Why Blog Post Structure Matters
We know that blogs are an important way to engage your audience and boost SEO rankings for your business.
As a writer have you ever asked yourself whether the structure of your blog post makes a difference in the message that you're looking to deliver to your readers?
Or has it dawned on you that considering structure can help drive traffic to your blog? I'm here to tell you that all this does matter...and it matters a lot.
In this article, we'll explore the reasons why, and discuss how you - as a writer and blogger, can structure your content to deliver clear, concise posts that will boost rankings, drive traffic, and increase engagement for your blog.
Blog post structure matters because it will help boost SEO. If your format and structure are clear you will draw in readers, engage them and improve your chances of your content being shared.
Did you know that the average reader spends about 15 seconds skimming an article? (source) Yes, that includes the title too. Living in a time when more information than ever is readily available at our fingertips, readers have little time and patience to sift through it all to get what they need. We, as writers, need to make sure we're delivering content in a meaningful way that will truly resonate with our audience.
A good structure in your post helps search engines decide what your content is about and increases your rankings on the almighty SERPs. As it turns out, Google also cares a lot about how your blog is structured.
How to Create a Well Structured Blog Post
If you want to create an attention-grabbing blog post that gets the results you or your clients are hoping for, then read on. These critical steps can help you reach your goal and give you an edge.
Consider the Search Intent of your Reader
Before you even begin writing, put yourself in your reader's position and ask "what goal is my reader trying to accomplish?"
In blog posts, the reader's goal is often to learn about something. We need to ask ourselves what types of questions might that reader be asking. And what keywords and modifiers would they be including in their search. These keywords and questions should be top of mind throughout your writing and can serve as a baseline if you find yourself getting off track.
Make Your Heading Shine
Readers can click on dozens of blogs before they find the information they are looking for. Because of this, if your title isn't relevant and attention-grabbing, readers won't even bother. Give your title some thought and use keywords and language that will tell the reader they will find what they are looking for by clicking on your blog.
Pull Readers in with a Good Hook
After readers get past your title you will want to engage them with the hook to keep them reading on. There are several ways to do this. Some common ones are stating an interesting fact or two about your topic or simply asking a question that they might be asking themselves. Make sure to promise an answer and deeper discussion in the body of your post.
Images make your writing more interesting, they can evoke emotion from your readers, and boost your search results. All important factors. Images also break up content and make it more palatable to your readers.
According to this article from Blog Marketing Academy, posts with images receive 94% more views than articles without (source). Depending on the purpose of your blog post you will want to choose your images accordingly. If you would like to use a photo, make sure to steer clear of generic stock images. You don't want to clutter your post with boring visuals.
Take time to consider what image would be relevant to your content and that readers would enjoy viewing. If your post is more informational consider infographics, charts, or screenshots to illustrate your points.
Break up the Body of your Content with Subheadings
Nobody wants to stare at a large block of words, this is a good way to lose readers. The use of subheadings to break up your content is always a good idea.
Subheadings allow the majority of readers who are scanning your article to find what they came for. Subheadings are a good place to use keywords for SEO as well as ask added questions or promote supporting ideas to your post.
Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs
Long sentences can be confusing and overwhelming to readers. For this reason, it's important to keep your sentences and paragraphs concise and present one idea at a time. Typically, paragraphs that are 2-3 sentences are ideal for blog posts.
Aim for Long-Form Content
While there are plenty of blog posts in the 250-500 word count, these posts aren't typically viewed favorably by Google or other search engines. The reason being that readers typically want content that is well-researched and genuinely valuable for them. This is why long-form content is the clear winner in this case.
Long-form content is typically anywhere between 700-2000 words plus (source). Remember to keep those sentences short, but the content long and meaningful. Make sure not to pepper in keywords and clutter your post with fluff, but do make sure that it flows in a way that makes sense to the reader.
Lists are yet another way to break up content and make it easier for readers to digest. If a list makes sense for your content, use them!
Call To Action
If you've come this far with writing your blog post, chances are there's a specific reason for it. More often than not there's an action that you would like the reader to take after completion.
A call to action is a simple prompt for the reader to do something. It could be as simple as subscribing or following your service on social media or it may be to buy a product. Whatever it may be, make sure to address this in your blog post.
The End Result
We all know the sweet feeling of being just about done with a task. Too often writers can hone it in at this point. Don't do it! It's important to leave your readers with a sense of satisfaction.
Take this opportunity to summarize your points, drive them home for the readers and give them something to ponder afterward. The conclusion can be a missed opportunity, so make sure to give it the right attention.
Get Ready to Improve your Blogs
Gone are the days of readers skimming and clicking past your content. Now that you understand why blog post structure is important to getting eyes on your post, it's time to take what you've learned and get started.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there other guidelines or best practices to follow when writing a blog post?
Yes. There are other best practices that we didn't go over in this article, primarily because they are unrelated to structure. A couple more to keep in mind would be to keep your content original. A blog isn't a place for recycled content, but a place for original writing with your own personal flair.
Make sure your blog content is factual and something you would be interested in reading before you publish, and always avoid plagiarism. Make sure to invest in an analytics tool and check that your clients are using one as well. This can provide valuable insight on who is visiting a site, who's engaged, and who's sharing content.
Are there any blog post templates I can follow?
Yes. Plenty of templates are available online for whatever category of blog you are looking to create. Whether it be informative, entertaining, or persuasive there are templates customized for each. Examples of templates can be found here.
Do blogging and social media fulfill the same purpose?
No, blogging and social media do not fulfill the same purpose. Blogging is about the content on a website, whereas social media's goal is to engage users and promote discussion around the content. Blogs are often used along with social media to help promote brand or product awareness, however, they are meant to be relevant for as long as the content itself is relevant. Social media tends to be relevant for only a short amount of time.
Are there any tips for structuring a persuasive blog post?
Most blog posts worth reading are persuasive to some degree. If your main goal is to write a persuasive blog post it's important to remember that the title and introduction need to hook the reader in by clearly stating what your argument is and what you're hoping to convince your audience about.
Throughout the body of your post, you will want to focus on credible data and fact-based evidence to support your argument. It's a good idea to start the first 3 paragraphs after your hook with strong data points supporting your claim.