Company blogs are everywhere. Every business is now writing blog content for the web. It’s just as simple as throwing words on a screen – right? Maybe.
In the digital age, time is precious. Studies by Microsoft have shown users’ attention spans have reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. A good chunk of readers may never even get this far! That means blogs have to be more interesting and more gripping from the outset. Get it right, and you’ll bring visitors to your site, increase your leads, and build up a genuinely engaged following for years to come.
Here are our top tips for creating business blog content.
Have a plan
Just before your fingers mash the keyboard, what’s the point of your blog? Is it to help people find more information, to explain something complex, entertain fans or add value to their lives? Whatever your needs, it’s important to create a content calendar. Better yet try our Top Tips for Content Idea Generation to give you a wealth of options. You might also want to think about:
- Tone of voice. How you express your company’s voice online away from product pages? Do you want people to think you’re a fun brand, or do you want people to view you as the leading authority? From using slang to puns, the words you use say more about your business than you think. But make sure you’re being genuine.
- What topics? There’s more to talk about than you think. You don’t have to blog directly about the products you sell (or the keywords you’re focussed on getting traffic for – maybe sometimes product pages are best for those), but on topics related to your industry. For example, supermarkets sell food, but their magazines don’t talk about baked beans. Instead, they’re chock-full of recipes and lifestyle ideas. Customers find this useful.
- How can I add value? Basically, this translates to: why should people care about reading your blog? There are hundreds of others out there. So there has to be something in it for them – value for them to take away. Tips, advice, resources or anything that you can offer that encourage engagement.
Get your sub-headings sorted
If you want people to read your posts, then it’s important that they can scan down the screen to digest information more easily. Just like this.
Not only does it break up the text, but it acts like an expanded contents list. So if people really do have eight seconds to spend on your page then they’ll find the information they came for.
Keep it simple
Simple sentences and shorter paragraphs are easier to read on a screen. That means people can easily follow what you say. And that means they’ll spend longer engaging with your content – which can help (in combination with these other factors) improve dwell time and your Google rankings.
Don’t forget, you can also emphasise key points with bold text to make sure the really important stuff hits home. Using bullet points is also an ideal way to make complex ideas easier to follow.
Easy on the acronyms too – don’t assume everyone knows what DERP stands for (we don’t either).
Blogging is a fantastic opportunity to link back to relevant content elsewhere on your website. As a descriptive anchor text, it helps improve SEO. But make sure to keep it relevant. For example, we’ve talked about content for websites before, so it’s useful to reference that with a cheeky internal link.
Don’t get too trigger happy with those links though. Use them sparingly.
Images & Videos
Who wants to look at words all the time when we have pictures? A good photo (or an infographic) not only offers a nice break to the text. As a bonus, Google also ranks pages with images higher than those without.
Don’t forget to optimise your images with a relevant alt-tag that describes what the image is. You should also make sure that all images are less than 1MB to reduce load times and stop users bouncing before your page loads. Image optimisation not only contributes to SEO, but it helps with web accessibility when people are using screen readers.
Also, this is the internet and it’s filled with videos (admittedly most of them starring cats). Relevant videos can also help increase dwell time on the page.
Gone are the days of Comic Sans – for the most part. But generally, you need to pick a font for your blog that’s easy to read – both in design and in size.
This is extremely important for reading on mobile devices (you may even find the majority of users are actually reading on their phones – so make sure you’ve got your blog mobile optimised). You should also ensure that your hypertext font colour is easily legible and draws the eye for users to quickly explore your site further.
Once you get the hang of it, blogging with a proper structure is simple. These key points are focussed around delivering useful content to people, in a clear and engaging way. So readers can get the information they want with minimal fuss.
Customers will like you for it. Google will like you for it. Everyone wins.
If you can get the perfect balance of content, font, images, and layout, you’ll see a long term increase in the results of your blogs, from raising brand awareness to increasing conversions and enquiries. If you don’t have a knack for grammar or want to leave your content to the experts then try Fifteen Design. We have a team of dedicated content writers and digital strategists who can turn a phrase and maximise your content.
Original Date: December 13, 2016
Updated Date: December 14, 2020