How to supercharge your website with a blog

Illustration of a woman writing content to optimize their blog post

Picture this...

It's the hottest day of the year and you have a few friends coming over tonight for dinner when you notice the air conditioning unit has started to drip. You have so many things still to do and you wonder if there's a simple fix.

You grab your laptop and google search the words "How to fix a leaky air-con unit" Instead of getting an answer, you are shown over 10 different air-con companies all professing their cheap prices and giving discounts. The top search states it is the No 1 Aircon Company in the Country. Your mouse hovers over the link but then you notice a blog post with the headline "Why is your air-con dripping and how to fix it"

You click the link.

The post is very informative and easy to read. It even has a checklist. At the end of the post it simple says "If you want to spend your day doing something else - call us to fix your leaking aircon." linking back to the main company.

Which company would you choose?

In this ever-increasing overcrowded market, consumers are becoming picky as to where they spend their time. Customers are more trusting of a blog post rather than a company's website with Hubspot reporting that companies with blogs get 55% more visitors than companies with just standard websites. Blogging is one of the quickest ways to show your customers that you understand their problems as well as build your expertise and authority in the industry. When used correctly a blog post is a great tool to reach your larger audience and engage with your potential customers. It should resonate with your reader and provide them with instant value. However, creating any form of content is more than just writing. If you're considering adding a blog to your website choose someone who's genuinely invested in connecting with your audience to write your posts.

Here's what you need to know to supercharge your website and blog like a pro.

illustration of people researching
  1. Find the right topic.

• Research the competition — read what they are writing about, are there any trends that they are raving about? Of course, you don't want to copy them , instead  learn from them, do you have a different opinion? Can you add more to the topic?

• Listen to your audience or target group — join a forum or discussion group and find out the questions being asked

• Read magazines articles, other blogs and social feeds from other writers in your niche.

•Reach out in your groups and connections and ask to interview an expert on a niche topic. •Respond to a post you read or a podcast you heard.

•Curate a couple of posts on one core topic make a list and every week add an expanding subject

2. Keyword research & headlines:

Never underestimate the power of your headline. Even if you write a great post if your headline is boring your audience might never read any further. Create a headline that grabs your reader's attention Use curiosity to get them to click, but don't use clickbait headlines. Remember clickbait articles often leave their readers disappointed because they never add any value to their readers. Make sure your post does what you promise in the headline.

There is so much more to keywords than just SEO. Use the words your audience uses when they are searching for answers on the internet, turn them into a question your customers are aching to answer and use them for your headlines. For example If your keyword is Hashtags you could use How many hashtags should I use to get the widest reach? Why do I need to use hashtags? Are hashtags relevant? Why should I limit the number of hashtags? Should I use hashtags on LinkedIn? etc

Keyword research can also help you identify topics used by your niche audience as well as those that are not already overused. For instance “Why no one is using hashtags on Twitter?”

You can test your headlines by creating variations of the same headline. A quick way is to show them to a friend and ask which one they would click.

You can further A/B test your headlines on your Twitter and Linkedin audience — Choose 2 or 3 headlines and post them in a tweet linked to your blog. Tweet it again a few days later using another headline and check the analytics to find out which headline inspired more clicks

3. Consider how you will present your content

There are some types of posts that just work better

• How-to posts

• “Best-of”& "Worst-of"

• Resources I use

• Top 5 Lists

• Expert Interviews

• Things I learned

4. Structure and plan your post to ensure you stay on topic.

Take into account how your online content is consumed and how to keep the attention of your online audience. • Use subheadlines • bullet lists • Keep your paragraphs short - long paragraphs tend to be hard to read online, especially on mobile devices • Highlight the more important paragraphs • make your content skimmable.

5. The Importance of Storytelling

Don’t write your blog like a company newsletter go beyond the facts and statistics and write about your experience — maybe you’ve had success with a service or strategy. Involve your reader and tell them how you solved a problem or even better how you solved a customer's problem. Write about how you helped a customer achieve something big. These will help your audience and optimize their engagement. For instance, the reason I wrote this post about blogging was simply because I had just finished chatting with a client about how she could use blogging to inform her audience. Brandy helps single mothers upskill so they can get a job. Her organisation's website had a lot of information -too much info that didn't really add to her students' experience. I recommended a few blog posts on subjects that mattered to her students such as how to write a resume, how to prepare for an interview. We put together a simple content structure and brainstormed a few more topics. I'm looking forward to reading her first post next week.

Illustration choosing social media images

6. Use images to help you keep the attention of your audience.

Our human brains are more likely to remember something we have SEEN than what we have read. Placing an image every few paragraphs will make it easier for your audience to read as well as retain the information. These images can also add information, for instance, you can often use a graph or infographics to explain a concept better than a lengthy paragraph. Images can also help drive traffic from Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

7. Optimize those Keywords.

As mentioned Keywords are important. Write down your main keywords and use them throughout your post it will also help you keep on topic. Make sure you use those keywords in the • headline •subheading • post • meta description • URL • ALT tag of some of the images.

8. How much should I write?

There will be times when you start writing and feel you are either writing too much or too little. According to Hubspot, the ideal blog post length for SEO should be 2,100-2,400 words.

If you get stuck take a break and think about the topic again:

• Are you missing some information?

• Do you need to view your topic from another angle?

• Do you have a bias?

•Is there not enough content for this topic?

•Do you have more than you need for this one post that can be used in another?

•Ask someone to read what you have written, do they have any questions? You could use them to add more to your post.

Illustration of person analysing feedback

9. Evaluate your efforts.

Once you've written a few posts go back and see how your audience reacted. Did it inspire them to ask more questions? What comments did they write? If a post was particularly popular could you write more on the topic as a follow-up? Use the feedback and adjust your content and efforts. The best way to optimise your blog is to always listen to them.

Blogging is a great way to simplify your marketing strategy. Use it as a way to accessorise your services. Remember you’re not writing for yourself — you’re writing for your audience and make sure your readers leave with a little bit more knowledge and value.

Your Business Challenge for the Week:

Come up with a few topics you can write about

Answer a clients problem and provide a valuable solution

Write a blog post

At CUCO we help entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, business leaders and team executives turn their business communication into a human connection.