It is great to see that quite a few company websites have a blog or some kind of publication page, as it’s an effective way to help your prospects relate their pain points to solutions that you have the answers for. But how many of us care about how our blog looks? This is where blog optimization is important.
Unfortunately, running a blog is expensive and requires considerable investment. It takes many hours and manpower to brainstorm, write, optimize, edit and publish content. People come and read your blog because they are looking to be informed by an expert. However, if your blog looks sloppy and you publish simply for the sake of having something, this could actually hurt your reputation.
Although I am sure not many of us have the intention in creating a non-presentable blog, nonetheless, I do see a lot of blog posts that are uninviting and directionless. Specifically, several blog posts can be uninviting in terms of their structure and layout, and directionless with no real, meaningful purpose of the blog post itself.
Learning how to blog for your financial service firm is more than just writing. In this blog post, I will provide blog optimization tips that you can apply today to make your blog more enjoyable to read and able to generate greater leads through every single blog post.
Here are the 9 Blog Optimization Elements to provide a great reading experience.
1. Have a curious title
Your title needs to peak the curiosity of your readers. People will only read your blog if the title implies that it will help them or educate them well. They will judge whether it will be worth their time within a few seconds of scanning the title and the beginning of the blog post.
2. Add white spacing
You want your text to have a lot of breathing room. Cramming everything into big paragraphs will turn your visitors away as it looks like it would take too much effort to read. Using smaller paragraphs will make your blog post more digestible and also easier to read on screen, especially on mobile.
Some blog posts don’t even have paragraphs. It is simply one very long blog post without any white space. Make room for your text to breathe so that your readers don’t feel overwhelmed. Visitors will quickly close your blog post if they foresee it as too much effort to read.
By skimming through this blog article, you will notice that my paragraphs are between 3 to 5 lines on desktops and between 8 to 12 lines on mobile. I broke them down to that range so that it makes it easier to read and digest for the majority.
3. Add headings
You need clear headings for readers to quickly identify the different sections of the blog. Ideally, we would want them to read every single line but in truth, many will speed read by looking for headings that speak to them and will focus on those.
As you can see, I have headings for each point of my 9 points. Some points you may know already so you skim over to the next one until you find a point that you would like to learn more about.
4. Use Bigger Font size
Many of us write blog posts using MS Word, but it’s important to consider that MS Word formatting is not optimal for blog posts.
The main issue is the font size. In short, you cannot publish a blog post using the same font size as what you would normally use in MS Word. This is because the typical font size used in MS Word tends to run on the smaller side and if that same font size is used when the content is published and displayed on your website, the blog post will consequently be harder to read and more strenuous on the eyes.
As a general rule to make your content more reader-friendly, your font size should be at the minimum size 16 when you publish on your blog.
What you are reading here is font size 16.
5. Use images
Having visuals will make your blog post more fun and interesting to read. People love images because you can gather information in an impactful way and with less effort. A blog post composed of just text could be judged as boring and long. In this way, images provide a mental break for readers while simultaneously engaging them using minimal effort.
If you are a dog lover like me, this image below could put a smile on your face or even make you giggle. This image has nothing to do with what this blog article is about but it does prove that an image could resonate with readers in ways that plain text cannot.
6. Add a Featured Image
A featured image is the very first image that the reader sees in the blog post. It essentially represents your blog in 1 picture. This is crucial because the featured image will help people remember this blog as a reference. You may not remember that you read this blog post by next week.
But if I show you the featured image, there is a much higher chance that you will remember. The featured image also importantly captures the attention of readers before the text itself. Use an image that will make them want to stop and read the heading.
7. Add a call-to-action (CTA)
You need to lead people with your content. After reading or while they read, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to leave or do you want them to be more engaged with greater, valuable content?
If you do not have a CTA, there is a high chance that they will close your blog after reading and they will simply move on with their life. Let's take the example of a financial advisor. If their blog post is about the steps to wealth management, you can provide visitors with an offer to download a FAQ sheet.
Here is an example below.
Some may be skeptical about CTAs because it looks like an ad. But if you think about it, they are there to help your readers to better understand what they are looking for. By keeping in mind the marriage of content and context, your CTAs will be contrary to being an annoyance.
8. Consider the reader's journey
Blog posts are beneficial and typically for gathering people who are in low engagement. At this point, they are not yet at the stage of purchasing your product. Most likely they read blogs because it answers a question to a specific pain point that they may have.
Yes, your product may well be a remedy but they are at a stage where they want a better understanding of their situation in order to assess what solutions are needed.
Save your specific investment product for people who have clearly identified what kind of solution they need.Those are leads who have shown great engagement with your website. Pay attention to those who have gone to your solutions page or have downloaded at least 1 ebook or guide.
9. State the purpose of your blog article
You must first ask why you want to publish this specific blog post. What do you want the readers get out of it? What do you hope for them to do with what you are sharing with them? Is whatever you share actually helpful to your audience?
Don’t write a blog post just because you think you should or that the time is up for a new blog post. It needs to be strategic and planned out to reap the most benefits out of it. Many blog posts I have read are either nice to know or lead me to think what am I supposed to do from here on. Your blog post is supposed to encourage action with 5 steps ahead.
Writing a blog, anyone can do. But to write a blog that is effective, strategic, and result-driven requires strategy planning, time and resources. Apply these 8 blog optimization tips and you will see a dramatic improvement in readership, shares and even attracting new leads.
Remember, do take the time to plan out how you get a visitor to read your blog up to the point of becoming a customer. It’s not as straightforward as someone reading the blog and freely submitting a contact form on your contact page. The chance of that happening is highly unlikely. Instead, map out their journey and build content to guide them to the right path.