We’d like to talk about structuring the perfect blog, looking at the title, the introduction, the subheadings, the links, and the conclusion.
Why Write Blogs?
Writing blogs has become one of the most important parts of any well-managed digital marketing strategy, and it’s especially important in the tourism marketing industry. Writing regular high-quality blogs is a kind of content marketing that started out as a combination of SEO and online PR but has become a legitimate strategy in its own right.
In the travel industry, we find out the topics (with high search volume) people are interested in and we write helpful, information blogs about these topics. Of course, blogs can also be used to humanise larger brands and to convey your company’s personality to prospective customers. Not only can blogging drive relevant traffic to your site, it can also drive conversions, convincing people to book with your company. With so much to gain from blogging, many people in the tourism marketing world are trying to figure out how to structure the perfect blog and we’d like to help.
Remember That Not All Blogs are the Same
It’s useful to figure out general guidelines and standards for all blog posts, but it’s important to recognise that not all blog posts are attempting to do the same thing — and this is a good thing! One blog post may be a guide for people planning to visit Rome, another might be an informative piece about Roman cuisine, another might even go into the history the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Vatican. All of these blogs are interesting and valuable, but for different reasons, and their structures can and should represent these differences.
The main difference between various blogs will be their intended function. Are they simply providing information about the city, are they explaining your service, or are they offering practical information? Ask yourself what need your blog is meeting in your potential audience and you’ll have a good idea what kind of blog it is. Once you know this, you should allow this format to dictate the structure. For instance, a how-to guide should have very clear language and neatly set-out steps that are easy to follow. An informative piece can have a more relaxed structure and an aspirational piece can talk directly to the reader, even asking them questions.
The Perfect Title for a Blog Post
The title of a blog is the most important element. While it’s important to draw people in with a good title, there’s no point in overselling your content. If you imply your blog post does more or is more helpful/interesting than it really is, you may frustrate readers, and many will bounce back as soon as they realise they’ve been misled.
Instead, try to make your titles as obvious as possible, with a little less razzle-dazzle and a little more clarity. Most people are using Google to find specific information, so using specific language to communicate exactly what your blog is about will encourage more people to click through from their search engine results page.
The Intro or Hook to a Blog
Hopefully, the title has pulled a few people in, and the intro or hook should keep them there. In the hook, quickly and succinctly tell the reader what the blog is about, making it appealing without overselling it. Think of this as extension of the title, where clarity is still the highest priority.
A well-organised blog, with orderly subheadings, helps some of the more impatient readers scan through for the information they’re looking for. It also reassures readers that they’re in good hands, reading a blog post written by someone who has taken the time to organise their thoughts and arrange them in a way that makes sense. However, subheadings are also a great way of including relevant keywords and optimising your content for search.
It’s always better to include a keyword in your subheading — unless it’s wrenchingly awkward. For example, the subheading for this section could simply be ‘Subheadings’ and it would be fine. However, ‘Blog Subheadings’ is also fine and it taps into any search volume for people Googling about writing blog subheadings. The trick here is to find a balance and to always ask yourself if including the keyword too off-putting. However, most of the time you’ll probably find that it’s perfectly reasonable to include a keyword.
Linking in Blog Posts
Links are an important part of any blog. Chances are, you’re writing about something you’re trying to sell, or the blog’s topic is at least relevant to something you’re trying to sell, so it’s vital that you link carefully and tastefully to your service/product pages. Linking too much can put off readers as they’ve come to the page for information and it’s unpleasant if there are too many links within the body of content. Overlinking can also be penalised by Google, but only if it is incredibly unnatural — but hopefully your linking practice is nowhere near that level.
Internal links can improve your website’s ranking by spreading any authority through to the rest of your website. Internal links are also a great way to point readers to relevant pages on your website that they may be interested in — which is why the best practice is to always ensure your links are helpful to the reader.
External links are also beneficial. Not only will linking to other [helpful] websites massively improve the reader’s opinion of you, but it can encourage other websites to link to you — which improves your rankings and increases your website’s potential audience. There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that Google’s algorithm acknowledges and rewards a small amount of external links as this is viewed as natural and inherently useful for the reader.
We’ve covered a lot in this blog post, so it might help to provide a brief summary:
- Not all blog posts are the same, so it’s important to allow the type of blog you’re writing to dictate its own structure.
- The title should be as clear as possible, without misleading the reader at all.
- The hook is basically an extension of the title and should also be as clear as possible.
- You should use lots of subheadings to clearly signpost each section of the blog. And don’t be afraid to include keywords in each subheading.
- Your blog’s links should be helpful to the reader, pointing them to pages on your site they might genuinely like to visit. You should include at least one or two external links.
The conclusion of a blog post should be as clear and concise as the introduction, summing up everything you covered in the blog. However, if you don’t think your blog post needs a conclusion, then it’s fine to leave it out.