Every business owner and entrepreneur understands the importance of a blog. It’s a concept that’s been ingrained in people over the years. But most people see blogs strictly as a tool for enhancing SEO, generating traffic, and improving website analytics. In reality, it goes much deeper than this.
Moving Past SEO Benefits
Blogging creates SEO value – this much we know. It’s a great way to build rich internal links, garner backlinks from other websites, build up rich keywords, and generate traffic. But if you’re only viewing your blog as an SEO asset – which many businesses do – you’re selling yourself short.
The truth is that a blog should add tangible value to your readers – not just your site’s SEO strategy. In other words, the substance of the content and how it’s delivered to your readers must be purposefully optimized with the audience in mind.
When a blog adds real value, it generates more traffic, amplifies engagement, increases brand exposure, builds trust, and enhances the likelihood of turning site visitors into converting customers.
5 Ways to Provide Value to Your Blog Readers
The question is, how do you go from a blog that’s merely an SEO façade to a blog that real customers latch onto? Here’s where you start:
1. Create Powerful How-To Content
No matter how much you like talking about your brand and all of the great awards you win or initiatives you work with, your blog readers simply don’t care. They expect a blog to be about them – so stop being self-serving and start adding value to their lives.
One of the best ways to add value is to create practical how-to content that walks readers through their biggest needs, wants, and friction points. Readers should leave your blog feeling like they’re armed with more knowledge than when they arrived.
Don’t worry about cannibalizing your sales by giving away too much information. People who use you like that aren’t your ideal customers anyway. The bulk of your blog readers will assume that you have far more value to give when they become paying customers.
2. Develop Rich Resources
Traditional blog posts are great, but sticky resources are also helpful. In addition to your typical weekly posts, develop a content calendar and push out a couple or rich resources every month.
For a financial advisor, rich resources would look like budgeting spreadsheets, a checklist for evaluating investments, or a calculator that helps you estimate how much you need to save for your child’s college education. For a landscaping company, it could be an ebook on local plant species that thrive under different circumstances or a tool for estimating how much pine straw you need for your property.
3. Make Content Easy to Find
Don’t make people go fishing for your content. If it requires too much effort, they’ll hit the back button and try another website.
One of the best ways to organize content is to create a categorized system in the blog sidebar. Green Residential, which has one of the more successful blogs in the property management space, does just that. Check out their blog and notice how the right side of the page has categories like Apartment Rental, Home Buying, Landlording, etc. This makes it easy for visitors to click and find all relevant content on the topics they want to know more about.
4. Long-Form Over Short-Form
Short-form content had its day. But in 2020 and beyond, there’s very little value in 300-500-word blog posts. You should be focused on long-form content – meaning posts that are 1,000-3,000-words in length. Not only does this add more value to your readers, but it also gives you more space to amplify your SEO.
5. Commit to a Content Sharing Strategy
Do yourself a favor and develop a robust content sharing strategy that helps you reach as many people as possible – drawing them into your website through the blog. As people become more familiar with your blog, they’ll be more likely to click on your content when they encounter it organically.
Ready, Set, Optimize
A blog is anything but stagnant. If you want to generate consistently valuable results, you must commit to continual optimization. This means optimizing the type of content you produce, how you develop it, where you share it, and how it’s presented on your website. You should pay attention to both evolving SEO guidelines, as well as changes in the behaviors of online users. Doing so will ensure you produce maximum impact today, tomorrow, and always.