According to a survey conducted in 2014 on social media use, 67% of all the internet users read blogs online, with most of them using them to make purchasing decisions information source. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to find that the use of blogs by various businesses, including the top brands that have already established a dominance in the market, has increased greatly over the past few years. Most of these brands use blogs, in addition to their websites, because they have realized the several benefits and applications a blog can bring, for example, increased awareness to higher search engine rankings, more leads, and improved conversion rates.
Evaluating your blog
If you have an online business, it is not enough to just have the blog set up for you; you need to make sure that it is a quality blog with the capability to help your online business grow. But how can you find measure the quality of your blog? Below is a checklist that can help you to determine if your blog is performing well or not:
1. The blogging platform
Blog hosting is one of the most important aspects of setting up a blog, as it will have a huge bearing on how your blog performs. There are several platforms that are available for hosting a blog, which ranges from free ones such as Blogger and WordPress.com to the premium platforms such as WordPress.org. The best practice for choosing a blogging platform is to consider the one that does not exceed your budget, while meeting all your business requirements, for example, flexibility, scalability, and ability to make money using your blog information source.
2. The blog name
The first impression is very important when it comes to the internet, and that is the role played by your blog name; the blog name is the first thing people visiting your website will see. It is also the first thing that people will notice when they learn about your blog from somewhere else, for example, social media mentions. Therefore, your blog should have a catchy title that communicates the main focus of your blog to the visitors, which will help to make sure that it attracts the attention of the visitors and encourage them to read your content.
In addition to being catchy, the blog name should be easy to remember to ensure that people will remember and recognize your brand. Lastly, you should make sure that the blog name matches the domain name, which will help to maintain brand consistency, as well as make your blog more SEO-friendly; search engines consider URLs when indexing blogs.
3. The theme
The theme is another important element of a blog set up, and you should make sure that your blog features an attractive theme that is consistent with your brand. The theme used should also offer optimal user experience, which will help to ensure that users have a good time on your blog and are thus encouraged to come back again. Lastly, the theme used on your blog should support the goals and objectives of setting up the blog, for example, if your goal is to attract more traffic for your online business, the theme should be SEO-friendly to ensure that you receive high search engine rankings that will bring you more visitors
Content is the most important thing on your blog, and it can make or break your brand; content is the main reason visitors come to your blog. Therefore, you should make sure that your blog is comprised of high-quality and informative content that is relevant to what the users are searching for. Your content should also be unique and original, brief (about 700 words of text), accurate, engaging (good introduction, use of questions, anecdotes, etc.), easy to understand, and presented in a neat and attractive manner (use of header and sub-header tags, line breaks, and paragraphs). You should also use visual stimuli such as videos, infographics, and image to enhance the quality and appeal of your content.
5. Blog sidebar
A sidebar is a theme feature that provides you with a vertical column on your blog (usually on the left side), where you can place important information and widget that you want the visitors to have quick access to. It is a very good navigation feature, that helps the users to access important information on your blog with ease. For the best performance, your blog should include an intuitive sidebar that comes with various elements such as:
- A search box
- Social media widgets
- Subscription widget that gives the visitors the option of subscribing to your content
- A category section that shows various categories of posts that the users can find on your blog
- A list of some of the best posts on your blog that you would recommend the visitors to read
- Most recent blog posts
6. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is another important aspect of a blog set up, which helps to increase the visibility of your online brand by giving your blog high search engine rankings. Therefore, you should make sure that your blog is well optimized for the search engines by making use of various SEO strategies such as:
- The use of keywords – including long-tail and location based keywords
- Optimizing the titles and subtitles by using HTML tags and keywords
- Using optimized images and videos
- Optimizing the URLs
- Using an SEO and Mobile friendly theme
- Using keywords and key phrases on meta descriptions
- Using internal links
7. Call to action
The call to action is one of the most important elements of a blog, which helps to convert your blog visitors by encouraging them to take an action – follow you on social media, like and share your posts, subscribe to your blog, etc. Therefore, when you are assessing your blog, you should make sure that it includes effective call-to-actions that encourage visitors to click and take the intended action. This can be achieved by:
- Using visually striking text and buttons
- Ensuring that your call to action is brief and clear
- Using action-oriented phrases – download, subscribe, click, register, etc.
- Placing the call to action in an easy-to-find spot
- Using a contrasting color to the color of the blog page to make them conspicuous – however, the color used should be consistent with the overall color scheme of the blog.
In addition to other techniques such as email marketing and SEO, blogs are one of the most important digital marketing strategy, which can help to increase the visibility and awareness of your brand, generate more traffic and leads, improve conversion rates, and ultimately, increase your online business revenue. However, in order to enjoy these benefits, you need to make sure that your blog is functioning at optimal capacity, which is why you should evaluate its performance regularly.
If you are overwhlemed by so many points that you have take care about your blog, let us help you smooth the process. We will streamline it for you and you will have an easy time blogging!