Blogging is a unique skill that requires writing ability, marketing finesse and SEO knowledge. With a little knowledge and practice, you can create a blog that engages readers, boosts your online authority and helps you gain new clients.
As Google algorithms and web practices evolve, blogging practices have changed. Below are ten blogging best practices for law firms and businesses.
- Create quality content – Focus on creating engaging, useful content. Blogs that are poorly written, sparse, or stuffed with keyword phrases will turn readers away and drive traffic down. Quality content will engage more users, build your readership and help you rank higher in the search engines.
- Format for the web – Since web readers skim blog posts for essential information, it is important to format your posts for the web. Write in short paragraphs. Break information into bullets points or numbered items. Write a strong lead, with the most essential message in the first few sentences and supporting information later in the article.
- Write for your reader – Identify your target market and create content that will attract, inform and guide that reader. Writing for your reader will help you increase traffic to your blog and build a following. Whatever your goal – inform, educate, inspire – keeping the end-user in mind will help you shape your content goals.
- Optimize your posts – Incorporate any keyword phrases you are targeting into your posts to help boost your search rankings. Weave in your keyword phrases in a way that is natural, not forced or cheesy.
- Write catchy headlines – Incorporate headlines and subheadings to break up the article and guide readers through the article. Craft titles and headings that will entice readers to continue reading. Include your keyword phrases in your title, headings and subheadings, but only if it makes sense to do so.
- Aim for 500-700 words – A minimum of 500 words is important for SEO purposes. However, posts over 1,000 words will likely not be read in full so split long posts into several shorter posts and interlink them.
- Post regularly – Regular posting will help your blog rise in the search rankings, keep your content fresh and encourage visitors to return for more. Posting daily or weekly is ideal.
- Avoid duplicate content – Don’t copy content word for word from another site, news source, case, statute or even other pages of your own site (you can quote sparingly if necessary). Google may penalize your page if it contains duplicate content. Therefore, every blog post should have unique content.
- Cross-promote – Pull readers into other areas of your site by linking to other web pages within your blog post. You can also link to other resources on the web that would benefit the reader.
- Incorporate visual aids – Photographs, illustrations, charts, maps and other visuals can help engage the reader. Visual aids can enhance your post but don’t include them if they don’t help convey your message.