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B2B technology blogs – what makes them successful?

This article discusses B2B technology blogs and what makes them successful. The irony of writing a post about blogging is not lost on me!

What is the aim of a business blog? The first aim is to attract people to engage with a business, for example to sign up to a webinar or news updates. The second is to help a company’s website to rank well in search results. It isn’t easy to achieve both goals together because there are a number of factors in play. Every post should be valuable to a human reader and tick the boxes for the technical requirements of search engines at the same time.

Topics for successful B2B technology blogs

What can you write about? Readers will only follow a blog if the posts are genuinely useful or insightful. Technology businesses typically post explainers on emerging technologies, new business concepts or “how-to” articles. Spotlights on individuals and personal opinions can work well too, and a “customer of the month” post, based on a case study, can work well in B2B technology markets.

Content managers often base posts on the exact questions that people are typing into search engines. This kind of post tries to match popular search strings and rank well for long-tailed searches. With luck the post might appear in Google’s featured “snippets” on Page 1 of the search results.

An alternative approach is to write about challenges and frustrations that people feel, and demonstrate empathy with readers as well as offering solutions.

Most blogs cover a mix of topics. Whatever the content, the copy needs to be valuable to the reader and follow the rules of writing for SEO.

Writing a blog headline and text

How do you write the post? The headline is key, as people tend to scan titles and decide whether to read further or not. This means that a good headline should signal value. It should also include one key word or key phrase. In practice, it’s usually easier to write the headline when the main text is mostly done or at least mapped out.

If a post focuses on a question people are asking online, it will probably not focus on your company’s products and services. However marketing departments usually add a line about their company’s offering at the end of the post, with a link to more details and a “call to action”.

We tend to forget that our most loyal readers are often the people we know in real life, our contacts and customers. I think it’s good to write posts with them in mind, then the content should work for new contacts as well.  Graphics help to make a post memorable for human readers so it is good to include them. If the alt text box is completed, this helps too, as it provides a small benefit for SEO.

Presentation of a corporate blog – three key things:

  • The posts should look good online and match the company’s brand.
  • Ensure that the English is correct because errors undermine credibility.
  • Don’t place the article behind a sign-in gateway, as fewer people will read it.

Writing for search engines and human readers

Writing for search engines is more technical. The writer needs to consider the sentence structure and length, and create content that search engines can process easily. The length of heading, the H2 and H3 tags, page titles and internal links all play a role in SEO.

Always avoid “keyword stuffing”. If the blog is ‘on topic’ it should fit with the keyword strategy quite easily. People tend to have lists of keywords they want to cover, or in market niches, keyword phrases. SEO tools such as Yoast will show you how well the post will work online, and if it can be improved.

It may seem obvious, but using the WordPress categories and metatags correctly can make a huge difference to human readers and search engines. The ‘categories’ indicate the primary topic of the post to search engines. The ‘tags’ collect related posts together and help human readers to find relevant content in older posts. If tags are working well, readers will stay longer on the site.

Finding more readers for a blog

A blog post should bring organic search traffic to the company’s website, but it will be more successful if it is promoted as well. Marketing departments usually promote new posts to their LinkedIn followers and email lists, and add hashtags to gain a wider reach. If the content is “evergreen”, i.e. if it’s on a topic that won’t go out of date, it can be re-used and posted or tweeted to social media on an ongoing basis, say every other month.

Don’t forget to highlight the blog in email signatures, and now that people are meeting face to face again, on the back of business cards.

A high quality blog can bring new business

B2B technology blogs – what makes them successful? A few years ago, the recommended length for a post was 400 words, then it grew to 600 words. Now some SEO experts are asking for 1000-1500 word posts, and a blog needs to be updated regularly with new posts.

With pressure to publish so much content there’s a danger that quality could slip, so companies need to think like publishers. What will keep readers coming back? Authoring a blog is exactly the same as writing for a professional business publication. The content and writing need to be consistently good. Then if a blog works well, it could bring as much new business as a telemarketing campaign.

I’m available to write text for corporate blog posts. Please contact Anna at info@technologypr.co.uk to find out more.

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