When done correctly, blogs are proven to capture digital traffic and drive conversions. But not every post is created equal. Without a blog content strategy in place, your content might end up at the back of the search results—and your words won’t drive any conversions.
So, how do you create a high-performing blog post? Let’s break it down:
What qualifies as a high-performing blog post?
The answer is quite simple: a high-performing blog post achieves your desired results. But if you set the wrong benchmarks, you might not be chasing the right outcomes. Generally, a piece of content’s efficacy is measured by:
- Search engine ranking;
- Thought-leadership or social reach.
You may also set “conversion” KPIs for your blog, but the behavior could range from clicking through to a new web page or filling out a form. The desired outcome is up to you.
No matter the goals you set, be clear in what you are trying to accomplish. These performance metrics can help shape your blog content strategy or evaluate and optimize existing tactics.
How do I develop a strong blog content strategy?
It’s always best to start with the basics; you can only capitalize on new tactics when you have a strong foundation. Your core strategy will influence writing style, topic selection, and the look and feel of your posts. Our content team of experts recommends you start with the following six core guidelines:
1. Write an Eye-Catching Headline
You can write a great blog post, but few will read it without a great headline. Your headline is what potential readers see first on Google; it’s the hook that gets people to click.
If you want to write an attention-grabbing headline:
- Use your focus keyword in the title;
- Include a number to quantify the content;
- Use active or powerful vocabulary and;
- Keep the content under 60 characters.
Think of this as your opportunity to communicate value to potential readers. You want to provide an enticing preview of what’s to come.
2. Format for Readability
Blog posts should be an easy read, especially for people on mobile devices. You’d be surprised how much formatting plays a role in accessibility and appeal. Too much white space, unclear headlines, or broken paragraphs can turn readers away.
Keep your paragraphs short and clear, using bullet points to illustrate valuable points or lists. If your content starts to feel long, consider breaking the content into two blog posts or using “collapsible” content features to reduce the page length.
3. Make It Visual
Blog posts with photos, infographics, embedded videos, and other visuals perform better than other content. Images add context to your writing and help more people absorb your content. If you add photos to your content, don’t forget to create alternative text tags for accessibility.
4. Include a Call to Action
It’s not rocket science: you have to tell readers what to do! Your content may not achieve its goal without a compelling call to action. An effective CTA is distinctive and doesn’t leave room for guessing. Here are a few examples of call to action text:
- Click here to subscribe;
- Share with friends;
- Activate your discount;
- Download a free trial;
- Arrange a demo.
Don’t be afraid to A/B test CTAs against each other to find the best option for your content. Testing and iteration can help you understand what resonates with your users or what needs a refresh.
5. Choose Timely Topics
You’ll attract more interest and traffic when you post about topics relevant to your audience. Use keyword research to find trending topics and guide your overall strategy. If your audience is local, be aware of events and activities that impact them.
To identify ideal topics, you must know your target audience. Learn their values, concerns, and needs—then narrow your content topics to a list that will resonate with them.
6. Use Authoritative Links
You can add credibility to your posts and improve SEO by adding outside links. Be wary: not all links are created equal. Only link to pages from websites with high domain authority and provide value to your article. Typically, content from university websites, research journals, or major media outlets is a safe bet.
Start Conversations with Content
High-performing blogs are thoughtful and relevant and can become a powerful tool to connect with your brand. These tips won’t get you conversions alone, but they’ll give you a good start. Align your content with your organization and maintain your brand tone, and you’ll be on your way to success. If you’re interested in using blog posts or other content marketing tactics to grow your business, let us know! Our experts will help you build the strategy to drive your next big campaign.