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What to Write in a Blog: 7 Steps to Attract More Readers

So, you’ve decided to start a blog for your business. Excellent idea. Oh wait, your blog is actually more for personal use? Still, an excellent idea. However, you’re noticing through analytics and lack of engagement that your blog isn’t getting quite the amount of attention that you’d hoped it would get–which can definitely be a bummer when you’re spending hours pouring out your creative genius, and getting so little feedback in return. Today we’re going to look at 7 ways to attract more readers through writing a blog, so you can get that following you want and deserve.

1. Post, post, post

I’m sorry, but your bi-monthly blog post is not enough when it comes to attracting more readers to your blog. You need to be writing a blog post as often as you can. Statistics show that companies that prioritize their blogging efforts (and content marketing strategy) are 13x more likely to receive a positive return on investment (ROI).  Being consistent is absolutely key when it comes to posting on your blog, and you need to come up with a posting schedule that suits your company. For some companies it wouldn’t make sense to post more than three-four times a week, while with others, it would make sense to be posting once or twice per day. If you’re running a business blog, it depends on what sort of audience you want to attract. Come up with a regular schedule and editorial calendar that you can commit to sticking to–that way your readers know to check back and expect new content on those particular days.

2. SEO Optimization

As discussed in number 1, posting more will also mean that you’ll cover more topics, which makes you more likely to be found in search engines. This is obviously huge in making sure your blog is attracting more readers, as you need to have the ability to be found in the first place. To get post ideas when you’re starting a blog, do your keyword research and include words or phrases that are being searched for on a regular basis that relate to your business. While you shouldn’t plan your article or blog post around a keyword just because it’s popular, finding ways to relate to and integrate them with your blog ideas will most certainly help your search engine ranking.

3. How-To and List Posts

Statistics show that both how-to and list posts are at the height of the overall headline preferences for content, with number lists (similar to this blog post) coming in first at 37%, and how-to headlines coming in third at 17%.  These headlines hold these ranks for good reason. Think about how many times you, yourself have typed “how to” into a search engine. How many times you were automatically attracted to a title because it was a list? We associate lists with being easier and more manageable to read, especially in this busy day and age where we’re always on the go. There is a lot to be gained by integrating these two types of posts into your blog as often as you can. A great blog post on any given topic is more likely to get social shares with your audience, too!

what to write in a blog

4. Comment on other’s blog posts

While you may not see at first why this would even be beneficial, it can hugely help increase traffic to your website, especially when you’re first starting out. We’re not necessarily talking about commenting on anyone and everyone’s blog post willy nilly–you want to primarily focus on blog posts that are in the same niche or industry as you are. For example, if you’re a lifestyle blogger, comment on other lifestyle bloggers, and give them some positive and thoughtful feedback. This could result in their engaging with you, or may result in other blog post readers checking out what content you have to offer on your own blog. Try to reach out and do this as often as you can–every day is not too much.

5. Don’t be afraid to get personal

Sharing your own story is a powerful and meaningful tool in helping your readers get to know you on a more personal level. People appreciate honesty, and they’re more likely to come back to you specifically if they feel like they know you, and that you are going to provide real and honest content to them. Of course, you don’t need to delve into your deepest and darkest secrets every time you write a blog post, but being willing to open up and allow your readers an insight into you will greatly benefit you.

6. Use social media

People love to keep up to date with their favorite bloggers, businesses and influencers through social media–it’s all about that aspect of keeping things as personal as you can. If someone feels like they know you and get what you’re all about, they’re more likely to keep coming back to you over someone else who’s more generic. They’re also more likely to give you social shares to their friends, to share your ideas. This will help to grow that target audience through like-minded people, like their friends and family. Every time you’re writing blog posts, think about how you can make it social media friendly. When you publish an article, think about the tagline you’ll tweet out, or consider creating a hashtag for feedback. However, don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick one or two social media platforms and really focus on those platforms, posting daily and providing valuable backlinks to your business and to your blog.

