We’ve shared blogging tips before, and we know what you’re thinking:
“I’m supposed to be blogging, but it’s so time consuming. And besides, who reads them anyway?”
Blogging might seem like “one more thing” on your to-do list, but trust us: if you’re delivering killer content that is completely optimized, chances are, search engines (and your readers!) will reward you for your efforts.
Whether you’re using WordPress or a different blogging platform, the important thing to remember is that blogging these days is more than Paste and Publish; you also need to make sure your posts are fully optimized for search engines.
We know, we know: if you hear Search Engine Optimization one more time, your brain might just explode. Which is why we’re going to make blogging easier than ever for you with this quick checklist.
Step 1: Prepare your post.
You’ve already picked out your topic, and now it’s time to write. It might be tempting to type your post directly into WordPress, but we recommend writing it in a Word doc first (that’s what I’m doing now!) Really take this time to check for typos and grammatical errors. Consider sending it to a coworker or friend to give it a second set of eyes.
Step 2: Check your keywords.
Whether you’re using Google’s keyword tool or simply basing it off of your own research, make sure the keywords you’re using are the words or phrases most likely to be searched. On top of that, make sure these words and phrases fit gracefully into your blog; avoid keyword stuffing or writing unnatural sentences. Although you are certainly writing for search engines, remember that your number one goal is to present your audience with engaging, shareable, informative content.
Step 3: Write your title.
When it comes to the title of your blog, you have three goals:
If your title fails to achieve any of those three goals, users are less likely to click and visit your website. Aim to include your main keyword(s), keep it short, and, by all means, be creative!
Step 4: Don’t neglect the URL.
You might not even think to check the URL to make sure it’s optimized, but this is important. WordPress automatically generates the URL based on the title (you can find this below the title box). Before you publish, you need to make sure the URL is short, to the point and includes your target keywords.
Step 5: Optimize your copy.
You’ve already included keywords, but there are a few more ways that you can better optimize your blog copy. For instance, instead of posting one giant paragraph, break it down into smaller, easier to read paragraphs, organized by topics. Readers like white space because they like finding what they need quickly; they also like things like lists, links, block quotes and emphasized text (italicized or bolded).
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: However you are optimizing your post, be sure it sounds natural.
Step 6: Pick and upload a featured image.
You already know that blogs and posts with pictures get the most clicks. Make sure that your image is properly sized and optimized. Image optimization includes anything from its title and caption to its ALT text and description.
Step 7: Proof, proof, and proof again.
Before you organize, structure, and, finally, publish your blog, make sure that it’s been proofread multiple times. You’re sharing some awesome content, and you wouldn’t want your credibility reduced just because of a typo.
Of course, the world of content marketing is constantly changing, but you know us–we could talk about it all day long. So for now, try these 7 steps to writing an optimized blog post, and contact us directly to learn how we can improve your content marketing and blogging strategies.