Effective Blog Post Optimization Process

10/17/2016 0 comments
Effective Blog Post Optimization Process

Introduction

According to Search Engine Watch, SEO is a gradual process, but you can make a lot of progress over time. SEO that is well made can have a long-lasting, sustainable impact for your website. Here are a few tips on how to do a successful blog post optimization. For an effective optimization, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the goal of my post?

It is of crucial importance to determine your goal. It can be one of many things: encouraging engagement in the form of likes, shares or comments; attracting someone's attention; increasing traffic; etc. This is called the metrics of your post. According to Rand Fishkin, determining the metrics of your post will help you have the most important thing in mind throughout the whole writing process and direct all efforts towards achieving your goal.

  1. Who is my intended audience?

Knowing your audience will help you not get into too much explaining or get yourself dragged into unnecessary topics. There are many factors in determining your target audience, 2 of which are the following:

  • The kind of content they consume
  • Their interests, opinions, problems, hopes, wishes, etc.

Considering this will help you shape your content for your target audience.

 

You can read Rand Fishkin's recommendation for blog post optimization process here. He divided the process in 8 steps. Here they are:

Step 1: Determine the post's goals
  • Attract new audience
  • Earn influencers amplification
  • Contribute to an existing conversation
  • Convince/win over the audience to your perspective
  • Serve existing community
  • Answer a question
  • Promote a product/service
  • Share important news

... and then: Determine the metric(s) that matter most to that goal.

Step 2: Determine the audience you need to reach
  • New potential readers
  • Existing loyal fans
  • Influencers
  • Specific audience targets
Step 3: Do your keyword research
  • 3-5 keyword phrases to target
  • Relatively high volume, low difficulty, high CTR opportunity
  • All keywords should have the same searcher intent
Step 4: Conduct competitive research
  • Who else is ranking for this keyword?
  • Who has produced heavily shared content in this space?
  • What is it that's the unique value that I can bring to the table with my blog post?
Step 5: Create your post and include some:
  • Images
  • Embeds
  • Graphs
  • Links
  • Videos
  • Quotes
Step 6: On-page SEO/keyword targeting
  • Select the primary and 2-4 secondary keywords to attempt to rank for, based on your keywords research content focus
  • Use keywords intelligently in the title, URL, meta description, headline, content and images
  • Consider any old URLs you might redirect here and existing content you control that should link to this post
Step 7: Craft an outreach and amplification plan for your post:
  • Who?
  • How?
  • When?
  • Why?
Step 8: Experiment, Learn, and Iterate:

Expect to repeat the process dozens of times before your first success, and 100s before you have a high hit rate. You'll need to Launch, Apply, Promote, Analyze and do it all over again.

 

If you're interested in reading more detailed instructions about optimization, continue reading:

Textual factors

There are several steps you need to take in order to successfully optimize your blog post.

Keywords:

According to OpenVine, you should utilize keywords throughout your post in:

  • Title
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Introductory sentence
  • Concluding paragraph
  • Anchor text (text you hyperlink to other related pages on your site)
  • Title tags and meta description

Your title should be concise, descriptive and to the point. Create a title that is SEO-friendly. This will invite more audience. On average, only 20% of viewers read beyond a headline, meaning the success of your entire post is highly dependent on the success of your title. This paints a clear picture about the need to make your title clear and efficient. Keeping it under 55 characters will help you stay to the point. Keep in mind that readers like “how-tos,” lists and easily scannable benefit statements. One other tip: Highly clickable titles start with a number of tips, steps or instructions on how to achieve something. In addition, you can create a title with do's and don'ts of a topic.

All sources agree that keyword research should not be ignored. Writtent suggests to check out these Keyword Research Tools. It is agreed that you should conduct a competitive research about your keywords. Why? You want to provide original content. If you are only referencing others or retelling what is already known, your post is useless. You need to offer something new. You can offer a unique approach, one-of-a-kind technique, or never-heard-of information. So, if you possess a certain knowledge about a topic and you decided to share it, it is necessary not to reiterate all that was said before, but offer fresh insight and innovative approach.