what to write in a blog

7. Consider roundup posts

Roundup posts are a compilation of different sources, and can make for a great blog topic. This could mean different answers to a question, or a list of your top ten bloggers in a particular industry. You might be thinking, “Wait. Why would I provide direct links to my competitors?” Yes, you are pointing out that others are able to cover similar topics to you and do well in their industry. No one is arguing that. However, a roundup blogpost is not only meant to benefit other businesses, but yours as well. You will notice that if a blogger gets featured in another blogger’s work, they are extremely likely to share that blog post, which can bring in significantly more traffic for you. Quite a small price to pay, and there’s nothing wrong with promoting other successful businesses. We all have to support each other in this competitive world, my friends.

 

While these are only 7 of dozens of possible ways you can attract more readers to your blog, we hope we have given you some solid inspiration on how to move forward. With the right techniques and epic posts, there’s no reason why your blog won’t be attracting more readers in no time at all.

How to Find the Top Keywords for Your Field or Niche

Finding top keywords that fit with you field or niche is one of the most important aspects of SEO (search engine optimization). Without knowing the actual keywords and phrases that your potential customers are looking for, how on earth are you going to optimize your website so it includes them? In this article, we are going to explore why keywords are important when it comes to SEO, and how to find for yourself the keywords that will be most beneficial to your business.

Why search for keywords?

You may be thinking, “Hey, it can’t be that hard to come up with keywords”, and spit out a list of five or six off the bat. After all, you know what your product or business is all about better than anyone. However, compiling a list of obvious keywords is not where you should stop. There are numerous long-tail keywords or phrases that you may not actually think about off the top of your head, because you’re not necessarily thinking about how a potential customer would phrase them. By compiling these keywords, you will now have an entire list of words and phrases to integrate into your content creation, and ultimately receive considerably more traffic.

top keywordsHow to search for keywords

Content Refined understands how important keyword research is when it comes to SEO optimization, which is why we offer it in our end-to-end Content Creation packages.  We understand that you may not have it in your digital marketing budget to hire a team to search for keywords for you, which is why we’re going to give you some helpful tips on searching for them yourself.

1. Topic buckets

When it comes to your business, you need think about what general topics are both important and relevant, and come up with a list of them. Don’t just go for the obvious – really think about what your target audience might search for, and what you most want your business to be known for. So, take a company like Content Refined for example. What topics may someone search for whose goal would be to end up at a digital marketing agency? When you think about it that way, you could say that some of our topic buckets are:

  • SEO optimization
  • Blogging
  • Digital marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Keyword research
  • Marketing analytics
  • Inbound marketing
  • White hat marketing
  • Marketing management

Now, you want to think about relevant words and phrases that relate to each of these topic buckets. Maybe these relevant keywords and phrases have less search volume numbers per month, but they may be more likely to rank for in a search engine. Obviously, this will result in you coming up with many dozens of keywords, but we’re not going to use all of them. This is simply an exercise in exploring as many avenues as possible to come up with a list of the best possible keywords in the end.

2. Related search terms

Google is fantastic for providing everything you might need when it comes to keyword research, and there are a few methods you can try that require ridiculously little effort. One method is by simply typing in one of your keywords or phrases that you’ve come up with, and see what related terms come up. Easy, right? Suggested words or phrases not only pop up when you’re in the process of typing in your search term, but you will see a list of related search phrases if you just scroll to the bottom of your page. So, if you think about it, Google is directly spoon feeding some helpful keywords to you, that could help you in your SEO optimization. Thanks, Google!

3. Check Google Analytics

You may be using Google to keep track of your analytics already, or you might be using another website service or program that does the same (and if you’re not tracking analytics at all, we need to have a little talk). However, you can check right on Google Analytics which search terms your website is already being found for, and work directly off of that. While yes, this won’t automatically provide new keywords, it will provide a list of search terms that you should be optimizing on, as well as giving you helpful keywords to search for when it comes to related search terms.

