Optimizing your blog content is a challenge every blogger faces. While optimization is a word most frequently associated with search, when it comes to blog content, it extends to getting your content found on social media and other content platforms as well.
Here are eleven tactics to optimize your blog content.
- Focus on one or two keyword phrases. Don’t over stuff each post with every keyword and phrase for which you’re seeking to rank. To this end, have a list of all of the keywords you want to cover. Actionable Marketing Tip: Consider how your content is associated with your keywords. (Here’s 15 SEO tips for bloggers from experts.)
- Create killer headlines. Headlines do the heavy lifting when it comes to attracting readers. Actionable Marketing Tip: Assess what hot buttons work be for your readers. Start with a working title and edit it once your post is finished.
- Write relevant post URLs. Don’t settle for computer generated post URLs consisting of meaningless numbers. Instead include keywords in your blog post URLs. Actionable Marketing Tip: Ensure that your URL is consistent with your post’s title and content.
- Develop amazing content. Don’t rehash the latest press release or corporate communication. Provide useful information potential readers and customers want! Actionable Marketing Tip: Write what people want to read and share with their social circles. Do your blog posts make sense if they’re read out of context of your blog? If not, re-read them and try to better edit or re-write them.
- Decorate your post with photographic eye candy. Photographs are reader magnets. Including an interesting relevant photograph increases views. Go beyond just posting the photograph. Actionable Marketing Tip: Make sure they’re optimized with relevant filenames and alternate text, including your keyword(s). For example, don’t just name a file: Image_2374.jpeg, rather change the filename to keyword.jpeg.
- Guide readers with headings and bullet points. Facilitate reading-on-the-go with headings, bulleting and bolding (known as semantic structure in geek talk.) Actionable Marketing Tip: This enables search engines to determine what’s important and how your content is organized.
- Link to other relevant content both on your website or blog and on third party websites. Help both robots and humans read your content by giving it context. Link to additional information whether it’s related article or the ability to buy a specific product. Actionable Marketing Tip Make your links specific by associating them with the appropriate words or terms in your post text, not just the word “here”. Add titles to your links with your keywords. You should be able to see these words when you mouse over the link. Use a balance of links to your content and third party content.
- Use appropriate blog plugins. When many bloggers think optimization, they focus on Yoast’s SEO plugin or the All-in-One SEO plugin (both for WordPress-based blogs.) Actionable Marketing Tip: While the SEO plugins do a lot of the work optimizing your post titles and declaring your keywords, don’t underestimate the ability of other plug-ins to make your blog posts more findable and distribute them more effectively.
- Make blog content spreadable. Think beyond the blog. How do your readers want to receive you content? Actionable Marketing Tip: Beyond making your content findable, think in terms of how can you get prospective readers to consume your content regularly. It can be via RSS, email or social media sharing. Don’t underestimate then need to offer other options like house emailings.
- Provide relevant social sharing buttons. While chances are most of your readers are savvy enough to share your content on social media, make it easy for them to help distribute your content. It’s the don’t-leave-it-to-chance approach to marketing. Actionable Marketing Tip: Make it easy for readers to share your content more broadly. Include the buttons more appropriate for your content both at the top and bottom of each post as well as incorporate a contextually relevant call-to-action. (Here it means “please share this”.)
- Handcraft post blurbs. Write your own post blurbs or excerpts. Make sure that they summarize your article and include the keywords on which you’re focusing. Actionable Marketing Tip: The excerpt is often shown in RSS feeds on other websites. Assess whether the summary makes sense on its own. If not change it. Include your blog’s name in the blurb.
As with any other form of content, it’s critical to ensure that each blog post is optimized for findability on search and social media. This requires understanding that both humans and search engines are looking to find and use your content.
What other suggestions do you have for optimizing your content marketing?
Hat tip to Lee Odden, author of Optimize, and Mack Collier for inspiring this post.
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