Business blogs are long-term marketing assets with proven ability to increase traffic to your website and generate leads. In fact, B2B companies that blog have 55% more website visitors and 67% more leads per month. Not a bad conversion rate!
Alas, business blogging is no casual endeavor. To reap the rewards of increased online visibility through blogging, your blog needs a bevy of SEO-friendly content. A HubSpot research study, Lead Generation Lessons from 7,000 Businesses, showed companies that blog 20+ times each month generated the most traffic and leads. That said, this heavy volume of content isn’t feasible for most businesses. So, determine a content production schedule that works for your team—and then stick to it consistently.
Before hitting “publish” to release your blog post into the internet wilderness, review our ultimate business blogging checklist to make sure your blog post is ready to perform at its best:
1. Engaging Title with Keyword
Target keywords related to the topic should be included in the title of your blog post so that it has a better chance of appearing in search engine results and generating traffic to your website. Differentiating your title using an alliteration, listicle or curiosity gap—within reason—has also been shown to drive clicks.
2. Author Byline
A byline identifying the blog post’s author allows readers to make a human connection to your content. Because blogs are often the first interaction that potential customers have with your brand, it’s important they are introduced to your team’s experts.
3. Compelling Introduction
Offer a statistic, address your reader’s pain points or present another compelling reason to keep reading. The first paragraph should be informative enough to give an understanding of what the rest of the blog will go into detail about, while still remaining concise.
4. Detailed Body Content
Blog posts are generally intended to be quick reads. However, business blogs also need to be thorough enough to be used as an educational tool. Educate your reader as much as possible while being mindful of length—most posts should be limited to about 700-1,200 words. Anything shorter will have a hard time ranking in search engines, while anything longer is more likely to lose your readers’ attention. Pepper keywords throughout for to optimize the blog post for search.
5. Internal Links to Existing Content
Each time your posts touch on a topic you’ve already blogged about, link it! Linking to internal content keeps visitors on your website longer and builds stronger relationships with them. If you don’t have any relevant internal content, consider directing readers to other non-competitor sites where they can continue learning.
6. Format Blog Post for Readability
Enormous blocks of text will dissuade visitors from reading your blog post. As a best practice, be sure to break up the content with subheadings or images every 5-6 lines.
7. Clear Call to Action
At the end of your post, include a clear call to action that directs readers to a new page of your website where they can learn more, make a purchase or contact your business. The goal of blogging, after all, is to support your business objectives by generating leads, nurturing them and converting them into paying customers.
8. Proofread for Spelling, Grammar & Clarity
Nothing destroys credibility like a typo. Before hitting “publish,” be sure to take the time to have someone else on your team proofread your blog post in order to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.
9. Original, On-Brand Feature Image
An alluring image is much more likely to attract readers than text alone. Plus, it’s more sharable on social media. To keep blog posts on brand and cohesive, make sure all of your feature images align with your company’s personality and audience.
10. Relevant Categories & Tags
Categorizing your blog posts and adding relevant tags gives readers a clear idea of what the content is about, while increasing the visibility of your blog posts in search engine results.
11. Social Media Promotion
Once you’ve published your blog post, it’s time to promote it! Craft platform-specific social media posts for your blog post, using language that is on brand with your business. Even after their initial publish date, evergreen blog posts can continue to be shared across your social media channels periodically over time to continue to drive more visitors to your website.
12. Internal Sharing
Sharing blog updates with employees keeps them informed about what resources are available to help nurture leads and increases their likelihood of converting. Encourage employees to share and interact with each blog post on social media to expand its reach.
13. Monitor Engagement
Acknowledging comments from your readers is a way of connecting with them, especially if people reach out with specific questions. Take the time to respond promptly, as this could be either the beginning or the end of their relationship with your brand.
14. Track Data Analytics
Understanding how many people read and interact with your blog post is critical to planning your future strategy. Analytics provide valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t, so you can refine your approach to blogging to best suit your audience.
In the long run, creating a blog content repository will help drive traffic to your website, nurture those visitors into leads and, ultimately, convert them into customers. It also has a symbiotic relationship with social media—blog content feeds the momentum of your social media presence, while social media serves as a promotional tool for your blog.
Despite its cyclical benefits, the intention to start business blogging regularly can easily remain on the backburner until the idea burns up completely and your “blog” is just a barren time capsule to that one time you posted three years ago.
Having an established blogging checklist enables content to be created with machine-like efficiency—giving your blog a greater chance at sustainable longevity. The more blog posts you publish, the more chances your website has at a higher search ranking.