TL;DR SEO Length Guidelines for 2017: Blogs & Page Content

We began this series discussing the recommended length of your meta tags, particularly meta descriptions and titles. Today, let’s not waste any time diving into page content and blog length. Yippee!

Blog Length

Blog Post Length

More words mean more opportunities to get picked up on a search engine results page—yeah, I guess that makes sense—but the real barometer of a blog’s success is how, or rather who you’re targeting. Do you want readers to leave with a newfound set of skills or knowledge, or would you rather they skim, share, and move on?

Longer blog posts should draw in more compounded “high intent traffic,” but four shorter posts might produce more total visits in the short term, even if the clickthrough, bounce, and conversion rates aren’t anything to write home about. (One must also consider the time it takes to create a robust 1000-word post versus four 250-word posts.) Each has its perks depending on your goal, but let’s swim through some data anyway.

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The Creative Writer’s Way of Making a Content Calendar

If you’re anything like me as a writer—may God have mercy on your soul—people-watching is your fingers-to-keyboard gold. You excel at drawing out the interesting from the mundane, crafting fictional characters from nonfiction, eavesdropping your way into tales spun from invisible storytelling thread. It’s the creative thinker in you, and it has its place in the world of blogging and marketing as much as it does in your daydreams. Because content, no matter its form or presentation, is all about standing in someone else’s shoes, seeing the world with another person’s peepers, or any other idiomatic turn of phrase to reflect “empathy.”

Content Calendar

And isn’t that our goal as content kingpins: To understand our characters as well as our readers? In this post, we’re going to swim around in my Mind Palace, where my creative and professional sides mingle and give birth to what I like to call “Fictional/Nonfictional User Stories.” I just made that up, but whatever we call it, it’s going to help you develop a content calendar around reader personas that may actually exist. Yay.

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How To Create An Effective Content Strategy

It’s all in your head. No, not that little voice saying “I really want to have some ice cream and binge-watch my favorite shows on Netflix.” Rather, we’re talking about your online content strategy. You do have one, right?

Creative Content Strategy

According to Demian Farnworth of copyblogger.com, many small business marketers have a content strategy that is most likely not written down. Instead, it’s just a jumble of vague notions and ideas that resides in a business owner’s head, but not on paper.

Farnworth cites a 2015 study by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs which found that only 39% of small business owners have a written content marketing strategy. Even more surprising, the study reveals that about 12% of those polled have no content strategy whatsoever. To which we say, “Yikes!”

The study also reveals that those companies that do have a well-defined content strategy are more than twice as likely to be successful than those who only have an ill-defined verbal content strategy.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to ROI and profitability, doesn’t it? An ineffective, or even nonexistent, content strategy could be seriously torpedoing your sales and marketing objectives. As Farnworth sagely points out, “Your content strategy helps you see clearly, avoid excuses, and remove distractions. It’s there to keep you accountable.”

Well said.

Now that we’ve established the importance of drafting and sticking to a clear content strategy for your business, the question is: How do you go about doing it? According to Farnworth, here are some important questions you need to ask as you begin crafting your successful content strategy.

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How To Make Your Blog More Credible With Research

Today’s informative topic about blog research comes to us by way of SteamFeed’s Linda Dessau and blogging pro Darin L. Hammond (not SNL’s Darrell Hammond who is another guy entirely).

keyboard with the word research

There’s been a lot of real news recently about “fake news.” The term “fact checker” has now crept into our collective vocabulary. It’s a result of torrents of misleading or patently false information washing away credibility across the Internet and social media.

“Credibility.” There’s that word again. Let’s…uh… research exactly what that word means:

According to merriam-webster.com, the web’s uber-source for all things dictionary, credibility is “the quality or power of inspiring belief, of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest.”

See, I just used a credible source to back up my definition of the word credibility.

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5 Reasons to Blog and What It Can Do for Your Site

It’s no secret; blogging can seem pretty futile. Whether you’re a Content Manager, an independent writer, or just an intern, posting blog after blog can get redundant, and you might often ask yourself, “What am I doing here? Why am I doing this? What is the meaning of life?” Ok, maybe you don’t get that deep, but regardless, you probably wonder what the point is.

reasons-to-blog

Luckily, we’re here to tell you that blogging isn’t pointless! There are many benefits to blogging, and it can do some great things for your site (or else we wouldn’t have written this blog). Read on, get refreshed, and blog with fervor in the new year knowing how much it’s going to help your site!

