Nicole Inge, Author at Express Writers
Content Marketing Budgets: Avoid Cutting Quality While Keeping Costs Down During Economic Downturns

Content Marketing Budgets: Avoid Cutting Quality While Keeping Costs Down During Economic Downturns

Studies show content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing methods and costs 62% less. That means content marketing is consistently one of the most reliable marketing tactics. So, if you’re considering cutting your content marketing budget, you might want to pause first.

Making that decision can feel heavy during economic uncertainty. However, Harvard Business Review notes that companies that continued to prioritize marketing bounced back strongest after an economic downturn. These brands take up more space in a less saturated market because their competitors take a break from marketing. That means when you avoid cutting your content marketing budget, you’re able to maintain visibility that others don’t.

You probably know that long-term content marketing success comes from continued and sustained effort ­– not in fits and spurts. It’s not a get-rich-quick gimmick but a powerful tool that improves over time.

Still on the fence about your content marketing budget? Read on to learn more about:

  • How content marketing can increase profits.
  • The versatility of content marketing.
  • Ideas for implementing content marketing successfully.

We’ll show you how you can maximize ROI, so your content marketing pays for itself while you build customer loyalty and attract new audience members.

Content Marketing Budgets: Avoid making cuts when tiems are lean

A Consistent Content Marketing Strategy Means Better Budget Use

Under economic pressure, leaders prioritize short-term solutions. But standing your ground by advocating for your department and its budget is essential. When you establish goals for your content from the start, you can justify the paths you take to bring visitors to your site.

With over 50% of trackable website traffic coming from organic search, you can’t discount the importance of optimizing content that encourages folks to stay on your site.

That means understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential so your site has a better chance of bringing in visitors. The more content you have on your website, the more opportunities there are for keyword placement, links, and people-first content through SEO.

Though Google continually modifies its ranking factors, we know one of the chief characteristics of high-ranking pages is high-quality content. Google will see right through web pages that lack substance. By having high-quality pages, users spend an increased amount of time on the page, the page has a lower bounce rate, and the content offers the reader solutions to a problem they have.

So, if your competitors decide to reduce the intensity of their content marketing budgets, then competition for Search Engine Results Placement (SERP) will diminish. Fewer competing search results make it more likely that your content gets on the top pages in search engines.

In order to take advantage of this decrease in competition, you need to have a content marketing strategy. Instead of posting content whenever something strikes your fancy, create a content marketing calendar to establish the topics that you’ll write about and a consistent schedule.

This schedule provides structure and stability, whether you’re pushing out content once a week or once a month– it also gives your audiences something they know they can look forward to.

Focus on the content marketing methods your brand finds success with. It’s not necessarily the time to go out on a limb with the newest experimental social media platform, but you could find that taking a risk pays off in the long run. By focusing the bulk of your content on the things your business does well, you have that space to try a few new things, which helps you expand your strategy without losing steam.

Should Your Content Marketing Strategy Include Paid Search?

Overall, content marketing executed correctly results in higher ROI than paid search advertising. But it can be important to know the difference, especially during a recession or down economic year.

Advertisers only pay for these ads when they get clicked, so paid search essentially comes with a built-in ROI tracker, while content marketing proves notoriously tricky to attach directly to revenue. However, Kraft did show that its content marketing had 4x better ROI than traditional advertising.

The most significant financial advantage of relying on organic search results is that they cost nothing. Once you’ve paid for the content, it exists on the internet and anyone who uses the right search term can access it. As long as the keyword is relevant, you can pull your target audience directly to your site.

In contrast, paid ads only show up if you’re willing to pay for them. For example, Google ads uses a bidding system that prioritizes larger ad spend when targeting a keyword. When you’re thinking about this from a budgetary perspective, it might not be the most helpful way to keep costs low.

Organic content is also seen as more trustworthy since trust in advertising continues to decline. Content marketing often reaches audiences in the awareness phase of customer lifecycle marketing and builds rapport with audiences. Even if they aren’t ready to purchase, your brand will be top-of-mind when the time comes.

Try not to get caught up in reaching whatever metric or measurement you think will impress at next week’s budget meeting. Instead, stick to long-term solutions to bring in continual dividends. This gives you the chance to cultivate better relationships with your target audience since you’re taking the time to develop content that actually helps them.

Work Smarter, Not Harder with Your Content Marketing Budget

During economic lows, people are more likely to change their spending habits to save money. Some even limit spending to only essential items.

One strategy that has worked for years with consumers is to offer them something for free. You can capitalize on this when consumers aren’t spending as much money. The goal of this tactic is to get their attention.

Offering up information your clients need as a free downloadable gets attention on your brand and builds trust with your readership. They don’t feel that you’re only trying to sell them something.

The attention theory holds true regardless of the world’s financial state, but during less prosperous times, it can be even more beneficial. Since many people spend less time at restaurants, bars, and theaters, they’re likely spending more time at home looking at their screens.

These people hunt for the funniest TikTok, tastiest recipe, or most helpful “How-To” article. As a brand, you’re provided a one-of-a-kind opportunity to reach people on their devices when they’re most receptive to it. Building this trust without forcing them to buy something puts you in a great position to be the company they choose when they are ready to buy.

Another option is to post refreshed versions of old content. You can update lower-performing posts or enhance posts that perform well. In 2021, HubSpot found that 76% of its monthly blog views came from “old” posts, meaning ones published before the current month. Additionally, 92% of leads from their blog came from older posts.

Another way to be smart about your content is to cross-post it. That means repurposing content for your social media channels, YouTube videos, or lead magnets. When you take advantage of this, your content can go further without you needing to spend a ton more on research and writing.

Effective Content Marketing Cuts Costs, Not Quality

If you still need to cut your budget but want to keep up with content, you want to ensure that you implement your strategy in a way that makes sense and is effective for your business and your audience.

You don’t always need to focus on the next big thing or new platform, you can stick to a few tried and true types of content and generate some stellar ROI.

These are some of our favorite methods of cost-effective content creation:

1.     Generate Traffic through Authority Blog Content

Blogging is the most well-known content marketing source – for a good reason: 77% of internet users read blogs. In fact, companies that blog produce 67% more monthly leads (Source: DemandMetric).

Writing blog posts for your organization is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. You can boost your SEO and page rankings, establish yourself as an authority in your industry, and build trust with your audience by becoming a trusted resource. In addition, your posts could go viral and get a number of views if your content is on point.

Getting started might feel difficult at first, but once you start posting regularly and know what blog types work best with your audience, you can be unstoppable.

Some ideas of popular blog formats to get you started:

Listicles: Put together an article that lists things in your topic vein. These posts are usually quick, easy, and enjoyable for audiences to read.

Tutorials and How-tos: Is there a process in your industry that readers would like to see broken down? Creating a step-by-step guide to demystify a part of your work can interest customers.

Case studies: Do you have an example of your work that makes you incredibly proud? You can document this achievement in a post, giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at your company that demonstrates your prowess.

Interviews: See if an industry thought leader or long-time employee would be willing to answer a few questions about their work. Post the back-and-forth interaction, differentiating between participants. Readers love to feel like a fly on the wall during a conversation.

Reviews: If there’s a relevant new software or product that’s all the rage in your industry, have someone from your company try it and write about their impressions. A first-hand account of their experience informs your audience if they should jump on the new product bandwagon.

Client testimonials: You can ask satisfied customers if they would consider writing about their experience with your business. Often, other people’s accounts come across as more trustworthy.

Advice columns: Ask your audience if they have questions about your company or industry and have someone write a response. Post both the question and answer in an “Ask the Editor” fashion.

FAQs: Are there inquiries you get more often than you have time to answer? Compiling a list of these question-and-answer responses can improve SERP placement and increase traffic to your website.

