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Will Google’s recent ‘helpful content’ update affect my blog?

For articles to meet the new helpful content requirements from Google, you will need to be strategic about which topics are most valuable for your clients and will best attract potential customers.

Your business blog is a crucial marketing tool for your small business. Whether you own a physical or virtual storefront, a business blog provides an outlet for you to talk about your company and products in an informative way.

It allows you to create content that directly benefits your target audience. In addition, a business blog should can be used as an extension of your company website and social media profiles.

Your blog content can also be easily repurposed and linked from your site to social media channels or shared in an email newsletter. However, that doesn’t mean you should just write anything, your blog should be treated seriously as a marketing channel.

Choose the Right Kinds of Blog Topics

There are countless business blog topics that company owners can choose from but whatever you blog about, it should be relevant to your audience.

Topic ideas could include the following content themes:

  • Company information
  • Goods or services
  • How-to guides
  • News and industry trends
  • Current promotions

Use a Keyword Research Tool

When determining what kinds of blog topics to use, you can also use a keyword research tool to uncover potential blog topics. This way, you can select topics that are likely to receive relevant searches for your products or services.

When creating content for your blog, try to choose topics that pertain to your products or services. If possible, try to add in key terms that are likely to increase the number of people interested in your products.

These topics can be found through keyword research as well as your own research into what topics your target audience is searching for.

Some key word research tools include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Buzzsumo
  • Answer the public
  • Ahrefs

Is there a correct word count for blogs?

The recent ‘helpful content update’ from Google has put a whole new slant on blog writing. While you still need to consider your target audience, the length of your blog has now become less important than the quality.

Search engine results strive to present pages to users that answer their questions, so the more helpful your articles are to the reader, the higher they will rank. A few years ago the average blog length for business articles was 800 words, more recently that has increased to 1200.

Whatever the length of the piece, the emphasis has been shifted to the value that the blog can offer to the reader. Things like keyword research and SEO priciples are still important, but writers will need to pay close attention to the quality of their content.

What business topics are good for blogs?

As you create a content calendar for blog topics, you will need to think about the kind of content that will work best. Depending on the type of company you operate, you might want to include specific pieces.

Some blogs can be narrative, some pieces may be about your company and its structure or how your business came into existence. Other content could provide insights into the best ways to use your products or offer helpful how to guides.

Whatever topics are selected, they should be interesting and appealing to your audience. You can also allow readers to post their own comments on your articles, opening up opportunity for discussion and connection.

Other Blog Factors to Consider

Length versus readability is an important factor to keep in mind when determining your blog’s word count. To ensure your blog is legible, you need to make sure it’s not overly long or readers will lose interest and drop off the page before they get to your call to action.

Conversely, you need to make sure it’s not too short either or you will leave readers hungry for more information and its likey they will look elsewhere to find it. The format and structure of your blog should also look appealing, and that doesn’t just mean space out sentences.

There are grammatical mistakes, and other issues that will need to be corrected before posting your blog. The look unprofessional and can be distracting for your readers.

Also, take into account what your competitors are writing about. While you don’t want to release identical content, it can be useful to put your own spin on their content. Being aware of what other companies are posting on their blog can give you inspiration for your own content.

Tips for Developing Blog Content

To remain inline with Google’s helpful content update, make sure your blog posts are genuine and not overly salesy or promotional, readers will be turned off if they feel like they’re reading a sales pitch. The tone of voice should sound authentic and posts should be written in a conversational tone.

Blog posts need to be comprehensive and follow a structured flow. Don’t just write a one-off article. Instead, include a mix of long-form and short-form content and remember to link or cluster blog posts together. This helps readers to navigate your blog more easily.

Make sure each blog post is written for a specific reason and include a strong call to action. Encourage readers to take some sort of next step like click a link or provide their email address.

Should I outsource my business blog?

Yes, this can be the best approach for most small businesses who don’t have time to write content daily or weekly.

If you choose to create all your blog posts in-house, there is a risk that you will end up spending a lot of time editing and revising your articles causing a decline in your business productivity.

Hiring writers or outsourcing to an agency who is experienced and skilled in business blogging is often money well spent. They can write your content on your behalf while maintaining your companies tone of voice and keep a steady stream of content coming your way.

How long does it take to build a business blog?

This depends on how much content your company can output and how many posts a week you want to share.

Posting at frequent intervals can be more important than generating a vast amount of content. Google likes fresh content so keeping your blog pages regularly updated can be good for your website SEO.

One thing to bear in mind is that the more time and energy you spend on publishing quality blog posts, the better your site traffic is likely to be. More content means more ranking opportunities and a better chance of appearing in the search results.

Your business blog should be a priority, especially if you rely on site traffic to drive sales and business opportunities. Find the right balance between creating your blog posts and doing other forms content creation.

A blog can be a crucial part of your marketing strategy but your will need to strike a balance between your blog and other types of content like ads or social media posts.

Should I use a blog post template?

A blog post template can help you to save time and effort while writing content and business articles. With a blog post template, you can quickly and easily write different blog posts without rewriting the same ones over and over again.

Switch between different template types to build in variety and and quickly draft different types of content. A template can help you to create different types of content for your blog.

These types of content could include:

  • Ad copy
  • Articles
  • Newsletters
  • Social media posts
  • Landing pages
  • Website content

What about AI writers?

There has been a big increase in the AI writing tools available online. All have their positive and negatives but each are designed to help you generate content.

AI writers are not necessarily good or bad, but like any tool, the operator will have to know how to use them correctly.

Some pro bloggers like to use AI writers to provide them with content ideas or frameworks, but still prefer to write the content themselves.

This makes sense when you consider that the recent Google update focuses on providing helpful content and shys away from repetitive or regurgitated information.

What if I outsource my blog writing?

Just because content has been outsourced and written by a content agency, it doesn’t automatically mean that your content is not helpful.

Many agencies request information about your content or chosen topic so the articles written can be about anything you choose.

If you are providing quality blogs and good content then you will still be adhering to Google’s helpful content rules, and there is no reason why you pages can’t rank high in search.

For help with quality content writing contact the Smarcomms team today.

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