Meta descriptions should also contain your keywords. In addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword you are trying to rank for, because if we're doing blogging right, that keyword is representative of the contents of your post. Including keywords in meta description highers the chance of increasing traffic. Do not fabricate it. Your readers will memorize it and you won't be satisfied with the results in the long run. The goal is to achieve loyalty among your target audience and encourage new readership.

For the most SEO-friendly URLs, you want to keep it between 50-80 characters, and it should include your target keyword phrase. This is what readers pay attention to, as well. When they search for certain keywords in a browser the words in the URL also help them in determining which result to click on.

Style, spelling and grammar:
  1. Avoid mistakes in spelling and grammar
  2. Avoid making broad generalizations
  3. Avoid redundancy
  4. Avoid wordiness

You can read all about in here.

The body format:

Fully SEO optimized blog post contains well-formatted, search-engine-friendly content. As readers like easy scannable content in titles, they like it in the body of the blog post, as well. A clear format is what audience will react to well and what will keep their eyes on the article. If you have an unappealing structure, the readership will have a hard time getting what they want from your article. Always have paragraphs for every new idea in the text. Group everything according to ideas and your readership won't have a problem

Summary:

Make sure to include keywords here, as well. It's good to state the most important conclusions in the summary. However, it can be more useful to make a call-to-action. Provide something that asks your readers a question, tells them where to go for more information and/or invites them to engage with you on social media or through integrated commenting. You can see an example in the Conclusion below.

Non-textual factors

Design:

According to Search Engine Land, while you should experiment with colors to find a good mix for your blog, keep in mind user experience and their expectations. Stick with something safe in accordance with expectations your target audience has. The blog design you use could actually be hurting your search engine rankings. While you may have a great design that looks wonderful to readers, new readers might not find you if your blog isn’t ranking well organically in the search engines.

Linkage:

It's sometimes very important to support your ideas with established opinions by influential experts. In scientific texts this is crucial. In blogs related to reviewing, it's important to include Products URLs. When sharing your own ideas or attitude, reference others with links, but link internally when possible. Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines. For even more web exposure, use free programs like Hootsuite that make it easy to post links to your latest blog post on all of your social media sites with just a couple of clicks. You can even schedule your posts ahead of time!

Social media:

Small businesses utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, or other social media sites to create connections with potential and current audience. Just like businesses use social media for boosting sales, bloggers can use social media to boost traffic. Social networks have proven effective numerous times when it comes to boosting traffic, increasing click-through rates, and making one's voice globally heard.

You have to pay attention to amplification. Ask yourself:

  • Who will amplify this content?
  • How to reach them?
  • When to do it? After or before posting?
  • Why? What's in it for you and what for them?
Images:

Whenever you upload a photo to your blog, be sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword rich description of the photo. If your readership doesn't know why you included a particular image, they will not pay close attention to it. It needs to attract attention and lock it.

Mobile-friendly:

Google revealed that more people use the search engine on their mobile phones than on desktop. While responsive design and mobile-friendly websites have always been important for user experience, they're becoming more and more important for SEO as well. So if you haven't been focusing on improving your mobile experience, you'd better prioritize it now, or your search rankings could suffer.

Success rate:

You can use Google’s keyword tool to check your success rate. This will tell you your keyword’s average monthly search volume, its competitiveness, and will even suggest related keywords and their relevance. It will help you avoid making any mistakes in the future. Seeing results will provide a clear insight into what you've accomplished and what needs to be worked on.

Conclusion

All these recommendations are based on personal experience of now-successful bloggers regarding blog post optimization. They probably had to face a lot of trial-and-error situations and surpass many obstacles related to successful SEO results. Some of these items might turn out to be applicable in your situation and some might not. We encourage you to take part in the discussion in the comments section below. Share your experience and tell us what works best for you. One last thing: Always write for people primarily, not search engines.


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