4. See how your competitors are ranking

Yes, while it’s true that you don’t need to be doing everything your competitors are doing (kind of if they jumped off a bridge, would you do it too scenario), but it would clearly be helpful to find out what popular keywords your competitors are being found for, and how they are ranking. While this may seem sneaky, it’s a perfectly valid way of searching for keywords that will benefit your business, and there are even marketing tools that will allow you to do so with the click of a button. SEMrush is a fantastic tool that allows you to input either a keyword, domain, or URL, and see how it’s ranking, along with a long list of further statistics and benefits to your business.

top keywords

Which keywords do you use?

Now that you have a potentially very long list of keywords related to your business, which ones should you actually use? Not to worry, there are free, online programs that can help with that too. Woohoo! Both Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends will be able to help you narrow down this list, and find which ones will generate the most traffic. Keyword Planner will show you how much traffic and volume that a keyword or phrase is generating, while Google Trends will tell you which keywords you should be investing in now, and if they are projected to grow in the future. What more do you need?

When it comes to digital marketing and the internet’s ability to direct anyone towards your website so it’s actually seen, keyword research is incredibly important. If you are not confident in doing this yourself or simply do not have the time, Content Refined can help. However, if you’re in a position where you are wanting and willing to do this research for yourself, we hope we have given you some great ideas on how to find the best possible keywords to help your business grow.

The Importance of Digital Marketing in 2019

It is likely that if you are reading this article, you at least have some sense of what digital marketing is, and why it’s important. After all, you cannot browse the internet without being accosted by multiple different forms of digital marketing, whether you realize it or not. So, why is digital marketing more important than ever, and what can you expect to see in the future? Let’s take a look at the importance of digital marketing in 2019.

Social Media

Digital marketing in 2019 will see full utilization of social media for a company’s marketing strategy needs. With 3.484 billion social media users worldwide, this number has already grown by 9% since last year. With social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube offering free accounts, there is no reason why businesses shouldn’t be taking full advantage of this lucrative digital marketing opportunity. When it comes to social media, visuals will be focused on more than ever before, versus focusing on text. With the amount of competition in both the online and the offline world, delivering a message as quickly and effectively as possible is especially important, therefore, the use of video is becoming more popular than ever before in social media. This can be seen by simply scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed – odds are, a significant amount of the ads you see are going to be in video form, versus the one or two you may have seen in the past amongst photo ads. ‘Live’ video will also become increasingly more popular in social media, as it creates a live customer experience which allows potential customers to ask questions on the spot, and to find out more about your business. It also creates a sense of trust with your customers, giving a face to the name of your business, and therefore building brand awareness.

importance of digital marketing

Artificial Intelligence

Have you noticed the increase of online artificial intelligence within the past year alone? This is only going to grow in 2019, as companies are realizing the importance of having customer assistance available around the clock. When we want information, we want it now, regardless of what time of the day or night it is (we sound a little impatient, don’t we?). Chatbots are available 24/7 to answer your customer’s questions with pre-programmed answers by simulating human conversation. While only a small percentage of businesses currently use chatbots, this will not be the case for long. It is predicted that by the year 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be completed without speaking to an actual human! Imagine your conversion rates skyrocketing without having to hire more customer service reps or public relations employees!

