Five hidden reasons your blog is (probably) failing
Finished writing your next hit blog post? You sure about that?
There are all sorts of not-so-optional extras which you can easily include to fill your writing with quick wins and get more blog traffic. Allow us to explain…
If there’s one thing we like more than blogging over here in the Sookio bunker, it’s blogging about blogging. Metablogging. Blogception! Having written over 85,000 words just for one client on one topic alone (we keep count), we’d say we’re fairly au fait with generating quality, clickable content.
But that’s only the beginning.
So, say you’ve sat down and composed a lovely blog for your business, 700-1,000 words of utter gold, you’ve slung it up online… and now you’re wondering why you’re not rolling in traffic, shares, and money.
Let Sookio take you through some of the finer points of rounding a blog off. Polishing it, refining it, and embellishing it with the little touches that make the difference between throwing a bunch of words at the internet and crafting a winning chunk of content marketing.
Get the titles right
Just like the finest chef in the world would still have trouble shifting food if he called his restaurant ‘Steve’s Shack of Edible Food,’ your fantastic blog isn’t going to bring in the traffic without a catchy title. A lot of writers see titles as afterthoughts to support the main event, but really, they’re what grabs attention in the first place.
Front-load your title with the subject matter of the article. Say for example you’ve written a piece about the best material for making hats. You could write a title like:
Satin and cotton and felt, oh my! Just what is the best material for making a hat?
Good title, but your prospective reader needs to get through about ten words before they work out what your blog is about, aint nobody got time for that. How about this:
The best material for hats? Satin and cotton and felt, oh my!
See how that works? It’s the same title, you’re flexing the same literary genius, but you’re making it so much easier for the audience to click with your blog.
A compelling title is also pretty short, 10-12 words is ideal, and one or two of those words should be keywords, ones which are directly relevant to your field, or to the subject of the blog itself.
The best blog titles are also conversational, they appeal directly to the reader, and offer them something. Such as:
Are these the 5 best materials for hats? Satin and cotton and felt, oh my!
The best material for hats? Learn how to make better hats today!
The best material for hats? Is your favourite on this list?
Nailing your titles and including a keyword also makes it easier for Google to find and rank your blog. Speaking of which…
Metadata isn’t scary. Metadata is your best mate. If you view all those extra boxes in Wordpress with suspicion, you’re missing out on a really easy way to give your blog a boost.
Make sure your titles and subheadings are properly H1/H2/H3 tagged, to let Google know what they are. Cram your keywords into the metatags box, you can really go to town here with anything that’s relevant.
As for how to write a good metadescription, treat it like a slightly longer version of your title. It needs to be front-loaded, attention-grabbing, and include a keyword or three to feed the SEO monster, all under 160 characters. This is also a great place to include your location. Remember our blog about hats? How’s this for a metadescription:
Wondering what’s the best material to make hats? We’ve been selling hats in Grimsby for 15 years, so we know our stuff. Join us for a hat-making masterclass!
Start thinking in linking
It helps to view the internet like a party, this is especially true when using it for commercial purposes. When you’re at a party, the last thing you want is to be monopolised by one person banging on about one topic all night. That’s where linking comes into your blog.
Adding links, where relevant, to your blog post makes the whole thing feel like it’s a part of something greater. This, in turn, makes your audience want to learn more, it creates the joy of discovery.
Linking to other bits of your own site gives you an SEO boost by keeping visitors on-site for longer, and it creates a better user experience (UX) for them by making sure you’re clearly addressing one defined topic per page. Trust us, we know all about UX for your website.
Linking out to other sites can be used to reference what you’re talking about, giving you an air of authority and credibility. Links to trusted sources are likely to be rewarded by Google, and if you have someone in mind whose opinion you trust and respect on a topic, you can hook one another up with a reciprocal link or two.
Once again, from the top
In an ideal world, we’d be producing content that educates and inspires readers just because sharing knowledge is a nice thing to do. However, if someone reads your brand’s blog and just wanders off into the internet, even if they loved the blog, it’s wasted effort on your part. You need to include little touches to help keep people on your site.
An easy way to do this is to put a simple button at the end of your blog which brings readers back up to the top of the page. From there, they can look elsewhere on the site, read another article, or even re-read what they’ve just seen.
Depending on the platform you use to blog, this kind of button might be something you can just drag and drop into the piece, or you can code it yourself. I Can Build a Blog has a complete guide on how to add a ‘back to top’ button in your blog using simple code.
Calls to action: What was the point of all this?
If you’ve been following along so far, you’ll have presented your readers with a great blog that performs well in search, is packed with value, and keeps visitors on your site… but why? Including a call to action (C2A) at the end of the piece gives clear instructions about what you’d like the reader to do, now they’ve digested the gift that is your blog.
This is true for more or less any bit of content which populates your site. No page should exist as an island, but it’s especially important to make your blogs serve a clear purpose.
Think back to why you wrote it in the first place. Is it to build authority in your space? Promote an event? Or just drive sales by showcasing what a top product you’ve got?
Regardless, there’s some way you can round the piece off and achieve this goal:
If you’re building authority, encourage readers to connect with you on social media.
If you’re promoting an event, send them to somewhere they can buy tickets.
Easiest of all, if you’re showing off a product, send them right to your sales page and get them in that funnel!
On a totally unrelated note, now you’ve seen how well we know our onions, why not bring us on board for your next big content project?
Contact Sookio today, and let us help express your ideas with confidence.