The possibilities are endless with blogging. Because there are so many types of blogs, you can choose a few different formats and get them to work for your business. Plus, the overhead is lower for blogs if you have an in-house writer or a content writing service that you partner with.

2.     Hone Your Brand Ethos with Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of potentially complicated ideas. They make information more accessible to readers and can stand independently or add a graphic design element to a longer text post.

Businesses create infographics to enhance brand awareness and credibility by presenting themselves as subject matter experts. When you have advanced knowledge on a subject, you want your audience to follow along easily when you break down a complex topic. This is where infographics can be a huge help because they’re great visibility tools.

Additionally, they tend to be shareable, meaning more earned media for your brand.

Some standard topic ideas for infographics include:

  • Presenting data and numbers in an attractive way.
  • Directing readers through a process or timeline.
  • Categorizing disparate thoughts into smaller chunks.
  • Breaking down a complicated process.
  • Creatively revamping existing content.

Like blogging, good infographics also present an opportunity for earning backlinks (anchored links to your website) and boosting SEO through alt-text and those links.

3.     Provide Value with Ebooks, Guides, and Whitepapers

It’s been argued that long-form content (pieces between 1,000–7,500 words) is coming back as a  response to the ultra-short, “snackable” snippets of information.

Creating gated content that requires a download allows you to gather users’ email addresses before they can access helps you create an ongoing email list to reach out to as part of your greater marketing strategy. Your subscriber list is likely more engaged with your business than a cold email list, which is why growing those lists is helpful in nurturing potential leads.

4.     Craft Pillar Content that Answers Audience Questions

Writing in-depth content, or “pillar content,” is a valuable marketing asset. When you create content around a specific pillar, you address any questions a reader may have about a specific topic. For example, a marketing agency might have a pillar dedicated to all things content strategy to nurture leads who want to step up their marketing game.

Additionally, pillar content tends to be evergreen. This means that the core of your pillar won’t change much over time and can be updated, while you can build on other connected topics regularly.

Some beneficial forms of evergreen content are:

  • Industry overviews: If you have extensive knowledge of an industry, people will find value in the insights you’ve gleaned during your tenure.
  • Tips and best practices: Understanding an industry standard and the tricks people use to optimize their experiences make for great content because people always want to improve their skills and experience.
  • Definitions and glossaries: Do you work in an industry with tons of jargon that a newbie would need to spend months learning? Cut them some slack and compile a group of terms people might be curious about.
  • Checklists and templates: Types of documents with precise specifications can be intimidating to create. Uploading content that people can use to track their progress is helpful.
  • Propriety research: If you or someone at your company has researched something that can improve aspects of your industry or the world, share that.

Creating content that can be a pillar for your company is a great way to build trust and center your brand as the solution to your audience’s problems. This way, they keep coming back to your site because you have everything they need.

Trust Your Content Marketing Budget with Express Writers

Although many speculate the inevitability of an impending recession, you don’t have to surrender your marketing goals. Working on a comprehensive strategy will allow you to mitigate the impact of economic slowdown while keeping yourself relevant when things start picking up again.

The good news for content marketers is that bringing in revenue is a simple metric to track. But you might not have the time to dedicate to creating content internally. Instead of spending hours and your hard-earned money on finding and vetting writers, outsource to the content writing service that cares.

The team at Express Writers is here to help you use your marketing budget wisely. Find out how we help boost our clients’ content at Express Writers.

Get in touch with Express Writers about content marketing today!

Express Writers Year in Review: 2022 Milestones & What to Expect in 2023

Express Writers Year in Review: 2022 Milestones & What to Expect in 2023

In 2022, the Express Writers team got up close and personal with what it means to be agile and adaptable. For most of the year, leadership has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create and implement processes that will allow us to serve clients and our team members better. 

For the year ahead, we intend to keep clear and concise lines of communication open between our team and our clients. This will give us the space needed to strive toward excellence in every new product and project you see from us in 2023. 

We thought it would be great to share some of the things we’ve been working on or found interesting during 2022. The Express Writers year in review will take you through some of our accomplishments and give you a clear picture of where we’re headed. 

Express Writers year in review and milestones

2022 Trends and Hot Topics

Content marketing never slows down, and 2022 was no exception. From algorithm changes to centering your audience, here are some hard hitters from the last year. 

AI in Content Marketing

The conversation about using AI in marketing is not new. But this year, and into 2023, we’ve seen the conversation shift away from just having AI write content for you.

One big advancement in recent years is AI’s ability to help you track what interests readers. That’s a big plus for marketers who use predictive analytics to generate content ideas. The reality is that using AI to improve your content marketing efforts can be a great tool to add to your belt. 

Another recent leap is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In November, it became a viral sensation and includes a huge back catalog of knowledge. Many praise the achievement, though there are still limits to the technology that make it clear that technology can’t reach the same spaces as humans.

While these advancements are important to keep an eye on, Express Writers firmly believes that humans write the best content. We still vet and hire with a hands-on process that prioritizes expertise and experience in niche industries. 

Google Helpful Content Update

In August, Google rolled out a new update to their algorithm intended to categorize useful content that provides solutions for real people. Since then, the helpful content update has been fully rolled out and acts to suppress content that isn’t written with real people in mind.

We think this is a step in the right direction for content that prioritizes authority and trustworthiness. If your business hasn’t fully implemented a process for creating helpful content, you’ll want to prioritize that heading into 2023. 

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to start strategically updating your content: 

  • Seek out the content you’ve produced that doesn’t perform well and start updating it. 
  • Check your competition and similar keywords to find what your content is missing or what pieces you haven’t written at all. 
  • Do keyword research to find the best ways to optimize for SEO and pair that with human writers who have the industry experience your content needs.
  • Use your knowledge of a subject to answer any questions your audience may have about your content to build trustworthiness.

As long as you’re willing to make changes to create high-quality content, there’s no need to panic about these recent updates.

Email Marketing in 2022 and Beyond

One subject that interested us over the past year has been email marketing

For 2022, 37% of businesses upped their email marketing budgets. We saw that in action as clients started ordering this service more regularly. From blog update emails to regular nurturing campaigns, we helped our clients with a variety of email-centered campaigns. 

Additionally, we saw growth in email marketing as we switched how we send and automate emails. This included an increase in our open rates this year.

Express Writers email marketing stats for 2022

The launch of our Write Wrap-Up newsletter and other updates in our email writing and sending process meant we were more adaptable with our email marketing. We’re excited about what that means for connecting with our audience over the next year. 

We’ve seen that personalizing and segmenting emails is extremely important to engagement rates, so in 2023, we believe it will continue to be important to personalize your email sends. 

To increase email personalization, you can: 

  • Cater your messaging to specific segments of your audience.
  • Show off your products and services based on your client’s industry and needs.
  • Set up automated emails that send when a site user converts a specific way.
  • Send personal follow-up messages to people who request information about your products.

Based on recent behavior, we don’t see this trend stopping soon. So keep an eye out for even more email marketing trends to emerge over the coming year. 

Writing & Order Statistics

While the second half of the year faced some uncertainty, we have remained dedicated to our clients’ content. We wrote over 500,000 words in November alone! 

Client Retention Milestones

2022 was a big year for us in client retention. We remain committed to your content, and that shows.

Express Writers Client Retention Stats 2022 infographic

We’re grateful that our clients trust us to create quality content without compromise. That’s why we find and vet writers who bring industry expertise to the table every day.

None of what we do would be possible without the support of our rockstar clients, and we’re thrilled that you’re along for the ride as we grow together.

How We Made Changes to Our Content Strategy This Year

For most of 2022, we’ve been updating our methodology, branding info, and target audiences to reflect the business goals of Express Writers’ next era.

We know that businesses need quality content and can’t always ideate and create content themselves. That’s why we’ll continue to provide end-to-end content creation services to brands looking for a long-term partnership.

