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Blogging Best Practices: A Guideline for Success

Katelyn Ahern Digital Project Manager
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing, #Blogging
Published on November 20, 2013

In keeping your blog up-to-date with quality content, we put together 5 guidelines for blogging success.

We have all heard time and time again about the importance of business blogging. You can even read about our journey at Diagram to Creating a Company Culture of Blogging, but when it comes down to actually sitting down and writing blogs for your business, panic and dread commonly ensue. Although I still haven’t found the best way to beat writers block, here are 5 guidelines to follow in order to make sure all your bases are covered before hitting the “publish” button:

1. Purpose: Answer a Question

Every blog post, regardless of whether it is for a business or a personal blog, must start with a purpose. This purpose should correlate with the needs of your audience. This has become especially important with the newest Google algorithm update, Hummingbird. Delivering quality content in a conversational manner is at the forefront of Google’s mind, and answering your audience’s questions will help accomplish this goal. A vital best practice is to clearly define what the value of each blog will be for your audience. This gives you a great guideline to keep in mind while writing the blog.

2. Title

Another key element for each blog is the title, not only for SEO reasons, but also because your blog’s title is much like a first impression. You only get the chance to do it once. It is imperative to keep your blog title 70 characters or less so that the entire title will appear in search results, but it also keeps your thought concise. If someone reads the title and is not interested based on those 70 characters, they won’t read on. Your blog title carries a lot of SEO weight, so make sure that your long-tail keyword is included. This keyword should be based upon the purpose of your blog and how your audience searches for answers to the problems your blog will answer.

3. Long-tail Keyword

Targeting a long-tail keyword is a best practice with business blogging because this strategy is less competitive and returns more qualified leads with higher conversion rates. A long-tail keyword is a more specific keyword, targeting something like “blue running shoes” instead of simply “shoes”. You can see in this example how it is a win-win, since the consumer is finding exactly what they are looking for and you can create the specific content they are trying to find.

Once you have chosen the long-tail keyword you are targeting with that particular blog post, it is important to include it in a few key places so that your blog page will rank for this keyword. In addition to including your keyword in the title of your blog, the other places to use your long-tail keyword are:

  • In the page’s URL
  • In the Meta Description
  • In the image alt-tag
  • In the image file name

4. Images (when relevant)

Adding an image to your blog is another way to catch your readers’ attention and connect with them. Images can be very powerful in your blog posts, but it is important to make sure they are relevant to your content. Including images in your blogs will also help your content to be easily shared on social media channels. According to HubSpot, photos and images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average post. Facebook is not the only social media channel that is focused on providing a visually appealing experience for users, Twitter recently updated their timelines to automatically show images. Using an image in each blog creates one less step for readers to share your post on their social media channels and can lead to more engagement.

5. Internal Links

Internal links (links to other pages on your website) are important in order to offer additional educational content to your site visitors. Try to include 2-4 internal links when possible. If you find yourself more than 4 links links you may want to re-address your blog’s purpose (that is, you may need more than one blog post in order to tackle the entire subject). When using an internal or external link you must consider what text you use to anchor the link. For SEO purposes, you want to make sure that this anchor text is relevant to what the page will tell the reader, and this also helps avoid confusion for your audience.

Consistently publishing blogs for your business and making sure they all are the best content possible can be tough. It is a constant, up-hill battle to make sure you are keeping your blog up to snuff. In order to help you stay on track and keep up with the best practices of business blogging, we have created a blogging checklist. Feel free to download this template to help you double-check each blog before hitting that publish button. Make sure you check back for part two of this blog, when we will cover 5 more blogging best practice guidelines. Until then, if you have questions about any of these practices or other blogging techniques feel free to comment below. What are your own blogging best practices?