80716193At our office, we spend a decent amount of time reviewing our efforts to examine what works and what isn’t seeing the success we’d hoped for.

Last week, we looked into one client’s recent website leads and discovered something exciting. Content we had written more than 10 months ago was still ranking in the top 5 search results for certain targeted long-tailed keywords.

This particular blog post earned our client a highly qualified lead who reached out to request a price quote.

All of this excitement had us wondering, what is the lifespan of any one particular blog post?

This particular blog post has the potential to generate website traffic and leads for years to come. All of your blog posts will continue to provide relevant and helpful information to internet searchers.

Want your blog to continue to be effective well into the future? Here are our most important recommendations to make your blog posts relevant and position your company as a knowledgeable industry leader well into the future.

Tips for Creating a Blog Post With A Long Lifespan

1) Make a list of every question your buyers have asked about your product, service, or company.

What are their specific challenges? You might be able to find this information in your email inbox or in responses to contact forms.

Pulling all of these messages to one document will allow you to see what information people are searching for most often.  If you’re recalling conversations, try to remember the actual words your customers use.

2) Perform keyword research, focusing on specific keywords, 3-4 words in length, which have low competition

If you write about things your customers are already asking about and you word your blog posts in the way that your customers are searching online for, you’ve won half the battle.

It’s important during this process to continue to think about your target markets. What would “Engineer Ernie”, “CIO Chuck” or “District Director David” type into search engines when looking for answers?

3) Answer a specific question your customers asks in each blog post

You should aim to be genuinely helpful and forthcoming in your blog posts. Share your industry and product knowledge, and do it in a way that is unique to your company’s approach and brand. Providing real answers to customer questions will broaden your reach and help you gain credibility in the industry.

4) Optimize your blog post’s title and meta description for searchers

Your blog post title will appear as the blue link in search engines, so it’s important to keep it short and use your keyword phrase once. Search engines will show your meta description under the link on a search engine results page, so keep it under 155 characters.

Aim for a professional looking description that contains the keyword phrase your audience is searching for, and underscore why a searcher should click the link and read the blog post.

Promote Your Blog Post Periodically

We’ve written before that blog posts make great fuel for your social media efforts.

Did you know that you can promote a blog post multiple times on social media?  Because the life of a social media post is incredibly short (sometimes just hours), consider scheduling several social media messages containing a link to your blog post.

One thing that we do is to write 4-6 social media messages for each blog post, then schedule them every few days over a 30-day period.  After 30 days, we measure the clicks and interactions for each, and save the best-performing blog posts for later use.  We then schedule several social media posts well into the future for each blog post we write.

With different social messages posted at different days and alternating times of each day, we can reach different users.

By following the 4 tips above and by promoting your blog posts months after they are written, you’ll give your blog the longevity that you’ve hoped for.

This post originally appeared on Rick Whittington Consulting's Blog. Rick Whittington Consulting is a HubSpot Partner located in Richmond, VA.

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Originally published Sep 25, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016

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Keyword Research