By Prebuilt Sites Team
March 23, 2022
When you’re creating content for your online business, do you ever feel like you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks? The truth is, we’ve all been there! Sometimes you win when writing blog posts, but most of the time you don’t. But the more you practice the more you’ll learn what your readers like and what they don’t like. Once you start doing more of what sticks, you’ll find that your blog posts are performing well more consistently and have your own perfect blog post strategy. To create a perfect blog post, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to and create high quality content using specific keywords to reach your target audience. Make sure each blog post captures the reader’s attention from the very beginning and maintains it throughout the body and call-to-action. If you have any questions about how to create a perfect blog post or want us to handle it for you, reach out to us at Prebuilt Sites or The BBS Agency. We’d love to help you out!
Creating blog posts that perform can seem like a game of roulette: sometimes you win, most times you don’t. But by employing the right strategies, you can increase performance consistently and turn gambles into sure bets. See how we do it in this blog post example.
If you’ve written and published blog posts for your company, you’re probably familiar with a certain uncomfortable feeling.
It’s time to sit down and write the next post.
But you’re suddenly feeling stuck: you can’t quite figure out what to say or how to start the post.
And you’re concerned that, despite your best efforts, the post might not succeed in terms of reach and search engine placement.
Some of your posts do, and some don’t, and there doesn’t seem to be much pattern to it.
It’s a miserable place to be. You feel stuck and you’re not sure what to do about it.
At Rock Content, we’ve helped hundreds of clients get past hurdles like this one. And we also know that there is a pattern to whether a post performs or not.
We can help you implement certain content strategy principles that will greatly increase the odds that your posts will succeed.
We’ll show you a blog post example, what a near-perfect blog post looks like (in our humble opinion). But more than that, we’ll show you why it works.
- Our Model Post
- Step 1: Comprehending the Persona
- Step 2: High-Quality Content Is King
- Step 3: Great Title and Introduction
- Step 4: On-Page SEO
- Step 5: Great Conclusion and CTA
- Wrap Up: Writing a Perfect Blog Post Isn’t Easy
Our Model Post
It’s just about impossible to talk about this stuff completely in the abstract. So, we’ve chosen one of our own blog posts to use as an example:
➤ What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The Complete Guide to Reach Top Google Results
Yeah, we know, using our own post as an example of “the perfect blog post” might seem a little overconfident. Sorry.
But, for what it’s worth, I didn’t write that post, so my own ego isn’t in play. And it has performed well.
So, while it may not be a completely perfect blog post, it clearly checks the boxes you want to check in terms of a search-engine-optimized blog post.
With that out of the way, go ahead and pull up the What Is SEO post in a separate tab or window. Then let’s dive in!
Step 1: Comprehending the Persona
The first step to crafting a high-performing blog post is settling on who you’re talking to.
As a writer, you’ve probably been here before: you’re a third of the way into a post and you need to pull out a “you” type reference — something that pulls in your reader and makes them feel like you’re talking to them.
But you’re not sure what kind of person or role to use.
Is your reader a CMO or a marketing intern? Someone with 20 years’ experience or none at all?
You need to know the answer to questions like these before you start.
To simplify this process, most agencies and organizations will develop one or more personas.
These are fictional people that represent an amalgamation of the main traits people in a company’s target audience might have.
You might develop personas like Marketing Intern Matt or C-Suite Cindy, for example. These are shorthand ways of keeping focus on who a particular post should aim for.
So, what about our blog post example?
It was written to an audience of marketing managers and CMOs looking for a definitive guide on SEO. And that affects every aspect of the post.
The text assumes a base of knowledge about digital marketing, but it doesn’t assume specialist-level understanding.
In the introduction, look at how our blog post example speaks to high-level priorities that middle managers and above would care about:
Source: Rock Content
Understanding your target persona is just as much about what you don’t say as what you do.
Notice how the post doesn’t talk about advancing in the company or how to convince decision-makers that SEO is important?
If you’re writing to the bosses, you don’t talk about those things. And if you do talk about them, CMOs reading the post might start to think “this isn’t for me.”
