Our Top 15 Blog Writing Tips To Increase Traffic To Your Shopify Store In 2021
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September 27, 2021
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Are you concerned about your ability to create consistent and relevant content?
Do you feel that your major competitors are flooding the search results?
You can still beat them. The bottom line is that they did not buy the organic search result, they earned it. And so can you!
In this article, we will reveal blog writing tips that will help you rank better organically and get more relevant traffic.
This will ultimately drive more leads for your business overall.
Marketing professionals often speak about 'buyer personas'. They can also be referred to as 'reader personas'. This is because the group of users engaging with your content are broader than just 'buyers'. Blogs can be created that are shared by people who want to engage with your content, and they are still highly valuable as they help to spread the word and build a community.
Hence, it is important to understand who will be reading your content, their background and the information/value they are looking to get as a result. This will allow you to tailor you content, your messaging and tone of voice to align with their specific needs, behaviours and concerns. This alignment is critical in building a trusted, longterm relationship with them.
Here is a breakdown of the type of information that you can use to understand them better:
You can get creative with the way you approach this research, but here are a few ways to uncover this critical information:
Google pays a significant amount of attention to understanding user queries and delivering results based on these.
The Hummingbird algorithm, which is based on a semantic approach, has changed the SERPs dramatically.
Here’s an explanation of this algorithm by Danny Sullivan, who is the journalist and co-founder of Third Door Media:
“Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”
Four different types of search intent can be categorised which are based on what a searcher is looking for:
The most important factor that determines the content format you choose, is the readers' search intent. The readers' intent will also determine the message you convey and the call-to-action you include.
Make sure to set a goal for each blog and map out a way for the blog to facilitate this goal.
For example, let’s say your goal for a post is to bring attention to an ebook you’ve recently published.
Your blog post content would be related to the content of the ebook — likely at a higher level — and then your call to action (CTA) for your reader, at the very end of the post, and possibly throughout the post, would be to download the ebook to get deeper insights.
To get them there, it’s vital that your post is answering readers’ questions. This can be discovered through keyword and topic research, in order to satisfy their search intent. If you write for your reader and address their needs, concerns, interests and objectives, then they’ll be more likely to accept your CTA.
In other cases, your goal might be to increase organic traffic to your site or get X number of shares for your post. The trick is to:
Before the Hummingbird algorithm, keywords were the central and only focus. Now, topic research is a logical response to how Google is interpreting search queries.
Keyword analysis is just one step in your content strategy. It's also essential to investigate the topic from the inside out to really understand people’s challenges and intent. This knowledge, combined with keyword research, will lead you to the content that answers readers’ most common questions.
A helpful response to a reader's request will make a huge impact on their movement through your marketing funnel overall.
Here are the techniques we recommend using to research a topic:
These Google features are probably the most exhaustive source of people’s questions, pains, and interests. You can use many of them as ready ideas for your articles:
Investigate resources like AlsoAsked.com, Quora or Reddit. You can also explore your and your competitors’ social media pages for keyword ideas and questions to answer.
For example. If you sell sunglasses, and in the comments you often notice that people ask if there are any methods to get rid of scratches on sunglasses, it is important to take note of this question. If it is frequently asked, check whether there are similar keywords.
Collecting topic research data can be a manual, time-intensive process. Fortunately, there are some tools that can help simplify and streamline the process. These include Topic Research, which is a part of Semrush's Content Marketing Platform.
This tool gives SEOs, marketing specialists and content writers a helping hand in content brainstorming efforts and blog topic ideas that are focused on audience search intent.
Using the tool and its proprietary metric, Topic Efficiency (high Topic Efficiency reflects high search volume and low keyword difficulty), you can collect a list of efficient blog topic ideas entirely focused on your audience’s needs and interests, and find out what people on the internet ask about the topic.
Evergreen content is content that not only drives and sustains traffic in the first couple of months, but retains relevance over time. These are the topics that are constantly searched for and are not affected by trends.
