There’s no shortage of competition for people’s time and attention online, as you well know. With more than 600 million blogs globally and more than six million posts published daily, how on earth are you going to make yours stand out? This post provides practice advice for how to get your blog noticed, despite the noise.
Understand Why People Read Blog Posts
People turn to the internet and blog posts for various reasons. Sometimes you go in search of information. Other times you bump into something you find interesting on social media. Regardless of how it happens, understanding why people read blogs can help you determine how to focus your content on their needs so they’ll be more likely to click and read.
Reasons people read blogs to:
- Be entertained
- Accomplish a task they’re uncertain how to do
- Discover potential solutions to a problem they have
- Learn more about their hobbies or interests
- Become more educated about a subject they enjoy or need to know more about
- Stay up-to-date on current events or information, especially in their industry
These reasons also don’t live in silos. People who want to learn more about their hobby likely want to be entertained by the content. So you can see that there is a lot of crossover potential among these reasons.
Focus on Search Intent
Now that you understand some of the reasons people read blogs, you can begin to think about what they search for if they turn to Google to find information. Then you focus the post on that search intent or the purpose of the online search.
Search intent categories:
- Informational Intent. Searchers looking for an answer to a specific question or general information.
- Navigational Intent. Searchers intending to find a particular site or page.
- Commercial Intent. Searchers looking to investigate products, services, or brands. They probably want to buy in the future.
- Transactional Intent. Searchers intending to complete an action or purchase right then. They’re looking to buy something now.
Once you think about why people want the information on your blog and how they will find it, keywords to focus on and how to frame the content to get noticed become clearer. Then it’s time to research your keywords.
Use a keyword research tool for this part of the process. Choose a keyword phrase that people are likely to type into a Google search. Then use it strategically within your content.
Use the keyword in the post:
- Meta description
- Content (Don’t overdo this. You don’t want Google to think you’re keyword stuffing.)
Write Great Titles and Meta Descriptions
Speaking of titles and meta descriptions… they’re critical. The title and meta description are the first things readers see when determining whether to click on your blog post. They make the decision whether to read based on these few words. Make sure you follow all of the best practices when writing both.
When writing titles:
- Keep Them Simple. You missed the mark if your reader has to read your post title more than once to understand it. Use three to five simple words to summarize the post. Then, readers should understand your title at a glance.
- Use Strong Verbs. Use strong action verbs in your titles. Be creative with the verbs you use. Avoid passive verbs and “be” verbs.
- Include Keywords. Use the most important words related to your post’s content in your title. Using keywords will help search engines identify your post as worthy of sharing with readers.
- Use Blog Title Format Best Practices. Including a number or a question attracts reader attention and makes your post more likely to be read.
- Try an Analyzer. Use a tool to help you analyze your title like this one from CoSchedule. It will help improve your titles.
When writing a meta description:
- Be Concise. Meta descriptions that get the best Google search results are 120-156 characters.
- Include Your Keyword. Use your keywords in the summary to get better Google search results.
- Be Specific. Minimize the risk of clicking on your post by being as specific as possible about what it offers.
- Sell It. Be sure the information in your meta description matches your blog post but doesn’t say the exact same thing. Make your meta description its own blog sales copy.
- Include a Call-to-Action. Tell the reader what you want them to do next by using phrases like “learn more” or “read more,” if you have space.
You can do everything right by understanding search intent, choosing keywords, and following SEO best practices. But if your content is bad, readers will leave your site quickly, and they’ll never come back. Make sure the content on your site is stellar. And don’t forget that readers want to be entertained, no matter what.
Photos and graphics aren’t just there to break up the text. They also attract attention. Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. Whether you shoot your own photos and build your own graphics or use one of the many options for free images available, you need visuals in your posts.
Optimize Before Publishing
Once the post is written and on your site, ensure it’s optimized and search-ready before you hit publish.
Optimize the following:
- Keyword. Add the keyword in the required locations for optimization. Not sure what those are? Use a plugin like Yoast to help.
- Title Tag. Make sure the title tag and title use the headline you chose. You don’t want random numbers or letters in the URL.
- Meta Description. Write a meta description that uses the keyword and sells the post.
- Images. Add photos or graphics. Compress them beforehand, so they don’t slow down your site.
- Alt Text. Be sure that your images include proper titles and alt text.
I know there’s a lot of work on the backend before you even get to press publish on your post. But you can’t just publish it and expect readers to flock to your site. Yes, SEO done well will send readers to your site. But you need to give each post an extra push. To do that, you should share it on your social media channels, in your email newsletter, and perhaps even have a link to your site in your email signature. Do all you can to promote your blog and its content.
Encourage Social Sharing
You can’t do it alone. The blogs that get noticed have a lot of help from friends. Make your blog shareable. The simplest way is by including social sharing buttons on each post. But it’s so much more than that. Learn more in our post about the importance of shareability.
Let Us Help You Get Your Blog Noticed
It’s a lot of work to post high-quality content and get your blog noticed consistently. At Content Journey, we’re experts in all things blog-related, so you don’t have to be. Want some help producing quality SEO content that will get your blog noticed? Book a call!