Just like fashions go in and out of style, content marketing has trends. Video is gaining in popularity right now, but blogging is just like the little black dress in your closet. It has been, and will continue to be, one of the most valuable tools that businesses have to engage with their customers online.
Having a business blog is a proven content marketing strategy and just like that classic black dress, is a popular choice. HubSpot's State of Inbound 2014 report shows the impact of blogging on inbound ROI. Marketers who blog are thirteen times more likely to drive positive ROI, so it's no surprise that the tactic tops high performers' lists of most important inbound projects.
But how do you know if your business blog is still in style?
Here are 7 ways to tell if your blog needs a makeover.
- Your layout could be from the 90's. If your blog features fantastic content, yet uses a generic out-of-the-box template, it's time for a design update. The trend setters are today's most popular blogs online and you'll want to follow suit.
- You aren't creating custom images. It's no secret that images enhance your blog, though the content is still the most important piece. There is no longer any excuse for throwing up a plain old stock photo in your blog post (like wearing sweat pants to a cocktail party), since there are so many free tools available to marketers these days. Our favorite is Canva. It's a fast, free and easy tool that can be used to create unique images, like the one here.
- You are dressing up your blog with keywords. It used to be standard practice to use as many keywords as possible. Think of it as over accessorizing. You don't need huge earrings, a bulky necklace, chunky bracelets and a watch with lots of bling to stand out. Today's bloggers understand that providing interesting and relevant content that actually helps your audience is the way to stand out in a crowd.
- You are missing metadata. Metadata is the text description of a blog post that shows up in search engine results next to a link. If your old blog articles are missing this information, be sure to go back and add it to improve your search results. Don't miss this opportunity, just like you would never miss a good shoe sale.
- Your blog is plain Jane text. You wouldn't wear a denim shirt with jeans, so you shouldn't have long blocks of plain text. Make your post easier to read by inserting headings, subheadings, numbered or bulleted lists and links to break up the text.
- Your author is anonymous. The models on Project Runway may not always get recognized by name, but your authors should. Many businesses publish blogs by "media", "uncategorized" or even "unknown." Having a real, authentic author builds credibility, improves SEO, looks professional and is transparent.
- You don't have an effective call to action (CTA). By not giving your readers an opportunity to take the next step, you are essentially ending the fashion show. Push them to fill out a form to act upon your product or service or simply provide related content.
If you've realized your blog is in need of a makeover, chances are the rest of your website could also use some work. Get a free website evaluation to see how it can work better for you and avoid being stuck in the 90's.