A friend teased me yesterday that the posts I wrote on Monday and Tuesday here hadn’t gotten as many comments as most of the posts here do. I told her that I wasn’t writing the posts for comments, but for search engines.
What? Yes, the primary goal for my post on creating a Social Media policy on Monday, and on Blogging policies on Tuesday were designed to do as well as possible for a specific search phrase. Monday’s post is now the #2 Google result for the phrase creating a social media policy, while Tuesday’s post is now the #1 Google result for the phrase creating a corporate blogging policy. And my own blog analytics show that Monday was a record day here for search traffic, and then I broke that record with yesterday’s post.
But I wanted to focus on the search value of those two posts because I knew that they were covering topics that companies have real questions about and need direction around. I knew these were topics that people are looking for help with, and doing so via search engines. So I made a point to optimize those posts to do well in search engines, and it’s worked very well.
Does that mean I didn’t want comments on those two posts? Of course not, but my thinking was that those posts were ones that readers here would be more likely to bookmark and save for future reference, rather than comment on. Other posts, such as my recent post on why introverts love social media WAS written primarily to get a discussion started in the comments, and it worked beautifully.
The point is, you need to give thought to what you are trying to accomplish with every post you write. For me, it doesn’t make sense to write EVERY post to win a specific search term, just as it doesn’t make sense to write every post in an effort to get 50 comments. For me, I need a balance, because I benefit from having higher search traffic as well as more interaction here.
This can help you as well, go back and look the posts you wrote in March, and make note of the primary reason why you wrote that post. Some examples could include:
- To generate comments
- To do well in search rankings
- To generate email contacts
- To send traffic to the company website
- To generate sales/leads
Now go back to your primary goals for your blog, and see how those goals compare to the goals for the content you have created. For example, if the top goal for your blog is to improve search rankings for company-specific terms and you haven’t written any posts with that goal in mind since March 1st, then that sounds like a disconnect.
This approach will help you stay focused on what your larger goals are for your blog, and help you track if the blog posts you write are helping you reach those goals.
Ricardo Bueno says
I gave a presentation at a Real Estate Conference last week. My recommendation to those setting up a new blog… Ask yourself what you want the most important pages on your website (blog) to be. Then, skim through the content on each of those pages and MAKE SURE that each page has a specific purpose (a.k.a. a specific Call To Action).
From there, each post/page on your site should have a Call To Action. Otherwise, I just it as one big missed opportunity.
Mack Collier says
Ricardo I agree that most companies do not put enough thought into what their goals are for their blog, and what actions they want readers to take. That’s wonderful advice you gave attendees, it will help to get them thinking about exactly what they are trying to accomplish with the blog, and will help them stay focused when they create content.
Gabriele Maidecchi says
Your reasoning encourages a way of thinking everyone would benefit from a whole lot – me in primis. However it’s not always easy, why? Mainly ’cause of laziness. I mean, it’s much easier to write going with the flow than to write with a specific goal in mind. Reaching a specific goal requires a lot more effort than simply writing, but you show very well that it’s a very good way to do it.
Davina K. Brewer says
I didn’t think about it like this Mack. I always try to write for it all: comments, RTs, generous clients looking for help, and Google friendly SEO. 😉 Of course, I realize that’s not practical and different blog posts can and should have different goals in service of the overall blog and business goals.
Mostly I write to get read, to share information that informs, educates and maybe even entertains so I get some interested readers, that bookmark or following. Now that I think of it, I have been a little lacking in some of my thought-leadership/SEO goals, so I need to work on some posts in those areas. Thanks for the reminder. FWIW.
Mack Collier says
Davina if you can accomplish multiple goals with the same post, that’s wonderful. For me, it can sometimes muddy the waters. For example, writing for search engines sometimes requires a different approach for me versus writing conversationally in order to encourage more interaction. For me I find that it’s easier to set one key goal for each post, and to try to hit on that.
Davina K. Brewer says
Never said I succeeded at hitting all goals, but I do try. 😉 Actually SEO and the analytic stuff is my weakest skill set, certainly an area that I need to improve. I just like your approach, this reminder that not every post has to be about every goal every time; it’s kind of liberating.. so thanks again.
What an important point. It’s hard to address all blogging goals in one post (and disjointed). Personally my posts are more of an attempt to put my point of view into writing and focus my strategy. Providing useful content to my audience, is always another primary goal. Social interaction is something I am building to before I address SEO. You have motivated me to bring a discerning eye to my blogs, and possibly move some of these goals to the forefront for specific posts. – @DocLauraB
kira permunian - Best SEO says
I have stated it to my SEO blog that content is always a king, but starting yesterday, content is a king in the much more sophisticated style providing integrity and authority to the author. And you have just mean it having content creation goals.
Yes, those primary reasons are spot on! And if you could achieve all of them in just a post, that’d be awesome! The real challenge is how… and I think you get that by posting thought-provoking content.
Marianne Worley says
Sometimes when I’m reading a blog, I have an “aha moment.” When reading your post, that moment happened when I saw this sentence: “The point is, you need to give thought to what you are trying to accomplish with every post you write.” As a new blogger, I know I need to think more about why I’m writing something rather than how I’m going to write it. Thanks for keeping me focused.
Mack Collier says
Thank you Marianne, that makes my day to know I could help 😉
Oh and I wrote that to keep ME focused as well!
Nick Westergaard says
Another great one, Mack. Great to see the various goals canonized like this. Definitely gonna use this as a planning tool when mapping out content.
Shelly Dupre says
How do you find the topics that are trending and will be good for SEO? There are so many resources out there, but only so much time in a day.