If one of your goals is to run the most effective blog strategy in your industry, then you are setting yourself up to achieve some pretty big accolades. A thoughtful blog strategy can convert more leads, nurture readers into buyers, promote brand awareness, improve SEO, and set you up as the clear leader in your space.
Today, every savvy corporation has a blog. However, very few of them germinate from a comprehensive strategy created to achieve precise goals. Award-winning SEO Los Angeles agencies that offer growth marketing are known for creating aggressive, thoughtful blog strategies that curtail pointless content funnels. Instead, each blog is a part of a living, breathing strategic entity that has precise goals that all lead to an ultimate intention–hitting those high-revenue targets with steady sales growth. This article will offer tips that can help you be that game-changer in your professional space.
Beat Your Competition Begins By Understanding Them
In order to have the best blog in your industry, you must first determine who the current leaders are and understand what makes them so great. A great place to start is by analyzing their current blog’s user engagement and organic SEO value. There are a number of tools that give this kind of insight. SpyFu, for example, reveals the organic keywords the competitor ranks for, estimated monthly SEO clicks, number of social shares and likes, their organic top competitors, keyword rank gains, and much more. This is valuable information not just for engineering organic blog strategies but this data also gives you a good understanding of how active your competition is in running a strategy.
You should also create a spreadsheet for each top competitor in which you add their blog topics, titles, target audience and the message itself. If your competition’s blog gets lots of clicks, there is a clear reason. It could be the topic, the writing style or the keywords that play into ranking content for niche audiences.
Take a look at their blog titles, tags and meta descriptions. Be sure to record these in a spreadsheet, as the collected data will be very revealing in uncovering their organic strategy. Finally, use a social listening tool to see who is talking about them in social media, and who these people are. Do the majority seem to be married women with kids in their mid 30s that engage content through home improvement groups? Perhaps they are college guys who play sports. Knowing who these precise groups of people are will come in use for when you are ready to create your buyer personas for audience targeting.
Write Blogs for People, Not Rankings
Really, this is a catch-22 because if you write for people, you also write for Google. Keywords are always going to matter because people will always use them in their search queries. The day will never come when someone searching for a baseball bat will type in, “low cost wood item used for striking cork-centered round thing bound in leather”. The keyword “baseball bat” will still matter, and be used.
But to prove a point as to just how smart Google is, I typed in this ridiculously long search query, and as you can see from the results below, Google was smart enough to rank a cricket bat–a piece of sporting equipment in the same family as the baseball bat.
Clearly, writing content that is detailed, targeting specific buyers while addressing their needs, and piecing everything together in content using the right keywords and context will not only engage people, but help boost rankings. Thanks to Google RankBrain’s AI and machine learning components baked into its algorithm, writing for people also means writing for the search engine.
Segment Your Blog Audience for Purposeful Content
You will get more readers, leads and sales when creating blogs for segmented audiences. After all, people are interested in your products and services for different reasons. Instead of writing to a broad audience with paltry results, segment your audience by creating buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a fictionalized representation of a real buyer reflecting various points on how they engage with your product based on identifiers such as income level, job role, family status, and many more factors. When creating a buyer persona that represents each type of customer, you can drive content creation that is purposeful, generates more leads, fosters sales follow up, and improves customer acquisition and retention. Really, it just helps you create damn good content that resonates with your customers at a highly personal level, and when you are able to do this while your competitor pumps out poorly-directed content to the moon, the clear industry favorite blog will stand out.
Give Your Blog Strategy Structure Using Content Topic Clusters
Structured blogs bring many benefits. From improving rankings to creating better user experiences, the value is off the hook. My agency has had great success in running content topic clusters within an agile blog strategy. Content clusters group similar blogs making your articles stand out. This is a series of topically related blogs intended to increase authority in the eyes of your competitors, buyer audiences, and the search engines. You can create 20 blogs about dog training, so long as each has a unique topic and all are relevant.
Once you have your cluster, you will need to link to your pillar page. This is generally a landing page or web page that is ungated and on the top-level of a domain. It should contain various conversion points and / or a form. Some expert agency tips for ensuring a strong pillar page include,
- Existence in your site’s navigation
- Content matching search intent
- Showcase various types of media
- Feature your overall topic in the H1 and meta description
- Use related content and synonyms
You will also want to include a few blogs in your cluster strategy that comprise of subtopic content. These are specific blogs generated around longtail keywords that address a niche question. For example, a scuba diving ecommerce business could have a blog titled “5 Reasons Why the Apeks MTX-R is the Best-Breathing Cold Water Diving Regulator”. This type of blog could belong to a cluster with more general yet unique topics that include, “Must-Read Checklist for Ice Diving Scuba Gear”, and “8 Reasons Why the Scuba Ice Diver Certification Makes You a Better Diver”.
The subtopic blogs need to link to the pillar page within the topic cluster. After all, interlinking is what gives content topic clusters their juice. When you are able to use this strategy to both rank great content for the right readers, and offer your buyer audience a plethora of information they care about, you are well on your way to owning the best blog strategy in your industry.
Empower Your Blog with Powerful Backlinks
Another component of a true industry-leader blog is one that is being regularly fed with healthy backlinks. These are links that originate from content located on a referring domain. This is an arduous task that requires extensive outreach. In most cases, digital marketing agencies have teams whose role is to create relationships with other domains and continuously nurture them. The payoff is being able to write strategic content for their blog, that links back to theirs. Best practices include:
- Referring domain should have overall content directly related to your products and services
- A high domain authority and trust score
- Provide “follow” links (peppering your backlink portfolio with some“nofollow” are fine)
- Have zero spam
- Be free from duplicate content
- Have, themselves, a healthy backlink portfolio
- Allow for SEO-friendly anchor texts
- Allow non-promotional CTAs
Building your blog’s backlink portfolio is an ongoing process. You will want to run a monthly check for toxic and broken links in order to maintain the portfolio’s health. Not only with a dominant backlink portfolio increase your organic positioning in the search engines so that more people discover your brand, it can also funnel new users from off-site blogs into your organization’s content hub.
A Powerful Blog is One Component of a Marketing Growth Stack
If this article has inspired you to rework your blog in the attempts to dominate your industry and garner more sales with the best content in your space, you will love our FREE guide on custom growth stacks. A marketing growth stack is a set of tools and strategies used to help organizations just like yours achieve all goals. If your sales cycle lines up with the methodology, a custom growth stack with a fierce blog can be your ticket to higher earnings. Download the guide below, and contact us with any questions you might have.