Here’s the situation: you have a company blog that you update frequently, but you’re unable to garner the readership results you had hoped for. This is a common problem, especially for the blogs of growing companies.
The issue may be coming from a lack-luster blog format or from posting content that is irrelevant to your audience, but there are ways in which you can make simple changes to boost readership and cultivate followers.
However, before you can begin writing content for your blog, you need to know who you want to be reading it. Your buyer personas are going to be essential in informing the content you ultimately produce, and they need to be the people your blog is designed around.
Here are nine tips for your B2B blog that will help grow your readership and turn it into a resource catered to your buyer personas.
1. Attract People to Your Site
One of the problems causing low readership on your B2B blog may be low visibility or a poor ranking in search engine results. Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential. Some steps include creating content that includes the keywords and phrases that your personas are using and tagging all of your content, photos included, with alt text.
Additionally, be sure to include hyperlinks to your other posts, too. If you wrote a stellar blog post about buyer personas, don't miss the opportunity to link that post the next time you mention the importance of buyer personas in a different blog. This concept is known as a topic cluster strategy.
Topic clusters involve creating a comprehensive post on a core topic — something like buyer personas — and linking it to other related topics. The comprehensive post is what’s known as a pillar page, and the posts on related topics are cluster pages. Not only does this create a great user experience by allowing visitors to dive deep into a given area of interest, but Google is also using this strategy as a way to rank content, which helps attract people to your site.
2. Customize User Experience
If a prospect is viewing your blog, they are likely searching for something specific. Don’t make them hunt.
Once your desired persona has visited your site and established what they are looking for, you should then customize their experience and include calls-to-action that are relevant to their search. Using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot will let you leverage dynamic content to serve different calls-to-action depending on who is visiting your site at a given time.
For example, smart content can provide a customized user experience by displaying different versions of your content based on certain viewer criteria. If a prospect has already visited your site and filled out a lead generation form, smart content will tailor their experience and prompt them with new opportunities to engage on your site. Take advantage of smart content to continue guiding a prospect through your website by building a personalized experience for them.
3. Create Intuitive Navigation
Now that you have visitors on your blog, you need to make it easy for them to find what they're looking for. One way to do this is to categorize your content by topics related to the pain points and challenges you solve for.
For example, if your leads are frequently seeking assistance with marketing automation platforms, a “marketing automation” filter makes content related to that pain point easy to find.
4. Optimize Page Load Speed
It’s important to keep in mind that when you begin adding in visuals, your page may slow down. If it becomes too slow, viewers will be deterred and will quickly move on to faster loading sites. This results in a high bounce rate.
A few strategies to optimize your page load speed are compressing high-res images, optimizing the site by removing unused code, reducing or removing redirects and using a content delivery network (CDN).
5. Format for Mobile
More and more readers are browsing on-the-go, and it's your job to meet them where they are. It’s very important that you offer a mobile format that is compatible with smartphones, tablets, e-readers, etc.
Make sure that viewers do not have to scroll side-to-side or zoom in to see your content because they will likely get tired of a hard-to-read format and will not want to spend time browsing through your other posts.
Many CMS's, including HubSpot's, allow you to preview how your content will appear on different devices. Make sure to look at your mobile preview before publishing any content.
6. Prioritize Quality over Quantity
We’ve all got that quota that we’ve been tasked with, and at times, it can be easy to just get the information out there and move on. However, the prospects seeking out your posts are looking for meaningful and well-thought-out content — content that is relevant to them and aligns with their needs.
You shouldn’t be publishing content just for the sake of publishing content. All of your blog posts, infographics and photos need to provide value for your reader. Not doing so becomes a waste of the resources on your marketing team, and won’t lead to increased lead generation.
So while you may grab their attention with an outstanding post, if they move onto your next post and it’s just so-so, they will not want to keep reading. Don’t be afraid to go back into older posts and edit them into perfection.
7. Make Your Content Easy to Digest
Posts need to be relatable to the reader and easy-to-read and understood. In short, your content needs to be scannable. The best way to get a lot of information across without overwhelming the reader is using a highly visual and organized format.
Viewers should be able to quickly understand what your content is about and easily find the information they’re looking for. You can enable this by using emphasis elements like bolding to call attention to important words, splitting your content into subsections labeled with headers and using bullets for complex lists.
8. Include Noticeable, but not Overbearing, Calls-To-Action
CTA’s should be posted on each page and should be located in easy-to-find locations for viewers (think the bottom of the page or main nav). Posting in multiple locations or making links too large can become overbearing and far too in-your-face — putting your readers off rather than engaging them. Make your conversion paths easy to follow, but don’t go overboard.
9. Feature Guest Contributions
There are experts in your field outside of your company. Invite guest bloggers to write for your site and return the favor by guest posting on other blogs within your industry.
As the author promotes their post on your blog to their audience, your readership and audience will grow. This can help to generate new leads to your blog and can help boost credibility and trust for your current viewers.
By becoming a blog contributor, you’re essentially receiving the stamp-of-approval by another leading blog in your industry. When your content is posted outside of your company blog, an outside source is confirming your knowledge and expertise.
In doing this, you'll continue to grow your network and establish thought leadership.
Blogs are a great tool for driving traffic to your website and positioning your company as a thought leader in your industry. In fact, they are one of the essential pieces of a complete inbound strategy.
If you want to be found online, having a strong blogging strategy could be your first step. As a result, you can attract new leads and ultimately convert them into customers. Give your blog a boost with these tips and grow your inbound marketing results.