When you first started blogging, were you surprised by the amount of time and energy that goes into writing a blog post?
Then, on top of the actual writing, there are lists of things that must be done to the post to effectively get it to your readers.
As a reader yourself, you go searching for an answer on the internet and when you find it, not a second thought goes into the intensive process that took place to get the information out to the world.
You read leisurely, and then move to the next post on your topic, enjoying the information as you learn.
Now that you are on the other side of the blog – the creating side – getting your blog posts ready to publish takes extra thought to ensure the time you spend researching and writing is backed up with a solid plan to share the information with readers.
DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST AS A PDF, PRINT AND TAKE NOTES AS YOU READ THE POST!
12 13 THINGS TO DO TO EVERY BLOG POST BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH
Let’s dive in to the details of each task! 🙂
1 | WRITE A DESCRIPTIVE POST TITLE/INCLUDE KEY WORDS
An effective post title will grab your reader’s attention and peak their curiousity so they want to start reading the article.
The two required characteristics of an effective post title are:
- Includes keywords and/or phrases
- Interests the reader enough to persuade them to keep reading
It does not matter how awesome your content is inside the blog post if you cannot persuade readers to click through. Therefore, the title is easily one of the most important components of your blog post.
The title should be descriptive so it gives the reader a solid indication of what they will be reading about in the post. Once their interest is peaked, the title should persuade them to keep reading.
Optimizing your blog post for search engines starts with the title. For this reason, key words or key phrase should be included.
One of my favorite tools for analyzing titles is Advanced Marketing Institute (AMI).
An example of a ‘not so great’ post title: ‘Checklist To Help You Transition Into Full-Time RVing’ (37.50% AMI Score)
A better version of the title for this topic: ’12 Recommendations For New RVers Who Want To Go Full-Time’ (40% AMI Score)
The best version of the title for this topic: ‘Things That Teach You How To RV’ (42.86% AMI Score)
The last example is the best for two reasons:
- It hones in on a specific group of people: Those interested in learning how to RV.
- It includes keywords that people are likely searching for on google and will lead them to your post – Teach and RV together (rather than RVer and RVing)
My goal is to get all titles over 40% on the American Institute scale. Using words that express emotion and empathize with your audience increases your score. Tweak your words until you are satisfied!
2 | CHANGE PERMALINK TO INCLUDE THE KEY WORD
We get so caught up in the details of the post (writing, researching, choosing the title ….) it is easy to forget the importance of permalinks for search engine ranking. Permalinks are as important as content for SEO.
Most people know the permalink as the ‘website address.’ It is the full URL (Uniform Resource Locator) you see on a website page, post or other website content.
It’s a permanent link, thus the name permalink.
A permalink could include your domain name (www.itstartedwithablog.com) plus what’s called a slug, which is the part or section of the URL that comes after the domain name (start-a-blog).
3 | DIVIDE TEXT INTO SHORT PARAGRAPHS WITH H2/H3 TITLES AS NEEDED
Dividing text into smaller sections with headings not only increases your SEO, it also simplifies readability of the post.
Have you ever landed on an article on a website that had the text all blocked together like it was a novel written in the 1960s?
That is so frustrating to me, no matter how good the content may be it gives me a headache to see those words all jumbled together so I click to the next site for something I can actually enjoy reading without getting a migraine headache!
The best practice is to not include more than 6 lines of text in a paragraph. This means sometimes your paragraphs might only be one or two sentences if they are long sentences.
Dividing the article into sections with headlines allows the reader to scroll through the article and determine if the information is useful to them. Headlines also organize the post.Headings are vital for good SEO. Click To Tweet
Google uses your headings to determine the content topic of your website. Heading 1 is the most important for SEO (don’t forget to include your keyword), with Heading 2 of next importance and so forth.
4 | DEEP LINK TO PAST POSTS
Deep Linking is simply adding a link in a blog post that sends the reader to other posts on your site.
As you increase the amount of content on your site, the more deeplinks you can provide in your posts to keep readers on your site longer. It also helps your readers by giving them more information on your blog niche (topic.)
Deeplinks (also called internal links) also increase SEO if added properly by helping Google understand your website structure and related content on the topic.
For this reason it is important your deeplinks are not linked through the words “go here” or “see this” etc., but rather words that are actual content.
