If you blog it, will they read it? It’s all in the metrics. And if your blog’s content isn’t showing engagement, it may be time to reassess – what makes a good blog?
Driving content engagement isn’t some magic formula only a select few content marketers master. It’s as simple as identifying the characteristics of an effective blog. Then creating content personas and measuring the results.
With data in hand, you can make changes to your posts to increase engagement and customer acquisition.
Metrics to Target to Boost Engagement and Acquisition
In content marketing, customer acquisition is most often a direct result of engagement. If your content aligns with your target customer’s interests and needs, they’ll trust your expertise on the matter.
When they need a product or service you sell, they’ll be more likely to seek you out. Familiarity, it seems, breeds the exact opposite of contempt. It builds trust.
- Post views: Posts with high views signal that the headline and topic are relevant to the audience.
- Time spent on the post: This number will vary depending on the length of the post. However, if readers interact with the post by clicking links to learn more, they are engaging with it. If their search leads them to explore more pages on your site, it’s a good sign that the content is meaningful to them.
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate usually indicates disengagement. Either the post didn’t deliver past the title, or a quick scan left them cold. There are caveats, like if they click to another post or website page. They’re staying on your site, so they are interested in what you have to say.
- Conversion rate: Every blog has a call to action (CTA). It varies depending on your objectives. For example, it could be to make a purchase, download a long-form piece of content, or schedule a consultation. If they convert from your blog, that means you’re hitting the mark.
- Number of social shares: When readers share information from your blog post with others, it demonstrates that your content is helpful. Recommendations from friends, too, earn an 83 percent trust factor, so social shares can also drive customer acquisition.
Now that you know what to measure, determine the blog post qualities that will drive those metrics.
What Makes a Good Blog? Follow These Best Practices
To consistently create high-quality content that engages, consider these best practices.
Start with a Title that Has a Hook
Did you know that most people will decide to read an article based on the title? In fact, only 20 percent of those that read the headline will click through to read the post. So, what makes a great headline?
- It should deliver a promise to provide value.
- Great titles speak directly to the needs of your target audience.
- It should include your keyword.
- According to research, ideal blog post titles are less than 60 characters.
Types of Blog Titles
Blog titles fall into several categories, each with their own attributes for engagement:
- Best titles: These are great for SEO because many people search “the best way to….”
- How-to: These are also good for SEO and promise to deliver solutions to a problem.
- Listicles: These start with X things, reasons, etc., which sets up the article as a provider of critical information.
- Everything you need to know: A user may click on this with the expectation that the blog offers a comprehensive review of the topic.
- Where, what, and why titles: These headlines draw people in looking for expert advice.
- Avoid titles: These are humbling headlines that admit mistakes are plausible while offering the reader ways to learn from them.
- Questions: Asking a question as a title makes people naturally curious.
Write a Clever Meta Description
When people search for information on a topic, they look at the brief description below each title. So make sure that yours states the problem you’ll solve or the information you’ll provide. It should also include the keyword and be less than 156 characters; otherwise, Google will truncate it.
Include Images, Especially Those that Feature People
Posts that include images receive 94 times more views than text-only posts do. If those images feature real people, they result in 35 percent more conversions. Add more than just a feature image. You’ll want to insert them in between text blocks to break them up. Using charts and graphs is also a good idea because they help readers visualize the data presented.
Create an Intro that Sets Up the Story
Your first paragraph needs to introduce the story you’re telling. Step into your buyer’s shoes and state their pain points. Then promise to help them solve their problem with the information they need.
Make Your Posts Scannable
Even if you’re in a highly academic field, long paragraphs cause people to disengage. Limit your paragraphs to two or three sentences. One-sentence paragraphs are even okay when you need to draw people’s attention to something important.
Less is more when it comes to engaging readers.
Use subheadings and bullet points to guide readers’ eyes. Again, related visuals can help along the way.
Add Internal Links
Using internal links in your blogs is a best practice. It helps readers explore other topics and can support SEO. The more information you can provide on an issue, the more readers will trust your expertise in it.
Deliver on Your Promise
Your headline and meta description promised your readers information and answers. Deliver the goods.
That means you need data, statistics, and examples to back up points or further illustrate them. Collaborating with SMEs, sales, and product managers can help color this. Supplement with research on the topic that’s not from a competitor.
Insert Share Buttons
Every post should have easy-to-find share buttons at the top or bottom. Make it simple for readers to share your post with their friends and colleagues.
Don’t Forget the CTA
Building engagement and eventually acquiring customers depends on maintaining the relationship. Make sure the CTA is relevant to the next step in the buyer’s journey.
- Subscribing to the blog
- Starting a free trial of the product
- Requesting a consultation
- Downloading a long-form piece of content that complements the post
- Registering for a webinar or even
What Makes a Good Blog? Now You Know!
Following these best practices can set your blog up for success and more engagement. Staying on top of industry needs and your content analytics will allow you to continue to improve your blogs. Managing the workflows involved with these can be a challenge. However, you can simplify it with a content marketing platform like DivvyHQ. See how it works by starting a free trial today.