Step 2: High-Quality Content Is King
There’s no substitute for quality, authoritative content.
The best strategies in the world can’t overcome a badly written post riddled with errors and even inaccuracies.
This is true both on a human level and on an SEO level.
First, your human readers won’t tend to trust you as an authority if your content doesn’t lend itself to being trusted.
Second, Google will punish you, too. Its latest search algorithms include AI-driven natural language processing.
At the risk of oversimplification, if your content doesn’t look and sound like it’s well-written, Google can tell — and it will punish you.
How does this show up in our blog post example?
Well, a lot (and we mean a lot) of research went into making that post.
Jump to just about anywhere in that very lengthy post, and you’ll find fact-rich, research-dense content, including links out to external and internal authoritative sources.
Source: Rock Content
Written by an SEO specialist, our piece is a great blog post example of thought leadership content.
This is content that generates unique insights, not just rehashing or repackaging of existing content.
After all, Rock Content isn’t the first company to create a “What Is SEO?” post.
Or it’s content that goes deeper or further than anything else out there. This aspect isn’t easy to prove, but you’ll have a hard time finding another resource as thorough as this one.
The length of a blog post is another factor in establishing quality and authority.
Now, don’t get us wrong: a trash blog post doesn’t magically become high-quality because it’s 10,000 words long.
But say you have two equally well-researched, well-written blog posts on the same topic. Which gets more credibility, the one that’s 500 words long or the one that’s 5,000 words long?
The longer one, clearly.
So, let’s look at our model post.
Source: Rock Content
That’s an extremely long post — over 8,500 words! (If you’re paying writers by the word, your mouth might be hanging open. But don’t worry, not every post needs to be anywhere near this long.)
A similar post from competitor HubSpot lands at around 6,000 words. We went even longer — on purpose.
So, how long is just right for your typical blog post? It depends.
We consider both the complexity and competitiveness of the keyword to determine a proper length. And outlasting top competitors isn’t a bad strategy, either.
Step 3: Great Title and Introduction
Good blog posts target the right persona and contain only high-quality content.
But to move from good to great, your blog post has to be interesting, too. You have to pull in readers and convince them that reading your piece is worth their time.
Creating compelling, interesting content is important throughout a piece, but nowhere is it more important than the title and introduction.
In fact, these are so important, we’re going to discuss them separately.
Creating an engaging title
You’ll encounter all sorts of strategies for creating titles. Great titles can be catchy, witty, humorous, enticing, mysterious, informative, and more.
Most mix several of these attributes, finding what suits the occasion, brand, and post.
Look again at the full title of our SEO guide:
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The Complete Guide to Reach Top Google Results
You can see we didn’t go for funny or clever with this one. It wouldn’t fit the nature of the piece. No, this piece is an authoritative, comprehensive guide, so that’s the approach we took.
But notice a few other things about the title.
It contains a question, “What is SEO?”. This is a real question that people type into search engines all the time.
Putting it in the title tells Google that we’re about to answer it, and it tells human readers the same thing.
We also spelled out the acronym, again for both our readers (some might not know) and for Google (some might search for the spelled-out term).
One more thing: look at what comes after the colon.
We didn’t just tell readers that this is “the complete guide.” We gave them a vision of what this post can do for them. This post can help them reach top Google rankings.
Whether they know it yet or not, that’s what they want to use SEO to do.
So, even in the title alone, we’ve told our readers (and search engine bots) the following things:
- Which question we’re going to answer (“What is SEO?”)
- The most basic answer to the question (“Search Engine Optimization”)
- That we’ll be answering it thoroughly and authoritatively (“The Complete Guide”)
- What the post can do for them (help them “to Reach Top Google Results”)
That’s a seriously powerful title.
Create an introduction that draws readers in
Introductions can be hard.
Too short, and they seem abrupt and uninteresting. But go too long, and they start to meander all over the place.
The best introductions draw readers in quickly, sometimes with a hook (but sometimes without). They also set expectations for the post, letting readers know what they will learn if they stick with the post.
How did we do that in our SEO guide? Let’s take a look.