DON’T DO THIS: You can read more about increasing traffic to your site here.
DO THIS: I have a great article on increasing traffic to your site in the Grow Your Blog section of my site.
5 | ADD A QUESTION AT THE END TO ENCOURAGE DISCUSSION
Comments can be one of the best parts of a post! Connecting with readers is rewarding, and it also allows you the opportunity to expand your topic further and establish credibility by answering their questions.
However, many readers will not openly comment without the ‘ask’ or ‘call to action.’
READ MORE: GROW YOUR BLOG
6 | ADD ON-BRAND SEO-READY IMAGES
Branding allows people to recognize your content.
The best practice is using the same colors (no more than four), font, and overall design on all images. Creating a template will save loads of time as well as keep your images consistent.
Google cannot read text on images; therefore, to make an image SEO-ready it should have a descriptive title.
7 | ADD ‘ALT TEXT’ TO IMAGES
‘Alt Text’ is important for several reasons. It has 3 major jobs for your website:
- To increase web accessibility so visually impaired users have a good understanding of what is located on the web page
- The ‘Alt Text’ is displayed if the image is not loading properly or if it has been removed by the author and not replaced
- The ‘Alt Text’ provides the image description to search engine crawlers so the image is properly indexed. This is where the SEO is impacted by your ‘Alt Text.’ Include your key word to keep content consistent for increased SEO.
‘Alt Text’ can be found and updated in your media library (WordPress).
Have you ever seen this on a website? If there is text beside the blank image the author provided ‘alt text’.
8 | ADD A FEATURED IMAGE + ADDITIONAL PINTEREST HIDDEN IMAGE (WORDPRESS)
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” holds true on your blog.
Your featured image has several jobs, including to make your website visually appealing, and to allow a way for others to share your content on social media such as Pinterest and other channels. Your featured image will also be the default image for your post if no other images are selected.
Your featured image should be treated like all other images on your site so SEO is increased (include descriptive title, keyword, and ‘alt text’.)
If I am looking for photo images, my goto site is Deposit Photos. This is a paid service; however, it is easier to find a unique image apart from the free image sites many bloggers use.
If you are looking for icons, Noun Project is an excellent site with over a million icons, and it is super inexpensive.
If you are looking for animated clipart, fun illustrations, or if you do lots of Powerpoint presentations and like to use templates, Presenter Media is an awesome site and super affordable.
If you like to use mockups on your featured images, Smart Mockups is a great choice with hundreds of options and payment options which make it super affordable and flexible.
If you are looking for other tools and resources to build your blog, I include my favorite ones in the post Blogging Tools & Resources.
If you are utilizing Pinterest as one of your social media channels, you will want to create several images for the post.
9 | ENSURE POST IS SEO-READY
You have put so much work into your blog post, you want to be sure you are doing everything possible to get Google to recognize the hard work and deliver the post to thousands of readers.
Before you publish your post, do a quick rundown to make sure you have completed the following:
- Identified your keyword
- Added your keyword to the blog post title, permalink, titles in the post (especially H1/H2/H3), and first/last paragraph
- Used a descriptive title for your images and added ‘Alt Text’ (preferably including your keyword
10 | WRITE AN ENTICING META DESCRIPTION + INCLUDE KEYWORD
Your Meta Description serves two purposes:
- It tells search engines what each page of content is about
- It tells people what your content is about by showing up in search results
The importance of the meta description is simple, which is convincing someone searching on Google to click the link and open your page. To simplify further, the purpose of meta descriptions is to generate click-throughs on the web from search engines.
The meta description summarizes the content of the page or post. It is a snippet of approximately 160 characters telling readers what they will read about in the article.
Writing a top-notch meta description is vital for on-page SEO because search engines show this information most often when the searched-for phrase is included in the description.
NOTE: There is no guarantee that Google will use your meta description, and a description can appear instead from content taken from the post.
Where do you enter your meta description for your blog post?
To optimize my wordpress website for SEO, I have used both the plugin All In One SEO Pack, as well as Yoast.
All In One SEO Pack post details are at the bottom of the blog post in the wordpress blog editor. This is where the information is added for your meta description.
The Yoast post details are at the top of the blog post in the WordPress blog editor to add your meta description.
