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What makes a good blog post? Specifically, what makes a good blog post for a recruitment website? Even better, what makes a good blog post for a recruitment website that people will read?
First, you need to decide on the content and the message you want to get across to your audience. Funny, controversial, enlightening or about how to make the reader a better person. Seriously, think “added-value” on a personal and professional level.
If you build it, they will come
Writing for business is different to personal blogging as it is the merging of your thoughts and your agency’s public persona. It is essential that you make sure the two are aligned or you’re going to end up with a messy, incoherent babble of keywords. If you’re unsure about what to write about, do some research on what seems to be popular right now, or better yet - what is rising in popularity so you can be ahead of the curve. There are tools for this - Google Trends, BuzzSumo or AnswerthePublic. Once you’ve nailed down the message you want to get across, you can get started with the actual plan and structure.
Give them what they want!
So let’s start with a plan. You know the subject matter, so how do you lay it all out for your audience? Before you create your blog, you should decide how you’re going to structure it. Hubspot has some great templates if you get stuck, but the most commonly used tend to be in a list format or ‘How to’s’ like this one.
It’s important to make sure to be descriptive and use terminology that your audience will be able to understand. For example, if you were writing a blog about starting a job in a certain niche for those less experienced, you wouldn’t want to use jargon that might be difficult to understand. On the other side of the coin, if you were to be writing a blog for those more skilled within a certain sector, you’d want to be clear that you know what you are conveying by writing on their level of understanding.
No empty calories
One error that many bloggers make is keyword stuffing. Surely if you were writing a blog about jobs in medicine, you’d just constantly write ‘jobs in medicine’ right? Not at all. If anything, keyword stuffing can be detrimental to your SEO ranking and you can even get penalised for it by the major search engines. Let your blog have a voice and naturally flow with the knowledge that you’re putting across, and in doing so you don’t need to worry.
Nobody wants to speak to an empty chair. Get it ranked
So you’ve worked out the messaging and the structure of your blog post. Now you need to make it interesting and valuable for your audience, so that they want to read it. There are layers to focus on simultaneously here: you should have an interesting and educational blog but remember, it also needs to rank well for SEO.
Google’s RankBrain algorithm uses machine learning to gather the most relevant results for a specific search query and has a ranking factor based on your website reputation, the user’s interests and more importantly here, SEO. Google’s RankBrain algorithm is used for every single search and has done since 2016.
As you can see, SEO is vital for the success of a blog - but it also needs to be interesting. If your blog is full of SEO keywords but doesn’t really resonate with anyone, then you’ve not really accomplished what you set out to do. The average dwell time of a blog is argued to be a factor when it comes to Google’s ranking and the best way to ensure that your blog is read is to make it worth reading. Dwell time is the period of time on a page per user.
Don’t bore people, speak to them
Your blog content can make or break a reader’s perception of your business. Will it be read as the writings of a thought leader or just another generic blog post? There are plenty of tips to aim for the former.
Make sure to address your audience about what to expect without being too upfront and short. Would you rather click on a blog called ‘5 great answers to give in your job interview’ or ‘Interview questions’?
Naturally, we’re curious beings and we all want to enjoy what we are reading, so don’t be afraid to be ‘human’ about it.
Often seen in a subheading is a phrase or word that engages with the audience in a conversational way, which adds value to your blog and makes the reader want to read on. As mentioned earlier, dwell time is important for the success of a blog. Think about it, the title is the bait to bring the reader on to your page with the bucket brigades/subheadings are the hook! What better way to keep people reading than having an enticing header for each part of your blog?
Links can be internal or external. If you’re writing about something that you have a relevant page for or collateral on your site, then you can provide that to your reader with an internal link or backlink as it’s commonly known, reinforcing the perception of a thought leader in your subject.
On the other hand, linking to other websites may understandably seem a bit odd. Why would you want to send people away from your website halfway through reading a blog? Once again, it’s all about SEO. If you link to reputable and trustworthy websites that are relevant to your blog, then Google uses this information for clarity on what your content is about and deems you more trustworthy in the process.
While not always the best route to take, if your messaging and agency’s tone of language allows for it then reinforcing that through your blog post can help give both you the author and the blog itself some personality. This is becoming more acceptable across every industry in comparison to B2B/B2C and early blogging platforms.
Nobody wants to be bored and the majority of businesses are on a trajectory to being a lot less formal in their company structures (think of the millions of start-ups that see enterprises like Google as a roadmap), so why wouldn’t you take advantage of this and translate it into your writing?
Call to action (CTA)
Writing your blog with a specific message you want to get across is a big accomplishment. More importantly though is guiding what could end up being a new client or candidate for your agency to register their details with you. Having CTAs to a landing page such as ‘Apply for a job today’ or even a social sharing button placed at pivotal parts within the blog, whether that be strictly at the end, the middle or even on a sidebar (I’d recommend A/B testing to see what works best for you) can be highly successful.
The most important aspect of all this is to raise your recruitment agency’s online profile as well as giving your visitors a reason to come back to your site. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start blogging!