Source: Rock Content
We jumped straight in with where SEO fits into the world of business.
Then we immediately jumped to why that matters before assuring readers that SEO can deliver specific metrics that would matter to them (remember the persona?):
- Authority in the market
- Greater number of visitors
- Increased conversion opportunities.
Next, we piqued interest by reminding them that organic SEO traffic doesn’t cost ad money, and we rounded it out with a high-level preview of what readers will need to do (optimize their pages and connect to other sites).
There’s one more thing we did in our intro:
Source: Rock Content
We provided a table of contents, giving readers a clear understanding of what’s coming up. Also, each line is linked internally, helping the reader navigate.
Quick note: these aren’t the only strategies. For example, an effective story can be the main element of an effective intro. (Go back to the beginning of this post to see that strategy in action.)
But a story didn’t make the most sense for the SEO guide post, so we didn’t use one.
Also, not every introduction needs to have every single element we used. But those elements worked well for that post. And they can work for you, too.
Step 4: On-Page SEO
Next, there are some concrete things you should be doing in your blog posts to increase your on-page SEO.
We’ve dealt with this topic at length elsewhere, so we won’t go quite as deep here. But if your blog post is just wall-to-wall text, you’re missing some key opportunities.
Here are 3 elements of a good strategy:
First, notice how many links are in our SEO guide?
And more clicks to those pages — even from your own pages — increases their authority.
Even in this small section of text, we included three internal links to other Rock Content posts:
Source: Rock Content
Headings serve more than just aesthetic functions.
Best practice includes using H1 tags for the title of your post, then H2 tags around the main headers.
You can nest multiple levels of headers below those as H3 and H4, if needed.
Why do these matter? The short version: search engines use these headings to learn what your content is about.
Source: Rock Content
Visual content is huge as well. Check out this image in our SEO guide post:
Source: Rock Content
It makes the topic (Google’s algorithm and updates) easier to digest and tells you everything you need to know. It is also an original piece, and not something we found online.
Visual content is hard to do well, though. You may not have the artistic or technical skills to create it.
That’s OK, because Rock Content can help you create visual and interactive content experiences that can transform your blog posts, help your readers understand, and help your posts rank.
And to manage all that production flow, you can always count on Studio, our beloved project management tool that allows you to control every step of the creative process.
Step 5: Great Conclusion and CTA
Just like introductions, conclusions are hard.
You may feel like you’ve already said everything necessary, but without a conclusion the post will feel abrupt and incomplete.
There are several strategies that can work well for ending a blog post.
You can check out our content about conclusions’ best practices to see which approach makes the best sense for your next blog post.
For a standalone post like our SEO guide, we selected a few of those strategies and discarded the others.
We made this decision based on what that specific post needed. Let’s take a look, and then we’ll walk you through those choices.
You’ll notice that we summarized what the reader learned in the post. This is a common and very effective strategy.
Now, this isn’t a college paper, so don’t simply restate all your main points.
Phrase this content differently, or maybe draw another, final meta-conclusion, like we did with “Our goal here has been to explain the main SEO concepts and the factors that will have the strongest influence on your SERP position.”
We also implemented a CTA (call-to-action), and most of your posts should, too.
In this case, we pushed readers to engage with a piece of interactive content. We asked them to take our SEO Maturity Assessment.
This piece of content provides even more value to the reader, of course. But it also helps us out: the assessment ends on a sign-up form we use to generate leads.
You can use your CTAs to do similar things:
- Invite readers to download an ebook or whitepaper.
- Invite them to try out your product or service.
- Let them schedule an appointment or consult.
Whatever your next-step objectives are, use a CTA to help get there.
Wrap Up: Writing a Perfect Blog Post Isn’t Easy
But as we saw in our blog post example, there are real, concrete strategies to writing a post that performs well.
By implementing the strategies we’ve covered here, you can steadily improve your post performance and reduce the feeling of randomness about how a post will rank.
Want to see more about how Rock Content makes this happen?
Check out how a single blog post brought 2 Million reais to us in less than 3 years!
Originally published on Rock Content.