Now, it is true that a lot of great benefits can come from regularly publishing valuable content to your blog.
But it takes a lot of time and effort to consistently develop high-quality content. If you’re going to be investing in your inbound strategy anyway, you should also structure your posts in such a way that they generate leads for you, right?
Let’s explore the anatomy of a lead-generating blog post. Here are the different elements you need to be aware of as you’re developing content for your blog.
Your content needs to be engaging. “Engagement,” admittedly, is a bit of an overused buzzword, but the sentiment still rings true.
Jeff Bullas tells us that there are four key goals in content marketing:
You can educate and inform your readers by teaching them how to do something (for example, a tutorial or a how-to post), or by creating and discussing a list of similar items (a listicle).
You can entertain by making a dissenting point, or by discussing a provocative subject—possibly even a taboo issue.
You can inspire by telling an exciting story from your life experiences, or by pulling from the experiences of others.
It’s important that your content ranks and gains visibility in search.
Make sure to follow SEO best practices. Include keywords in the page title, and only use a single H1 tag for the title of the post. Optimize your meta description, keywords and key phrases, and don’t over-optimize. Keyword stuffing can get your posts penalized.
HubSpot offers great tools for optimizing blog posts.
Bottom line—a lot of traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.
Make sure your blog is responsive for easy viewing on mobile devices. Make the font easy to read. Test different fonts, sizes and colors to create an optimal reading experience.
Blog posts should contain a good mix of links to other posts and web pages, your own as well as authoritative third-party sources. Make sure to include these links in the body of the posts.
Also be sure to display related posts at the end of blogs to keep your visitors reading and checking out other content on your site. This can be a major trust-builder and lead them further down the sales funnel.
Today’s readers don’t always read entire pieces, and in many cases they will read just the introduction and conclusion to find out whether the content is worth their time.
Make use of headings, subheadings and bullets to break up the content and make it easy to scan. Avoid creating a wall of text, and make easy-to-digest bite-size sections instead.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t create long-form content—but the longer the content, the better it should be formatted.
You don’t want to bore your readers. Even if you’ve effectively broken up your posts into smaller segments, text alone may not keep them reading.
Make sure to incorporate relevant images, GIFs or videos to break up longer sections of copy. Visual media can really help drive a point home and augment the reading experience.
Remember to include a call-to-action at the end of every post, preferably a graphic CTA for a relevant, gated content offer, such as an eBook or course.
Also include a textual link to the same offer within the body of your post.
You may find it beneficial to create a content calendar to define and plan out calls-to-action in advance of the content going live on your site.
Even some of the best writers sometimes make boo-boos.
So while it might be painstaking, don’t forget to catch spelling and grammatical errors before your blog posts go live. Proofread and edit for consistent results.
Once discussions get going, they start taking on a life of their own, so get your readers talking in the comments section of your blog.
Pose several questions throughout the post, or toward the end of the post. Also, don’t shy away from being direct: Ask for interaction and discussion.
You don’t just want your readers to look at your content. You also want them to take some kind of action—sharing, commenting, opting in for an eBook, and so on.
Make it easy for your readers to share your posts via social and email by including social sharing buttons on each of your posts.
Even if you’re only creating content for a single type of audience, odds are they all have varying interests.
Are you still sending blanket emails to all of your subscribers?
If so, it’s time to start segmenting by interest. Allow for custom subscription options so your audience can receive communication pertaining to topics they’re interested in. Give them the opportunity to get emails more frequently or less frequently depending on their preference.
And if you haven’t already, start creating content around the audience interests you’ve identified.
You don’t want loyal and engaged readers to miss out on new posts, do you?
Set up automated email notifications to keep subscribers informed of the latest relevant posts.
Now you know how to structure a blog post to drive more leads.
Inbound marketing is a marathon and not a sprint, which means it requires long-term dedication and commitment. You should develop a strategy with the right ingredients in mind, and use these tips to create content that will help you get leads.