Checklist: How to Optimize Your Blog’s Next Post for Maximum Impact In Search Engines and Social Media

One of the reasons that I wrote my corporate blogging book a decade ago was to help the audience leverage blogging for search engine marketing. Search is still unlike any other medium because the search user shows intent as they seek information or research their next purchase.

Optimizing a blog and the content within each post is not as simple as just throwing some keywords into the mix… You can utilize a few tips and tricks to optimize the post and fully leverage every blog post.

Planning Your Blog Post

Optimizing Your Blog Post

I’m going to assume that your content management system is fully optimized and that your blog is both fast and responsive to mobile devices. Here are ten elements that matter for search engine optimization (SEO) when your site is crawled and indexed by a search engine… as well as elements that will engage your reader:

  1. Page Title – By far, the title tag is an essential element of your page. Learn how to optimize your title tags, and you’ll significantly increase the ranking and click-through rate of your blog posts in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Keep it under 70 characters. Be sure to include a full meta description for the page – under 156 characters.
  2. Post Slug – the URL segment that represents your post is called a post slug and can be edited in most blogging platforms. Changing longer post slugs into short, keyword-centric slugs rather than having long, confusing post slugs will increase your click-through rate in the search engine result pages (SERPs) and make your content easier to share. Search engine users are getting far more verbose in their searches, so don’t be afraid to use how, what, who, where, when, and why in your slugs to enhance the slug.
  3. Post Title – While your page title can be optimized for search, your post title in an h1 or h2 tag can be a compelling title that draws attention and attracts more clicks. Using a heading tag lets the search engine know it’s a critical section of the content. Some blogging platforms make the page title and post title the same. If they do, you don’t have an option. If they don’t, though, you can take advantage of both!
  4. Sharing – enabling visitors to share your content will get you far more visitors than leaving it to chance. Each social site has its own social sharing buttons that don’t require multiple steps or logins… make it easy to share your content and visitors will share it. If you’re on WordPress, you can also use a tool like Jetpack to publish your articles on any number of social channels automatically.
  5. Visuals – a picture is worth a thousand words. Providing an image, an infographic, or a video in your post feeds the senses and makes your content much more powerful. As your content is shared, images will be shared with it across social sites… choose your images wisely and always insert alternative (alt tag) text with an optimized description. Utilizing a great post thumbnail and the appropriate social and feed plugins will increase the likelihood that people will click through when shared. 
  6. Content – Keep your content as brief as possible to convey your point. Utilize bulleted points, lists, subheadings, strong (bold), and italicized text to help people scan the content more accessible and help search engines understand the keywords and phrases you wish to be found for. Learn how to utilize keywords effectively.
  7. Author Profile – Having your author’s image, bio, and social media links provides a personal touch to your posts. People want to read posts from people… anonymity doesn’t serve the audience well on blogs. As well, author names build authority and social sharing of the information. If I read a great post, I often follow the individual on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn… where I read additional content they publish.
  8. Comments – Comments enhance the content on the page with additional relevant content. They also allow your audience to engage with your brand or company. We’ve abandoned most of the third-party plugins and opted in just for the WordPress default – which is integrated into their Mobile apps, making it easy to respond and approve. Comments attract unwanted spam, so a tool like Cleantalk is recommended. Note: On some service sites, I have disabled comments that didn’t add value.
  9. Call To Action – Now that you have the reader on your blog, what do you want them to do? Would you like them to subscribe? Or register for a download? Or attend a demonstration of your software Optimizing your blog post isn’t complete unless you have a path for the reader to engage deeper with your company. For WordPress, we incorporate Formidable Forms throughout to capture leads, integrate them into CRM systems, and push alerts and auto-responses.
  10. Categories and Tags – Sometimes search engine visitors click through but don’t find what they’re looking for. Having other posts listed that are relevant can provide deeper engagement with the visitor and avoid them bouncing. Have plenty of options for the visitor to stay and engage more! You can help by ensuring you have a discreet number of categories and trying to assign each post to a minimum of them. For tags, you’ll want to do the opposite – trying to add tags for keyword combinations that may drive people to the post. Tags don’t help with SEO as much as internal search and related posts.

Editing Your Blog Post

The majority of these critical elements are all set up and automated with the installation and configuration of your blogging platform. Once I spend time on the content, I do go through some quick steps to optimize my posts, though:

Promoting Your Blog Post

Need Assistance With Improving Your Content’s Return on Investment?

If you’re producing a ton of content but simply aren’t seeing the results feel free to contact my firm, and we can help you optimize your site for search, social media, and conversions to maximize the impact of your content. We’ve helped many clients to organize their content better, redesign their site templates, and help to enhance the content while measuring the impact of the content on their overall business strategy.

Contact DK New Media

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for some of the services I’m promoting in this article, and I’m including my affiliate links. I’m also a co-founder and partner in DK New Media.

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