Working with our partners at FDM, whose mission is to bring people and technology together, we published a blog that gained almost 16,000 organic clicks within the space of two months. Better yet, it’s still generating high-quality traffic to the site!
When it comes to writing a blog that gets clicks, there is no one size fits all approach. Instead, there are a number of best practices you need to follow to ensure maximum performance. Ultimately, it will all come down to the quality of your content, various SEO considerations, and how you amplify your blogs off-site.
Let’s take a closer look at why our FDM article was so successful and how you can replicate these results for yourself…
What’s in this article?
Together, FDM and Semetrical set out to write an article about the ‘most in-demand technology skills for 2023’. We primarily targeted the key term ‘most in-demand tech skills’, which had 10 monthly searches at the time of publication.
Writing with graduates, our target persona, in mind, the article included a numbered list of the top technology skills employers are looking for in 2023, including data storytelling, cybersecurity, machine learning and artificial intelligence, user experience design and cloud computing. We provided greater detail about each skill and offered actionable advice for graduates looking to get started in a similar field.
The aim of the blog was to educate graduates and demonstrate FDM’s expertise in the technology sector, while attracting organic traffic and clicks, and ultimately driving conversions.
The blog was published on the 13th of December 2023 and in less than three weeks had already driven 1,416 clicks. But as the new year rolled in, numbers began to rise significantly. By the same time in February, the blog attracted 15,735 clicks and 222,031 impressions!
The blog went from not ranking for any target keywords to earning its place in the top positions, notably obtaining first place for ‘top skills to learn in 2023’, which has 40 monthly searches, and ‘most in-demand tech skills’ with 10 monthly searches. FDM’s blog now takes second place after the comptia.org site, which unfortunately published its competing blog shortly after. However, FDM’s blog is still currently outranking the likes of Indeed, CNBC, Coursera and Forbes, which also take their place on page one of Google for the same key terms.
The blog also ranked in the top three positions for more generic key terms, such as ‘best skills to learn in 2023’, where it currently ranks in third position.
Despite the search volume for our head terms being between 10-40 monthly searches, our blog succeeded in attracting a large volume of visitors. It just goes to show that high search volume is not the end-all and be-all for website performance. Read our blog on short–tail and long-tail keywords to find out why low search volume keywords are just as important, if not more than those with higher search volumes.
Check out the full case study to see how FDM’s blog content feeds into a wider integrated strategy that drives results.
If you want to replicate these results for yourself and attract quality traffic to your own website, follow these six easy steps to success:
Following SEO best practices is important, but SEO isn’t all about writing for search engines. In fact, Google prioritises content that is written for humans by humans. Google recently launched the Helpful Content Update, an algorithm update that places even greater value on authentic content that is written to help humans. Therefore, curating quality content for users should be your number one priority!
Writing for humans means addressing audience pain points and motivations, focusing on providing a seamless user experience, ensuring optimum readability and avoiding jargon, and offering as much value as possible.
There are many ways you can achieve this, such as:
There are various SEO best practices you should be following when writing your blogs. Ultimately, the higher your blog ranks for relevant keywords, the more clicks you’re likely to get.
Here are just a few of the most important SEO considerations for blog success:
It goes without saying, but you need to ensure you are doing effective keyword research and user intent analysis. This will help you target the most relevant terms and ensure you are creating content that matches the search intent, therefore improving your likelihood of ranking. Make sure to avoid keyword stuffing as this will be counterproductive and negatively impact your ranking potential!
Internal linking is a crucial part of successful SEO strategies, providing easy navigation for users and establishing a clear site architecture for search engines. Internal links can help improve PageRank, which shows Google that this particular page is of high importance, and can also improve crawling and indexing. Both PageRank and proper indexing can help your page rank higher in the SERPs.
Linking to external sources throughout your blogs is a great way to support your content, provide credibility and build page authority. All of this contributes to improved ranking potential, especially if you are linking to high-quality, relevant sites.
Building authority and demonstrating expertise through your blog is becoming increasingly important, particularly with the recent addition of an extra ‘E’ to Google’s E-A-T guidelines. These guidelines place high value on experience, expertise, authority and trustworthiness. So, you need to make sure you are demonstrating all four of these elements within your blogs, whether that’s expert commentary, use of data, or linking to reputable sources.
