You’ve likely heard the phrase “content is king,” but what does it mean exactly?
Simply put, content is the central determiner of how successful your organization’s online presence is. In world politics, a weak monarch is the equivalent of a weak state—the same goes for your blog (and website—but we’ll tackle that in a later article)!
A successful blog is all about good blog content, but good content doesn’t just appear overnight. Plus, your blog’s theme, or the type of products or services you offer, significantly influences the type of content you should feature to be effective.
Gone are the days of text-heavy blog articles featuring huge paragraphs and small fonts. These days, you need more than savvy writing skills to build a decent audience for your blog – you need to develop the right type of content to meet your visitors’ needs and keep them engaged.
And yes, there is more than one type of blog content, and it does matter which you use!
So, WHAT types of blog content are we talking about?
Blog content isn’t just limited to text-only articles. Media-centered posts might include:
- and more
Even within text-heavy content, there are countless different types of posts to choose from:
- list articles (often called “listicles”)
- how-to posts
- guest articles
- step-by-step guides
- and more!
The possibilities are endless for your blog’s content—it just depends how creative you want to get. That doesn’t mean that you should use every single content type or limit yourself to just one. You need to figure out what’s right for you and play to your strengths.
But WHY is the type of blog content so important?
It all comes down to results: Conveying your message in a how-to article vs. a how-to video might have a completely different effect on your visitors’ actions.
The type of content you use on your blog plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO) and your overall content marketing strategy. Blogs typically serve to inform, entertain, or inspire, and if your post isn’t fulfilling one of these purposes, then you’ll be hard-pressed to attract readers or rank on a search engine results page (SERP).
And what do search engines care about most?
Whether your post answers the user’s search query or not. Search engines have a mission too, and it’s to make sure users continue using their platform. If they’re showing results that are unrelated to the user’s query or simply not helpful, they risk losing their authority as a reliable source, which is why search engines reward good content.
Informative, easily skimmable pieces, entertaining videos, and attention-grabbing infographics are just a few things that keep readers on a web page and make them less likely to click the back button.
So why would a how-to post receive a better response as a video than as a text-only article?
Say your company’s main offering is a smartphone app targeting the millennial market. Millennials like technology, and since an app is visual and interactive already, a how-to video showing the app in action makes much more sense than a long, wordy article that attempts to describe that app.
Visitors to your company blog will be engaged by a catchy, fun how-to video, keeping them on your site longer—which in turn looks good in the eyes of the search engine.
Okay, so HOW do I know if I’m using the right type of content?
Remember that search engines define good content as content that best answers the user’s search query. Someone searching for “content marketing tips,” for example, may want to read a more in-depth article with actionable suggestions instead of an infographic. In contrast, someone searching for “content marketing statistics” might prefer to see that information visualized in an infographic
Start by doing a simple search yourself to figure out what type of content will work best for your topic.
When you type in keywords related to that topic, what sort of search results appear? Articles? Videos? Infographics? These are the types of content the search engine finds valuable based on your query, meaning that your users might value them as well. Just make sure to differentiate your post from what’s already out there in order to stand out from the competition!
Then how do I OPTIMIZE my blog content?
Even if you’re going with a video or infographic, text and keywords still play a big part in optimizing your content. Check out the following examples of blog content and how to optimize them.
Text Posts: Text-heavy blog posts rely on keywords and quality of information to rank well on SERPs. Keyword research and topic expertise are essential for optimized blog articles, so it’s often a good idea for small businesses to outsource their content to professional content writers to ensure that the articles they publish are high quality. To optimize text-only posts:
- Focus on one or two keywords instead of stuffing the post with too many.
- Include keywords in the URL and headers.
- Make the post readable: instead of long paragraphs, go with numbered lists, bullet points, and shorter sections.
Media Posts: Just like with text pieces, including keywords in the URL and title of media posts is helpful to optimize the piece. To optimize media posts:
- For videos, allow readers to embed your video to post on their own blogs or share elsewhere. This will generate inbound links (or backlinks), which increases results rankings.
- Whether it’s a podcast, infographic, webinar, or video, include some sort of description or transcription on the page that tells the reader (and the search engine) what that piece of content is about, using keywords related to the piece.
- For images, be sure to use alt attributes, which specify alternate text for that image. For example, it’s much more descriptive to search engines to identify an image as “field of flowers” instead of IMG1234.
It’s all about the reader!
Blog content is an important part of your content strategy—it can do great things for your website or business as long as you’re using the right content. Put yourself in the shoes of your reader and think like a search engine to determine which type of content will work best for your blog.