Did you know 70% of consumers would prefer to learn about a company from a blog post rather than an ad? Blogging for home builders and developers contributes to an inbound approach to marketing and is ideal for SEO, search engine optimization. In this article, you’ll learn the steps needed to create the perfect blog article. Continue reading to learn how creating blog content impacts SEO and your business.
A major component of SEO is blogging. A blog is a page on your website where new, relevant and resourceful information can be found. The more you blog, the more chances you’ll have in gaining new traffic to your website. In fact, according to HubSpot, 77% of Internet users read blogs regularly. Plus, blogs that post daily get five times more traffic than those that don’t.
The way blogging supports SEO is by Google and other search engines. Google has bots that crawl all websites for new information and pushes the information out to people searching for it. Google ranks the content based on its algorithm and relevancy of the search query.
Before you start writing your content, you need to have a place for it. Many builder and developer websites already have a section on their website dedicated to blogs and/or news. (You’ll need to add one if you don’t have one already.) A blog page is a landing page that contains all of the blog posts on your website.
You can create a new website page for your blog within WordPress by following these simple instructions:
In WordPress, each blog is considered a Post and the landing blog page is considered a Page within the left hand column. The last step is to link the two: Your posts and pages. A developer can hard code this for you, if you need assistance. Here is an example of a well coded blog page:
When you have the blog page ready to go, then it’s time to develop your content. I suggest creating all of your blog articles in a Word document or Google document, so it gives you a place to edit for grammar and other errors before copying it over to WordPress. Another reason to create your blogs in a word doc first, is to make it easy for printing, proofing and approving the article.
Creating content for blogging can be difficult because you want to not only generate clicks to your website, but also to inform the reader about useful information without sounding too salesy. For each blog post, you need to focus on one keyword or phrase. For example, this blog specifically has the keyword phrase ‘Creating Blog Content’.
By keeping the content on the topic to that keyword, it gives you a better chance of ranking the article high on the search engines results page (SERP). For the home builder and developer industry, some useful keywords to include are the name of your business, “homes for sale” in your geographical area and things to do near you. We’ll discuss content tips later in this article.
Since you now know that every blog article has one keyword or phrase to focus on, then you need to begin writing. Blog writing is a more casual form of writing where you want to communicate with your audience in an informal tone. Sure, you want to sound professional for your business but consider the way people read and use blogs.
The average person spends 37 seconds reading a blog post. The reason for this is because many people skim blog posts rather than spend the time reading word for word. Even though the average reading time is only 37 seconds, the ideal reading time for a post is 7 minutes. This is because a 7-min read has more content, more resources, etc. than a shorter article.
Another reason to write long content is because longform blog posts generate nine times more leads than short ones do. In addition, long form content performs better because Google judges longer posts to be more valuable to their readers, therefore prioritizing it.
The actual word count for a blog that’s a 7 minute read is approximately 1,500 words. I’m not saying a blog post with less than 1,500 words has no shot at ranking, but don’t you want to give the article the best possible chance of ranking high on the SERP? However, I know it can be difficult and time consuming to write all of your blogs this long. They should be no less than 500 words on average.
Ok, so the best blog has roughly 1,500 words but what can I write about as a home builder or developer? There’s a wealth of topics to write about being in the home builder and development industry. However, not all topics will be popular with your target audience, so you need to be able to write something your market is audience in. So, how do you find the best topics? Keyword research.
Keyword research is the practice an SEO expert uses to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into Google while looking for a similar subject. An experienced SEOer or marketing agency can help you with finding relevant keywords that are important and are being searched by your target audience.
Finding what content your audience is interested in can vary depending on location, time, season, and by the individual. While liking or disliking a piece of content is subjective, I have created this list for you to give you some ideas on what to write about for your blog.
Here is a list of content writing tips I’ve found successful for industry blogs:
Keep in mind each one of these content ideas should include only one relevant keyword or phrase to focus on. For example, the phrase from the first bullet can be something as simple as “New Home Design Trends” and your headline can be something such as “New Home Design Trends: 5 Modern Styles to Explore”.
The headline of every blog article is what grabs the reader’s attention for clicking on the blog to begin with. Your headline should be a comprehensive yet catchy summary of the blog in less than a dozen words. Recent research has shown that the ideal headline for a blog article is between 11-14 words long.
Sometimes when I write blog content, I create the headline for the article after I am done writing it. Giving the article a title after the content is written makes it easy to develop creative titles, headlines, and subheads. Another tip I found is that titles with keywords, parenthesis/brackets, and numbers tend to rank better on the SERP and generate more clicks.
One of the must haves every blog article needs is a picture or video. This is because blog articles with images get 94% more views. Placing images strategically within a blog post helps break up the content for the reader and can be visually appealing to the blog itself. Another great reason to add media to your blogs is that the image appears on social media posts.
Adding both external and internal links to your blog post is helpful for SEO because it shows Google, and other search engines, that there is a relationship between websites. If there is a great article with a number of facts and has many links pointing back to it, then Google will recognize the quality of the source.
When adding external links to your blog articles, be sure to link the facts and numbers. This helps the reader determine where the source was found. For internal links, link any type of products or services that are included in the article that you offer. Another one would be to link your Contact Us page at the end of the article when you ask for any questions.
The morning is by far the most popular time to read blogs, from 7 AM to 10 AM on Mondays to be exact. Think about it: in the morning, your fresh, ready to learn and hitting the ground running with your day. The percentage decreases throughout the day as people get busy with other tasks. I recommend scheduling your blog posts to be published in the morning for peak reading hours.
By following these 11 steps, you’ll have a great start to not only producing quality content but also with your SEO efforts. The last thing I need to say is that it will take time for search engines to recognize your blogging efforts. It takes at least a year of consistent blog posting to see the results of your efforts. Your persistence will pay off in the long run.
Which of the above steps do you find most beneficial to your blog writing? Let me know in the comments.
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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