Word count certainly is not a direct ranking factor, however, it can play a significant role in your blog’s ability to outrank competitors. Generally speaking, longer blog posts perform better. In fact, long reads of over 7,000 words can drive four times as much traffic as an average article of around 1,000 words!
Yet, quality is always more important than quantity, so make sure to do your SERP analysis. This will help you identify what types of articles are ranking and check out how much detail competitors provide in their blogs, which you can use to inform your article length.
Search engine results page features, more commonly known as SERP features, are the additional components that appear in the search engine results pages, besides the traditional list of blue links. SERP features provide more information and context to users, enabling them to access relevant information quickly. Examples of SERP features include featured snippets, knowledge panels, people also ask sections, local packs, and video carousels.
Featured snippets are typically displayed in the form of a list, graph or video, and appear at the top of the search results. As such, organising your blogs in a list structure can increase your chances of obtaining the featured snippet and improve your click-through rate. FDM’s tech skills blog was organised in a list format and this is how Google presented it in the featured snippet:
You may not realise it, but understanding human psychology plays a huge role in your digital marketing success. After all, the end goal is to connect with real people. As such, there are certain psychology tips and tricks you can use to create engaging headlines that will attract your target audience and encourage them to click through to your blog from the search engine results page (SERPs) or social media posts.
The title tag is what your users see in the SERPs before they click through to your site, so it’s imperative that you get this part right. In fact, an optimised title tag can improve click-through rate by up to 100%!
Here are examples of the neuro techniques you can use to enhance your title tags and headlines:
Humans like predictability and naturally avoid uncertainty, which means providing your readers with numbers offers them a sense of certainty. This way, they can manage their expectations and are more likely to click through.
Yes, it can be useful to use numbers in your headlines, but not just any numbers. The human brain tends to favour odd numbers over even, therefore odd numbers tend to work best for blog headlines. Remember this is just a rule of thumb and, of course, even numbers still have their place when it’s appropriate!
Staying on the topic of numbers, it can also be more enticing to your audience if you use two numbers. One to pique interest with certainty, like mentioned before, and the other for a ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ aspect. By that I mean adding a statistic that shows how your blog is going to help the reader, e.g. Top 5 tips to writing a blog that gets 1,000 clicks a day.
Beneficial adjectives are great at catching your audience’s attention. Just make sure that your adjectives appeal to your audience’s emotions or motivations, for example ‘practical’ for your audience’s convenience, ‘free’ to save them money, or ‘in-demand’ for added exclusivity.
Using dates in headlines can be a useful technique to add a sense of urgency and emphasise that the content is time-sensitive, and readers must act or consume the content as soon as possible. It also increases the relevance of the article, for users and search engines alike.
Any guesses on which neuro tactics we used for our headline ‘Top 5 Most In-Demand Tech Skills for 2023’?
A meta description is the short snippet of text you see in the search results page that provides a brief summary of what the web page is about. Since this is often the first glimpse users get of your articles, your meta descriptions can have a huge influence on whether they click through to read the article.
Best practices for writing meta descriptions include:
Note that in many cases, Google will rewrite meta descriptions. Find out more here.
If you want to really get the most out of your blog content, you need to amplify it! Letting content sit on your site is not the most effective use of your efforts. One way to amplify your content is through social media promotion. Leveraging social media to share your on-site blogs can help increase visibility to a wider audience, improve engagement levels, and help build an online community. Below is an example of how FDM’s tech skills blog was promoted on LinkedIn:
However, you can also get more creative with repurposing blog content for social channels and make use of popular features, such as carousels on Instagram. According to Hootsuite, carousel posts have the potential to gain an astonishing 1.4x more reach and 3.1x more engagement than regular posts on Instagram!
Here’s an example of an Instagram carousel for FDM’s blog post:
In conclusion, getting your blogs to rank higher in Google and attract more clicks all boils down to content quality, effective SEO and amplification. While there are many strategies and techniques you can use to do this, the following best practices will help you along the way:
Are you looking to boost online visibility and attract quality website traffic? Check out our content marketing services to see how we can help realise your goals, or get in touch for more information.