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13 Must-Have Elements Of An Exceptional Blog Post

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13 Must-Have Elements Of An Exceptional Blog Post

One in five bloggers reports their blog delivers strong marketing results – 22%.

That’s it – and this percentage has been steadily declining over the past three years.

That can’t be true, can it?

Why are the vast majority of blogs not delivering strong marketing results?

My theory is that there is a lot of overly generalized advice in the content marketing industry:

“Write for users, not Google.”

Google rewards high-quality content.”

“It’s about search intent.”

Okay, but what is high-quality content?

The bar is high. This article will help you get your content the respect it richly deserves by breaking down 13 essential elements of an exceptional blog post.

1. Compelling Topic

Your audience has to care about the topic.

If you’re not entirely sure what topics your audience cares about, there are a few places to start.

Find which pages support your business objectives in Google Analytics.

Ask your sales teams what questions potential customers are asking most frequently.

Or, look directly at your on-site search to see what products or services people are looking for.

Interact with members of your audience within social media channels that are related to your industry.

These are all great places to source content topics that are of great interest to your audience.

2. Search-Friendly URL

Google recommends keeping a simple, short URL structure whenever possible.

Do not use long ID numbers in your URLs or time-specific elements such as date and year. Overly complex URLs can cause problems for crawlers and are not helpful to humans.

For instance, this:

https://www.example.com/blog/2022/06/thirteen-elements-of-a-good-blog-post-that-delivers-results/

Can become this:

https://www.example.com/blog/elements-of-a-good-blog/

Be descriptive with your URL so that someone who sees the link will know exactly what to expect when they click on it.

3. Include An Author

Showcasing the author gives a blog article more credibility, context, and authenticity.

Link the author’s name to a profile page (with a photo) where readers can explore other articles by the author and feel like they’re reading something from a real person.

Doing so will encourage your readers to engage with your brand on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

4. Table Of Contents

Using a table of contents at the top of posts organizes your content making it easy for users and bots to navigate.

Anchor links in a table of contents help your readers quickly get to the information they are most interested in.

Search engines love a table of contents! It’s not guaranteed, but they are often pulled into Google search and displayed as sitelinks.

5. Powerful Headline

A powerful headline attracts your audience to your blog and gets your post page views.

Without a headline that attracts eyes, a good blog post is lost among the vast sea that is the internet.

Spend time crafting the perfect catchy title to reel in readers and make them want to read your article.

SEJ provides 12 tips to turn an average headline into one that is exceptional and entices clicks.

6. Interesting Introduction

While a good headline attracts clicks to your site, it is the introduction that turns a site visitor into a reader.

For an introduction to resonate, readers need to understand what you’re talking about and care about what you have to say.

You don’t need to give them the answer to their question yet, just enough information to give them a reason to care.

SEJ provides seven ways to write blog introductions your readers and Google will love.

7. Compelling Subheadings

Headlines and subheadings highlight the main elements of the topic making the article easy to scan and leading the reader through the content.

Using keywords in subheadings helps search engines identify the content and quickly tells the reader the main points within the article.

This does not mean you should force keywords into subheadings. Keywords need to make sense and sound natural.

Subheadings should be formatted with the title tag hierarchy. This means that you use progressively smaller heading formats.

For most articles, you only need to use H2s, but if you need to separate an H2 with a lot of content, you can use an H3.

Make sure you’re using header tags properly as recommended in this SEJ article on SEO best practices.

8. Length

I frequently hear studies claiming anywhere between 1,500 to 3,000 words is the ideal content length for articles.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter.

Length will vary by content style, topic, and audience.

A good blog is as long as it needs to be and as long as your audience will read.

Use page depth (scroll) tracking in Google Analytics (or Hotjar) to see how far users are reading your blog articles.

Try hiding a subsection answer within an accordion for users to interact with, you can tag this event to see if you’re keeping users engaged that far into the article or not.

9. Appealing Visuals

We respond to and process visual data far better than text.

And not just a little bit – 60,000 times faster.

How the human brain processes complex information is what makes visualization so important.

Using charts or graphs to explain complex data is much easier than trudging through a large amount of text.

Just be sure to optimize your images for search. SEJ shares 12 important image SEO tips you need to know.

10. Conclusion

By the end of your article, your reader may have forgotten a few of the points you made earlier in the piece.

A good blog post will summarize the key takeaways from the article and guide your reader on what to do next.

The point is not to reiterate your points, but to help your audience draw actionable conclusions from your blog post.

Decide what action you want your blog reader to take. Maybe you want them to sign up for email, follow on social, or check out a product or service you offer.

The point here is to inspire your reader to take your desired action.

Without links, the internet would be an organized mess of pages. It would be really difficult to navigate (find what we were looking for.)

