Poor blog performance can be caused by many factors, all of which relate to a single issue—a lack of value for your readership.
As hard as it is to admit, sometimes the content we pour our souls into just doesn’t perform the way it’s supposed to.
This can be a very discouraging realization for marketers, but the good news is that acknowledgment of the problem is the first step towards a solution. Before we start discussing blog performance, let’s take a stab at defining what blog performance actually means.
Defining Improved Performance
Improving blog performance can mean many different things, depending on your goals.
However, despite whether you’re tracking conversion rates or social media shares, there’s one constant in the blog improvement realm—improving performance means increasing the value your readers find from your blogs.
A breakdown of where blog traffic can originate from, as found by Hubspot.
Aim to create quality content full of audience-relevant information. In the interest of optimizing your blog for better success, you’ll want to keep making these improvements until your posts maintain their engagement over time—not just after its initial release. This is good practice for any blogging strategy, and the folks over at Hubspot had some interesting data to report on the value of these types of posts: while only making up 10 percent of the posts in your blog library, they provide 38 percent of your blogs total views.
Make it Consistent
Before we delve too deeply into how to actually improve your blogs, there’s one important issue that must be addressed—your blog schedule.
Timing your posts to coincide with periods of peak online traffic helps increase content visibility and allows for easier engagement. This will vary across sites and platforms; assess your marketing analytics to determine when your users are most active. Once you know the best time to post, establish a regular schedule around that time. This lets users know when to expect your content, and telegraphs that your business prioritizes its blogging value more than other brands who simply post whenever they feel like it.
We know what you’re thinking—it’s easy to say “put more value in your post”, but what does it really mean? Let’s review some of most common ways to add value while acknowledging that each blog will need to adapt these concepts to their specific needs:
- Keep it Brief — one possible culprit of your poor blog performance is long titles that fail to engage readers and get cut off by search engines. As they say, less is more—apply this mindset when creating your content. This applies to titles, headings, and the actual body of your material. People value readability, and novel-esque blog posts can turn an audience off fast.
Stats from Social Media Today demonstrating the effectiveness of business blogging.
- Write for People, Not Computers — it’s tempting to cram keywords and as much index-able content as possible into your site. Unfortunately, Google will happily penalize any site that uses fishy SEO practices. Stick to utilizing specific keywords in your titles and headings. Write for your audience first—they’re the ones who drive your marketing goals. Data by Social Media Today found that 81 percent of US consumers trust information from blogs, and 61 percent of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
- Test Your CTA — if your content isn’t converting the way you think it should, make sure your CTA isn’t the problem. You should always A/B test your CTAs before expecting them to perform. Your CTA is critical to your lead generation and overall marketing efforts, which are the end goals of your blogging.
- Link between Posts — poor search engine visibility is a common reason that many blogs are never found. SEO smiles on posts that link to other blogs in your content library, but the biggest benefit may come from the increased engagement this offers your readers. By keeping them on the page for longer, you’re giving your copy more chances to sway them into purchasing.
- Review Your Goals — are you losing leads? Is your content not converting? It’s possible that you have the wrong plan in mind. A regular review of your business goals is important to keep your blogging efforts on track and ensure that you’re focusing your efforts on the needs of your market.
Implementing as many of these adjustments as you can into your blogging strategy can help kick your blog performance into overdrive.
Keep at it
Improving your blogs is an ongoing and never-ending process. This is a continual challenge for business bloggers. Review your blogging strategy, SEO practices, and audience engagement on each post to get a comprehensive view of the value that each blog provides. When you understand where you’re coming up short, overall content improvement becomes a much easier process.