Running a blog without a blogging strategy is like trying to start your car with an empty fuel tank. Both won’t take you anywhere. 2020 is a year when blogs are expected to deliver value, consistency and have a professional look. It is a mature domain and blog readers are very educated and selective.
From small businesses to large corporations, anyone running a blog with the intent to generate traffic and convert customers is doing two things: measuring and refreshing. Measuring helps you understand who, when and how frequently reads your blog. Refreshing is all about redefining your blogging strategy to meet your readers’ and Google’s demands.
What Causes the Need to Update Your Blogging Strategy?
The key change that caused all bloggers to start redefining their strategy is BERT. It stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and it is the latest update to Google’s ranking algorithm.
The key changes brought by BERT are:
- Google uses Natural Language Processing to understand the intent of users’ searches;
- Quality content where keywords occur naturally will rank higher;
- The Featured Snippet will become even more important to rank for than before.
This means one thing: you really need to change your blogging strategy and even go back and fix your existing content. Let us see what exactly you need to do.
1. Aim for Long Form Content
Both readers and BERT love long form content. There are several reasons for this. For readers, it means that they can get detailed information on a topic of interest for them. You cannot squeeze in-depth details in a short, 300-word article, can you?
As for your SEO efforts, the longer your articles are, the more chances you get to use more keywords, not just basic ones, but also long tail and LSI keywords. If you tried to use the same variety in a short article, it would be penalised for keyword stuffing.
2. Add More Variety to Your Content Mix
We have been promoting this idea for years, but now it is more important than ever. Peoples are easily distracted and get bored quickly. If your blogging strategy is easily predictable for weeks and months ahead, your readers will migrate elsewhere.
What is the ideal content mix for 2020? Sprinkle your blog with an infographic or a video here and there. Forget the classic blog format and turn your topic into a Q&A session. Prepare a video now and then, instead of a written tutorial. Also, whenever you can, collect and share user generated content.
3. Promote Your Blog
You publish a blog post. And then you wait. You check the analytics and there is no visible increase in traffic. Do you see a problem here? We do: you did not promote your blog post. At the very least, do the following:
- Share it on your social media pages
- Send it in a newsletter to your email subscribers;
- Add backlinks to reputable sources, which may generate traffic from new sources.
A more sophisticated blogging strategy involves having a working relationship with thought leaders and influencers. Thus, you would be in a position to ask them to share your blog post on their own social media pages.
4. Prune and Optimise Your Existing Content
One thing that BERT does is penalise pages with low quality content. These usually are:
- Obsolete pages (old announcements and press releases)
- Pages for products that you no longer sell
- Pages with very little content (under 300 words).
The first step is to identify these types of pages and remove or restructure them. For example, if you see several pages dealing with items that could be grouped together, create one single page with all their content. Next, look at some of the older blog posts that performed well. Find ways to update them (if applicable) or optimise them with new and more relevant data and/or keywords.
5. Be Consistent
This is probably the most relevant tip for your ongoing blogging strategy. Do not abandon your blog, not for one week, not for one month. Your readers are accustomed to seeing something new there with a specific frequency. They will be unpleasantly surprised when they don’t find anything new.
Soon, they will find another blog to serve them educational, helpful and entertaining content and they will migrate there, together with the sales they generate. There is no such thing as unconditional customer loyalty. So don’t test your customers, but keep up the consistency of your blogging strategy.