Updating Our Social Media Strategy

One of our largest endeavors this year was creating a cohesive social media optimization strategy centered around educational content (and a few content marketing memes for good measure). 

Our first target was growing our reach on LinkedIn, and, in the first month, we saw a 64% increase in impressions and engagement over the previous month. Then, between July and August, another 49% increase. 

You’ll see the increase we’ve seen in engagement between December of 2021 versus now in the screenshot below.

Express Writers LinkedIn profile and social media visibility increase in 2022.

Knowing that our audience wants to learn more about content marketing while getting a few laughs has been instrumental as we continue to adapt our strategy. We’re appreciative if you’ve joined us from social media this year.

Organic Traffic

Express Writers has been around for over a decade, so our domain authority is pretty cemented. But to increase visibility and welcome new clients, we needed to buckle down on our content goals.

We have always had really great content, but we also had a few pieces not optimized for creating conversations with clients who needed a content writing partner. We needed to pivot, and pivot we did.

For example, between November 2021 and November 2022, we saw a 10% increase in traffic to the site. Moreover, we grew an audience more interested in the solutions we offer around content creation.

Some of this came from our shift in keyword targeting. We have some stellar blogs on the site about the history of language and how to become a stronger writer (which will stay on the site), but we knew we could help more folks understand content marketing topics. We also wanted to help decision-makers grasp how to create content and why it’s essential to marketing today.

This meant shifting the goals for our content and implementing sustainable methodologies for content creation and focus. Content marketing remains a long-term game, so we knew that changing tactics wouldn’t yield results overnight.

But eventually, we started seeing informational and educational keywords moving up the rankings. Focus keywords like “email marketing content” and “direct response copywriting” garnered regular traffic, while terms like “john deere tractor” or “funny words” dropped off.

Some of those were hilarious to find on lists of keywords we ranked for, but they didn’t help us bring you better content. Let’s look at a direct comparison.

This screenshot shows you what traffic looked like for us between November 1st, 2021, and December 22nd, 2021.

Organic traffic stats from Express Writers in November and December 2021

Compare that with this year, and you’ll notice a significantly lower bounce rate, higher time on page, and double the pages per session.

Organic traffic stats to Express Writers in November and December 2022

This shows our patience and dedication to quality content has paid off with better quality traffic to the site. 

Milestones 

This year has been a labor of love behind the scenes for our team. We’re excited to share these big milestones with our clients.

Express Writers University

This project is one that we’re super thrilled about. It’s all thanks to the hard work of our Content Manager Korilynn that this project is rolling out in beta. 

Our team needed updated and more cohesive training materials, so we put our heads together, and Express Writers University was the solution. 

Now, the team will have universal access to training materials that are standardized and updated regularly. Everything is housed in one place, so we reduce the number of documents or handbooks to sort through. 

Plus, our writers and editors will be able to take more courses to grow their skills and learn everything they need to know about various content types. This way, we keep our standards high and offer our clients even better content, all while providing growth opportunities and long-term partnerships with the writers we hire. 

Website Updates

For much of the year, our marketing team worked hard to improve site UX and content to make it easier for our clients and newcomers to find everything they need. This is an ongoing project (more on that later), and we’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far. 

Usability

You likely noticed that our Content Shop got a facelift earlier this year. We streamlined our content offerings, made it easier to find add-ons, and updated our product descriptions to make them easier to understand.

Resources & Site Content

Additionally, we’ve updated and revamped our educational resources and downloadables for our audience. You’ll find updated content and new search functionality that makes it easier to find anything you need.

Screenshot showing the resource section of Express Writers

Beyond that, we’ve also spent time smoothing our site navigation, updating our contact form, and generally making it easier for folks to contact us. As a company, we value face-to-face communication and believe personal conversations are the best way to ensure long-term content partnerships. 

What’s Ahead for Express Writers in 2023 (and Beyond)? 

We’ve worked tirelessly behind the scenes to update the site, boost our team members, and simplify content delivery for the past year. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out more visible changes that we believe will make the client experience even better! 

Site Overhaul

You’ll have seen our site design and graphics change a bit during 2022, but in 2023, we have some big changes planned for the look and feel of the site. Our goal is to streamline and optimize while making it simple to get great content. 

Updated Version of Our System

In 2023, we’re rolling out an updated system. The new system will allow more flexibility to make changes on our end while making it easier to find your orders, account funds, and to chat with the team. 

New Packages & Managed Services

Perhaps the biggest upfront change will come from updated packages and managed services. You requested it, and we deliver!  

We have built out packages based on the content needs we hear most – watch for updated monthly and quarterly blog packages coming to our site soon. 

Plus, our updated tiers of managed services will provide you access to exactly the right amount of assistance from our team that you need. 

We’ll provide quotes based on your content and budget needs, complete with partner pricing based on monthly spend and account deposit bonuses. 

Express Writers will build a writing and editing team that works in unison to bring you top-notch content done right the first time. After that, we manage that team through the entire content creation and delivery process.  

Ring in the New Year with Content Creation Services

We’re incredibly grateful if you’ve been with us this past year. None of what we do would be possible without your trust in us. 2022 was a year of growth, and we look forward to more in 2023. 

You can always count on our team to create powerful content for you. Our expert writers are ready to tackle new challenges and exciting projects to help build your brand in 2023. 

Want to see how you can get started with Express Writers? Chat with our team today!

Chat with the Express Writers team today!

Optimizing Web Copy (with Keywords): Why You Should Never Sacrifice Content Quality

Optimizing Web Copy (with Keywords): Why You Should Never Sacrifice Content Quality

When creating online content, optimizing web copy with keywords is an essential piece of the puzzle.

But the question is, should that be your primary focus as a content creator?

Although optimizing your content is essential for generating more website traffic, it’s also crucial that you’re getting that traffic to convert. When traffic converts, you know your content is doing the work to get people interested in your business and can make them customers.

It can be easy to laser focus on weaving keywords into your copy, but that can distract from giving your readers a useful experience. That’s why it’s time to make creating quality content for your existing human reader your primary mission and use optimization as a secondary asset to attract more traffic.

Optimize Web Copy With Keywords Inset

Prioritize Solutions Over Keywords

With the Google Helpful Content Update’s launch, the tech giant encourages creators to focus on creating people-first content. This means offering your readers a satisfying experience while creating content that meets their expectations.

Do this, and you stand a better chance of ranking high in the SERPs. Don’t do this, and you’ll find your content will generate less organic traffic.

Creating and consistently posting content that offers solutions to your audience’s biggest pain points will allow you to achieve the pinnacle of helpful content. Even without Google’s update, you should craft content that positions you as knowledgeable and passionate. But since they encourage creators to write content that leaves the reader feeling like they’ve learned enough about a particular topic to achieve their goals, you might as well utilize this in search engines. Then you can be authoritative on a subject and market yourself in the SERPs.

So, where does keyword optimization come into play? Can I still optimize web copy with keywords? Google suggests writing to your human reader first, then directing your attention to SEO best practices for keywords. You avoid the typical lackluster, robotic, and unsatisfying content that comes from focusing only on search engines – which won’t bring in the conversions you need anyway.

7 Ways to Create Quality Content for Your Reader

Now that you know your human reader should always be your primary focus, how can you create quality content people enjoy reading and sharing with others? There are several things you can do to get started:

1. Focus on Their Unique Needs

Your readers search for content that addresses their unique problems. That’s why you should get to know your target audience because then you can identify the topics that will offer answers for them. And connecting on this deeper level reveals more about their interests and pain points — you humanize your business and build trust with the people you want to reach.

Once you know more about your readers, you can start doing research to determine what they search for on Google. A way to do this is by checking Google Analytics to see which search terms land people on your website. After finding those, take the successful topics from your site and reflect them on social media for further optimization. You can also use your content across multiple channels, saving time and effort.