When you do a web search on google, this is where the meta description appears:
11 | PROOFREAD FOR GRAMMAR, SPELLING, & PUNCTUATION
One of the things that will make me leave a site fast are errors in the writing.
If I am going to take someone’s expertise and recommendations seriously, I want to be sure they are a professional. The actual text/writing is the first impression someone has of your content.
If writing is not your strong point, getting additional eyes on your post for proofreading should become part of your blog post strategy. If you are comfortable with writing, and you can easily spot mechanical writing errors, proofreading and editing your own posts is an option.
Every post should be read a couple of times completely through after you believe all errors are corrected. It is also good to wait some time between proofreading (overnight is best) sessions to allow the mind to refresh from the content.
12 | ADD ADDITIONAL KEY ITEMS
- Click To Tweet
- 2+ Deep Links
- 1+ Influencer’s Links (Make note to contact/email them)
- Call To Action/Content Upgrade Offer
- Select Category
- Add Tags (if using)
CLICK TO TWEET
If you are using Twitter as one of your social media channels, you will want to include ‘Click To Tweets’ in your posts.
I use Better Click To Tweet for sharing Tweets to Twitter.
A ‘click to tweet’ looks like this:Don't Forget To Optimize Your Blog Post With These 12 Tips BEFORE You Hit Publish! Click To Tweet
Click on it and go ahead and share it! 🙂
13 | VIEW POST ON MOBILE DEVICE
Make sure you do a quick check on your smart phone, tablet, etc., to ensure the post is readable on mobile.
Make any necessary changes to the post.
Also, you may need to make changes in your theme to accomodate the readability on mobile permanently so you aren’t taking time to make changes to each post.
8 THINGS TO DO TO EVERY BLOG POST AFTER YOU HIT PUBLISH
I am excited to get started so let’s dive in!
Now that your blog post is complete, optimized for SEO, and published, you are ready to share it and monitor its performance.
Let’s dive in to the details for the 8 things to do AFTER your blog post is published.
1 | DEEP LINK TO PRIOR POSTS
We discussed the importance of deep linking in the post in #4 above (in the top 12 things to do BEFORE you hit publish.)
As you write new blog posts and grow content on your site, this is a simple visual reminder for you to continue to recheck blog posts and deep link every way possible. Keeping readers on your site longer will improve your SEO and increase your credibility in your niche.
2 | SHARE POST TO TAILWIND TRIBES AND PINTEREST GROUP BOARDS
If Pinterest is one of your social media channels, this is for you. If not, it can be disregarded.
I personally love pinterest and I have been a Tailwind user since it was a brand new platform. Tailwind is a scheduling app for pinterest and instagram that increases your presence on these two social media channels.
Share this Image On Your Site - Just Copy & Paste 🙂
3 | SHARE POST TO TWITTER & CREATE TWITTER REPOST SCHEDULE
Twitter is a fast-moving platform. For this reason, you will want to share your post more frequently or it will be missed by your followers. After your initial post, you will want to change your titles and schedule the reposts.
4 | SHARE POST TO FACEBOOK & CREATE FACEBOOK REPOST SCHEDULE
The recommended number of posts on Facebook each day is 1-2.
5 | SHARE POST ON OTHER SITES/SOCIAL MEDIA INCLUDED IN YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY
This could include Linked In, Youtube, Instagram, etc.
6 | ADD SOCIAL MEDIA REPOSTS TO CALENDAR
After your first post is shared, and your reposting strategy complete, add your reposts in to the platform you are using to repost.
If you do not have an app that you use, simply logging into each platform and manually posting is an option, although this will take up a lot of time.
7 | TRACK ANALYTICS
Google Analytics is a website tracking service that tracks and reports website traffic.
Adding Google Analytics to your website is a simple process. It is free and it will play a large part in measuring your website behavior so you can continue to create a strategy to move forward.
8 | RESPOND TO COMMENTS
Responding to comments on your blog is a must if you want to build credibility and trust with your readers.
There are multiple types of comments that will come through; however, when one is sincere and you can truly tell it is genuine and the reader is appreciative of your information, you should respond even if with only a short note and show appreciation for them reading and commenting.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
SEO is not a mystery, it just takes practice and consistency.
Once you get it down, your blog will start to generate organic traffic that have the snowball effect.
Download the checklist and mark off the boxes for each post and you are good to go!