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Copywriting Tips on Making Content Sexy in a Boring Industry

I’ll get to the copywriting tips in a second, but first I’d like to tell a story (yes, it’s related—sort of).

I very recently engaged in a heated debate with an acquaintance—okay, it was more like a verbal spat that nearly crossed the line into nerdy fisticuffs—about a grammatical myth that still seems to have legs. Here’s an example of the crux of our discussion, which is formatted as a screenplay scene because that’s how I roll:

screenplay-image-1024x396

 

I loathe the superstition claiming that sentences shouldn’t begin with ands or buts, though there’s another myth I abhor even more: To prove your authority on a boring topic, your content must match suit. Yikes—talk about a yawnfest. Who wants to read that drivel?

Well, the deal is that no matter your subject matter, you can absolutely write compelling content without relying on buzzwords or being so dense or pedantic you risk putting an insomniac to sleep. Here are a few copywriting tips to take with you as you dive into content writing for those not-so-sexy industries.

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7 Tools For Writing Amazing Blog Content

Words are powerful, and when they are used the right way, they can influence people’s feelings and behavior. If you have a blog, whether personal or for business, the power of storytelling lies in how you use your words. Good stories surprise, inspire, and encourage us, but most importantly for business owner’s trying to promote brand loyalty, they stick in our minds.

Words help us remember ideas, concepts, products, and services better than just numbers or text accompanied by a bar graph. Instead of focusing on the technicalities of your industry, focus on creativity and storytelling.

We know writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If your budget is tight and you don’t have a nifty copy writer on your team, have no fear. There is an abundance of helpful writing tools online and we handpicked some of our favorites to help you accomplish your content marketing goals.

  1. Grammarly

 Grammarly

This tool is great for improving the readability of your content. If you want to publish content that is effective and free from mistakes, this is the tool for you. It’s super convenient, and you can install it on chrome and Microsoft Office; that way you can correct all your sentence fragments and grammatical errors with just a click.

Grammarly also gives you ideas for alternative, creative words to use and new ways to improve your sentence structure. The copywriters at Opportunity Max love this tool. Instead of spending hours reviewing content, they are able to do it in a matter of minutes thanks to Grammarly.

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12 Powerful Tips To Overcome Writer’s Block

Ahh, the holidays. A joyful time filled with happiness, merriment, and good cheer. You’re looking forward to all of the upcoming holiday fun. But, suddenly, a dark sense of foreboding creeps into your consciousness spoiling your upbeat and festive mood.

man-with-old-typewriter

“By the time they invent word processors, I’ll be dead.”

“Oh, snap! I’ve got a couple dozen blogs to write this month. And the first one is due tomorrow. I’d better hop to it and get these done so I can par-tay.”

You’ve been in this situation before. But not to worry. Your head is brimming with all sorts of terrific and creative ideas for some blockbuster blog content. You sit down at your computer, pull up your word processor, put fingers to keyboard, and….nothing.

“Any minute now,” you think. “Okay, here we go!”

Thirty minutes pass. You stare at the blank screen, puzzled. An hour ticks by. Small beads of sweat begin to form on your forehead. You feel a bit clammy.

Still nothing. What’s going on here? Why aren’t your fingers flying across the keyboard creating brilliant online content like you’ve always been able to do?

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24 Common Grammatical Errors And How To Fix Them

In the classic holiday movie, The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sings about her “favorite things.” You know, “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.” However, we bet that you won’t find “studying grammar” on her short list of happy activities.

 

Julie Andrews ponders grammatical errors

Oh dear. Should I use “compliment” or “complement?” Photo: sound-of-music-interactive.com

In fact, we expect that the idea of her curling up with a copy of William Strunk and E.B. White’s Elements of Style after a hard day of frolicking around the Austrian countryside ranks right up there with “dog bites” and “bee stings,” as it likely does for the vast majority of us.

But if you’re in the business of blogging or writing SEO content, then paying attention to proper grammar is essential. Grammatical errors, no matter how small, make any blog sound amateurish. Poor grammar also gives the impression that you didn’t actually care enough about your blog, or your audience, to properly proofread and correct your copy.

And poof! just like that, there goes your credibility.

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