12 Top Tips For Getting The Most From Your Blog
Putting the final full stop on a blog post is a great feeling, but it’s only half the job. There’s a whole lot of work to be done in order to get your blog post working for you!
Publishing fresh, engaging and original content is a tried and tested technique for SEO, but it’s not as simple as just writing something and placing it on your on your website. There are many different aspects to publishing a blog which, if done correctly, can substantially improve its chances of being found online, read, shared, commented on and even acted upon.
Tips For Getting The Most From Your Blog
Follow these 12 tips on SEO best practices for blogging and you’ll make your future posts more readable, more engaging and much more powerful:
Make it Readable
Your post needs to be easy to read and understand. Yes, great content is important but readability is all about the way that content is presented. You only have a few seconds to make an impact and capture someone’s attention so you need to make sure the content is written in plain language, using shorter sentences with good grammatical structure.
Write a Catchy Title
Blogs are aimed at real people but they also have to appeal to the search engines, so your title has to be relevant to both.
The reality is that most viewers don’t go past the headline, so it’s really worth putting in some effort to make it as captivating and compelling as possible. Your aim is to pique the viewers’ interest or at least alert them to the fact that the blog answers their questions, adds value or provides helpful information (that they just can’t do without!)
You should try and include your main keywords in the title and keep it short (max 55 characters). Titles that promise benefits, like a how-to guide, a list, top tips, everything you need to know etc are a proven tactic that will improve your blog’s chances of success.
Structure the Body Copy Optimally
Content is king, but only if it’s well-organised and easy to read.
Simple techniques like shorter paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists and different fonts for emphasis will help the reader scan content easily and pick up on important points.
Sub headings are important as they not only help the reader find key information, they also help the search engine bots crawl and rank your content. Using H2 and H3 header tags also create further opportunities for keywords to be used.
Include Target Keywords
Including well-researched keywords in your content is a must. This will help the search engines find your post and boost your chances of appearing where it counts in the search engine rankings. Make sure your keywords appear high up in the body copy (first few paragraphs) if you want to try and rank your blog in Google as well as in the title, meta description and your URL or permalink.
Insert a Call-to-Action
The closing paragraph should be a brief summary of the content, plus it should include a call-to-action such as a website address, email, phone contact details, invitation to book an appointment, get a quote etc or engage with your business via social media.
Use Creative Visuals
Images and infographics are a great way to engage with the reader, get more views and be recognised by the search engines.
Make sure the visuals are formatted and sized correctly and are mobile-friendly. It’s also important to use your keyword phrase in the title, ALT text and caption as well as to include a description of the image so that it can be found by visually impaired visitors.
Include Internal and External Links
Internal linking is an important component of SEO and you should always try and include a couple of links in your blog post that connect readers to the product or service pages on your website (i.e. the pages where you actually sell your products or services). If can also include some of the keywords you want to rank your product or service pages for, and add the hyperlink on the keyword, then even better. I would only link to 1 or 2 pages using internal links per blog, you don’t need to link to every page from every blog.
External links help you build relationships and strengthen your reputation as an industry expert, but ideally they should only ever be made to sites with good domain authority and need to be monitored regularly to make sure they’re working. They should also always open in a new window. This post will help you get started with link building.
Write an Engaging Meta Description
When you add your blog to your website, make sure it’s accompanied by an engaging meta description. This should include your main keyword phrase and readers should be drawn to click on it (if the blog post appears in Google) because it looks like the best, most relevant and most useful answer to their search query.
Choose the Right Categories
Blog categories help readers navigate your blog to find the information they’re looking for. The categories are used to organise individual blog posts and sub-topics under main topics so readers can easily discover content that interests them. Plus they’re good for site SEO.
Having an author bio at the end of a blog post adds authority to your post, strengthens your reputation, enhances your brand trust and can also impact on website traffic.
Author authority plays a role in how search engines are ranked, so it is worth making sure there is a short, well-written bio at the end of each blog.
Preview Your Post
You always taste your food before serving it, right? Previewing your post is an absolute must, but always give yourself a short break between typing that final full stop and hitting the preview button. Try and see the copy from the reader’s perspective and be objective. Ask tough questions. Is the best it can be? Would I want to read it? How can it be improved? Do all the internal links work as expected? Do the external links open in a new window?
Sharing your blog post on your social media helps to broaden its reach. The more eyes you get on your blog post, the increased chance you have that someone might link to it, plus sharing the post on social media will lead to more clicks. You’ve put a lot of effort into creating the content, so it makes sense to maximise the marketing opportunities.
When it comes to writing blogs, always remember that the reader comes before the search engines. Your primary goal should be to entertain, engage or assist the reader, and your SEO practices should be secondary. But they’re still necessary. You can learn more in my free SEO Starter Kit.
Do everything you can to enhance your blog from both the reader’s perspective and the search engine’s perspective and your blog will have the best chance of delivering the goods for everyone.
If you’d like to learn more about content creation and SEO best practices, why not have a look at The SEO School? This is a great course suitable for anyone who has a website and wants to improve their online visibility and their search engine rankings. The SEO School is modular, easy to follow, provides practical solutions which can be implemented as the course progresses and can be done at your own pace in your own time. You’ll get heaps of insider secrets too, so click here to book your spot at The SEO School.
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