Personalization Through Data

This is a trend that is continuously growing with digital marketing efforts, and for good reason. The ability to personalize your customer’s experience through stored data has proven to be a digital marketing technique that works. This is demonstrated across many different online retailers, with sites like Amazon being at the forefront of this technique. Amazon requires you to “sign in for your best experience”. From there, everything from your homepage to suggested add-ons are personalized to you. Browsing a particular item? Amazon will show you similar items that you might like, items that are related to your browsing history, and also what others have bought that have recently purchased this item. Personalization through data not only applies to this technique, but can also be applied through search engine optimization, and through email marketing. In fact, personalization through email marketing is proving to be more effective than ever, whether applied to personalized products and promotions, or implementing the use of the customer’s name or birthday. Personalization through data all comes down to making the customer feel like you care about them and their needs, and are willing to go the extra mile as a retailer or service provider in order to meet them.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search engine optimization has been a reigning digital marketing champ for some time now. So, what has changed in 2019? Well, first of all, black hat techniques are not going to cut it, and your business cannot be pumping out content just for the sake of it. In order to rank on Google, your business has to be producing top quality content that is insightful, on topic, and full of relevant keywords (basically, don’t try to trick potential customers into visiting a site that has nothing to do with what they’re looking for). Both RankBrain and Dwell Time are going to become increasingly more important to you in your quest for SEO optimization. In case you don’t know, RankBrain is a form of artificial intelligence that is a part of Google’s core algorithm in processing search engine results, and also Google’s third most important ranking factor. Dwell Time is essentially the amount of time that someone spends on your site – although it has not officially been named as part of Google’s ranking factor, it definitely factors in. For example, if someone clicks into your website and clicks out after ten seconds, your rank will drop, as this means that they did not find what they were looking for.

importance of digital marketing

Voice Search Optimization

You may argue that this is not a form of digital marketing – however, optimizing your webpage for the most in demand forms of web browsing is most definitely a form of digital marketing. Making sure that your website is optimized when it comes to voice searching is a way to make sure that your company isn’t missed. In fact, by the year 2020, it is estimated that 50% of all searches will be made by voice search. Some ways to optimize your content for voice search optimization is by not only thinking about what people are searching for, but how they would search for it. For example, if they are searching in the form of a question (which they often do), try to answer as many questions as you can about your product or service on your company’s website. You can also include more “conversational” keywords that someone might use when they’re speaking as opposed to when they’re typing, as well as making sure your website is as mobile friendly as possible.

Not only is the importance of  a digital marketing strategy at an all time high in 2019, but the ways in which digital marketing efforts are being used are constantly growing and changing. By staying up to date with the latest digital marketing tactics and trends, you are on your way to doing everything you can to set your company up for success.

Online Marketing for Small Business: Monthly Checklist

When it comes to your small business, your online marketing strategy needs to be on point – as in, it really isn’t even an option. As small businesses, you are not only competing with other small businesses out there, but larger, well established businesses – however, this should not have you feeling discouraged. Making a monthly checklist of your online marketing goals from the very beginning will let you keep on track of what’s important, and what needs to be done. Here is our monthly checklist for online marketing when you’re a small business.

1. Designing your website

When opening your small business, making sure you have an easy to navigate and functional website is key – especially if your business is mostly or purely based online. Even if you do not offer your products or services to be sold online, your website needs to be appealing enough to your audience of potential customers that they want to go the extra mile and contact you to find out more information. When designing your website, there are a few key elements that are an absolute must:

  • It is laid out in a way that is simple and easy for your customer to navigate – meaning, it won’t take them long to find the information they’re looking for.
  • Able to load quickly – if your website isn’t able to load in five seconds or less, odds are you have lost your customer before they could even find out more about what you have to offer.
  • You have helpful and relevant content that is easy to read, and distinguishable with headings and subtitles, and includes images and/or video.
  • Your website is designed for mobile use – this is an absolute must. Nobody wants to try to navigate a site on a mobile that is intended for desktop use, and they will give up quickly if they are forced to try. Text becomes impossible to read, links become impossible to navigate, and you can guarantee your customer is not going to stick around for long.
  • Brand awareness – you need every bit of that website to be integrated with your company’s marketing efforts and branding strategy.

online marketing for small business

2. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

As you may (or may not) know, there is a difference between your local and your typical SEO. If you are a small business, odds are you’re going to want to be focusing on local SEO for your area (or your consumers’ locations). There are multiple ways to make sure that your business is optimizing on local SEO, such as:

  • Accurate and consistent NAP (your business’s name, address, and phone number) – This needs to be the same on your website, and across all directories. If this is clear and consistent, than Google will be much more likely to recognize your business as local, therefore having it rank in a local search.
  • Claiming your Google My Business Page – This is huge for showing up in a Google search, and if you haven’t already done it, shame on you. It’s free, and as long as you are a legitimate business and follow Google’s verification process, it shouldn’t be a problem to complete. If you want to really cover your bases, claiming your Bing Places for Business would be helpful as well.
  • Online reviews – Google itself has stated that high quality, positive online reviews are more likely to get your company ranked in their search engine, so that’s enough motivation right there. This coupled with the fact that 97% of people read reviews for local businesses is going to help your company’s overall ratings.