The Сontent hub is an increasingly important concept that supports evergreen content creation. Content hubs are destinations on your website containing pages around a certain topic. You start with core content around a topic and then support it with other more in-depth pieces, videos, and other formats that drive engagement and vitality. This leads to more traffic on your website. From an SEO perspective, a content hub lends topic authority to your brand.
Looking at who else shows up on a search engine results page (SERP) can help you better understand search intent, as well as discover which content formats and headlines are used by your top rivals. It is important to understand that you can actively learn from your competitors and observe their shortcomings.
What makes these articles dominate the SERPs? Sometimes, the similarities can be identified at a glance, like with the query “best city bikes”.
As shown in the example image below, lists (“18 Best Commuter Bicycles 2021”) and reviews (“Best Commuter Bikes 2021 | City, Folding and E-Bikes Reviews”) tend to earn top placement in SERPs. Simply adding a year in your title can also be helpful, because it's safe to assume that people will be looking at trends for the current year.
If you happen to use the Semrush Content Marketing Platform, the SEO Content Template can help you automate your competitor analysis by pulling in the top 10 search engine results and giving you recommendations based on them, including semantically related words to include in the text, the readability score and word count to aim for, backlinking opportunities and more.
For step-by-step instructions on how to enhance your content strategy with competitive analysis, the following two resources are incredibly helpful:
In addition to offering workflow convenience, effectively structuring your content can indicate its quality to search engines.
According to Anatomy of Top Performing Articles, more than half of the posts with a complex structure (h2+h3+h4) are high-performing in terms of traffic and engagement. The study shared another finding which concluded that posts containing at least one list per 500 words of plain text get 70% more traffic than articles without lists.
So, if you’re focused on increasing engagement and traffic, it’s important to structure your content properly.
Key recommendations to consider for your blog structure:
While you’ve probably already heard a lot about keyword research, we want to address three vital areas concerning their effective implementation:
The term TF-IDF is an abbreviation of “term frequency — inverse document frequency.
”It is a way of determining the quality of a piece of content based on an established expectation of what an in-depth piece of content contains."
For example, there are several blog-writing topics that a complete SEO guide would cover, such as “keyword research,” “meta data,” “site audit,” and “crawlability.” Other topics that might also be relevant but would likely appear less frequently: “SEO tools,” “core update,” and “H1 Tag.”
Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid overusing keywords. This is referred to as keyword stuffing and can result in penalisations from Google.
Instead of repeating the same keyword throughout an article, focus on adding valuable words conceptually associated with your topic.
For example, if you’re writing an article targeting “kitesurfing equipment,” think about such terms as “kite surf gear,” “kite surf equipment,” “buy kitesurfing gear,” etc.
To keep the TF-IDF balance mentioned in the section above, you need to map out the semantically related keywords for each blog post. They can help the search engines understand what the content is focusing on and how deeply it goes into the topic.
Basically, semantic keywords are words or phrases closely related to your main keyword conceptually. “Semantic search” is Google’s attempt to understand language on a higher level in order to serve more accurate search results for a wider range of queries. It tries to identify the intent and deeper meaning of a search based on each of the words used in the query.
For a keyword like “cook a goose,” some semantically related keywords could be:
How to find semantic keywords:
There are many tools available to make your writing semantically relevant. For example, Semrush’s SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant provide you with a list of semantically related keywords to use in your content.
Creating content that keeps up with mobile requirements isn’t just another trend.
Previously, a mix of the desktop version and the mobile version of any web page’s content was used by Google’s index to show results for a searcher’s query, with the desktop version being the primary source. Now, only the mobile version of your web page’s content is used, meaning:
It is important to play close attention to mobile users needs and pains in order to channel all organic traffic. As an example, certain types of queries, like ‘restaurants near me,’ can bring a good portion of local mobile traffic.
Here’s a list of steps you can take to better target mobile users:
For this, you can take advantage of the Questions tab in the Keyword Magic tool, which offers keywords structured in question form:
Featured Snippets, often referred to as 'zero positions', are the boxes shown directly below the number of results found for your query.
