First, the bad news. A recent study by Boost the News shows the shelf life of a typical blog post is a week, a month at best. That’s right, all those posts you slave over for hours upon hours are as good as dead within a month.
Ok, ok, step back from the ledge. There IS good news: It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, Pole Position Marketing has a number of blog posts published several years ago that are still driving significant traffic to our website. One is even inching up on 9 years!
Not every article will stand the test of time, and many (particularly those making an announcement or providing industry news) don’t need to. But considering all the work you put into them, you do want most of your blog posts to have some staying power. You can give them that longevity with this three-step process:
1. Create evergreen content
Your blog post should contain a number of “evergreen” blog posts. These are blog posts that provide highly valuable information that won’t change in the near future. These can include how-tos, list posts and in-depth analysis.
Some of the best evergreen content comes from questions customers and prospects ask. Talk to your front-line customer service representatives and sales people. They should be able to tell you the common questions. These are the types of questions that are also searched on the internet. Moreover, the answers typically don’t change rapidly, so posts addressing those questions can remain valuable and popular in the search engines for years to come.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide industry news on your blog or address current events, but the majority of your blog content should be evergreen.
2. Practice good SEO
Good SEO starts with quality content, which you address in Step 1, but just writing great, valuable posts isn’t enough. You have to make them findable in search engines. You should conduct at least basic keyword research on each blog post. This is easily done by putting words and phrases you think apply into Google’s Keyword Planner, which will provide you with other ideas and show you the search volume and competition for each potential keyword phrase.
Once you have selected a keyword, you want to be sure your post is optimized for that keyword. That doesn’t mean using it as many times as humanly possible. It means including it in the title tag, meta description, your main image’s alt tag and anywhere in the post’s body where it feels natural to include it. Note the word natural. Don’t put it in there just to put it in there. Don’t force it. If you’ve done your research right, you won’t have to. The keyword should reflect the way your audience refers to the subject you are writing on, so it should be easy to incorporate it into the post.
3. Apply a good social media promotion strategy
The final step is to promote your content on social media. But before you write a single blog post, you need to think out your social media strategy. You need to figure out which networks your audience is on and build a presence there. You then need to engage with your audience and build relationships. That way, when you post a link to an evergreen post, you will have an audience ready and willing to read and share it.
Remember, social media moves super fast. You will want to promote your post more than once, especially on Twitter. We typically recommend that you promote a post on Twitter several times in the first couple weeks and then continue to repost it occasionally in the weeks and months that follow. If it’s still relevant, you can even promote it years after it was initially published, although you will want to carefully review older posts to make sure they don’t need an update. You should use a variety of messages when you repost. Instead of always posting the title, consider tweeting different variations and quotes from the article.
Other networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, don’t require such frequent posting since posts tend to last longer in their news feeds. Still, you may want to consider reposting evergreen content every few months.
Don’t let your blog posts disappear into the internet black hole. Use this process to create content that will continue to drive traffic for months, even years to come.