Take things to the next level by studying your competitors. See what topics they use for their content to see what’s generating interest from their audience. Use it as inspiration, then dig deeper into the topic and put your own spin on the information.

2. Write Captivating Content That’s Easy to Read

All of your site content should be well-written and easy to consume. If it isn’t, your ideal reader could disappear from your pages. An easy way to start incorporating steps that will make your content captivating? Write a catchy, attention-grabbing headline. Headlines should be short and sweet and communicate the point of your article. Make sure this headline is relevant and avoid clickbait-y titles that can turn readers off.

From there, write an introduction that will set the overall tone for the article and leave your audience wanting more. In your introduction, highlight the problem you’re addressing so readers know what to expect. Sharing statistics or fun facts is one way to increase interest here. But make sure your stats are well-researched. You may opt to introduce your article with a fascinating story instead. Experiment and see what fits your style and audience’s attention span the best.

Make sure the body of your article is easy to read by checking for flow in the editing process. Formatting is another big step. Keep the post simple to follow through subheaders that break the blog post into sections. Additionally, numbered and bulleted lists help with readability because your audience can get the gist of a section without much effort. Basically, avoid big blocks of text that are visually hard to absorb and keep the blog dynamic.

3. Add Visual Interest

Visuals are another powerful way to up-level your blog posts. By adding images to your blog posts, you appeal to those readers who are visual learners. By incorporating images, you can help them understand complex topics through customized infographics and other images. Additionally, stock photos are helpful because they help you break up text and include humans to help make connections.

Ncn Tech

Source: NCN Technology

Whenever possible, you can also consider adding videos to your blog posts. Videos can expand on the topic at hand and provide additional information for your reader to consume. And by sourcing images and videos to complement your posts, your readers will sew how much time goes into the incredible content you produce.

4. Create an Emotional Connection with Your Reader

Content that evokes an emotional response and builds connection is memorable. It’s a great feeling when your content sticks in a reader’s mind. You can create these emotional connections in a number of ways.

For one, you can opt to tell engaging and relatable personal stories. Think about the reasons and feelings that would bring someone to your content, then comment on those and offer empathy. Additionally, consider how you write. Your writing should reflect normal conversations you’d have face-to-face with someone (so it’s more personal).

Since you typically try to get a reader to convert by making a purchase, considering emotions is necessary. Emotional needs often trigger buying decisions, so reel your reader in with content that appeals to that. Then you can showcase that your offer is the solution they need.

Optimize Web Copy With Keywords Graphic

5. Show You’re an Authority and a Trustworthy Resource

There is a ton of content on the internet, and if you want to stand out, positioning yourself as an authority in your field is essential. It ensures that people will view you as a trustworthy, reliable resource.

But how can you do that? Pack value into your content by showcasing your knowledge on topics relevant and important in your industry. Then make sure you include statistics and other facts that can be backed up by linking to other reputable sources. Readers will know that you’ve done your research and care about presenting the best info to them.

Another smart move would be to incorporate testimonials into your content whenever appropriate. This is ideal to show leads that past customers enjoy the services or products you provide. It could also encourage them to take action if they’re on the fence about purchasing.

6. Finish with a Call to Action

Part of any of the content you write is making sure those who read your content (whether email, blogs, or web copy) take action when they’re finished consuming what you’ve created. By including a CTA in your content, you instruct your audience about what they should do next. If they don’t know what to do next, they could leave your site, never to return.

Because you have their attention, you want to take advantage of this by getting them to do something like sign up for your email list, make a purchase, or talk to your team. Your call to action should explain what you can offer and the value it provides in their lives. Then, link over to your web store or another internal page so they continue their journey.

7. Keep Your Content Updated

As time goes by, you’ll amass a large archive of content on your website. This is amazing because it will give your readers plenty of quality content to consume. However, it’s only going to be beneficial if you keep that content updated with the most recent and accurate information.

The best way to do this is to occasionally go back through your archives and find old, evergreen content that you can refresh. You may know this, but evergreen content remains relevant to your reader for a long period. Creating these posts is super helpful for broad organic traffic. Then you can update these posts with additional info and updated statistics or links while still utilizing the existing post.

Not only that, but your writing skills will likely improve over time. That means your older content might not be up to your current standards or branding. This is another great reason to freshen up those posts collecting virtual dust in your archives. Then, you can reshare them and generate tons of new traffic.

How to Optimize Web Content with Keywords

Now that you have some tips about creating people-first quality content, you’ll want that content viewed by the masses. This requires keyword optimization. Search engine optimization can seem intimidating when you’re just starting out, but once you check out some guidelines and know that there are tools that can help you, it can be pretty simple.

The more comfortable you get with SEO best practices, the easier it’ll become to optimize content with keywords. Over time, you’ll start to see rewards as Google ranks your valuable, well-written, and optimized content higher in the SERPs. Then you can watch the organic traffic grow.

If you’re still wondering where you can get started, we’ve got some tips to help you out.

Don’t Begin with Keywords

This may feel counterintuitive, but the most successful content marketing strategies begin with setting goals, not whipping out keywords and 3,000-word blogs. You should slow down and think about why you’re driving traffic to your site.

Do you want to build a bigger subscriber base? Do you hope to drive sales through great blog content? Hope to get more folks to schedule consultations with your rockstar team? You can have multiple goals, but you should define them before doing keyword research.

Mightybytes

Source: Mightybytes

Having these goals will help you shape your strategy. And once you know what you want to accomplish, you can consider the topics that will help you reach those goals and start optimizing content.

Conduct Keyword Research

Understanding the topics that are trending in your industry and that people are searching for can make or break your content rankings. You can check out the content that your competitors post, make broad searches of your own to find popular terms, or utilize an SEO research tool like Semrush to find competitive keywords.

Once you’ve gathered your thoughts about topics and your niche, it’s time to research. You use the ideas you’ve generated for your business to select a keyword that has a good search volume because you’ll know people are searching for it. From there, you want to check out synonymous keywords to ensure you can still rank for that term.

You’ll find big keywords for your industry likely have a high keyword difficulty, which means that there is a ton of content out there about that subject. Don’t leave a huge gap in your content by ignoring these topics, but it’s more effective to target a less saturated topic when you get started.

Keyword Magic Tool

Source: Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

As you can see, the keyword “content marketing” gets a ton of hits. But there are only a couple of terms here that have a keyword difficulty that you can target well if you don’t have domain authority and a strong piece of content behind you.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for difficulty scores under 50 – you can still be competitive with a great piece of content and generate traffic a bit faster than with keywords that have difficulty scores that edge toward 60 and higher. Essentially, high search volume and low competition keywords are a sweet spot worth targeting.

Use Keywords Strategically

The secret to successful optimization of your keywords? Understanding where to place them.

Including your focus keyword in your headline, introduction, subheadings, and throughout the body of your copy is essential. Placing these keywords throughout the content helps Google’s crawlers index your content well, especially when you use a complex header system.

When you set up your longtail keyword and then your secondary keywords in these headers, search engines can catalog your content better and put it in front of the right audience. It also means that your content is more scannable for your readers, which makes this keyword focus an asset to your primary goal – creating content for humans first.

Another big place to put your keywords will be in the meta title and description, as well as any alt text you use for images. You can use this SEO practice for a simple boost in keywords, and it’s helpful for screen readers and other devices that make the internet more accessible.

Don’t Go Overboard

You’ve decided on a strategy, you’ve got all your keywords, and you know where to place them. Now, you just need to make sure you don’t stuff your content with the focus keyword. Doing this can cause Google to rank your content lower, but more importantly, your audience can’t enjoy it easily.

You should work your keywords into your content naturally. So, follow grammatical norms and don’t contort a sentence just to make a keyword fit. Sometimes you can even make a keyword happen across punctuation because search engines don’t catalog that period or comma the way they do the words. Additionally, using synonymous keywords and different phrasing will help you distribute your keywords more smoothly.

