There are few things that evolve quite like content. The latest digital marketing trends change, forms of media come and go, and each new shift in the digital sphere irrevocably shifts the way in which we interact with the typed word. Because of this, it’s easy for websites and businesses to find themselves struggling to keep up with the shifting sands of digital, which can mean losing out on potentially hundreds, if not thousands of visitors a month.
This is never more true than when it comes to on-site blogging. From the smallest startup to the largest companies in the world, it is now an expectation, if not a requirement, that businesses adopt blogging as a major part of their digital presence. It’s a means of solidifying them as an authority in their field; a way to let outsiders in on their knowledge, and get people invested in them for more than just their products and services.
So, what can be done to get more out of your website’s blog, and what can you do to make sure that those who come to peruse your articles stick around?
With a large portion of businesses and websites now feeling the pull towards on-site blogging, it can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have a wide array of specialists sharing their insights and populating the internet with views and resources that would have never been possible before. However, on the other hand, you have a number of websites simply creating content because they know that it is a good thing to do. Whilst this method may have worked in the past, the advancement of search engine algorithms has meant that low-quality content can end up being just as bad as no content at all, if not worse.
The fact is that search engines want to provide their users with the best possible results for their queries, and if you aren’t providing that, then you’re unlikely to get any traction on your site whatsoever. So, now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that your blog is an authoritative insight into your industry, thoroughly answering the questions that potential readers are going to genuinely care about.
So, what’s the solution? If you’re not a writer yourself, then it’s time to bring someone in who is. Many businesses work with freelancers with proven track records or invest into monthly blog content that will be optimised to cater for your audience. Whilst it may initially seem like an unnecessary expense, having high-quality, authoritative blogs can make or break a website, and it’s important that you give it the due care it so desperately deserves.
When it comes to any form of online writing, there are two prominent ways in which it can diverge. For one, you can cater specifically to the algorithms, putting out pieces that are exactly in line with what is going to, hypothetically, yield you the best ROI on a blog-by-blog basis. Alternatively, you can take the proverbial reins and speak from a place of personal experience; work towards bestowing the essence of your specific expertise to readers in a more fluid way. Although each one has its merits on its own, the ideal solution is a mix of both.
Look at it this way: A search engine like Google wants to answer the questions that its users have. So, if you are answering those questions and your chosen topics are representative of your website’s niche, that is an excellent match and you’re likely to get visitors over time, but will they stay? One of the things that website owners often forget is that there will be thousands of businesses trying to answer the same big questions, and only those that stick out as unique or insightful are likely to get people returning for more.
This is actually something Google specifically has gone to great lengths to factor in, prioritising unique content and weeding out blogs that are technically proficient but lacking in any differentiating factors. That’s where your personal perspective comes into play. So, if you can find the questions that people are longing to have answered, and create content that answers those questions in a way that incorporates your personal identity and tone, then you’re far more likely to have people stick around to read more.
When you’re trying to stay on top of all the current news and trends within your blogs, it’s easy for them to become, for lack of a better term, disposable. Landing breaking news stories on Google Discover with insights on current events may get some buzz in the short term, but once interest wanes and people move on, your article on the subject will mostly just end up being lost to time. So, whilst it’s good to talk about the present much of the time, it’s important that you create pieces that are going to be relevant in the future.
Consider the idea that you are a site that only focuses on the new trending topic for any given week. When a reader clicks onto your most recent post and then goes to peruse your other offerings, what of interest are they likely to find? How are you going to keep their attention long enough that they may consider coming back rather than just heading over to a competitor?
This is the importance of topics that aren’t going to immediately become outdated, they allow you to have a body of work that is as readable now as it will be in a year. Plus, the more useful topics you have, the more potential portals people have for finding your website in the long term. So, if you have a bunch of thin content that needs repurposing, consider writing each article with an ‘evergreen’ mindset. It will also save you heaps of time too!
As we touched on earlier, the fact that thousands of other businesses are inevitably going to be going for similar subject matters to you is an enormous factor when planning your content. We all want to go for those big terms, questions, and phrases, but more often than not, the level of competition will be too much to overcome. This is especially true if you’re new to blogging and your site hasn’t had the chance to gather authority, as search engines still won’t have the best idea of how or where to place you. So, what do you do instead?
The answer comes in the form of more niche content for more niche search intents. By finding low competition keywords, you stand much greater chance of ranking. For example, if you wanted to sell sneakers, you may be writing articles around the term “sneakers” because it has a high search volume. This may seem like a good idea initially but think of the millions of other pages you’d have to outrank to reach the top rankings for this incredibly broad idea. Instead, look for more specific topics within that broader category to cover, such as “men’s designer sneakers in Melbourne” or “which sneakers are best for basketball”. By covering these smaller topics, you may be reaching a smaller potential audience, but your chances of actively engaging that audience are drastically increased.
Running a successful blog is never going to be easy; it can take time, energy and resources that you may have never considered before. However, if you can create engaging articles within your niche consistently, then over time you will start to reap the rewards of your efforts. Good luck!