Monthly Archives: September 2017

Ways to Improve Every Section of Your Next Blog Post

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person typing blog post on laptopThe perfect blog post is an art; the proof is in the contrary. The internet is full of (in our opinion) low-quality art that no one wants to read—not readers or search engines. Here’s how to improve every section of your blog post, and produce content that scores well with both audiences.

Headline

Your headline is an integral part of your reader’s decision to click, so don’t underestimate the importance of a strong headline. As an added bonus, a headline is also an essential part of your optimization efforts. What makes a strong headline? A headline evokes an emotional response, answers the reader’s question, or entertains the person. Use that knowledge to write a headline that accomplishes one of those purposes (or hire a content marketing firm that can).

For search engine purposes, include highly relevant keywords in your title. Basically, it’s your job to show the search engines that your content is relevant to internet searches. This advice comes with a buyer beware clause; don’t become so focused on an optimized title that your content title does not grab your reader’s attention.

Introduction

“Attention grabbing” and “relevant” is the two qualities that should fit every one of the introductions of your blog posts. This is your chance to draw your readers in, and make them want to read more.

For optimization, use a similar strategy to your headline. Include relevant keywords and phrases in your introduction. Remember to be smart about your keywords, however; you don’t want to write a blog post that doesn’t make sense or deters your readers from continuing. Don’t stuff your blog post full of keywords; instead write for your readers with optimization in mind.

Images

Blog posts are not just about text; to the contrary, blog posts with images and videos rank better in search engine listings than pages without. Select your images carefully and ALWAYS make sure you have the legal right to use the photo. The image or video selected should be relevant to the topic covered; if people are involved, a photo or video with a person (or persons) is preferred. (More tips on selecting the right image here.)

For optimization, use keywords in your alt text to describe the picture. Search engines use that text to “see” what images are in your blog post and use that information accordingly.

Body

As you write for your readers, avoid long bodies of text that make your reader hit the ‘back’ button. Write in small, easy-to-read paragraphs. Break up your text with headlines. Back up your points with (properly-credited) statistics.

For the search engines, include relevant topics and keywords in your text. Again, don’t go overboard; your text should be search engine and reader-friendly. If you don’t know how to combine the two (or don’t have time), hire an affordable marketing firm that has experience with writing blog posts; all you have to do is give them the topics and information to create the marketing plan. Then sit back and watch the pros create those pieces of art.

Ways to Build Trust with Your Customers Online

two people shaking hands and trusting each otherThere are a million quotes about the value of trust in human relationships, but Ronald Reagan’s few words might be the most in line with what your potential customers want “trust, but verify.”

It’s your job to build the trust and provide the verification. No matter what kind of business you market—B2B, B2C—never lose sight of the fact that you need to build trust with humans (even if their paths to you is different, more here). Here are ten ways to verify your customer’s trust so you can earn their business time and time again.

Answer their questions

When your customers have a question, they let their fingers on the keyboard do the talking. Even if you don’t have 24/7 staffing, there are several ways to answer their questions. One way is to have the answer ready before your customers ask the question; add a Frequently Answered Questions page to your website with short answers to the questions and add in-depth answers to your blog (via text and video-if you don’t have time or expertise, contact a firm that can product quality blog posts).

Share the blog posts on your social media, along with other articles and videos that can answer their questions. Give your online audience a chance to get their questions answered and trust you as the expert who gave them the answer.

Be available

A business is missing a key opportunity when they don’t answer an email or social media inquiry from a potential customer. Don’t just respond to inquiries that come in; respond promptly within a few hours of the inquiry (if not faster)—even if the inquiry is negative.

If the customer is angry, don’t ignore the message. Instead, take a deep breath and provide a professional response. Give them an answer to their problem (more tips for handling an angry online customer here).

Be human

Though you can’t see your online audience, be human in all your online marketing efforts. Respond promptly with a human voice; giving an automated robotic response is going to alienate and, in some cases, anger your online audience (more tips for delivering excellent customer service here). Use that same human tone in your email marketing pieces, on your website, and throughout your social media presence.

Have others tell them about you

We already talked about how customers and potential customers are increasingly turning to the web to research companies. One of the biggest factors in their decision is testimonials and reviews. Showcase these reviews in your marketing efforts (with a mixture of other marketing content)—along with the excellent customer service you provide to people who have a problem. Monitor the website for negative reviews (or contact a company who can) and use these tips to protect your online presence. Respond to any comments from your customers, and show you listen; these two components prove to those interested in your company that you are worthy of their trust.