Update! 2021 Blogging Trends and Predictions You Need to Know

What are the newest 2021 blogging trends—and why you should care!

Update! If you’re researching 2021 blogging trends, you’ve come to the right place. Given the time and effort it takes to write and maintain your blog, it only makes sense to learn what works and what doesn’t. If you’re in a blogging rut, read on to spark new ideas and get better results—page rank, click-through, and more. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be in a better position to reexamine your current program, update your strategies, and fine-tune your blogging practices.  

Continue reading “Update! 2021 Blogging Trends and Predictions You Need to Know”

9 Ingredients to Create Valuable Blog Posts.

Valuable blog post ingredients

Valuable Blog Posts are the Only Type of Blog Post That Count.

Unless you create valuable blog posts for your reader, you might as well dump your hard work into the trash can. All the SEO and paid online ads in the world won’t improve traffic and conversion if no one clicks on your web page or blog article and takes actionable steps—like filling out a contact form or downloading a white paper. Even if you don’t create worthwhile content, the other tools you use won’t do you much good.

Continue reading “9 Ingredients to Create Valuable Blog Posts.”

5 Great Articles on 2021 SEO Trends

Featured Image: Articles on 2021 SEO Trends

Who’s got the best insights About SEO Trends in 2021? There are sooooo many articles on the subject–and who wants to search through them all? To make it easier for you, I’ve done the search myself so you don’t have to. Here are articles on 2021 SEO trends from some of the most respected online sources. Just a note that these articles are for people with a fairly general knowledge of SEO, not for deep back-end coders and technical experts.

Many of the same SEO insights are repeated in the articles below, such as the importance of mobile and voice search. It’s worth strolling through each of these articles to see what they have in common, to glean “how-to” tips, and to pick up any advice you have yet heard from the pundits.

Learn and Enjoy!

Search Engine Journal (July 16, 2020): 101 Quick & Actionable Tips to Improve Your SEO

Each tip is only 1-2 sentence, but each makes a point. Most items are not so technical and within the realm of most content writers, but some are more “back end.” Read

Optinmonster (Dec. 11, 2020): 24 Expert SEO Tips & Advice to Boost Your Traffic in 2021

This is a very readable article with some easy, hands-on tips—little things that can make a big difference. It’s written for a general audience of marketers or writers, with nothing too technical. This list would provide a good checklist to make sure you’re doing all the basics to boost user experience. Read

Ahrefs (Sept. 1, 2020): 12 Quick SEO Tips to Increase Organic Traffic

I love Ahrefs as a source for concrete, helpful tips. This article focuses on actionable tips that they say you can do in 15 minutes or less. This seems doubtful for all of the items (such as #5 Repurpose blog posts as videos)—especially if you’re a solo freelancer or small shop, but others sound much more doable). Not surprisingly, it also plugs some of their own tools. Read

SEMRush (Updated Dec. 23. 2020): 12 SEO Trends to Know for 2021

This is a beefy, yet easy-to-read, guide that “gives you insights into some of the most relevant and timely search engine optimization trends to anticipate for 2021.” It’s not a how-to article but provides general guidance to adjust your SEO strategy—such as how voice search can impact keyword strategy. Read

Search Engine Watch (Sept. 28, 2020): What to Expect from SEO in 2021?

This article discusses the main trends that Search Engine Watch expects “to have an impact and change the direction of SEO in the coming year.” It not a long article, but shares some interesting insights in these areas: page experience ranking, mobile-first indexing, voice search, snippets, non-textual content, and UX SEO. Read

Takeaways You Can Use

Whether you’re a content marketer, copywriter, or interactive agency manager, leveraging up-to-date advice from industry experts will keep you in the running. I hope that these articles provide you with useful take-aways for planning your 2021 SEO strategy.

For high-quality content that uses SEO techniques to your advantage, always focuses on your unique audience, contact Westebbe Marketing, a Boston-based agency specializing in high-performing original content. Contact us online, call us at (617) 699-4462, or email us.

You might also enjoy: Get These Expert Copywriting Tips for Your Audience and SEO

If you like this article, please share it!

Write High-Performing Blog Posts with the SMART goals.

Writer being handing a lightbulb with a dollar sign in it: Indicates being provided with the ideas that will bring success.

You’ve got a topic for your blog article, so you sit at your computer and start clicking away. Stop where you are! Do you know specifically what you want your article to achieve, as well as how you will specifically determine if it hits the mark? Knowing how to write high-performing blog posts isn’t a matter of guesswork and it isn’t random. Short-and long-term blogging success requires preparation, especially in the area of goal-setting.

We often have a vague sense of goals: I want to increase traffic, I’d love to get more social shares, or I want to improve campaign results. If these statements sound familiar, the road you take will be slow and winding. Why? They don’t specify the level you’re starting at (your benchmark), what signifies success, how you’ll measure it, how you’ll get from A to B, and how well your article performed.

The bottom line is that if you don’t lay out this information in advance, you’ll simply be swatting blindly at a pinata. On the other hand, having realistic objectives, a roadmap to success, and a way to definitively gauge progress is how you’ll break open that pinata and get all the good stuff inside. And it all starts with having actionable goals.

Children with pinata: Don't blog with a blindfold on...Plan for success
Don’t blog with a blindfold on…Plan for success

Use the SMART framework to set actionable goals.