3. Social Media

Depending on whether or not you’ve grown up in the age of social media, you may not completely understand how important it is when it comes to online marketing. Not only are social media accounts free, but they are an easy and effective tool in increasing your business’s exposure. Some ways to include social media in your online marketing monthly checklist are:

  • Posting regular content – Having one person who is designated to posting regularly on social media would be incredibly helpful for your business. That way, you do not have multiple people scrambling to decide what to post each day, and your content can stay consistent both in how often it is posted, and in style.
  • Posting high quality content – You can’t be posting content just to post it! Your content has to be high quality and relevant to your business. Focus as much as you can on graphics over text, and consider periodically including a short video.
  • Although not relevant to your own social media accounts, make sure that you include a social media sharing button on your own website. This makes it easy for customers to share your product or webpage with their followers, which can only increase business and exposure for you.
  • Social media marketing campaigns – small business owners can take advantage of these free social media channels by integrating them into their email marketing campaigns and social media ads! When your marketing activities are unified into one bigger plan, you’re more likely to connect people across all social media platforms and increase your online presence.

4. Create a blog

When starting a small business, more often than not the thought of a blog does not enter your mind. However, setting aside the time to create content for a blog on your own website is way more helpful than you realize. Not only does this improve your company’s credibility, but it helps exponentially in SEO optimization. This is due to the fact that there is now much more content on your website that covers a wider range of topics relating to what you have to offer. Therefore, a potential customer is much more likely to be redirected to your website. Similarly to your social media accounts, make sure that you are posting high quality, relevant content, and that you are posting on a consistent basis. Not only does this help increase your company’s credibility, but it shows your customers that your goal is not to just get money from them. You care about providing accurate information, and providing education on the topic of your business.

online marketing for small business

5. Keeping track of key metrics

Oh boy, do we ever need to stress the importance of this! If you are not keeping track of your key metrics, you are not going to know how much traffic your website is generating, where the traffic is coming from, or what kind of ROI you’re getting. So, unless you suddenly have sales flooding in, you’re really going to have no idea how your website is doing, and what you could do to improve. Google itself provides tools to track your analytics with Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console. There are also a number of website hosting platforms that include this service. Keeping on top of your analytics on a regular basis will help you understand what you’re doing right, where you’re going wrong, and what needs to be done in the future.

When it comes to growing your small business, creating a monthly checklist for your online marketing not only helps keep you organized, but is key to the growth of your business. Always remember that at the end of the day, you are creating the best possible experience you can for your customer, and this should show in every aspect of your online marketing.

Organic SEO Services and Conversions: FAQs

If you have so much as dabbled in the realm of digital marketing, you have probably heard of the term SEO. After all, SEO (search engine optimization) has become an essential way of marketing your online business in 2019, and is quickly becoming necessary in order to make yourself known amongst your competitors. So, having said all of that, what are SEO services, what are conversions, and what on Earth does “organic” SEO mean? We’re here to answer some of your burning SEO questions, so you can be on your way to optimizing these techniques (or at least hiring someone that can do it for you).

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and is a set of techniques and tactics used to help your website rank higher in search engine results. For example, say you type in the name of a product or service you’re looking for into Google. SEO is put in place so that your company’s listing for this product or service is right at the top of the charts, and will be one of the first to appear. Getting to this stage will require some strategic planning, as SEO is not as simple as buying some advertising space on Google – these strategic techniques will help you rank higher on search engines that so your business can get onto that crucial first page of search engine results.