So what should you keep in mind to avoid keyword stuffing?

  • Review your content to make sure it reads naturally
  • The ratio of your keyword to avoid being too high
  • Checking for complementary keywords
  • Stagnant traffic on the page

Review Page Analytics

While content is something that you can publish and leave running to continuously bring in traffic, you can’t just forget about the piece until your next audit comes around. Instead, monitor your analytics regularly after publishing.

You can start by seeing how it looks after a week, then a month, then step it back to quarterly. Make sure the engagement metrics you choose for this page are relevant to your business and your audience. This will guarantee you see how the content functions best. And, if a web page gets regular organic traffic, congrats! You’ve cracked the code for a mix of keyword optimization and authority content.

But if you find that a post or new page for your site doesn’t perform how you like, consider updating the post, double-checking your keywords, and finding other areas for improvement.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but with these tips, you’re on your way to optimizing content with keywords to help your existing readers and bring in new ones via search engines. Now, you can follow these steps and adjust them for your target audience and content needs. You’ll know your readers, and Google will love what you’ve created.

Get Optimized, Quality Content from the Experts

Here at Express Writers, we know it takes time and effort to craft quality content for your readers. Our team of expert SEO content writers knows how to optimize web copy with keywords so we can create content your readers and Google will approve of. Our content writing agency is the done-for-you solution you need to get back to growing your business. We help you reclaim your time with quality content.

Contact our team today to learn more about our content services.

Optimize Web Copy With Keywords Cta

Optimizing Social Media Content: Which Platforms Are the Best to Optimize and How?

Optimizing Social Media Content: Which Platforms Are the Best to Optimize and How?

There’s no denying that social media can be a powerful tool for your brand.

Showing up consistently with helpful and unique content for social platforms helps you generate awareness for your brand. It also attracts leads and sales. But this can be tricky as you navigate social media algorithms to get your content noticed.

That’s where optimizing social media content comes into play. By being strategic with the kind of content you’re creating, you stand a better chance of boosting visibility and engagement.

If you’re concerned about catching up on social media optimization, have no fear. We’re covering all of the basics of optimizing content. You’ll learn what it means and how to optimize based on each separate platform. Let’s dive in!

Optimizing Social Media Content: Which Platforms Are Best?

Optimizing Social Media Content: What Does This Mean?

Since social media generates awareness for your brand through exposure to a wider audience, optimization lets you capitalize on that. You use various social platforms to spread your brand’s message and establish your online presence.

You spend time analyzing and auditing your strategy, factoring in social media best practices, and what’s performing well with your audience. Meaning you develop the most effective strategy possible.

But what does it mean when you’re optimizing social media content? It comes down to being strategic about the content you publish. When using social media as a brand, you don’t want to post just anything.

Your content should still center the interests of your target audience. In addition to considering what your audience is into, you will also want to align your content with what performs best for each separate platform to get better results.

Doing social media optimization properly can help you reap a ton of rewards. The benefits speak for themselves about the value of optimizing your content:

  • You’ll Develop an Effective Social Media Strategy: When you know how to create strong content for each social media platform, you can effortlessly craft a strategy that will help you be more consistent with posting. You’ll always know what kind of content to share, where to share, and when. It takes all the guesswork out of managing your social media presence.
  • Your Engagement Will Increase: When your content is optimized properly, there’s a good chance it’ll see a greater reach, therefore, increasing your visibility. This means your brand could get discovered by tons of new people. And you boost engagement (such as comments, shares, and website traffic) to attract new followers.
  • You’ll See a Greater ROI Across Platforms: Odds are, you use social media as a tool to help you achieve some of your larger business goals. Generating sales is a common one, for instance. Another is increasing brand visibility. With successfully optimized content, you increase your chances of reaching those goals and boost your ROI. Plus, seeing those analytics is a great way to see your hard work pay off.

At the end of the day, the social media accounts that end up being successful are those that understand trends, the types of people on the platform, and how to take advantage of their existing content library to optimize it across accounts. They become masters at their platforms and create content their audience can’t get enough of. As a result, they’ve built engaged, loyal followings.

Which Social Media Platforms Are Best to Optimize?

It’s easier than ever to find a social media platform that’s an ideal fit for your brand because there many are available. You want to ensure you invest time and energy into the platforms that showcase your strengths while putting you in front of your target audience. Otherwise, you risk your content going unnoticed or getting seen by the wrong people.

Gainchanger graph about top barriers for social media

Source: Gainchanger

If you’re going to be creating content for several platforms, you want to make sure you enhance that content for the different goals of that platform so it stands a better chance of performing well. Once you become a master at social media best practices, this will become second nature to you.

To get started, you should make sure that you have defined your business goals for social media. This means choosing strategies that align with those goals. For example, if you want to improve SEO for a B2B business, you might choose LinkedIn because over 50% of companies in the B2B arena find clients on the platform.

Alternatively, if you want to increase visibility for your brand, you might go with Facebook. Their ad features make it easy to target the right segments while making sure people still see your content and posts.

What are the Best Tactics for Social Media Optimization?

Broadly, there are a ton of things you can do to optimize your social channels. By using some of these simple strategies, you can make a big dent in getting your business out there and noticed by the right people.

But what are the best ways to optimize your social media? We’ve chosen a few general fixes and high-level improvements you can make to help your business’s pages.

Never Stop Thinking About Your Audience

Your audience is the most important part of your social media presence. They drive your engagement. This means their interests and pain points should always be top of mind.

And the demographics for your audience could be different across your different social channels. That’s why you should regularly take the time to check out the types of followers you have in your analytics.

Write Snappy Bios

Your bio is one of the earliest things someone will see when they check out your profile. It sets the tone and establishes who you are. So, make sure your bio covers what you do, your industry, and nails your brand tone quickly.

Express Writers social media header example

Having a great bio can encourage a potential client to reach out to you, so you want to ensure you make a good impression while being aware of their attention span.

Consider the Time You Post

Tons of hours have gone into studying the best times to post on social media over the years. While it’s not an exact science, you can make educated guesses based on when most of your audience is online.

If you’re just starting, you might choose a time to post social media based on the research others have done. Or try out a few times and see which gets the most engagement over a couple of weeks. From there, you’d post at the time that received the most regular interaction.

Avoid Posting Too Much

There’s also not a magic number of times that you should post in a week, but you don’t want to under-post to the point where people don’t see anything you have to say. It’s also important not to overwhelm your audience because they could get annoyed with your content and unfollow you.

That’s why you should find a sweet spot and stick to that whenever you write and post content for social. For example, best practices note that you should post on Instagram between 3 and 7 times a week, but you’re encouraged to post more than once a day on Twitter. That’s due, in part, to the lifespan of posts on these different platforms. A tweet is only relevant for 18 minutes, but on Instagram, you can get a lifecycle of a couple of days.

Make Your Content Searchable

If no one can find your content, they can’t engage with it. They also won’t know that your brand is what they need to solve a problem they have. While you won’t need to use this tactic all the time (sometimes you might just be talking to your existing customers), it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

One way to do this is through hashtags so that searchers can find your posts based on a couple of relevant words that trend on a platform. If you have an SEO team, you can also get keyword research from them to help boost organic performance.

Create Engaging Visuals

You cannot ignore the importance of visuals in social media content. You’re more likely to attract an audience if your content is visually engaging. In fact, you’re 65% more likely to retain information if a visual is attached to it. If you’re trying to up your visual game, here are a few tips:

  • Avoid images that are too dark. More light usually means more likes and shares.
  • Multiple colors get more attention in posts than images with only one color.
  • Your header text should be larger than the body text on a graphic.
  • Be aware of the color wheel.
  • Add images to your quotes. This could be anything from inspirational quotes or memes.

