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how to optimize a blog post, seo, anna colibri, copywriting, copywriter, brand creative, digital marketing
Not Your Mother’s Juice

One of the pain points my blogger clients share with me is that they are not sure how to optimize a blog post. In fact, and don’t feel bad if this is you, many of them aren’t sure what optimizing a blog post is.

This post will explain what optimization is, why it’s important, and give you some tips to get it done right in 2015.

What is Optimization?

Optimization is the process of making something the best it can be. The word comes up a lot when people, such as marketers, are talking about websites and other aspects of digital marketing.

In the world of digital marketing, it’s important to optimize for both the people who may become clients and the machines, such as search engines, that help interested people find information online.

Things move fast in the world of digital marketing, so you may have heard stories about the heady days when buying links or merely liberally sprinkling blog posts with a keyword was enough to get your site, and your content, at the top of the search engine results pages and, along with that, make piles of money.

Those days, though they ended as recently as five years ago, are long gone.

Optimization today involves creating high quality content (i.e., entertaining or useful) that keeps people on your site and coming back. Too, as web design and technology have improved, user experience (making your site easy to use) is more important than ever.

Google is always trying to find ways to ensure that optimizing content is about making it good for consumers, and not people trying to make a few bucks on the web (although, as you’ll see, below, Google is a bit of a contradiction in this area).

You can optimize anything, of course, but this post is about how to optimize a blog post, which means the steps, tools, and tricks needed to make each of your posts the best it can be.

Why Optimize?

Some people argue that Google favors large brands. Some of the reasons for this is that large brands tend to have more content, more backlinks, and older sites. Despite constant scrutiny by industry professionals, it’s difficult to draw a conclusion because Google’s formula for deciding how to rank content (called an algorithm), is a closely guarded secret.

One thing, though, is clear: It is harder than ever to get noticed on the web, and it is harder than ever to make money on the internet by doing things like setting up quickie websites with lots of ads or keyword stuffing (putting large quantities of a keyword into a single post).

Now, your website needs to be a marketing tool that is valuable because it allows you to access to emails, enables you to sell directly, or establishes you as an authority (makes you seem like the expert you are) online.

This means making sure your website looks good, is easy to use, and provides fresh and relevant content your clients will love.

Start with an SEO audit so you can see whether your website has a lot of errors, unnatural back links, or other problems that might get you in trouble with Google and other search engines.

I offer SEO audits and of course I’d be glad to have a chat with you about your SEO needs.

Once your site is in shape, as I said, above, the most important thing you can do is create fresh content that is relevant to your users. That usually means blogging, but may also mean adding web pages on specific topics.

How to Optimize a Blog Post

Before you get started writing, it’s a good idea to create an editorial calendar with 6 months to a year of topics you believe your audience will love.

Research keywords and create a keyword plan so that you can have, in addition to words that represent your brand as a whole, a focus keyword in each of your posts.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Keywords. Choose your keywords (follow this link to find out how).
  2. Yoast. Install the Yoast SEO plugin. It will help you stay on track as you optimize your posts.
  3. Headlines. Make sure that, first and most important, your headline is the best it can be. Your headline has to be so interesting that it makes people click through and read your post.
  4. Images. Use an image in each post, and make sure it is free to use and share; optimized with your keywords; and interesting enough to make people click.
  5. Meta descriptions. Using the Yoast tutorial, above, make sure that you know how to create a compelling meta description for each post. While it’s true that machines don’t read meta descriptions, people do. And they can’t be longer than 155 characters or they get cut off.
  6. SEO titles. You’ll also need a good SEO title. SEO titles, displayed above the search bar, contain your keyword and are no longer than 60 characters and will get cut off if they are longer.
  7. Where to use keywords. Use the keyword towards the beginning of your post.
  8. How often to use keywords. Use keywords and some variations so your post doesn’t seem spammy.
  9. Linking to other sites. When you are linking to other sites, make sure to use the nofollow format (it looks like this: href=”https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”) so you don’t leak Google juice*.
  10. Being linked to. On the other hand, if you are guest blogging, be sure to request two “follow” links to your own website and content so you can get Google juice (as well as traffic).
  11. Mobile. Make sure your site is responsive, meaning that is looks great on cell phones and tablets.

Excellent. Now that you’ve optimized and published, it’s time to promote! A blogger’s work is never done.

Oh, and by the way, if you have questions about any of this please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, or good old fashioned email.

See you soon!

*Google juice is a slang term for PageRank.

{photo credit: Pixabay}

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