What are SEO Services?

SEO services are generally offered by a digital marketing company that specializes in SEO, and have professionals that know firsthand how to make your company rank higher in search engine results. These services are generally offered in packages, and usually stick to a few key elements, which depend on your needs and your budget. At Content Refined, we offer a variety of packages for a variety of needs and budgets, but our Content Creation packages always offer the following: a project manager, keyword research and title creation, writing content for your website, SEO optimization, and publishing to your website. We also offer packages that are only meant to optimize your existing content, as well as keyword research packages (without all the other stuff).

organic seo services

What is Organic Vs. Non-Organic SEO?

These terms can sound a little daunting if you’re just starting to understand the concept of search engine optimization, but it is really quite simple. Organic SEO refers to obtaining natural SEO results that come from the use of algorithms, search engine keywords, backlinks, high quality content and other non-paid methods. Organic SEO is focused on long term results, that will benefit your business in the long term.

Non-organic, paid, or “black hat” SEO is a little different. It revolves around paid placements and results that are meant to give a quick turnaround and do not focus on a long-term goal. While black hat SEO techniques can initially win your website more traffic, it will not work out in the long term, or lead to a long term, growing customer base. Black hat techniques can actually get a company banned from search engines once they catch onto what you are doing. Some methods of non-organic or black hat SEO techniques are keyword stuffing, cloaking, paid links and ads, poor content quality and sneaky redirects. It also generally involves more off-site SEO (or off-page SEO) that doesn’t deal with your organic numbers. When you’re looking for SEO experts, look for people with white hat SEO techniques (like inbound links and content marketing).

What Are Conversions?

Conversions are not a method of SEO, but the result that you are hoping to achieve. When it comes to SEO, each company’s end goal is not going to be the same – it could be the purchasing of a product or service, the subscription to a newsletter, or just clicking through to the next page. Once your goal is defined, you can decide what a conversion means to you. However, the ultimate goal of a conversion should always involve informing the customer about your product or service, and making them feel good about your company. A conversion rate is the number of visitors that go on to that next desired step, versus the visitors who do not. For example, if one out of ten visitors purchase your product or service (assuming that’s what your end goal is), your conversion rate would be 10%.

organic seo services

What is CRO?

If you have already heard of SEO, you have likely heard of CRO – conversion rate optimization. CRO focuses on optimizing the number of conversions, versus the number of visitors. Sounds pretty much like SEO, right? Well, the end goals of both are a little different. Organic SEO is all about building a long-term relationship with potential customers. This involves leaving a lasting impression on them by using techniques that are all about optimizing your website for the best possible customer experience, as well as making sure that your website is being organically found by the customers that require your product or service. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these customers are buying your product or service right away, although that is a desired result. Therefore, SEO is more so about the number of visitors your website is receiving. CRO is making sure that these visitors are converting as you see fit, so it is unlikely that if you are focusing on CRO that you are using organic SEO strategies in order to get there. CRO is much more about paid product placements and pushing a product on a customer, rather than waiting for them to find it themselves through more organic methods.

Why Will Organic SEO Help My Company?

There are a number of reasons why organic SEO will help your company, but none more so than that it’s been proven to work. This is largely because customers do not appreciate feeling like a product, service or otherwise is being pushed on them. With the help of a digital marketing company, you can make your company as available as possible to the customer, without making them feeling like anything is being over advertised or forced on them. It comes down to the fact that you have a great product or service, and a company that is willing to put in the time and effort to let your visitors find that out for themselves – with a little behind the scenes help along the way.

We hope we were able to answer some of your burning SEO questions, and help you understand a little bit more just why expert services and SEO packages can benefit your company. Content Refined is passionate about the SEO-driven content services packages we have to offer – these methods have been proven time and time again to work, and will increase traffic to your website immediately. Reach out to us to talk more about on-page optimization efforts and an organic SEO strategy. If that’s not worth the time for your business, we don’t know what is!