What are the key elements to effective business blogging?
If you’re taking the time to incorporate blogging as a way to support and market your business, you want to make sure you’re getting the most “bang for your buck” with every blog post you publish. A few minutes of preparation and thought will enhance your blog post’s visibility and its potential to drive customers to your website or store-front. If you’re new to business blogging, keep this checklist handy so you remember to include each element. In no time at all, blogging for your business will not only be an effective tool for bringing in new customers and increasing sales, but you may find you like blogging as well.
When you’re using WordPress for your business’ website and blog, it’s easy to make sure the following elements are in place. Here are 8 things we make sure to include in every post we write, whether for ourselves or our clients:
1. Meta data
Make sure your meta description, keywords, and title are set and appropriate for the blog article and your website. Not sure what those are? See our earlier article for an in-depth description!
2. H1 headline
Ideally, your H1 headline should include the most important keyword or keywords you want the individual post or page to be ranked for in search engines. Keep the H1 headline to the point, and try to keep it to one line in length – in this case, shorter is better. When trying to think of a H1 Headline, imagine news headlines – brief and attention getting. There is some real strategy to effective title writing. Things like including numbers and catchy or shocking words can help draw in readers.
Not sure where your H1 headline should go? In most WordPress themes, the title that you enter for your blog post will be wrapped in H1 tags on the individual post page (the page on your business blog that only shows that one post and typically has a comments section following the post).
On your main blog page, blog archive pages, and category or tag archive pages, the blog titles will typically be wrapped in H2 tags, because you don’t want more than one H1 headline per page. If you have a custom built theme or a well-built template theme (like one of the Genesis child themes by StudioPress), then this is all set up for you. If you aren’t sure if your blog title is properly wrapped in H1 tags, tweet us your web address @roadwarriorwp and we’d be happy to take a look.@roadwarriorwp - are my blog titles properly wrapped in H1 tags? My website is... Click To Tweet
3. Multiple H2 headlines
Think of H2 headlines as the second most important bit of information you’d like to convey. If someone wasn’t able to read your entire blog post, could they learn “just enough” from your H1 and H2 headlines? Or better yet, are your sub-headlines so compelling they would convince someone to take the extra few minutes and read your entire post?
H2 headlines do more than just break up text and improve readability (and scanability!) – they are also read by search engines, so make sure every post has at least one H2 headline, if not more. On this post, for example, each of the numbered sections in this list is wrapped in a H2 tag. In WordPress, you can set H@ headings using the dropdown in the second row of options on your post editing toolbar.
4. Body text
Find the Perfect Length
This is where you share your story, your information, your business update. Ideally, your body text should be at least 300 words (typical length for one or two paragraphs), if you want search engines to pick it up. We typically advise our clients that 500-750 words is better, and is what we consider to be the bare minimum for any posts we write (whether they are written for ourselves or for the clients who have retained us to write blog posts for them). There is much debate around the ideal length of blog posts – some would say that longer posts can scare off readers, while others tout research which has shown that long-form content is more likely to be shared on social media.
Proof Read and Review Before Hitting Publish
No matter the length of your blog post, make sure that your content is spell-checked and reviewed for correct grammar. Occasional typos happen, but if you have too many over and over then it may impact your brand’s identity and reputation as an authority. If you can, have someone else review your post – a second pair of eyes can help fish out errors you may have read right over. If you don’t have someone else proof read your content, then we recommend writing the post and coming back later to review before you hit “publish.” Even an hour between drafts can help you to proof read your own writing more carefully.
Tell A Story
When writing your body text, try to follow the “5 W’s (+How)” of journalism. That means your story should be able to answer the following questions for anyone reading it: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
For example, a hair salon might write a blog post which tells the following story:
Who: Crystal, our brand new hair stylist