So your blog post is helpful and relevant. Cool. But is it also readable?
The art and science of blog formatting is as crucial to your content marketing strategy as quality writing or original research.
Differentiating Between Blog Post Types
A well-structured blog post can capture a reader’s attention like no other form of content. Before you begin writing, consider the kind of post you want to create.
An informational ‘what’ post is totally different from an opinion-based ‘why’ post or a curated roundup. The format should suit both the subject matter and your target audience’s expectations.
Make the most of your audience’s limited time.
Cater to Experts and Beginners
Your readers will range from beginners seeking basic knowledge on specific topics to experts hunting for new insights. So how do we cater our blog posts for such diverse levels?
Simplicity is key here; clear headings and subheadings help navigate through different sections while bullet points break down complex information into digestible pieces. Your blogs should offer bite-sized content that can draw readers in.
The Role Of SEO In Driving Traffic
Incorporating keywords naturally within your text makes search engines happy, driving organic traffic towards your site.
Don’t forget meta tags. These invisible snippets provide data about each page on your website.
To craft a readable blog, you must understand your audience’s knowledge level and the nature of your post. Throw SEO into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for a highly effective piece of online real estate.
How do I Choose the Right Blog Format?
It depends on the purpose of the piece, and appeal to your target audience.
Weighing Pros and Cons of Different Formats
Different blog formats have their own unique strengths. For instance, ‘how-to’ posts are excellent tools for instructing readers on specific topics while infographic posts visually represent data or information in an easily digestible manner. List posts can provide quick takeaways that are easy to skim through.
Your choice depends heavily on your buyer persona as well as your content marketing goals. If you aim at providing valuable insights with original research, thought leadership type of blogs might be more suitable.
To help understand this better, let’s compare some popular types:
- ‘How-to’ Posts: These offer step-by-step guides on how to do something specific – from cooking recipes to tech tutorials.
- List Posts: They’re simple but effective – think “Top 10” lists or compilation of resources related directly or indirectly to your industry examples may include curated collections of free blog post templates which make life easier for other bloggers.
- ‘Why’ & ‘What’ Posts: These answer common questions posed by consumers before they decide whether a product/service fits their needs; these can also help position you as an authority within your field.
Apart from aligning with reader preferences and search engine algorithms, remember that readability plays a huge role too. A HubSpot study suggests poorly written blogs can drive readers away. On the other hand, a blog composed in an organized manner can help you hold onto your readers.
Try out different formats and structures to discover which ones are most successful in driving readership and organic traffic. So don’t be afraid to try out different formats and see which ones generate more inbound links or organic traffic.
The Power of Effective Headers
We call them lots of things:
- “Sub headers”
They’re all the same thing; a secondary header in your blog post (primary header being your title).
Effective headings are short but descriptive. They should include relevant keywords that your readers might use when searching for information related to your topic. But don’t overdo it with keyword stuffing – search engines will penalize you for that.
Here are some best practices to choose headings that are both informational and optimized for SEO:
- Include your target keyword in the headline
- Make the headline engaging and valuable
- Ensure the headline accurately reflects your content
- Use numbers or statistics to grab attention
- Keep it short and sweet
Structuring Headings for SEO
Clear hierarchy = happy users + happy search engines.
Use H1 for main titles, H2s for subheadings and so on to create a clear hierarchy that will please both users and search engines.
Don’t skip levels or you’ll confuse your audience. Keep headings concise yet descriptive. For example:
- H1: The Ultimate Guide To Content Marketing
- H2: Chapter 1: Understanding Content Marketing
- H3: What Is Content Marketing?
- H3: Why Is Content Marketing Important?
- H2: Chapter 1: Understanding Content Marketing
SEO experts often wonder if headings still affect rankings. The answer is yes. Headings and subheadings help organize content, making it easier for search engines to understand your page. According to Moz, Google considers keywords in the H1 tag a strong ranking factor. But don’t overdo it – too much optimization can lead to penalties.
For example, if you’re writing about dog training techniques, your H1 might be “Effective Dog Training Techniques,” with H2s like “Positive Reinforcement” or “Clicker Training.”
This structure helps Google see that your content provides comprehensive information on dog training.
But remember – while headings are important for SEO, they should ultimately serve your readers first.
Beyond Formatting: Creating Great Content
Write for your readers; search engines (and your audience) will thank you.
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