A good blog post makes navigation intuitive for users and easy for search engines to crawl.

Internal links help connect related topics for search engines and provide further research that may interest the reader.

John Mueller explained in an SEO After Hours video:

“…internal linking is super critical for SEO.

I think it’s one of the biggest things that you can do on a website to kind of guide Google and guide visitors to the pages that you think are important.”

External links are best used to cite sources and act as an endorsement for high-quality content.

12. Schema

Schema markup is an essential element of a good blog post because it helps search engines identify your page as a blog post instead of product pages, system pages, or other content.

There are a few schema markup types that apply to blog posts, articles, and news.

There is also FAQ, How-To, Breadcrumbs, Speakable, and more.

13. Suggest Related Blog Posts

At this point, you have a well-structured blog post that includes the technical aspects of ranking a page and an engaging copy that entertains and informs the reader through to the end.

Now, you want to improve the likelihood that your readers will stay on your site and ideally convert at the end.

At the end of your blog post, display a few (three max) blog articles that are related to the same topic cluster.

Final Thoughts

The 13 elements in this article help users care about your blog article and help search engines better understand how the topic relates to your website as a whole.

Aside from these technical elements, there is a strong argument for style, delivery, and prose.

To continue learning, browse Search Engine Journal’s contributors and on-staff writers. Select five writers you enjoy reading and follow their content to study what makes them great.

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Featured Image: Lyubov Levitskaya/Shutterstock



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8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

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8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

TikTok and Instagram may be taking their moment to shine, but Facebook is a social media platform your business simply can’t ignore.

Facebook’s monthly active users have continued to rise since its inception, with nearly 3 billion (2.96) monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2022.

It was also the most popular social network worldwide as of January 2022 when ranked by the number of monthly active users.

Knowing a substantial portion of your target audience likely uses Facebook regularly, it’s crucial as social media marketers to keep up with the Facebook marketing tips that can help you grow your business.

Your business is probably already leveraging Facebook to reach your target audience – and if you’re not, you’re missing out on valuable lead and conversion opportunities.

You’ve likely set up a Facebook Page to communicate with current and potential customers, share current updates, and build social proof.

But, is your Facebook Page optimized to engage your target audience? Have you invested ample time into ensuring you’re leveraging every form and field possible?

The good news is, starting from scratch is the most challenging part of getting your Facebook Page off the ground.

Since you’ve already done this, revitalizing your page is the easy part – and we’re here to help streamline the process even further.

This deep dive guide will succinctly outline what it takes to transform your Facebook Page from vapid to vivacious with the following eight marketing tips.

Read on to ensure you maximize the world’s most visited social media platform to your advantage.

1. Beyond The Facebook Page Basics

Your business can be found in many places online, from your Google Business Profile (GBP) to review sites and social platforms.

Potential customers should be able to find accurate information about your business anywhere they can find you. This includes your current physical address, website link, phone number, and more.

In fact, 20% of consumers are unlikely to visit a business with incorrect or missing listing information.

Ensuring all information on your Facebook page is up-to-date is a good place to start.

Next, it’s time for optimizations that go beyond the basics to help your Facebook Page stand out from your competition.

2. Leverage Facebook Pages’ Templates

Facebook offers numerous templates designed to enhance your Page and help customers find what they’re looking for.

There’s a standard template that you’ll most often see when visiting other businesses’ Facebook Pages.

But there are also templates that cater to different types of businesses, such as nonprofit organizations, restaurants, services, retailers, and more.

To find the template most applicable to your brand, once you’re on your Facebook Page, click on the More drop-down menu and select Edit Tabs.

In the template section, click the Edit button.

You’ll then see a list of available templates. Select the template that is most relevant to your business category.

Screenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook Page template example

For example, if you’re a service business and you select the service template, you’re able to clearly showcase the services you offer to customers, along with reviews and offers.

3. Use An Attractive Cover Photo

Visual content has the power to capture attention and increase conversions.

According to Google, businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

Your cover photo is the first element that will draw people’s attention. It can be the make-or-break point, helping people decide to scroll down to learn more about your business.

Pick a photo that aligns with your branding but captures your audience’s attention.

Use a real photo or an illustration that showcases your brand’s style in terms of colors, mission statement, and values – and be sure to avoid stock imagery.

Stock photos fail to convey a visual representation of your brand and, in turn, can make your brand feel less authentic.

When selecting your cover image, Facebook recommends it:

  • Left aligns with a full bleed and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
  • Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall, and less than 100 kilobytes.

4. Choose A Professional Profile Picture

Your profile picture, while not as prominent as your cover photo, appears prominently at the top of your Facebook Page.

It also appears as your avatar on all posts and photos you publish on Facebook (on your page and others).