When you put thought into your images, your audience will appreciate the hard work you’ve put in and be delighted by the images and graphics you create.

How to Optimize Your Social Media Posts

Knowing and understanding your audience is essential for all content. You don’t want to overlook it with social media posts. You should create content that interests your audience so your posts will resonate with them. Consider what they’re interested in seeing from you and how you can provide solutions to their biggest pain points.

From there, you can tweak your content according to what performs best on each platform. To help you get started, we’re breaking down what works best on four top social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn). Here’s what you need to know:

1. Optimizing Your Facebook Posts

Facebook can be a great place to build an audience, but many brands find the platform frustrating because of low impressions and engagement. And considering the organic reach of a Facebook Page post is only 5.2%, the frustration makes sense. But you can do a few things to improve your posts and boost engagement rates:

  • Copy: A regular Facebook post can be up to 63,206 characters in length, which means it’s a great platform for posting long-form content. But should you? According to BuzzSumo research, shorter Facebook posts perform better, specifically those under 50 characters. Additionally, longer posts get cut off by Facebook’s “see more” option, so it’s important to stay snappy and avoid that.
  • Hashtags: With the ability to write longer posts, it can be tempting to add tons of hashtags to generate more reach. However, it’s best to stick to just two or three relevant hashtags.
  • Visuals: Facebook recommends uploading images that are 1,200 x 630 pixels in size, so consider that when creating graphics. It doesn’t matter if you post in landscape, portrait, or square, Facebook will automatically resize it to 500 pixels wide. The height will be scaled accordingly for the best quality.

2. Optimizing Your Instagram Posts

When viewing the standard Instagram feed, a user sees posts from the accounts they engage with the most first. So, if you want your content to be at the top of someone’s feed, you’ll want to encourage them to engage with you as much as possible. You can also suggest they add your account as one of their favorites to secure you a top spot. Other than that, here are some more tips:

  • Copy: Your Instagram captions can be up to 2,200 characters in length, giving you plenty of room to write captivating content for your followers to consume. However, research that analyzed 5.9 million Instagram posts shows posts between 1-50 characters appear to drive more interactions. Short and sweet is the way to go on this platform.
  • Hashtags: When writing your Instagram caption, you can include up to 30 hashtags. If you try to add more than that, you can’t post the caption. But avoid cramming in as many as possible. Studies show that 11 is the magic number for Instagram hashtags. It also doesn’t matter if you place the hashtags in the caption or a separate comment.
  • Visuals: When posting to your Instagram feed, you have three options. You can share a square image (1,080 x 1,080 pixels), a horizontal image (1,080 x 566 pixels), or a vertical image (1,080 x 1,350 pixels). Sticking to these specifications will ensure your image doesn’t get pixelated.

3. Optimizing Your Twitter Posts

Twitter has become the go-to platform for those seeking real-time updates. You can always count on its users to be discussing breaking news stories or live tweeting events (such as conferences or TV shows). But Twitter is also a great place to share educational tips with your community. To ensure your tweets get plenty of engagement, keep these tips in mind:

  • Copy: There was a lot of excitement when Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 characters in 2017. And it’s safe to say users appreciate having a little more room for sharing their thoughts. Now the ideal tweet length is between 240 and 259 characters.
  • Hashtags: Although you can use as many hashtags as you’d like on Twitter, the platform recommends using no more than two per tweet. In fact, tweets that have one or two hashtags reportedly see 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
  • Visuals: Adding an image to your tweets is a fantastic way to stand out and grab attention in a busy feed. Just make sure you’re uploading horizontal images that are 1,200 x 675 pixels for best results.

4. Optimizing Your Pinterest Posts

There’s no denying that Pinterest is one powerful visual search engine. Users across the globe turn to Pinterest to look for recipes, DIYs, and fashion inspiration. It can also be a great place to search for business and marketing tips. Odds are, Pinterest has something to offer no matter what type of content you’re on the hunt for. And here’s how to ensure your content stands out:

  • Copy: Your pin description on Pinterest can be up to 500 characters in length. However, it’s worth noting that only the first 30-60 characters appear in the feed without clicking on the post. For that reason, you want to make sure that the first snippet is the most attention-grabbing.
  • Hashtags: You can include more than 20 hashtags per pin, although this can look spammy to users and be a turn-off. Instead, stick to between two to eight hashtags for the best results. Simply choose the most relevant, and you’re on your way to optimized content.
  • Visuals: Long, vertical images are what truly thrive on Pinterest. That’s why you want to stick with their ideal image size of 1,000 x 1,500 pixels with an aspect ratio of 2:3. Any other than that and Pinterest says your pin’s performance could be negatively impacted. If your brand creates infographics, you’ll want to make sure you post them to Pinterest!

5. Optimizing Your LinkedIn Posts

LinkedIn has become the preeminent platform for professionals. Companies looking to hire new employees can post job listings, while eager job hunters can apply for their dream positions. And brands can use this social platform to share their latest content, promote offerings, and generate new leads. You just need to know how to use it effectively. Here’s how you can start optimizing social media content on LinkedIn:

  • Copy: When crafting your LinkedIn post, you’ll have a maximum of 700 characters available to use. But it’s important to note that, at the 140-character mark, you’ll get a “see more” cut off. For that reason, research suggests keeping your posts on the shorter side. The recommendation is 25 words or less, so you’ll want to make your point quickly. Though it’s worth mentioning that some of the most viral posts are those that personalized stories.
  • Hashtags: Although there isn’t a limit to how many hashtags you can add to a LinkedIn post, the platform recommends using only three hashtags per post. This is preferable to avoid looking spammy or cluttered when your followers are reading them.
  • Visuals: When adding images to your LinkedIn posts, horizontal is best. Create images at 1,104 x 736 pixels to ensure everything you upload looks high-quality, never pixelated.

Optimize Your Social Media Platforms with Expert Help

The team of social media experts at Express Writers has years of experience crafting incredible social media content. These writers understand how to pull in SEO while optimizing for each platform. If you need social media posts, there’s no need to look at other content writing agencies. Our passionate social media writers are here to help.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Optimizing Social Media Content Cta

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Optimization for SEO and Conversions

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Optimization for SEO and Conversions

Your content ranks on the first page of Google’s search results. You receive tons of organic traffic to your site every month. And your engagement and conversion rates are through the roof! It sounds like a dream, right? Well, it could be your reality with the help of some blog optimization.

By optimizing your blog posts, you take an ordinary piece of content and enhance it. Then Google is more inclined to show it folks searching for the content you offer. In turn, you’ll gain more exposure and see a boost in traffic. You do this all while satisfying the readers looking for content in your niche. It doesn’t hurt that Google stays happy as well.

Blog Optimization for SEO Title

This might sound like a lot of time-consuming work, but it’s not as daunting as it seems. And with the ROI you’re likely to see, the undertaking is worth it.

You still might be wondering what blog optimization is. In this guide, you’ll learn techniques that are essential to optimizing your blog posts for massive rewards.

Table of Contents: The Ultimate Guide to Blog Optimization for SEO and Conversions

To simplify the process, we’ve broken it down into four key areas. Here’s an overview:

Blog Optimization Table of Contents

Before Writing the Blog: 4 Steps to Prep for Blog Optimization

Although it may be tempting to dive right in and start crafting content, you’d be missing a crucial first step: blog optimization prep. This stage requires you to research, then outline and draft your content. While this takes additional time and effort, you’ll have already made your job easier when it comes time to write.

1. For SEO Rankings: Conduct Keyword Research

It’s impossible to optimize your blog without first doing keyword research. Selecting the right focus keyword for your content is imperative if you want to rank higher in Google’s search results and ultimately generate more traffic for your website. But if you’re not sure how to optimize blog posts for SEO, you likely need some tips for conducting proper keyword research.

