There are lots of things to take into account when you’re thinking about how to create a website for your startup — web design, UX, layout, navigation, and so on — but your company’s blog must be one of the most important considerations. Why? Blogs are essential. In fact, they’re a top priority for businesses.
Blog content creation is second only to boosting organic presence when it comes to marketing priorities. That’s because a business blog can be hugely valuable – boosting traffic, increasing conversions, and perhaps even more importantly, differentiating your startup from your competitors. At a time when audiences want more than just the right price, showing off your brand’s personality is essential.
Creating Blog Content
Creating blog content can often be quite a time-consuming task for marketers, especially when you consider that readers value ‘freshness’. Quite simply, visitors like to see businesses publish content regularly, keeping them up-to-date with new ideas and providing new, fresh reading material.
But publishing content regularly is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, regular content shows a dedication to engaging with your audience. On the other hand, the more content you publish, the more opportunities your audience has to identify flaws in your work…. to identify poor quality posts.
Although we may think it’s a quantity that matters, and although graphs like the one above demonstrate the importance of quantity, there is one aspect that is even more important…. Quality.
So what simple measures can you take to improve the quality of your startup’s blog?
1. Publish Great Content
Every business is sure to have its own definition of what great content is, but on the whole, we can usually describe great content as that which appeals to readers. If you think your blog content could use some work, it’s worth taking a little time to get to know your audience more. Send surveys to collect audience data, engage and interact with audiences through social media channels, and see what your competitors are doing.
2. Bring in Different Perspectives
User-generated content and peer-generated content are becoming increasingly important. Think about when you book a vacation; do you place more trust in what the hotel’s website says, or in the review of a past guest?
If you want to increase the quality of your startup’s blog, you should be working to increase trust levels.
Readers will view your blog as being of higher quality if you’re able to bring in some alternative perspectives that complement — or even challenge — your own. Think about publishing guest posts written by subject matter experts, or sparking discussion amongst readers in your blog’s comments.
3. Leverage the Quality of Others
Some say that outbound links are a lost opportunity; An opportunity that could have been spent on inbound links. However, outbound links can be particularly useful in terms of boosting blog quality, especially when linking to high authority websites.
By linking to authoritative sources (think Government pages or major publications, for example) you can easily leverage the quality of these sites for yourself. Always be sure to link any statistics, facts, and figures to authoritative sources, as this shows that you’re basing your information on accurate, quality data rather than on the views of Bob from Quora.
4. Get Rid of the Spam
This really is just a case of using your own common sense. Think about what typically looks ‘off’ to you when you visit a company’s blog. What makes it seem like it’s low quality? Tons of links? It could be some sort of ‘black hat’ link building scheme.
Be sure to check your keywords, too. Keyword stuffing can make even the most relevant and interesting blog content look like it’s poorly written, and unnatural keyword placements can significantly affect readability, lowering the reader’s perceptions. Spammy aspects can really have an impact on overall blog quality, so try to keep everything looking professional.
5. Boost User Experience
Your blog marketing strategy shouldn’t just be about content… It should be about offering a great user experience, too. Let’s use visuals as an example. Audiences don’t just want to see walls of text; They want variety. Nearly half of us will skim through a blog post, yet we’re more attentive to videos.
This means that your startup should be incorporating visuals and interactive, engaging elements into articles on your blog… but don’t forget to think about the user experience as well.
More media = longer load times, which can affect the overall quality of your blog. Try to find the right balance between UX and engaging content.
6. Consider Word Count
We’ve already touched briefly on trust, but let’s delve a little deeper now. Readers are more likely to view a blog as high quality if they can trust it, and one of the best ways to instil trust is by providing readers with a comprehensive overview of a given topic.
Long-form posts (2000 words+) provide the most value to readers as they thoroughly cover a certain subject. Shorter posts can make a blog seem to be of lower quality because they only provide selected information. And as an extra bonus, if you’re trying to grow your startup, long-form posts earn the most links, get the most shares, and generate the most traffic!
Naturally, it won’t always be possible to write 2000+ words on a certain topic. In that case, go with lower word count rather than stuffing the text with unrelated and unnecessary paragraphs just to get to that 2000 words mark.
7. Make Use of Helpful Tools
Is improving the quality of your startup’s blog simple? Sure. Is it quick? Not always. But who said you need to make all of these changes yourself? Automation is working its way into practically every area of business, including marketing, so if the tools are there you may as well be using them.
There are a number of great tools that can help you to increase the overall quality of your blog. We’ll list some, divided into key categories.
Topic generators – these tools can help you to carve out your own niche
Readability tests are here to ensure your blog posts are suitable for your target audience
Headline analyzers will help you draw more visitors to your website with fantastic headlines
We all know that business blogs are important, but they are perhaps of even more value to new startups. That’s because a blog forms the cornerstone of on-site audience engagement, and creates the basis for future B2B partnerships.
Don’t waste this amazing opportunity by creating a low-quality blog. Instead, take a little time to improve the quality of your startup’s blog with the 7 simple methods above.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
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Petra is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital marketing agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, you can find her on a tatami trying to improve her aikido techniques or in the local pub with her friends. Also, she’s a coffee & chocolate addict.