This photo should represent your brand effectively any time someone sees it.

For most businesses, using your company logo is typically common practice, as customers may already be familiar with it, and associate it with your business.

8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring PageScreenshot from Facebook, December 20228 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

It should be easy for someone to discern which brand they’re engaging with when they see your Facebook Page.

Your profile image displays at 176×176 pixels on your Facebook Page on computers, 196×196 pixels on smartphones, and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones.

Ensure your profile image is clear by following the aforementioned sizing guidelines and using a high-resolution image.

5. Create Content That Resonates With Your Target Audience

Your Facebook Page should be a one-stop shop for your audience.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about your business, read reviews from loyal customers, and consume relevant content.

So, create quality content that resonates with your wider audience.

You may also want to incorporate a mixture of different types of posts – such as video posts when you have impactful customer testimonials to share, or high-quality photos when you’re launching a new product.

No matter the type of content you choose to share, make sure that it is relevant and impactful to your readers. For example, if your wider audience is Gen Z, video content may be the way to go.

When creating content, ask yourself: will this post add value, or am I trying to reach a quota? If your answer is the latter, you may need to revise your Facebook content marketing strategy.

Consider your post timing, too.

In the past, mid-morning posts drove the most engagement, as people often use the app on their commutes to school or work. However, posting during the early morning hours has now taken the lead.

Post timing also varies by industry, so find the best time to reach your customer base.

6. Create An Incentive For Following Your Facebook Page

Deals and discounts play a significant role in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online. Deals are so important that 48% of Americans said they will avoid brands that do not provide offers.

Your Facebook Page enables your business to promote offers for free.

These offers can be:

  • Percentage-off.
  • Dollar-off.
  • Free product or service.
  • Free shipping.
  • Custom offer of your choice.

Create an offer that is unique for your Facebook followers. This incentivizes them to follow you and engage with your posts.

These offers can change and vary. We advise that you keep your offers fresh and switch them periodically to encourage your audience to continue to follow your page.

Facebook marketing tips, creating a new Facebook offer exampleScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook marketing tips, creating a new Facebook offer example

Respond To Customer Feedback

One of the most fundamental Facebook marketing tips (and digital marketing tips in general) is to respond to all customer feedback whenever possible.

This includes any time customers reach out via Facebook Messenger, during a Facebook Live, when they leave a review on your Facebook Page, or when they reply to your Facebook Stories.

Being proactive with your responses, whether the customer leaves negative or positive feedback, shows your brand cares about its customers.

Your response time matters, too.

According to ReviewTrackers, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, but 1 in 3 expect a response within 3 days or less.

Ensure you have a reputation management strategy and team in place to triage responses. Set standards and expectations with your team when it comes to reviewing responses.

Creating response templates is a good way to quickly and efficiently respond to customer reviews across multiple platforms.

7. Use Every Character In Your Page’s Description

Your Facebook page allows you 255 characters to describe your business.

Use every character possible to share what you do, what you sell, and why it matters. Use original content relevant to your business when drafting your description.

You’ll also want to add complete information for your:

  • Your business contact details (phone number, address, and email).
  • Business categories.
  • Website.
  • Social media accounts.
  • Hours.
  • Price range.

8. Add A CTA

Allow your customers to quickly perform the call to action (CTA) of your choice.

This button appears beneath your cover image and to the right of your profile image. You can choose from a variety of CTA options, including:

  • Follow.
  • View gift card.
  • Start order.
  • Book now.
  • Call now.
  • Contact us.
  • Send message.
  • Send email.
  • Learn more.
  • And more.

For example, a restaurant brand would benefit from adding a Start order CTA.

This eliminates friction in the consumer’s path to purchase, allowing them to start the order right from your Facebook Page, rather than navigating to your website or a third-party food delivery app.

Keep a pulse on your engagement metrics to see if the CTA you’ve selected is driving measurable results. If it’s not, consider adding a different CTA to see if your audience engages better with alternative messaging.

To find your engagement metrics, click on the Insights button in the menu.

Facebook Insights offer a wealth of information from likes, story reach, actions on the page, post engagement rates, how different types of content are performing, and much more.

Check these insights often to better guide your Facebook marketing strategy.

Facebook CTA exampleScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook CTA example

Concluding Thoughts

As you can see, updating and optimizing your Facebook Page doesn’t take much effort.

Instead, it requires continuously keeping up with your social media marketing strategy and leveraging the tools and features available to you.

Following these Facebook marketing tips is a good place to start.

To keep up with Facebook’s evolving functionality, do a quick audit every quarter to see what’s new and available to you.

This ensures your business is taking full advantage of your Facebook Page’s capabilities and staying one step ahead of your competition.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

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