5 Tips for Winning Blog Optimization
By now, what you’ve read has you convinced that your e-commerce business needs a blog to build relationships with your customers, so you’ve written your first post and added it to the website. And the result is the sound of silence. It doesn’t appear that people are reading the blog at all, so what’s your next step toward winning readers’ attention? These tips will help you with winning blog optimization for the best results.
Act as a Mentor for the Best Blog Content
While the ultimate goal is to convert readers into buyers, when you write blog posts, you need a different mindset. Make it your priority to mentor potential customers beyond just your own products. Answer the readers’ questions and provide them with useful information relevant to those questions. Include quotes from authoritative sources about related topics. For example, if you sell cookware, include a statement or two about using cast-iron skillets from Ina Garten or Ree Drummond or other popular, well-known chefs and cooks.
Keeping the content up to date is important, as well. Web spiders, which crawl the web looking at sites and ranking them, don’t like sites that never change. At the least, update your blog weekly, more often if you can. For the best blog content, use original content and don’t limit posts to straight text. Be sure to include photos, videos, and even podcasts.
Make Content Easy to Read
If readers must work at deciphering your blog, they aren’t going to bother reading it. Stick with dark letters on a light — preferably white — background. Pick an easy-to-read font and use a larger size than you would for emails or printed letters. Save the fussy backgrounds and fancy scripts for special text blocks for blog optimization that keeps them coming back.
Keep the lines and the paragraphs short, as well. Having to scroll from side to side to read an entire line is not fun and may discourage readers from continuing. Keep lines to 75 characters or fewer, as much as possible. Break the copy into short paragraphs of six lines or fewer whenever possible, and use the extra white space to make the page visually appealing and easy on the eyes.
Ensure That Collecting Email Subscribers Is Easy
Conversions rely on more than just your blog, although it is an important open door. Building an email subscriber list should be the next step in your marketing strategy, so make it simple for both your readers and yourself. Add a two-step, opt-in subscription form. When readers click at the first step, a form appears for them to add their email addresses.
Take off distractions like RSS feed icons. Having readers subscribe to those feeds doesn’t do anything for you, so keep the focus on that email list by eliminating the distractions. While you are adjusting the display, add a “popular posts” section to help readers find useful information that encourages them to subscribe to the email list.
Offer an “honorable enticement” to encourage signups. Provide a special report, a webinar, or even an e-course to those who join the club. You may even want to give a small discount on the next order to those who sign up, which may also build brand trust.
Use Blog Optimization to Aim for Increased Social and Search Traffic
Generating a buzz about your company is another goal of your business blog and blog optimization, so you need to make sure that you are making it easy for people to share and to find you through search engines. The most obvious solution is to be sure your blog has social sharing buttons available: a quick click sends the post to Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. Also, make sure that your images match the best-fit sizes for your favored social media channels. If they are either too large or too small for readers to see them well when shared, you lose all the power of pictures.
Strong headlines make a big difference in generating search traffic, too. Take care to use brand authority by mentioning the benefits of the information found in the post by using strong adjectives and numbers when feasible. Be sure your keywords and phrases appear in every headline, and aim for them showing up in the first 55 characters.
Backlinks are also valuable in generating social and search traffic. One or two authoritative links, especially from .edu or .gov sites, carry more benefits than dozens of less selective links, and making sure the anchor text includes or is relevant to your keywords is crucial. Remember to link back to your own content, as well, whether it’s to other blog posts or to your product pages.
Remember That Clean Copy Works Best
It seems obvious, but it’s easy to overlook these tips. Make sure your blog loads fast, and check that all the links work. When possible, shorten the permalinks — those used to find the site — to match your keywords. And ensure that your blog (and the rest of your website) is mobile responsive. Larger and larger numbers of people read blogs on their phones and tablets, so confirm that yours shows well on the devices.
Once you’ve incorporated these tips, sit back and “listen” to the chatter your blog generates.