You put a lot of work into writing your blog post. You want it to be helpful and you want it to be found. Cause to be helpful your blog post and blog need to be found, right? So, what can you do to make this happen? How can you rank your blog better?
Yes, I get it, you don’t have control over what people are looking for, how internet works and such things, but you do have control over things you can do to each blog post before you publish it to help it move up the pages of Google and Bing and be discovered by someone that needs just that info.
Here is the list of 18 things that I personally do to all of my blog posts before I publish them to make them attractive, easy to read, improve SEO, get them noticed and found.
Rank your blog better with these 18 simple steps
1. Webmaster Tools
Check your Google Webmaster tools (aka Google Search Console) under Search Analytics for terms that visitors are using to find your blog. You can sort the results by most searched, most clicked on and highest ranked terms.
These are the kind of things the readers need help with. Do it! Write blog posts that address these questions.
If you don’t have much data yet in Webmaster Tools, head over to Google Analytics and look at top posts for your blog which can be found under Reporting – Behavior – Site Content – All Pages. There is a reason these posts get the most attention. Figure out what it is and cover more of that topic:
Now that you know what keywords your readers are looking for, make sure your headline has the main keyword in it. Of course, keyword isn’t everything, you want to have the best optimized headline you can come up with.
If you’re not sure if your headline creating powers, use Headline Analyzer tool by CoSchedule to help you out.
3. URL (permalink)
Once you have your headline narrowed down, your WordPress will make it your default headline.
Don’t settle for that, often it will make your blog post URL too long.
Edit your URL and make it a short version of the headline that still conveys what your post is about and has the main keyword in it.
4. Title (meta description)
To continue with SEO magic, make sure your post has a good meta title.
Since it will show up under your blog post title when is searched for on search engines, make every word count, you only have 160 characters. Of course, make sure it has at least the main keyword in it
You don’t want your post to be a giant solid block of text – no one is excited to read that.
tags to highlight your sections and subsections, break up the text in short paragraphs, use bullets(*,o) and numbers(1,2,3) for your lists, italics and bolded text for better readability and scannability.
6. Get visual
To build up on point 5, make your post exciting by sprucing it up with visuals.
Use visual elements every 300 – 500 words to break up the text.
7. Meta keyword/focus keyword
This is the place that will hold the main keyword for the blog post. (see keywords you found in step 1)
When writing, you are writing for humans, but the machines are still watching.
In the best way you can, without sounding weird and mechanical, include the main keyword 2-3 times throughout the body of the post.
9. Alt tags
Since you’re going to be awesome and include images in your posts, don’t forget to add descriptions with that have applicable keywords in the “alt text”.
Search engines can’t see your images but they can read what the alt tag says. Additionally, when your image is pinned on Pinterest, it’s the alt text that appears as the description, so feel free to include a small paragraph in the alt tag when you attach an image to your post.
10. Featured image
If you don’t want your post to go out faceless into the world, set a Featured Image for each post you produce.
And since we are on a subject of Pinterest, do make your blog Pinterest friendly. Have those signature ‘P’s popping up over your images inviting sharing.
12. Link juice (part 1)
Give some love to your other posts so they keep on giving love and link to other blog posts on your site that are relevant to the post you are working on.
When choosing text for the link, try not use “Click Here” all the time, get creative.
13. Link juice (part 2)
Of course, spread some love to other awesome blogs.
Increase chances of the post of being found on Google and your own site by adding tags to each of your posts.
It makes it easier on readers when you are writing within certain categories.
Think of them as major themes you cover. Related posts can be discovered together and help your readers further.
Don’t hide in the shadows! Set yourself as the author of the post.
It will become even more helpful in the future when you might invite guest bloggers and let readers see who wrote which post.
You don’t want to leave your readers hanging in the end – tell them what you want them to do.
Set your call(s) to action (CTA) or sign up forms in the middle and end of the post.
This is the best time to let your readers know what else they can read from you, how they can keep in touch, offers you have, and so on.
And to go even one step further, add content upgrades where applicable (like I have in the end of this post).
Content upgrade is an extra related content that can further help your reader with the subject they are reading.
19. Schedule your post
Alright, alright, I said 18 steps, but where’s the fun in that?
Give your post continued life by scheduling it to share days and weeks out by using scheduling tool like CoSchedule which will send out your posts to the social media accounts of your choice long after the original post date.
Hope you found this post helpful. Below, you can grab the checklist of the steps listed in this article to help you rank your blog better.