After all, 68% of online experiences begin with the user searching via a search engine. That means they’re typing in a specific phrase or keyword they want more information about. And as the creator, you should ensure your content provides helpful guidance on the topic they’re searching for.

No matter what industry or niche you’re in, the tips that follow will assist you in finding high-ROI keyword opportunities. This way, you’ll increase your chances of ranking and getting traffic.

  1. Start with broad, general seed keywords, also known as “root keywords,” related to your industry or the products and services you offer.
  • Example: If your business sells car parts, you might want to start your search with a no-brainer root keyword, such as “car parts.”
  1. Plug that keyword into your preferred keyword research tool. There are tons of options to assist in keyword research, with free and paid tools available. The strategists Express Writers consider Semrush one of our favorites. You can also check out Mangools or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
  • Example: If you plug “car parts” into Keyword Tool, a list of long-tail keyword variations that can be researched further will pop up. This search, for instance, shows options such as “euro car parts” and “car parts near me.”

Keyword research conducted in Keyword Tool, showing various keyword suggestions.

Image: Screenshot of Keyword Tool keyword variation suggestions.

  1. Search for a long-tail keyword that expands on your root keyword, but hits that sweet spot, meaning it has low competition, high search volume, and a low difficulty score. This will be the ideal focus keyword for your content because you’ll stand a better chance of climbing to the top of the SERPs.

2. For Your Audience: Do Topic Research

Once you have some keyword ideas for your content, you’ll want to brainstorm potential topics. Topic research is an essential element of the blog optimization process that ensures you create interesting content for your target audience. If you write content they’re not searching for, they won’t discover or be interested in it.

You should always consider what your audience finds important. What is going to grab their attention? What kind of content is going to address their biggest pain points? Your reader is always wondering what’s in it for them, so you need to provide tremendous value every single time.

So, how do you find those hot blog topics that people want to read? There are a few tried-and-true methods perfect for getting the creative juices flowing.

1. Scope Out the Competition

Odds are, you already know who the biggest competitors are within your industry. And you’ve probably had your eye on them for a while. But what you likely haven’t been doing is using them as a source of inspiration for your content. In reality, your competitors hold a wealth of knowledge.

Take some time to browse their content and note the topics they cover. Then, ask yourself a few key questions to determine if it’s worthwhile for you to cover as well:

  • Can I put my spin on the topic in question? You never want to blatantly copy someone because it won’t be a positive reflection on your brand. Instead, you want to draw inspiration from and add your unique perspective to the topic. Then you differentiate it from things already published.
  • Can I write a better blog post on this topic? Whatever your competitors are doing, you want to do it better. Find opportunities to be the best and improve on the content that’s out there. This could look like conducting more thorough research, higher quality writing, or incorporating more visuals into your content.
  • Can I go more in-depth on a broader topic? If your competitors tend to be very broad with their content, that’s your sign to dig deeper. Dig into a topic and provide insights into a particular facet of it. If you provide more specialized content, folks are more likely to engage with it.

2. Use BuzzSumo

With the help of BuzzSumo, a simple search will allow you to see what’s popular with readers now. All you need to do is search a keyword or domain to get started. By searching a specific keyword, you’ll discover the top content that’s relevant to that topic of interest. Or you can choose to search your competitor’s domain to see which of their content pieces garner the most attention.

Screenshot showing the top-ranked content for “content marketing” in a BuzzSumo search.

Image: Screenshot of BuzzSumo search.

The content is ranked by engagement. You’ll see the number of social media shares a piece of content received, broken down by platform. This is a helpful indicator of popularity. By default, BuzzSumo ranks content based on results from the past six months, but you can change that if you want to see more recent hot topics. It will help you see the trends in your industry.

Covering the topics that are getting a lot of social shares increases your chances of getting discovered and generating brand awareness. You can miss out on entire people groups if you don’t write things that interest them, and you risk your brand growing stagnant.

3. Do a Good Old Fashioned Google Search

Sometimes a Google search is exactly what you need to spark some creativity. Getting started is as easy as entering a keyword into the Google search bar. You’ll notice a box will pop up underneath with a list of keyword variations. Use this information to help generate blog post ideas.

If a particular keyword variation catches your eye, search it. See what kind of content others in your industry have published using that keyword. Again, you don’t want to copy anyone directly. But rather, you want to use this as inspiration that kick-starts new ideas all your own.

3. For Better Content: Outline Your Blog

One of the most helpful elements of blog optimization prep is taking a few moments to outline your blog post ahead of time. Unfortunately, it’s one of the steps people most frequently skip, choosing to go straight into writing instead. However, there are some key benefits of writing that initial outline first:

  • It gives your blog post direction, ensuring you write with purpose and avoid rambling or going off on tangents. When your content has a clear focus, your reader has a better experience.
  • It assists you in planning headers and sub-headers that have been keyword-optimized for SEO.
  • And it’ll also boost your writing speed because you know what you’re writing about ahead of time, cutting down on writer’s block.

The best part about writing an outline for your blog post is that it can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. It all depends on what works best for you! It’s meant to be a tool to organize your thoughts.

If you’d like to go more in-depth, HubSpot has a helpful article on writing a blog post outline.

4. For High-ROI Blog Optimization: Write Powerful Headlines

If you want to ensure your blog post generates clicks, traffic, and shares, you cannot slack on the headline writing. This short snippet of copy is arguably one of the most important elements of your entire blog post and can make or break its success.

That’s because 8 out of 10 people will read the headline itself. However, only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the post. So, you need to craft a headline that grabs attention right off the bat. It should be compelling enough that the reader is intrigued and click through to read your post.

Here are some tips to remember whenever you write a headline:

1. Include Your Focus Keyword Near the Beginning of the Headline

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t put your entire headline on display in its search results. Instead, it gets cut off around 50-60 characters. This is why you want your focus keyword front and center, so it’s visible in search results. Then, a potential reader will see the headline and view your content as relevant.

2. Keep Your Headline Between 8-14 Words

Keep in mind that Google will cut off your headline anyway, so avoid spending time writing an extremely long headline for your blog post. It’s better to keep it short and sweet, using just 8-14 words to communicate the main idea of your content.

Graph from HubSpot showing the content title length (in words) vs. social shares.

Image: Content title length vs. social shares graph.

Research from HubSpot found that 8-12 word blog headlines received the most shares on Twitter. Meanwhile, blogs with headlines between 12-14 words generated the most Facebook likes.

3. Write with the Reader in Mind

As with anything in the world of content creation, it always goes back to your reader. Your headline should clearly state what your reader can expect from your blog post. However, aim to do it enticingly. What’s going to get them to immediately click through to your site?

For one, you can use different headline formulas that are both persuasive and intriguing. You can even use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to determine how effective your headlines are. Consider implementing these tips:

  • Use numbers to communicate how many tips a reader will discover in your post. For example, “10 Easy Tips for Optimizing Your Blog Posts.”
  • Address the reader by using words such as “You” and “Your.” For example, “You Need These 10 Blog Post Optimization Tips.”
  • Start with “How to” in order to plainly state what a reader will learn. For example, “How to Successfully Optimize Your Blog Post to Increase Rankings.”

4. Use Words that Evoke Emotions

Finally, a great headline incorporates strong verbs and adjectives that are powerful enough to evoke the reader’s emotions. You want to push their buttons, address their pain points, and show you offer a solution to their biggest struggles. Using the Headline Analyzer mentioned above you can tweak your headline to match its suggestions. This will allow you to optimize your headline for length, character count, and more.

How to Write Your Blog (and Optimize it Correctly) in 5 Steps

Now you have completed your blog optimization prep. You have a list of keywords and blog topics on hand. You’ve even written an amazing headline and an outline to accompany it. So, the next logical step is to start writing the body of your blog post. If you love to write, this is probably the most exciting part. If you find writing to be more daunting, this could feel stressful. Either way, these next five steps will help you tackle the writing process (and optimize) with ease.

