How-to articles are the backbone of many blogs. In fact, they’re the most common type of article posted, being posted by 77% of bloggers in 2019. They’re also great at converting and have an important place in any content-based sales funnel.
The problem with this is that how-to articles can be very overdone. To get the attention of your readers (and Google!), you can’t just rehash the same old advice over and over. So, when writing your how-to articles, there are a couple of important things to bear in mind.
- The article needs to be written with the pet owner’s intention in mind in order to be useful.
- The article needs to be clinically correct. In our litigious society, bad advice can hurt more than just the pets you are writing about.
- The article needs to involve genuine advice and tips not found elsewhere.
Let’s just look at those in more detail.
Your article shouldn’t just answer the question that’s being asked, but the intention behind the question. For example, let’s say an owner is looking up ‘how to decide which breed of dog to buy’. Yes, you could (and should!) give practical tips in your pet how-to article, but you should also think about why they’re asking this question. What else do they need to know? In this case, it’s not just how to decide which breed suits them, but also how to buy a puppy safely, information about rescues, and even information about getting the house ready for a puppy. You can’t answer all of that in one article, but you should for sure make sure you’re following the reader’s intention, not just their initial query.
This one sort of speaks for itself, but let’s just have a look at where pet how-to articles go wrong in this area.
It’s easy for a how-to to skip an important step. For instance, ‘how to tell your dog has worms’ might miss one of the signs of worms, leading pet owners to make the wrong decision about their pet. On the other hand, pet blogs often include too many spurious symptoms, diluting the key information and making it harder for pet owners to interpret. Lastly, inexperienced pet writers might accidentally miss a key point – in ‘how to tell if your vomiting dog needs a vet’, they may miss that a dog with unproductive vomiting is actually an emergency. It would be easy to assume that the dog isn’t actually vomiting so isn’t in danger. But a vet would tell you that these are some of the most serious cases. Missing this could endanger pets whose owners are going by your pet how-to article.
Tips not found elsewhere
Yep, stop being an echo chamber. It’s something I say a lot. If your article is just like 100 others out there, what is there to tell your reader (or Google) that you have the best one? Try to include steps or information that other articles may not include.
Our pet how-to articles
So, back to our past article. Aqueos is one of our long-time clients. We worked together with them to identify areas they want articles on by studying their products and the people who will be using them. In this case, the client has a product that stops bleeding nails, so we wanted to highlight when and how it should be used. We identified that both pet owners and groomers (the client’s main customers) may have concerns about cutting black dog nails and may need help from a vet in building their confidence to do so. The resulting article was an article about cutting nails with some key how-to tips direct from one of our vets.
We’ve written it with intention in mind, and with a vet writer you can always be sure the article is clinically correct. With this level of expertise, your article (and the tips it contains) are already well ahead of the competition.
If you’re thinking of adding some pet how-to articles to your marketing funnel, we’d love to chat. We can help with topics, drawn from SEO research and common queries in clinics. We can also help with content, using our excellent team of vet writers to design and create your pet how-to to be exactly what your readers need.
Just get in touch!