One of the reasons that I wrote my corporate blogging book was to help the audience leverage blogging for search engine marketing. Optimizing a blog and the content within each post is not as simple as just throwing some keywords into the mix… there are quite a few tips and tricks you can utilize to optimize the post and fully leverage every blog post.
Overall Optimization of Every Page
I’m going to assume that your blog’s design is complete and your blog is mobile optimized and focus on elements available and customized on each blog post page here.
- Page Title – By far, the most important element of your page is the title tag. Learn how to optimize your title tags and you’ll increase the ranking and click-through rate to your blog posts in the search engine result pages (SERPs) significantly. Keep it under 70 characters. Be sure to also include a robust meta description for the page – under 156 characters.
- Post Slug – the URL segment that represents your post is called a post slug and can be edited in most blogging platforms. Changing longer post slugs into short, keyword-centric slugs rather than having long, confusing post slugs will increase your click-through rate in the search engine result pages (SERPs) and make your content easier to share.
- Post Title – While your page title can be optimized for search, your post title in an h1 tag can be a compelling title that draws attention and attracts more clicks. Some blogging platforms make the page title and post title the same. If they do, you don’t have an option. If they don’t, though, you can take advantage of both!
- Sharing – enabling the ability for visitors to share your content will get you far more visitors than leaving it to chance. Each of the social sites has their own social sharing buttons that don’t require multiple steps or logins… make it easy to share your content and visitors will share it.
- Imagery – a picture is worth a thousand words. Providing an image or video in your post feeds the senses and makes your content much more powerful. As your content is shared, images will be shared with it across social sites… choose your images wisely and always insert the alternative text with an optimized description. Utilizing a great post thumbnail and the appropriate social and feed plugins will increase the likelihood that people will click through when shared.
- Content – Keep your content as brief as possible to get your point across. Utilize bulleted points, subheadings, bold and italicized text to help people scan the content easier and help search engines understand the key words and phrases you wish to be found for. Learn how to utilize keywords effectively.
- Author Profile – Having your author information provides a personal touch to your posts. People want to read posts from people… anonymity doesn’t serve the audience well on blogs. As well, author names build authority and social sharing of the information. If I read a great post, I often follow the individual on Twitter… and then I read additional content that they publish.
- Comments – Comments enhance the content on the page with additional relevant content. They also provide an opportunity for your audience to engage with your brand or company. We’ve abandoned most of the third-party plugins and opted in just for the WordPress default – which is integrated into their Mobile apps, making it easy to respond and approve.
- Call To Action – Now that you have the reader on your blog, what do you want them to do? Would you like them to subscribe? Register for a download? Attend a demonstration of your software? Optimization of your blog post isn’t complete unless you have a path for the reader to engage deeper with your company.
- Categories and Tags – Sometimes search engine visitors click through but don’t find what they’re looking for. Having other posts listed that are relevant can provide deeper engagement with the visitor and avoid them bouncing. Have plenty of options for the visitor to stay and engage more! You can help this by ensuring you have a discreet amount of categories, trying to assign each post to a minimum of them. For tags, you’ll want to do the opposite – trying to add tags for keyword combinations that may drive people to the post. Tags don’t help with SEO in as much as internal search and related posts.
Before I Publish Each Blog Post
The majority of these are all setup and automated with the installation and configuration of your blogging platform. Once I spend time on the content, I do go through some quick steps to optimize my posts, though:
- Title – I try to connect with the reader and create a sense of curiosity so they click through.
- Featured Image – I always try to find a unique and compelling image for the post.
- Post Slug – I try to keep under 5 words and highly relevant to the topic.
- Visuals – I often search YouTube for professional videos to share and use as many images as I can.
- Links – I always try to include links to relevant posts within my content so the reader can drill down for more information.
- Category – I try to only select 1 or 2. We do have some in-depth posts that cover more but I try to keep the target highly targeted.
- Tags – I make mentions of people, brands and product names that I’m writing about. Additionally, I’ll do research on keyword combinations people might use to search for the post.
- Social – I make sure I share the posts I write in every channel and every opportunity.