1. Use Your Focus Keyword Properly Throughout Your Blog Post

We’ve already established that it’s crucial to incorporate keywords into your blog posts if you want to rank higher in Google’s SERPs and drive more traffic to your site. However, when learning how to optimize blog posts for SEO, there are often a couple of questions that content creators have.

How do you use keywords in your content? And where do they go?

There are a few strategic ways to use your focus keyword so that search engines can quickly crawl your page and understand how relevant it’ll be to searchers. Here’s what you need to know:

Your Keyword Usage Checklist

  1. Use your focus keyword once in the title tag, which is your headline.
  2. Incorporate the keyword in the opening paragraph of your blog post, ideally within the first 100 words.
  3. Use the keyword in subheadings (H2s) where it’s applicable.
  4. If possible, incorporate the keyword into a few sub-subheadings (H3s).
  5. Include the keyword throughout the body copy of your blog post. Just be sure to do this in a way that feels natural, never forced. And don’t go overboard. Reading your copy aloud will help you catch places your copy might sound cumbersome.
  6. Finally, add the keyword once in the closing paragraph (or conclusion).

By following these tips, you’ll be able to effectively use keywords for blog optimization without going overboard. It’ll take the guesswork out and ensure you avoid keyword stuffing.

2. Keep Blog Post Length Standards in Mind

The next important element of blog optimization that will come into play as you write is the length of your content. This brings us to the all-important question – how long should a blog post be?

Many bloggers have this question, but it does not necessarily have a perfect answer. According to data gathered by HubSpot, the ideal blog post length for SEO is between 2,100-2,400 words. On the other hand, Google’s John Mueller has previously said, “Word count is not indicative of quality.”

So, what’s a content creator to do? Well, the length of your post depends on the subject matter and the searcher’s intent. Not every blog post needs to be over 2,000 words. Sometimes you can communicate your point more concisely, while others need a higher word count. Consider the word count that will best cover your topic first. Then, think about your reader and their preferences. At the end of the day, it’s more about the quality rather than the number of words.

3. Don’t Forget Images and Keyword-Rich Alt Text

Images are a fantastic way to get your point across to readers. They’re also helpful for visual learners since they can break down more complex topics in a way that’s easy to understand. As you do this, you’ll want to add alt text to every single image.

Alt text (alternative text) is a description of your image. The description you write is displayed if your image doesn’t load for any reason. The vision-impaired and others who use screen readers will also know the gist of the image because their reader can decipher it. Additionally, you can get a bump in Google image search rankings by including your blog post’s focus keyword in your alt text.

4. Know How to Properly Format Your Blog Post

Did you know that formatting plays a role in the blog optimization process as well? If a reader visits your website and gets slammed with a gigantic block of text, they likely won’t stick around. Instead, they’ll leave your site immediately, which will send your bounce rate soaring. If you want to keep people on your site for a while, your content needs to be welcoming. Here’s how to do that:

  • Keep your paragraphs short and sweet because it’s easier on the eyes.
  • Use headers and subheads to organize your content and make it easier for readers to scan.
  • Where applicable, incorporate bulleted or numbered lists.

5. Incorporate Conversion Techniques to Generate Clicks

There’s one final step to optimizing blog posts for SEO. And that is to wrap everything up with a powerful call to action (CTA). A CTA tells your reader what to do next now that they’ve finished reading your blog post.

Whenever possible, tie your CTA to the topic of the blog post. For example, a blog post that walks the reader through the process of starting an email list could feature a freebie with a few ideas of what to send for their first email.

You also want to take it up a notch and make your CTA as powerful as possible. Don’t just say, “Subscribe to my list for a freebie.” You want to tell them exactly what they’re getting when they join. Show them the benefit of being a subscriber – you want to make it sound irresistible.

2 Final Blog Optimization Steps Before Hitting Publish

Now that your blog post is written, you’re probably eager to hit that publish button and share your amazing work with the world. Before you do that, there are two things you want to make sure you’ve done to take your blog optimization to the next level.

1. Write Your Meta Description

You don’t want to overlook the all-important meta description. Because this is often one of the last pieces of the puzzle, it is easy to forget sometimes. If you’re not familiar with a meta description, here’s what you need to know:

  • It contains the meta title, which is the main headline of your blog.
  • And it features a short summary of your blog (within 320 characters). This summary is shown in Google’s SERPs to give people an overview of your blog post.

Writing a great meta description is simple since you’re just giving a quick explanation of your blog’s content. However, you want to make sure your meta features the focus keyword from your blog post since it’s an important ranking factor. Aim to naturally integrate your secondary keyword if you’ve chosen to use one.

2. For WordPress Users, Use Yoast SEO to Optimize

One of our favorite WordPress plugins at Express Writers is Yoast SEO. It’s become one of the top SEO plugins because it makes it incredibly easy to optimize your blog posts and web pages before you publish them. Yoast will rank your content based on technical SEO standards and show areas where you can make improvements. Meaning it’s easy to make changes that will increase ranking positions.

Its analysis looks for keywords in the title, outbound and internal links, images, keywords in the introduction, keyword density, keywords in the meta description, and more. Taking the extra few minutes to review Yoast’s suggestions could make or break the success of your blog post.

After the Post is Live (What to Do for Blog Optimization)

Keep in mind that even once the blog post is live, the work isn’t done. Instead of sitting back and obsessively checking your analytics, you need to be proactive about sending as much traffic to your brand new post as possible. While Google can certainly send a ton of people your way, you can implement some low-cost content promotion tactics that will attract even more readers.

Promoting Your Blog Post Without Breaking the Bank

Never be ashamed to promote your blog content. You’ve worked hard to create that content, and it deserves to be seen by its intended audience. If you want to drive traffic, consider promoting the post you’ve just carefully optimized through email marketing and your social media channels.

Send an Email Promoting Your Newest Blog Post

If you’ve already built an email list, then you’re in the perfect position to implement this tactic. Your subscribers are your ideal audience because they’ve already engaged with your brand by joining your list. Once they’ve signed up, you simply need to keep your list “warm” by sending out content regularly.

The easiest way is to promote each of your new blog posts after they’ve been published. The email itself doesn’t have to be long or overly complicated. It can be a simple summary with a link to the post. It’s enough to entice them and leave them wanting more. To make sure your email marketing efforts are effective, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Use CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Tester so you can generate a higher open rate.
  • Summarize what the blog post is about and focus on the benefits your audience will receive from reading your post in its entirety. How will it solve their pain points? What are the main takeaways?
  • Stick to the same schedule. By sending your emails on the same day and at the same time, it creates consistency for both you and your subscribers. Choose a time after your blog post has been published, then ensure your emails go out at that time each week.

Post about your new blog on social media

You likely have several social channels. Crossing posting about your blog on these channels can bring in a variety of new traffic. Especially if you’re switching up the posts for different platforms to meet your audiences where they’re at.

For example, you have limited characters on Twitter, so talk about your post quickly and then link to the blog. Or, if you have a large following on Facebook, be aware of how many words your audience can see on their timeline.

Don’t forget graphics. Images are more likely to catch your readers’ attention and pull them in. When used effectively during social media promotion, graphics can help you skyrocket your impressions.

What to Do Next for Your Blog Optimization

Blog optimization is critical for getting yourself recognized in the SERPs. By following the steps above and committing to a strategy that prioritizes your readers, you’ll have a stellar blog to help rake in organic traffic.

If content creation and blog optimization aren’t your strong suit or the time commitment seems like too much, don’t worry. You don’t have to manage it all alone. As a content writing agency, Express Writers is ready to help you outsource your content. Our experienced experts craft high-quality, valuable content to attract new readers and nurture the audience you’ve already grown. We understand SEO and blog optimization, so leave the heavy lifting to us.

To learn more about what we do, get in touch with our team today.

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