Time and again I see bloggers forget to not take on page SEO into account before publishing to their blog. As people get started with blogging, they think it’s as simple as clicking, “Add New Post,” typing a few paragraphs, and clicking, “Publish.”
The problem is in the hope that page views, social shares and comments will ultimately bring large amounts of visitors to come flooding in. Then, after waiting and watching their web analytics (if you have that set up?), nothing happens. They then make a few more attempts using the same process to only to quit blogging because it’s dead as a ghost town on their blog. The blogger most likely does not realize that in order to get any kind of sizeable traffic, they must adhere to a few publishing steps that could lead to some traffic gains to their blog posts.
Here are some of the most popular SEO blog post steps that publishers tend to forget.
1. Fine-Tuning the Headline
Here’s is a basic formula for creating headlines for list posts:
For title tag SEO, your goal is to place the keyword as near to the front of the headline as possible:
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2. Keyword Research and Relevancy
Before I write out my content, I figure out if it’s something that people are asking about or if the subject is trending. And if it is, I want to know if the internet is already saturated with that type of content and are those keywords relevant to my article. Keywords are at the heart of any successful blog / SEO campaign. Once you have selected a great batch of keywords and key phrases, make sure to use them properly. Don’t stuff your content too full of keywords, because that will get you in trouble with the major search engines.
To figure this out, I do two things:
- Google’s Keyword Tool – I look up the words I believe people would search for to find the post I plan on writing.
- Google – I Google those keywords to see the actual competition.
By now, I can look at a series of search results and determine how well I’ll be able to rank for a keyword. I want this post to rank for “8 Blog Post Steps Missed” (click to see how it’s doing).
3. Catchy / Funny Images
We all know that images grab your attention, break up the content, and supplement your ideas. But they also add great SEO benefits, as long as you follow these steps:
- Save your images as [keyword-phrase.jpg] prior to uploading them to your site.
- Add alt text as [keyword phrase].
- Add anchor text if used as a link [keyword phrase].
These rules apply to your featured image and the images within your posts but do not overdo it with repetitive spammy keywords if you have many images.
Similar to images, subheadings break up the content and make blog posts easier to read while also providing big SEO benefits. When a search engine crawler hits a web page, it reads the headline/title tag first <H1>. Then it reads the H2, H3, and H4 tags.
When you add subheadings to your content, proper HTML is:
Subhead Level 1
Subhead Level 2
Subhead Level 3
In summary, the title tag is one of the best things you can do from an SEO perspective for your blog post. You do not need to bold and use italics on all your headings.
5. Interlinking Between Post Pages
Another important step that most people forget is interlinking between posts. Personally, I even forget sometimes to link between my blog posts. What it does is create “stickiness” to the site for users meaning that it will lead them to stay around and view additional posts/pages that may be relevant to the original post they arrived from. Remember to read through the post you are working on and try to find two-three opportunities to naturally link back to relevant posts on your blog to keep the reader around longer.
6. External Linking
Also, look for opportunities to link to other bloggers in your related niche area. Linking to other sites is also a good way to build relationships with other bloggers.
7. Meta Data
Google may not look at meta keywords anymore, but the meta description is definitely relevant as this is what shows in the search results. The meta description often shows up as the little description (hence meta description term) beneath the hyperlink in the search results. In writing your meta description, you need to keep three things in mind:
- Google cuts off the description after 155-160 characters so it’s good practice to use 155 characters or less so Google will display the entire description.
- Include your relevant keyword phrases because Google will bold them in search results.
- Create an actual sentence from the post because people will most likely look for that sentence once they arrive.
Another tip is to summarize the post with the relevant long tail keyword phrases (instead of “Hotels”, you would use “Hotels in Boston Massachusetts”) in the last sentence of the introduction and use that as the meta description.
8. Include a Call to Action
The final step is the call-to-action. A calls to action is crucial when it comes to trying to create viral content or generate sales for your product. Visitors want to be told what to do – they don’t want to be left in the dark. If your site leaves them scratching their heads, they won’t understand the point. As an example on spreading this blog post, here are a few calls to actions for reference:
- Comment – Encourage readers to comment by ending the post with a thought-provoking question or simply ask them to let you know what they think.
- Share – “If you liked this article, tweet it!”
- Implement – I believe the best result of any blog post is for a reader to take your advice and implement it.
Now the user will have a choice. They can comment, share, or implement. The user performing all three would be the triple crown.
Well, I hope you liked this post. And following my own advice, please let me know what you think and PLEASE SHARE. Looking for more tips on SEO or an SEO audit checklist to review on your new website? Read some of our other featured SEO articles.