It seems like every business that’s serious about ranking high on Google and engaging new customers has a blog. Unfortunately, the extent of “content strategy” for many businesses is to target a few SEO keywords without much consideration for the action human readers.
Let’s use a fictional desert parlor called Joe’s Gelatin Joint as an example. Maybe Joe hires an intern or a content agency to publish a bunch of blogs that use the word “Gelatin” half a billion times, expecting to sit back and watch visitors pour to their site. It’s a shame for Joe that writing strong content that actually converts is a lot more complex than using a keyword to death. And as search engine algorithms improve and become more reader-oriented, keyword-driven search engine optimization strategies will also become less effective, as well.
Blogs with high rankings on Google are also blogs that people genuinely enjoy reading. Using great keywords in the right frequency can give articles a boost, but only if they’re well written and interesting in the first place. If you want to create content that captivates people and stakes out its claim to a piece of the internet, there has to be more on your mind than sales. Here are some tips for writing content that converts readers into customers without going for the hard sell.
1. Embrace Your Creative Side
What kinds of news and events excite your customer base? The answer to that question is different for every business and takes a good deal of diligent research to get there. But then there’s the question of what your market doesn’t like; that one’s simpler and more universal: sales! There’s an awful lot of great writing to read on the internet, so nobody wants to spend their precious time slogging through 800-word advertisements.
Let’s be honest: some products are just plain boring and don’t immediately suggest gripping blog topics. You can forgive readers if they don’t clamor over athletic socks or cement mix. But intriguing blog topics await you once you start thinking a little bit outside the box. You could write about athletes who are famous for wearing unconventional socks in competition, or the history of the construction of cities around the world. A great writer with an interesting point of view can bring insight and credibility to any topic!
2. Incorporate Current Events and Trends
Google is a hub where we all find out what’s going on in the world, and it’s the best way for people to find your website. They often go there seeking answers to questions about what’s happening in the news (“What is Bird Box?”), solutions to common problems (“How to Boil an Egg without Breaking It”), or updates about things they’ve enjoyed in the past (“What Ever Happened to Clinton Portis?”) Consider brainstorming some common questions like those that have a connection to your business.
Even tangentially related topics are fine, because you can incorporate some subtle, tasteful mentions of your business while informing and entertaining your readers. For example, if you sell smart TVs, you could publish some reviews or rankings of popular shows or streaming movies. People would rather see that your company is interested in the same things they’re interested in than read a bunch of marketing copy urging them to part with their hard-earned cash.
3. Mix It Up with Guest Bloggers and Varied Perspectives
Featuring established or up-and-coming writers or your blog can give it extra link juice and introduce it to wider audiences. These fresh voices will ensure that you’re not just writing about the same topics in the same style with the same vocabulary over and over again. Even the most imaginative, seasoned writers fall into creative ruts from time to time, so when it comes to attracting and retaining readers, “the more, the merrier” is a great philosophy.
4. Keep Length in Mind
In general, a blog needs to contain at least 300 words of text in order for Google to index it. Once you’ve hit that 300-word minimum, the ideal article length depends on who your audience is and what they’re looking for. If you’re publishing highly specialized content geared toward professionals who want to become experts in their field (SEO strategy blogs, for one), thorough and well-researched articles tend to rank at the top. For general audiences seeking quick, practical information (“How to Tie a Windsor Knot”), brief articles that get to the point without extra fluff tend to deliver the most appeal.
As readers grow to know and trust your blog as a source of quality writing, they will be more willing to invest their time in your longer, more substantial posts. It’s often said that online readers’ attention begins to wane after 1000 words, but some topics require a more extensive approach. Try to balance those factors when planning your content strategy.
Not sure how to produce the type of content your customers will want to read again and again? Content Cucumber can produce high-quality content for your company. With Content Cucumber, you can queue unlimited content requests from a team of experienced writers. Reach out to us today!