Interior designers rely heavily on their websites to display their portfolios — pictures are worth 1000 words, right? Well, yes and no. While it’s important for your prospects to be able to see your work, it’s also important that you offer them relevant content to consume as part of the getting to know, like and trust-you process. A blog is an important part of this, and if you’re not currently blogging, you need to make a plan and get started! Write a blog post today with this handy guide.
Many SEO experts will tout the importance of optimizing your blog posts and website for SEO. I believe this is important. However, it’s less impactful today than it has been in recent years. Please do not read this as a “you don’t need to worry about SEO” statement. It’s still important that everything on your website is optimized. It increases the likelihood that Google will rank your content.
The problem today is home and design professionals cannot compete against Pinterest and Houzz as well as a variety of national and even local home-related magazines. These giants are content … they dominate the results for any variety of non-branded search terms (meaning terms that do not contain a specific brand such as your company name).
For instance, if a prospect is searching for ideas on decorating their master bedroom in their Santa Barbara home, they might search “Santa Barbara master bedroom decorating ideas.” In more than the first three pages, they will find Pinterest and Houzz, of course. Then magazine articles, followed by large-scale home builders, Airbnb and hotels before there are any local designs that appear. It’s really, really tough to compete with these giants for your slice of the pie.
You’re probably thinking: Why should I write a blog post then? Good question. It all goes back to providing relevant content that helps prospects get to know you (this is much of your website content), like you (you answer their questions with your blog content and give them inspiration for their home) and trust you (through educational blog posts that position you as an expert in your field).
1. Research a compelling topic
You need to write about topics that your client personas are interested in, but you also need to be sure they align with the type of projects you would like to attract. For instance, if you really want to decorate whole homes as opposed to designing kitchens, focus much of your content on topics that “sell” that service. Here are some examples: 3 Keys to Creating a Cohesive Color Scheme for Your Home, Mixing and Matching Patterns Throughout Your Home and Create a Color Palette that Works for Open-Concept Living.
2. Do keyword research around the topic
Because we’re not completely writing off SEO, you do need to use SEO best practices when you write a blog post. Do your keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner or another free tool such as Keywords Everywhere. These tools will help you judge the search volume for your topic and tell you what other related phrases might work well for your content.
Once you’ve determined your main keyword or more likely a keyword phrase (long-tail keyword), be sure to include the exact phrase within your text but only it a natural way. Google does not like keyword-stuffing. And it’s gotten quite complex at understanding semantics. So, instead of repeating “Cohesive Color Scheme for Your Home” five times in your post, you might say something like “paint colors for your whole home.”
A very new way to optimize your relevant content is for voice search. With the advent of Siri and Alexa, the way people search for content is different. This is quickly evolving technology, it’s good to keep in mind natural-language queries when you create content. Here’s an example of what this means:
A person might head over to Google and type in: Santa Barbara master bedroom decorating ideas.
But if they are talking to Alexa, they might say: Where can I find the best master bedroom decorating ideas in Santa Barbara.
The difference is subtle, but it ultimately gives you a couple of different ways to structure the way you present your keywords. There’s a lot more that goes along with this such as schema markup, which is a technical way to guide Google in reading the content and images on your site and optimization for featured and map snippets. As a beginner, focus on what we’re teaching here.
3. Craft a catchy headline (use your keyword here)
Don’t let “catchy” trick you into thinking your headline needs to be mysterious or somehow bait the reader. It needs to say exactly what the blog post is about. You want to use your main keyword phrase and describe exactly what your blog post will deliver just like in the ideas mentioned earlier: 3 Keys to Creating a Cohesive Color Scheme for Your Home. Use this direct approach when you write a blog post to ensure when a reader comes across your content, it’s very easy for her/him to decide if the content in the post matches the information they are seeking.
The place to get creative with your phrasing is in the promotion for this content on social or even in email. In a social post, you might say: If you didn’t consider these 3 things, your home’s color palette could be all wrong. Or short and sweet for an email subject line, you might use: 3 Color Tips for a Beautiful Home.
The bottom line here is that you need to be creating content on a regular basis — once a month as a minimum! — for your audience. They need to hear from you, and if you want to position yourself as an expert, you’ve got to deliver. There’s so much more that goes into creating great posts — this is just a taste.