You’ve spent an enormous amount of time doing research and writing your blog post. Now it’s time to publish it. But wait, it has to look attractive both for your readers and for search engines, such as Google. Here are a few “must-do” steps to optimize your blog post.
Define your “key phrase” and make sure it’s in the text
There are many reasons why you might be writing a blog post. One of them is almost certainly the wish to rank higher in Google Search for specific keywords, in order to attract the right audience to your website. Before you start writing, make sure you know what your key phrase is. Choose long-tail keywords rather than simple ones. Once you’ve chosen, be sure to not use it too much. Don’t stuff your text with your keyword. If possible, use it in the title of the blog post and then a few times in your text. The best way to do this is to just write the blog post as you would normally write but keep in mind the key phrase.
Make sure you don’t copy your text with formatting
If you wrote your text in a text editor and then copied it to your blog, the formatting could have been copied as well. By “formatting”, I don’t mean bold, italic, paragraphs or headlines. I mean the color, the size, and the font of your text. If you copy the text into a text editor and then check the code afterward, you might find a lot of useless code there. This just clutters your blog post and will need to be removed. Make sure that you remove formatting after you post the text into a text editor.
Use headlines in your text
Use headlines, just as I did in this blog post. Headlines help your readers follow the text more easily and also find and read the specific part they are interested in. They also indicate the important parts of your blog post to Google or other search engines. Just avoid using H1 in all your headlines, that’s a rookie mistake. Use H2 and H3 instead.
Optimize URL of your blog post
You can and you definitely should also optimize your post’s URL. Ideally, use shorter URLs containing keywords. Using short URLs has a couple of benefits. They’re readable and they look more trustworthy. Compare these two links: “https://midasto.com/seo-social-media-awareness/” and “https://midasto.com/p-343353.html”. Which one would you rather click on?
Pay attention to images
First of all, you need to choose the right image that would fit your content. You can either buy images from photo stock websites, use your own images or find a free image with a Public Domain Licence (otherwise known as CC0). Once you have your image, you have to optimize it. Here are a few quick tips:
- Change the size of the image to the size you wish to display on your website. For example, if you want to have a small image on your page, with a size of 300 x 300 px, you should always resize the picture before you even upload it. Some business owners just use a full-sized 3100 x 3100 px image with the size of 6 Mb and then just set it to be displayed as 300 x 300 px on the website. If you do this, it will extremely slow down your website because, no matter the display site, your users will still have to load the full 6 Mb. Try to keep your images as small as possible. Keep it in kb, not in Mb.
- Name your images correctly, Google reads their names. A name such as “IMG_3493.jpg” doesn’t say anything about the contents of the image. On the other hand, “apple-cake-cream.jpg” explains pretty much everything about what the image contains.
- Use alt texts, title if you attach a link, and it’s also a good practice to add captions to images.
SEO plugins are always a good idea
The most popular plugins are probably Yoast and All in one SEO. We use the latter one. Thanks to these plugins, you can influence how your article looks like in Google Search. You can change the meta title and the meta description. It’s good practice to also have your long-tail keyword in meta title and description.
Categories and tags for easier navigation
Is your blog post ready? Perfect. Just don’t forget to add it into the right category and add the appropriate tags. Your reader will find everything they need a lot faster if you use tags and categories.
Before you publish your blog post, go through this short checklist:
- HTML code is clean.
- URL is optimized.
- Pictures are named correctly with a full size of 200 kb or less.
- Your blog post is structured with headlines (H2, H3).
- You set a meta title and a meta description.
- You use your chosen long-tail keyword in the meta title, description and in the text.