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Elena Terenteva

How to Make Your Blog Better in 2015 #semrushchat

Elena Terenteva
How to Make Your Blog Better in 2015 #semrushchat

Blogging is always a challenging task from the perspective of promotion. There are a lot of things to keep in mind: content, search engine optimization, audience engagement and so on. While individual users are rarely concerned about achieving worldwide fame, for enterprises, blogging is a major marketing activity. Find all the blogging secrets shared by Kerry ButtersCEO of @markITwrite, author, tech and social media speaker and blogger.

Today we’re going to get some blogging tips from SEMrush chat participants. Without further ado, let’s begin with question number one.

Content tools

The tools you’re using for your blog may impact its performance. Whether you are looking for the best CMS or just creating some visuals for your article, you won’t get far without professional tools. Let’s look in the toolbox of a successful blogger.

What an inspirational message! Indeed marketers sometimes rely on tools heavily to detect trends and forget about the good old pen and paper (or a Word document) approach. But still what tools could we use to improve blogging efforts?

Yes, Google Analytics is the first choice for any digital marketer. Besides that, it is also a good idea to consult AdSense too.

We also use Canva to create astonishing visuals for our social media pages and blog posts. It is the ultimate weapon for grabbing consumers attention. Anything else?

Keyword Planner allows bloggers to create a content plan for the next week, month or even year. When used correctly, it helps you anticipate trends and deliver content your audience is interested in. More tweets and toolboxes are on the way.

Buzzsumo is the ultimate social media tool for finding key influencers in your niche, and Yoast supports bloggers with different WordPress plugins, which you might find useful. Thanks everyone for mentioning SEMrush among the best blogging tools — our very own Keyword Research tool allows you to determine the most relevant keywords and build your marketing strategy around them. Let’s sum up.

Blogging tools

It’s time to move to question number two. Some bloggers are real enthusiasts and their posts are intelligent and engaging, but even an expert can face stagnant audience growth. Below we will try to identify an approach that works for everyone.

Grow audience of your blog

Blog posts that mention key influencers will draw more attention to your product or service and are likely to be read by influencers. This tactic could help you improve bounce rates for your blog posts and build important relationships.

If you upload content regularly, you can expect an increase in rankings for your whole website, because search engines like a systematic approach. But the quality of your content is the main point of interest.

One more thing about changing the reader’s perception: you should always have knowledge to answer the accompanying questions or even prove your points in discussion with an audience.

Writing guest posts and reaching out to other sites and getting them to post your articles are also important strategies for growing your audience and increasing conversion rates.

Also, don’t forget to fix any major bugs in your user interface to achieve a better user experience. E-newsletters and subscription buttons boost user engagement and brand awareness.

All in all, the best all-in-one tactics are knowing your audience, creating great content that answers your readers’ questions, publishing guest blog posts and promoting all this with social media!

Grow your blog audience

It’s time to talk about personal experience and lead generation because high conversion rate is vital for many enterprise blogs. So how could we combine direct marketing with blogging? Let’s ask our guests about that.

Blogging and lead generations

Some tools like MailChimp and subscription pop-ups encourage people to follow your thought leadership. After some time they usually convert to customers.

And again it is all about writing for your audience. When you increase you blog audience it is more likely some of them would reach you in person and make a decision to try or even buy the product.

The next thing you should consider is a style of your text materials. It shouldn’t sale anything in a direct way, it has to be interesting on the first place, but as a marketer you should always look for the way promote your product. Be creative!

Marketers are on the sales front line, so combining lead generation with awesome blogging is one of the demands of the profession. Steve Hill suggested to use cookies to track user activities.

Guest reviews and blog posts are in the heart of blogging. If you’re developing software kit it is crucial to have reviews, but even if your product has nothing to do with IT niche you can also request reviews from popular bloggers via YouTube or social media. Don’t forget to include call to action in the review to generate more leads.

From the personal experience of our guests we can see that the most common and working strategies are: use calls to action, encourage people with email sign-ups and shares and  cross-promote your content.

Blogging and lead generation

What about some analytics? As a part of their job marketers should measure KPIs to report about and to know if the brand is walking the right way. Our guests and participants kindly shared their measuring tools and methods.

Brand performance

The common advice is to use Google Analytics to monitor engagement and improve content, old sessions versus new and overall website performance.

It seems Google Analytics is the major tool to identify KPIs for marketers and also monitor its completion. Audience increasing would be the sign that your blog is successful.

Good marketers also remember about assisted conversions and it was kindly pointed by Thom Carver.

Let’s recap the question: it’s all about data, setting measurable goals and use UTMs. It’s essential to analyse your traffic and compare results with your competitors. Measure content impact

When marketers are trying to promote and write articles without understanding the basics of blog promotion they obviously make some mistakes. Let’s ask our participants about the most common fails and learn how to avoid them.

SEO related mistakes in content marketing

At first, check you titles, meta descriptions and urls. Make sure they include keywords that you’re aiming.

The second is alt tags and optimized images. Always set proper self-explaining alt tags to each image and shrink their size to increase the downloading speed.

Keyword abuse is also a huge mistake for SEO beginners. Remember keyword density should correlate with body text. SEOquake tool will help you to estimate density on each website page. Alongside come the lack of keyword research and long-tails ignoring.

Creating quality content is not the same as chasing the right keyword. Make sure your blog deliver new information and educate audience. Google will help you to promote such posts in organic search.

Your pages should link to another meaningful resources to help readers to see the whole picture. Another point of interest is cross linking — blog posts should be linked with each other in order to help crawlers visit other pages more often and educate readers.

Let’s recap the most common blogging mistakes, according to our chat participants they are: keyword stuffing, non-optimized images and pages, lack of unique titles and meta descriptions.

SEO related mistakes in content marketing

The last question appeals to our guests and experts as an ordinary readers. It’s not a secret marketers read a lot of different media and blogs. So, from the reader’s perspective, what could they advise to bloggers?

What bloggers should stop doing?

Promote products is good, but there’s a limit for an advertising in a reader’s consciousness. Being way too promotional will not add your blog some score points in the eyes of your audience. Also promotional posts clog the SERP and interfere users to find some useful information.

Well, there’s a limit for everything and according to Sara Jade it’s time to reconsider the common sales pitch underneath your blog posts.

The next thing bloggers should stop doing is to target their CTA pop-ups to users who don’t even familiar with the brand yet. Very disturbing.

Self promotion is another annoying type of advertisement. Good bloggers should avoid writing too much about themselves (if you’re not a beauty blogger of course:) ) and focus on really important things.

Using “sensationalized” headlines wouldn’t get your blog too far. If the headline is strong and the body text gives no actual value you will get higher bounce rate which isn’t good for SEO purposes.

Summarizing all said above bloggers should reconsider headlines and pop-ups, blog rarely and with more value, use images with right alt tags and don’t be salesy.

What bloggers should stop doing?

That’s it for today, we hope you were having fun — we certainly did. Hugs and kisses to all participants from SEMrush chat team!

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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