8 Things You Must Do Before Publishing Your Blog Post
Everyone knows that posting fresh content on your website is important part of SEO, but it can’t be just any content.
If there’s one thing that my almost 20 years as an SEO specialist have taught me about content – it’s that quality beats quantity. Every. Single. Time. So do you want to know how to take your blog post from good to great?
Here are eight things you must do before going live with your blog. Tick these off every time you publish a blog and I promise they’ll make a difference.
1. Put your headline to work
First appearances count. Your headline must make a compelling entrance. It should make people sit up and take notice – and spur them into taking action.
Two things are crucial. Your headline should be persuasive and it should include keywords.
A persuasive, descriptive title will draw the reader in and encourage them to explore the content further. Clicks and dwell time are crucial for SEO, so you need your headline to attract the reader’s attention. Even if your blog is the best there is, it will be overlooked if it doesn’t have a strong headline.
Keywords are another must in order to optimise the content for the search engines. Here are some examples of how to write titles for SEO:
OK : ‘Things to know about blogging’
Better : ‘Every new blogger needs these tips on blogging’
Best : ‘Expert tips for new bloggers on how to write the best content’
The second two headlines contain keywords like ‘tips on blogging’, ‘tips for new bloggers’ and ‘how to write the best content’ – all of which are search terms that people could use to find your post.
2. Use headings to divide text
Make your content reader-friendly. Break up the text with headings to make the post easy to read (I suggest one every 5 – 6 lines) and help the reader find relevant information faster.
3. Include SEO-friendly images
Add relevant and high quality images to your post and make sure the image name is optimised with keywords in the image name.
Not OK : IMG_5783.jpg
Best : ‘skydiving-over-beach.jpg’
4. Add ‘Alt text’ to your images
Alt text is a short, written description of an image which is visible when the image can’t be viewed. It’s really important for the accessibility of your website and for your SEO. I suggest you write a persuasive Alt text description which includes keywords and a call-to action. This is particularly powerful when an image from your blog is pinned to Pinterest.
5. If you use WordPress, add a featured image
A featured image is the primary image for your WordPress blog post, and it often appears on the top of each individual blog, next to the post on your blog post list page and on social media. Adding and optimising featured images is a must before you hit the ‘publish’ button.
6. Encourage further discussion with a question or invitation
Ending your blog post with a question invites readers to submit their answers, comment or give feedback – and this user interaction is great for SEO and for users. Users get additional perspectives on the topic plus your rankings benefit because their dwell time is extended.
7. Include links to your previous blog posts
Deep links in your copy (ie links to past posts) are really useful. They give the reader additional relevant info on a particular topic, which means they may stay longer on your site (yay!).
8. Proofread your post. Then proofread it again!
Don’t hit the ‘publish’ button until you’ve proofread your post several times. Check that your spelling and grammar are spot-on, make sure any links actually work, that images are properly optimised etc. I’ve found that reading my posts out loud is a really helpful way of checking that the copy makes sense.
A final word before you publish your blog post
It’s competitive out there in the wide world of the web with millions of sites trying attract attention and get themselves seen by their target audience. Blogs are a great opportunity to help your website get found online, but you do need to make sure that they’re top quality, useful, relevant, engaging and of course, optimised for SEO. Read my previous post ’12 Top Tips for Getting the Most from your Blog’ for more info.
Want to discover more about writing successful blogs? My new online self-managed course, The SEO School, could be right for you. Check out The SEO School SEO Course and discover how easy it is to do your own SEO and get your website where it counts – at the top of the search engine rankings. Hope to chat to you soon!
Karen Dauncey has been working in SEO since 2003. She specialises in helping businesses get found online through Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) She is the founder and creator of The SEO School an online SEO Course to help teach business owners how to do their own SEO. She regularly delivers educational programs for both Local, State and Federal Government and is an advisor for the ASBAS Digital Solutions Program.
Karen’s wealth of SEO knowledge and practical digital marketing experience comes running her own SEO and Google Ads agency, Blue Cherry Online Marketing since 2008. Karen has optimised over 1000 websites, managed millions of dollars’ worth of spend on Google Ads and has a solid understanding of the constantly shifting industry of digital marketing and SEO. This gives her a unique advantage when it comes to being able to recommend the right online marketing strategies for your business. Karen is also the proud owner of the Digital Mums Directory, an online directory to help small businesses find digital marketing freelancers and virtual assistants in Australia.
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