What makes readers choose one blog post over another? Why do some articles in your blog have a large number of views, while others get just a few? For many business owners managing their own digital marketing, this is confusing. They find that blog posts they really worked hard to put together are not performing well, while those written in the spur of a moment attract many readers. There are ways of checking what you did right in one post and wrong in the other, but we are trying to make life easier for you. So we will share with you the key elements of a great blog post in this article.
What Makes an Engaging Blog Post? Start with Your Audience!
First of all, this is one piece of advice that you need to hear as frequently as necessary. If you want to see your page views increase, make sure that you write for your audience. Many blogs fail for a simple reason: the author writes what they would like to read. If this is a perfect match with their audience’s interests, that’s great.
Unfortunately, in most of the case writing for yourself will not bring you a lot of readers, subscribers and – ultimately – customers. So, before we discuss the elements of a great blog post, remember this: write for your audience and not for yourself.
Google Also Likes You to Write for the Audience
The next important point we will repeat is that you should forget about the concept of writing for search engines. Yes, SEO is critical if you want to increase visibility and organic traffic for your website.
But at the present, good SEO means first and foremost writing for people. This means creating useful, interesting, well written (grammar and spelling) and original content. It means inserting keywords seamlessly into the text, so that each sentence flows naturally. Finally, it means including the key elements of a great blog spot that attract readers and keep them engaged until the end of the article.
The Most Important Elements of a Great Blog Spot
We have reached the core of this topic, and we will keep you waiting no more. When planning a blog spot, these are the elements to consider:
1. Short and SEO Friendly URL
We will start with the link – the gateway for accessing any web page. No matter what type of CMS you are using, you can edit URLs. It is easy to overlook the URL and not even include it among the main elements of a great blog post, but it does matter.
How so? First of all, a search friendly URL is easy to index by Google and easy to share. You must remember how awkward it looks when a Facebook post includes a long URL, full of meaningless numbers and letters. Your readers deserve a lot better – a short URL, including meaningful words, which can be shared with ease.
2. A Catchy Title
The title is the first element of any written text that readers see. In those 5 to 8 words (don’t go beyond that), a reader must discover:
- The promise of learning something useful
- The enticement to start reading
- The pull of curiosity to find out what you want to share.
Titles are the most difficult part of any article – and this is a claim made by seasoned copywriters. Most of them leave it to the very end. That’s right, they first write the article and then they come up with the title. You should try this tactic, too.
3. A Comprehensive Lead
The lead is the first paragraph in an article and it is one of the critical elements of a great blog post. The title offered the reader a promise and made them curious. The lead must reinforce this promise, disclose a bit of what will follow in the article, and keep them curious.
You cannot go wrong with summarising your article in 2-3 sentences, so that anyone can have a clear view of what they can expect to read and how it will benefit them.
4. Meaningful Subtitles
Subtitles have several important roles in a blog post:
- They break the article into shorter text blocks
- They allow Google to understand what the article is about
- They help readers scan the article quickly and decide if it provides the information they want.
A rule of the thumb is that you should have a subtitle per 150 words. And a helpful SEO tip is that you should use a different keyword for each subtitle. Finally, remember that subtitles can be very useful for making your text more attractive visually. Thus, do not use very long subtitles – let them provide the necessary white space the reader needs.
5. An Article Body that Delivers the Promise
You may have a great title and lead, but you must ensure that you deliver the goods you promised. Among key elements of a great blog post, the body of the article is crucial. You may score maximum points for all the other elements, but if the content fails to deliver the information you promised, you have lost a reader’s interest. They may also use this article as a negative example of clickbait on their social media profile, giving your business a bad name.
So, do not forget this key issue: an article can look great, can be properly SEO optimised, but nothing replaces well written, engaging and useful content.
6. High Quality Visuals
Some articles use just one image to illustrate them at the very top. Others contain various photos and graphs breaking the text into smaller sections. Visuals are important elements of a great blog post because they reinforce the written message in the reader’s mind.
For this reason, they must appeal to the reader. The images must be crisp, clear and relevant. Make sure that they can be viewed properly on any device and, as far as possible, create your own visuals instead of using stock photos.
7. The Right Length
You may have read about the ideal length of a blog post. It must be at least 1,000 words. No, more like 2,500 words. Actually, the length of the article must fit the topic. This is one of the elements of a great blog post that many websites fail to achieve. You can feel it when someone is adding empty paragraphs just to reach a specific word count.
Don’t do that. What matters is making sure that you have included all the relevant information and that the reader walks away with useful knowledge and with clear answers to their questions.
8. Great Meta Description
The meta description is the last of the main elements of a great blog post you have to add. You will find the specific text box for adding it in the backend of your website. This is the bit of text that appears under the title in Google search results. Its length should be between 150 and 160 characters (including spaces). The role of the meta description is to give the reader a very short summary of the web page and to help Google understand what the page is about.
Just like with the title, take your time to craft a catchy meta description, including the main keyword.
Writing engaging articles is not easy, but it is necessary for SEO and digital marketing in general. In time, you will become more skilled at it and including these elements will become second nature. Until then, you can bookmark this article for reference and make sure that you covered all the elements of a great blog post. Good luck!