They provide searchers with content that fulfils their request. Although this sometimes means they won’t need to click your link again to learn more, they will often still click on it, giving you a lot more visibility.
Most Featured Snippets monopolize the first screen. Consequently, the click-through rate of the content in it increases drastically — some studies report a four-fold CTR growth. The other pages in the top 10 don’t get as many clicks. This is why organising your content to appear in the Featured Snippets is crucial.
There’s no sure-fire recipe that guarantees you’ll earn a Featured Snippet position on a SERP, but these tactics can significantly increase your chances:
If your competitor has already earned a Featured Snippet for your target keyword, their position is not written in stone. Any other website can replace theirs sooner or later, so why not yours?
Find more tactics on how to win a Featured Snippet here.
Crafting killer headlines is the area in which you optimize your writing skills to their fullest. A well-written, compelling, relevant headline can greatly influence whether a user clicks on a link or not.
There are a number of different approaches on how to write a headline — but which ones tend to perform better?
First, longer headlines (10 to 13 words) can better uncover the idea of what the copy is about, and therefore drive twice as much traffic and X1.5 more shares than shorter ones (< 7 words).
Second, list articles get 80% more traffic than other types of articles, according to our study. Consider crafting your headline to convey that the content is laid out in a listicle format. You can check with the ImpactHero tool whether a listicle or how-to format is the best option for your specific website to reach your goals.
Additional content creation best practices:
Note: If you write an evergreen piece of content (a guide, for instance), ensure you mention the current year in the title. You’ll eventually get back to this article to update it, and so a “2020 guide” can then be renamed a “2021 guide” when you add valuable new information to it. It's one of the best practices for blog content writing, as you're providing useful data that is always relevant.
We talked about the importance of understanding users’ intent earlier in this post, but the user experience is just as important.
For example, Google can penalize you for duplicate content. This is because it confuses Google and forces it to choose which of the identical pages it should rank in the top results. Google intends to provide the best user experience possible, which is why it strongly recommends that site owners make their websites mobile-ready, and improve their on-page SEO.
If you discover that your blog post isn't following what Google deems as a best practice for user experience, then these are the things you can do to improve your post:
According to Anatomy of Top Performing Articles, posts with one image get twice as much traffic as posts containing text only. They also get 30% more shares and 25% more backlinks.
Videos turned out to play a considerable role too — posts that don’t contain a video get 92% less traffic and 24% fewer shares than posts with at least one video.
Consider adding video content, informative images, charts, or infographics to increase readers’ time on page. Another benefit of visuals is that people tend to share them across social media accounts, which is always beneficial.
Don’t forget to optimize the images:
Think about the conversion path for the blog post ahead of time. For example, if you have a Top of the Funnel marketing blog post, consider creating gated content offers to convert users landing on it.
Decide on the following:
Consider trying Impact Hero, which gives you an opportunity to track conversion paths. See how successful your content is in terms of attracting new visitors, lead generation, and indirect conversion.
You need to think about the hook to attract leaders in your field, for example:
Your content must resonate in order to assist you in getting new backlinks. Researching backlink opportunities in advance is crucial in order for you to adjust the content for the right websites and influencers.
However, depending on how well-known your brand is, you may need to do extra work.
For example, this can include researching and reaching out to influencers on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, following and commenting on their posts, or reaching out to them directly through email.
You can also identify potential partners and influencers in your niche using the Semrush Brand Monitoring tool. For example, with this tool, you can find brands that already talk about you but don’t link.
Once you have your blog post finalized, you’ll need to:
This AI-powered tool can measure the impact of a certain page on lead conversion, analyse whether there are gaps in your funnel strategy and provide recommendations on how to improve your content.
With the Content Audit tool you can automate the auditing process — the tool helps you identify the content that needs to be updated, saving you the time and effort of analysing each piece of content individually.
Now that you have the blog writing tips and tools at your disposal, you can convert potential customers with your new articles.
Remember to focus on delivering real value for the reader. Do not only focus on the ranking for keywords. Ultimately, how users interact with your content and how useful it is to them will determine whether Google will rank your article high and for how long.
To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify.
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