Blogs can be incredibly powerful tools for SEO. That’s because they attract potential customers and leads that might be interested in what you are offering.
And they do it by providing your audience with the types of information, education, and entertainment that they are searching for.
When a blog delivers the value your audience is seeking, they are more inclined to believe that your products and services will too.
In this primer you'll:
- Learn what an individual blog post is and why it's useful,
- Find out what goes into a solid single blog layout,
- Get access to a blog layout template,
- Discover what you need to do to improve the layout of your blogs.
What is a Single Blog Post?
A blog post is a singular piece of content that attracts your target audience to your website and provides them with value in the form of information, education, or entertainment.
There is one critical word in the description above and that is value. Your individual blog posts shouldn't just exist to exist. They need to be useful and preferably actionable, otherwise, there is no sense in blogging in the first place.
Framework for a Great Individual Blog Post
You have plenty of creative freedom when it comes to what kind of content goes in your posts. However, if you follow a standardized structure in terms of layout, your blogs will have a much better chance of converting readers. Here are the goals of that layout:
- Captures the reader's attention and conveys the value the blog provides with a great headline
- Communicates who wrote the blog, when they wrote it, and how it’s categorized
- Provides valuable content the reader needs
- Drives people deeper into your site
- Tells people about the author behind the post
A great blog post that achieves those goals will end up looking something like this:
Keep reading to learn more about what goes into each element of a high-quality blog post layout.
Single Blog Post Layout Explained
1. Capture Attention & Convey Benefits with a Compelling Headline (h1)
Your headline is your first opportunity to engage with your readers once they land on your blog. A lackluster headline that falls flat isn't going to encourage further reading. Instead, you need a compelling headline that grabs people's attention and conveys the value they are about to get from the blog they are reading. This will make a great first impression and give people a reason to keep reading.
This uppermost section of content might include:
- A riveting headline that communicates value
- Blog’s focus keyword in the headline
- Hero image indicative of the topic the blog covers
2. Metadata Like Publication Date, Categories, Author
A blog without any publication date, author, or assigned category is less likely to be trusted than a post that contains all those pieces of metadata. That's because metadata provides context, which readers appreciate.
Your post metadata should include:
- Publication date (optional)
- Categories the blog belongs to
- Author name
3. The Blog Content
The actual content of your blog is what people came for, make sure not to disappoint. The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your content is that it needs to provide value. This means it has to deliver on the expectations readers have for it or exceed them. If your content isn't providing value, rethink it.
Your blog content should include:
- Intro copy with a compelling hook
- Actionable content
- Links to relevant & useful resources
- Entertaining examples & stories
- Focus and secondary keywords
4. Calls to Action in the Middle and Bottom of the Blog
The goal of blog content is to guide people toward learning more about your offerings. To do that, you need to provide people with a clear path (i.e. link) to those offerings that are going to be the most useful to them. Not only do you need to provide the path, but you should also give them a gentle nudge in the form of a clear call to action.
Call to action content can include:
- Banners promoting relevant offers
- Buttons with clear calls to action
5. Author Info
Author info helps people understand the expertise behind the article. This is a great opportunity to provide a little bio featuring the blog post author that conveys their expertise and qualifications to write such content.
Author info can include:
- Author name
- Author Bio
- Author headshot
Other Elements to Consider Including in a Post
- Related Articles
- Comments section
- Social sharing options
Additional Tips for Great Blog Post
If your blog posts aren't readable, they aren't going to be able to provide your audience the kind of value you want them to. They need to be written in a conversational tone and at an 8th-grade reading level. Make sure that you are breaking your blogs up into paragraphs no longer than four lines long. Longer paragraphs are hard to read.
A great tool to use when drafting or editing a blog is Hemingway App. It can help you catch a bunch of mistakes you may have unintentionally overlooked.
Also, make sure you are breaking your blogs up with subheadings to make them scannable. People often like to scan a post before committing to reading it and subheadings help make a blog feel more scannable and approachable.
If you already have blogs on your site, use this blog post template to audit the layout of those blogs. Are they meeting best practices? Or, are they in need of some improvements?
Use the template and best practices to help guide whatever improvements you plan on making. And, it doesn't hurt to do a little competitive research to see what others are doing. This will also help you understand how you can make your blogs more valuable for your audience than everything else out there.
If you feel like you are foundering when it comes to content strategy and blogging, don't hesitate to reach out to us here at Pathfinder SEO. We'll be happy to show you how Pathfinder SEO can help you make your blog work for you.