One way to write high-performing blog posts is by using the well-known SMART goal-setting framework. This approach takes you away from loosey-goosey objectives to clear ones that can help you achieve better results in less time. Perform these planning steps and you’ll set the wheels in motion for more engaging individual blog articles and a more results-driven blogging program.

The letters of the SMART acronym stand for:

SMART goals acronymn: Specific, Measurable, Assigned, Realistic, Timelinge--Write high-performing blog posts by setting SMART goals.
Write high-performing blog posts by setting SMART goals
  • Specific: Attract high-quality leads by setting specific, narrow, well-defined article parameters rather than larger generic ones. Often, the “who, what, where, when, and why” factors will point you in the right direction.
  • Measurable/Metrics: Define the metrics and key indicators you will use to track the progress of your blog articles over time. How many blogs will you do a month? Where will you post them? How many people have subscribed to your blog? How many likes and shares do your articles get? How successful are your calls-to-action (calling you, clicking on a link, registering for a webinar)?
  • Assigned/Agreed Upon: All stakeholders (managers, clients, designers) should agree on the blogging goals, including deadlines and responsibilities. Many people define the “A” as attainable, achievable, or action-oriented—but these words can be easily confused with the “R” in SMART (see below).
  • Realistic: Set realistic goals based on your resources and how much time you can devote to blogging. Do you have creative personnel or freelancers available? Do you have the budget? Are there competing projects? Note that some organizations replace the word “realistic” with relevant, results-oriented, or reasonable.
  • Timeline: Set a specific end-date for achieving the goals. Also include a timeline for all steps in the planning, publishing, analysis, and reporting stages. Again, take into consideration your other responsibilities, available resources, and competing priorities. Alternative terms for the letter “T” are time-bound, time-frame, or trackable.

As shown above, bloggers and marketers may use alternative words for each of the five SMART terms. If you Google SMART goals, you’ll see the variations I included above and probably some others. The ones in bold are my preferences, but my advice would be to use the ones that are most relevant and helpful to you and your organization.

Get smart about B2B blog writing: Don’t Get a Failing Grade on Your Next B2B Blog Article

Write high-performing blog articles by getting specific.

Measuring cup: Reach your goals by setting specific measurements and other key elements.
Reach your goals with by setting specific measurements and other key elements.

Regardless of your business defines the acronym, the SMART framework is a great way to plan, write, and measure an article’s performance. Your SMART goals can be used to analyze an individual article or a group of articles (such as all those on a similar topic or those posted on a particular day of the week) to see which ones performed the best (and the worst). You can then re-evaluate and refine your blog writing strategies as indicated, and ultimately you may find you need to adjust your metrics if they are unrealistic or unhelpful.

You can see the difference between “dumb goals” and SMART goals in the abbreviated examples below:

DUMB Article Goals:

  • Goal 1—Subscriptions: Increase subscriptions to the blog.
  • Goal 2—Leads: Get more leads for the sales force.
  • Goal 3—Likes: Increase “Likes” on social media.
  • Goal 4—Click-Throughs: Improve click-through rates.

SMART Article Goals:

  • Goal 1—Subscriptions: Increase blog subscriptions by 5% by August 1.
  • Goal 2—Leads: Get 20 highly qualified leads each month.
  • Goal 3—Likes: Get 100 likes each month.
  • Goal 4—Click-Throughs: Increase click-through rates by 20% by October 30.

Program planning is necessary to write high-performing blog posts

Planning a blogging program: Wordclouds with blogging, Facebook marketing, and social media themes.
Plan all the specifics that will be needed to carry out your blogging program successfully.

The SMART goals are vital, but they mean nothing if there’s not a process to get there. While the end goals above are specific, they don’t include the ongoing programmatic processes and tasks needed to reach these goals smoothly and effectively—from week to week and from month to month. Some of the basics include:

  • How will article topics be decided and how frequently will you post? Generally, this will call for an editorial calendar.
  • Who will be writing (and approving) each blog before posting?
  • Who is responsible for promoting it on social media, company e-newsletters, and other channels—and who will handle social media comments?
  • Do you have an approved budget for any necessary freelance writers, graphic designers, SEO experts, or other consultants?
  • What will your evaluation process look like?

Unpack complex, long-term program elements.

Some of the questions above may need to be further broken down in the program planning stage. Just one example is in the “Measurements” in SMART. You’ll need to nail down all the issues related to analytics, such as:

  • Is your analytics program capable of giving you the data you need to evaluate success?
  • What will reporting look like?
  • Who is responsible for analyzing and reporting results?
  • How often will you receive results, and who will they be shared with?
  • How will you plan for refinements in the program?

Google Analytics is one of the many great tools for measuring website traffic and performance. This tutorial gives step-by-step tips you can use to measure your blogging program’s performance.

Don’t forget SMART goals to write high-performing articles.

If you don’t know where you currently are, have only a vague destination, and have no map or GPS, you’re likely to end up wandering around in the dark. Instead, leverage your writer’s hard work and make your entire team more effective by set SMART goals. Once you’re set up, your writer will be able to craft articles that meet your larger marketing goals. For help writing high-quality, insightful blog articles, contact Boston-based Westebbe Marketing.