New PPC blog posts go live every day. Many blogs consistently produce great content, while others miss the boat (hopefully we provide the former 🙂 ). After reading, writing, and editing 100s of posts during my career, I’ve identified six tactics to help you become a better PPC blogger.
It’s important to note that the majority of these tactics can also be utilized for any blog topic. My examples will be PPC related, but these tactics are not unique to paid search. Also keep in mind that these principles can help in other areas of your day-to-day activities such as client communication and writing ad copy.
Write Posts About Everyday Activities
The most common complaint I hear from authors is that they have no good ideas for posts. I reject this notion because at any given time authors should have at least two to three ideas based upon their day-to-day tasks. Think about it. On any given day a PPC manager is:
- Creating new campaigns
- Optimizing existing campaigns
- Running reports
- Communicating with clients
- Improving internal efficiencies
The common misconception is that posts need to strictly be about the tactical side of PPC. They don’t. You may have had a client meeting that went off track, inspiring a post about how to run better PPC meetings. Or, you had a meeting with your agency rep, which led to a post about working directly with Google. These are every day occurrences that make great blog posts. Chances are, you aren’t the only one thinking about these topics.
You should always be cognizant of new blog ideas. At Hanapin we have an internal document where we record our blog ideas. In the absence of this document, email yourself whenever you have a new idea. There have been many instances where I’ve thought of an idea away from the office. Thankfully, we have smart phones equipped with notepads.
Defend Your Post
No matter what you write, there will always be someone who disagrees. An opinion piece or a post about an unpopular view will garner more debate, but before executing this idea, always make sure you feel confident about defending your argument.
Try to play Devil’s Advocate when writing your posts. For example, if you are going to write that sitelinks aren’t important, ask yourself these questions:
- What evidence do I have to support this claim?
- Are there other posts or information that I can reference to support my claim?
- Do I have a strong enough opinion about this claim?
Then, proactively address these questions in your post. Perhaps the first couple paragraphs speak to the commonly held notion that sitelinks are a key part of PPC strategy, and then the post advances to your disagreements while presenting evidence against the notion. Some readers will disagree with your viewpoint, but you’ve presented a logical, evidence-based argument.
Dovetailing off the need to defend your posts, you should also acknowledge account-specific intangibles. This notion is especially true for case study posts. If you are going to compare performance of the same keyword in two different match types, be prepared to speak about the study. For example, you’ll want to discuss factors such as time frame, how much optimization took place, and/or whether the same ad copy was used for both keywords.
By adding intangibles you also come off as more genuine, leaving less guesswork for your readers and detailing the parameters of the study at the outset. Thus, you’ll have fewer comments regarding how the study was run and more about the actual findings.
Aim To Aesthetically Please
Even if you write the best content, most readers will tune out your post if it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Compare this notion to a PPC landing page. If it’s full of content without visuals or breaks in text, visitors will leave without converting.
I find that lists are my greatest weapon when writing. Take this post for example— my headline references “6 Tactics.” I immediately have four built-in headlines I can use to break up the content. Furthermore, utilize bulleted lists where you can. In the first tactic I utilized this strategy regarding the daily duties of a PPC manager. I could have written these duties as a sentence, but the bulleted list makes the text stand out.
Share Your Post With A Colleague Before Pushing Live
I understand that this tactic isn’t always possible, but it does make a difference. By sharing with a colleague who knows PPC, you “dry run” your post. Encourage your colleague to provide feedback, both positive and negative. This feedback can be given through the “Track Changes” option in Word and/or by comments in the post.
Learn The Basics Of WordPress
Many sites use WordPress as their blogging platform. You don’t need to become a WordPress pro, but it will behoove you to learn the basics. By understanding basic functions and tags, you gain the ability to effectively format and promote your post. Some tags that I often utilize include:
- Header (h1 to h6)- This tag allows for headline emphasis. Each tactic headline in this post is an <h2> tag.
- Strong – This tag gives greater emphasis on specific words. Each of the bullet points in this section begin with a <strong> tag.
-  : – Technically not a tag, and actually a small piece of HTML, this entity is a non-breaking space and is used to break up text. This entity is being used before and after these bullet points.
One especially important area of WordPress is SEO. You can download any number of SEO plugins to ensure your posts get a proper page title and meta description. Thus, your organic listing will hopefully be more appealing to capture clicks.
Writing PPC blog posts should be a fun activity, but you should always strive to improve for the benefit of your audience.
What blog post tips do you have for authors? Leave your comments below!