A blog is a marketing asset for your business. Used properly, it can be a source of qualified organic traffic, and it can help you promote, and sell the products and services of your business.
Standing out within more than 3.5 billion searches that are performed daily in Google is not easy, but through the years of this blog, there is one or two tricks I've learned and want to share with you:
1. Use numbers in your titles
Studies have shown that the titles with numbers have 36% chance of getting clicks. High-traffic pages as Buzzfeed, CollegeHumor and Cracked use this strategy, a lot. (in fact, in almost all their content)
Additionally, the titles which use numbers out of the ordinary, get 20% more clicks than those with common numbers.
What is the appeal of the numbers?
- Numbers decrease the uncertainty of the content. Before a person reads the article, he has already received a concrete promise of what he will find.
- Our brain loves lists. Whenever we encounter new information, our brains immediately try to make sense of it. Given that we can process information more easily when it is in a list than when it’s clustered and undifferentiated, a list feels more intuitive.
2. Use (parentheses) or [brackets] on your titles
Like the numbers, they are very attractive to the eye, especially because they are rarely used in titles. Likewise, being as they are associated with the precision of information, it is interpreted as a more clear title, and more precise offer of content.
3. Improve the structure of your URLs
- Be short, between 50-60 characters
- Include keywords of the content, and if possible match title with the URL
- Human readable
- not include words like: and, or, but, of, the, a, etc.. Even if they are included in the post title it's not critical to put them in the URL. However, you can include one just to make your URL more readable.
- Include the content keywords. Search engines also look into the URLs to match the search.
- Use lowercases
- Use (-) between words instead of spaces ( ). That way your URL will look like this: yourdomain.com/best-url-ever, and not like this: yourdomain.com/best%20url%20ever. Which one is more appealing?
4. Publish longer posts
Studies have shown that:
- The best classified pages of Google have an average of 2,000 words of content
- In order to deliver more accurate information to their users, search engines interpret that articles with more words develop a topic in greater depth, thus they are better ranked
- It has been proven that a long post generates a greater number of backlinks compared to short ones
- A post with more than 1500 words receives on average 68% more tweets, and 23% more Facebook likes compared to those with less than 1500 words.
5. Write scannable content
When people are inundated with so much information as today, people do not have the time to read everything in depth, and scanning becomes necessary. Jakob Nielson’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79% of web users scan rather than read.
What can you do?
- Use a line length between 60 and 75 characters per line. It's not necessary to count the characters. You can easily verify you line length by writing the complete alphabet 2.4 times. Which means writing abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz twice, and then the letters from a to k.
- Use subtitle, lists, bullets so that the content look more organized and easier to read. According to an eye-tracking study by ClickTale, users fixate longer on bulleted lists and text formatting (such as bolding and italics).
- Keep your paragraphs short. Two to three lines, at most.
- Write like you talk.
- Include graphics and images. Like bullets, they look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader.
6. Start your post by short sentences
The tolerance and time of the reader are limited, so you should give him a clear reason to continue reading. A long and confusing description will make him lose interest. The best way to start your post is with a short and concrete phrase of what's the post about, in order to create a clear expectation of the content the person will read.
7. Make your content easy to share
Nothing worse than a website that makes you do all the work, in order to share its content. Give assistance to your readers by including social media share buttons. where?
- At the top and bottom of the article or a scrolling sidebar on the left or right of the page or both. However, keep in mind that social media buttons slow the loading time of your page, which can affect user experience.
8. Make your content, useful and practical for others
People share content in their social networks to either be good or look good.
The experts in the field have found that the main motivating behind an article been shared, is either because the person wants to help others, or he just wants to look good in his circle of influence.
9. Link to related content