure your blog is not only optimized for desktop viewers, but for mobile devices as well. Use Meta Tags wherever possible, especially for images, and test page loading speeds using Page Speed Insights by Google.
Don’t Write in Large Chunks of Text
Creating your own blog vastly differs from writing other forms of internet copy. For instance, if you’re trying to provide content with high value, do you really think it is best to write in seven sentence chunks of text?
The answer is no, but just in case you answered yes -- here’s why you’re wrong.
It is less intimidating to read well-written concise sentences. Reading long, run-on sentences that go on for half a page can be tiresome and cause readers to lose focus or leave your blog.
With large amounts of text, it is easy to get lost while reading and can cause frustration. This is a best practice that should be adopted across all media in your business, as it will bring a more enjoyable content-reading experience to blog visitors.
The reality is also that readers have a shorter attention span than ever before. Today, the average attention span is an astonishing eight seconds, just behind goldfish, which comes in at nine seconds. This is according to a Microsoft consumer study.
Final Thoughts and Best Practices
Throughout the writing of blog posts, you should have a clear goal in mind and have a process, as this will greatly impact the outcome of your text.
This means, write specifically to your audience, and understand who they are, stay organized, and research before you begin drafting. If you are new to blogging all together, I’d also recommend making a detailed outline of what you plan to write about.
I have an additional piece of advice for beginning bloggers -- read. The more you read marketing, sales, and business blogs, you’ll gain more insight as to where to place calls to action and other important blog elements such as photos and videos.
Writing a blog should be fun, and should force you to walk in the shoes of readers and ask yourself key questions they might ask while reading. If you can implement the above tactics into your blogging strategy, I can almost guarantee you’ll see more overall success in terms of conversion, potentially increased organic traffic and be seen as complicit in the eyes of Google.
About the Author: Marc Dane is the SEO & Content Manager at WebCreate.io – a knowledge hub for small business owners looking to build a presence online. The site offers website builder reviews and comparisons, guides for building a website and resources on related tools, platforms and more.