As you’ve heard me say before, blogging is not dead. Blogging really helps with SEO because it creates fresh content for Google to index for those keywords that you want to be known for. Many clients I work with tell me they don’t feel like blogging so they’re just not going to do it. Many haven’t even enabled the blog component on my website. And that’s one of the biggest mistakes I see because your service page is static, meaning it doesn’t change. There’s no reason for Google to keep coming back to your site. So blog content and testimonials create fresh content, especially for service providers.
It’s no secret that blogs can be very profitable in the world of content marketing these days. It said that there are over 31 million active blogs posting once per month in the U.S. alone. And once per month is really not even a lot. I tell my clients they should blog at least once per week, if they can, but I know how cumbersome it is to write a blog post. So to stay competitive amongst all these blogs, you have to follow some of the blogging trends that are happening right now.
1. Create highly visual content
The first trend you want to follow is to create highly visual content for your blog. We all know that our attention spans are somewhat lacking, so visual content is on the rise, just like you can see on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. 65% of visual content that people see, they remember. They might not remember the text that you wrote, but they’ll remember the visuals. So as blogs become longer and more detailed, it’s important to break up the text with visuals or images. Even HubSpot said that 16% of online readers only take in content word by word, and most people are scanning for content. Again most people don’t have much time. They also are just trying to quickly look for what they are looking for in searches. So adding images or even videos, which is really important for your content, breaks up that heavy chunk of text and gives a better user experience.
In an ideal world, Google would like to see 1800 words in a blog post. The more content, the better. So the average blog posts length is about 1200 words and that’s 53% more than the average blog posts six years ago. Again, Google needs more information to go off of. This is where visuals do help. From an SEO perspective, you can add keywords into your image file name, your alt texts, video content, etc. because Google owns YouTube. If you embed a YouTube video into your content, you are going to be found in a search. Video is a prominent way people are absorbing information today. On average people watch 2.5 hours of video content per day. So if you can incorporate video into your blog strategy, it’s a win-win for SEO success.
Mobile first is here to stay, especially if you are using WordPress. Mobile search represents at least 60% of searches. Google is even indexing your site via mobile first. So if you don’t have mobile optimization set up for your website, people are not even going to reach your content. People want a great mobile experience. The first thing you have to do is take a look at your website on your phone and see if it’s mobile-friendly. For those of you who have WordPress sites and haven’t updated for a while, chances are, your site might not be mobile-friendly.
You also want to check out the site speed via mobile, because people are looking at your site via mobile first, and if it’s not loading under three seconds or less they will leave your site. You can check the speed through Google tools or Pingdom.
Another point to consider is breaking up your paragraphs and using shorter sentences since that’s how people are going to be reading via mobile. By breaking up the paragraphs, you’re ensuring it’s easy to scan. Also, don’t use text wrapping for images.
For Shopify or Squarespace, their themes are already mobile optimized, so you’re not going to have any issues. It’s more of a consideration for WordPress. If you have a WordPress site that you haven’t updated since 2000, make sure to update it to make it mobile-friendly.
3. Add estimated reading time
Another blogging trend is adding estimated reading time. Like I mentioned, most people do not have a lot of time to read through mountains and mountains of texts, so they’ll try to scan it. Addin estimated reading time is really important to put in your post. It can improve reader engagement by setting up their expectations from the start when they land on that blog post. If you know a blog post takes 10 minutes to read, but you only have five minutes to read it, you might save that post for another day. But if you know that that post takes two minutes to read, chances are you’re going to go through it. Readers are much more engaged with blogs that have an estimated reading time because it’s completely transparent.
Here’s how to estimate the reading time. The average reading of most adults is 200 to 250 words per minute. So to estimate your blog’s reading time, divide the number of words in your article or blog posts by 200 or 250. Or you can use an online reading time calculator like read-o-meter. All you have to do is just paste in your blog post, and it will tell you how long the estimated reading time is. Then just put that number right at the top of your blog post. You may have seen it in some website themes or plugins already. It’s just a great tool to keep people on your site because they know how long that post is going to take them.
4. TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
Another blogging trend that you shouldn’t miss is called “Too long; Didn’t Read.” It’s commonly referred to as the TL;DR. These summaries at the top of your blog act as an abstract of your blog article or post giving readers the most important information without making them skim, scan, or read through the entire piece. For example, if your post is about your consulting services and they’re looking for your type of consulting services, they don’t want to read an entire post just to get to the recommendations at the bottom. If it’s too hard to find what they’re looking for, they will probably leave that post. So if you include it at the top of the post, search engines like Google can use that in the summary of search results as well. There’s no guarantee, of course, but they’re going to be using part of that summary and pick out keywords. Answering user questions right off the bat can improve your ranking and get you more clicks.
So your TL;DR should be the first thing users see on your blog post. You’ve probably seen this before as a bulleted list or a paragraph summary at the top of your blog posts, just like a table of contents, per se. You can always have a catchy headline in your TL;DR to engage your reader and draw attention to your piece. You want to find what works for you. Again, it’s just like a table of contents of what to expect in the post.
So I hope these blogging trends helped you. It’s really just about creating more visual content on your blog, keeping word count to about 1800 words, breaking up text with images or video because that’s how people absorb the content, making sure your blog is mobile-friendly, adding estimated reading time, and including the TL;DR.
So these are great blogging trends that you can try out for this year. If you like these tips, head on over to my free Facebook group, SEO Your Site Now, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow their business online!