17 OF THE BEST SEO TIPS TO ADD TO YOUR BLOG POST PROCESS NOW
Let’s say you’ve just written and published a blog post.
Would you rather it just got views on the day it was published? Or would you rather have consistent views that show no signs of stopping?
The difference? The first result doesn't even consider SEO. The second result was due to the implementation of some pretty solid SEO strategies.
We all crave instant results and things like the Instagram algorithm just make this even more frustrating for us. So when we think that about getting loads of pageviews in just one day, it sounds pretty perfect.
But what’s more important to focus on is long-term results. And that’s where SEO comes in.
You want constant traffic.
It’s like exercise - it’s tough to stick to a fitness plan when you’re not going to see results immediately. But daily exercising will soon turn into a long-term habit and the results will definitely pay off more in the long run.
The situation we just talked about where you get constant views with no sign of stopping? That’s thanks to SEO.
Long-term benefits win over instant gratification and today, I’m going to go through some SEO tips that will get you these results for each article you write.
I started out my digital marketing career working in SEO. And after a while of trial and error, I’ve found some key SEO factors to focus on that will help you get the best results possible.
Welcome to your ultimate SEO checklist that you can use for every single blog post you create.
SEO Tips Before You Hit Publish
It’s not just about promoting your content - putting the effort in before you write your content is key to its success.
Adding a preparation step to your blog post process will be super beneficial.
#1 | PICK A KEYWORD
If you want to learn about SEO, this is the basic principle you need to know. Picking a keyword is the foundation of SEO.
Here’s what you do:
- Use the Google Keyword Planner to search for a specific keyword
- Take a look at the competition
- Fill your content with that keyword
That’s the process you need to repeat with every single blog post.
But here’s the trick.
Let’s take the keyword for this blog post. You could use “seo” or “seo tips”.
What else do you think people will be searching for?
If you were searching for “hair ideas”, do you think that’s all you’d put into Google or Pinterest?
No. You’d probably search for something like “wedding hair ideas”, “hair ideas for curly hair” or “quick and easy hair ideas”.
They’re called long-tail keywords and these are the types of keywords you need to be including in your blog content.
A great way to search for long-tail keywords is to see what ideas Google comes up with. For instance:
A beauty blogger could take “hair ideas for wedding” and look at the different variations of that keyword phrase in Google’s Keyword Planner. Then, they could fill their content with it.
Think about the topic you’re writing about and what you would search for if you wanted to find out more information about it.
Using a long-tail keyword will get you much better results than just using a generic term.
#2 | YOU NEED A SITEMAP
Don’t get freaked out by the word “sitemap”.
This is basically a file where you list the pages of your website, so Google can read your site more effectively.
If you want to build a sitemap, just Google “how to create a sitemap on [insert what platform your website is on here]” and follow a tutorial.
#3 | MAKE SURE YOUR SITE IS MOBILE-RESPONSIVE
I’ll cut to the chase - your site NEEDS to be mobile-responsive in order for you to get good SEO results. It doesn’t matter how much SEO work you do within your content. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you won’t see any benefits.
#4 | CHECK YOUR AVERAGE LOADING TIME
How long do you wait for a page to load before you click off and look elsewhere?
And guess what? Google thinks the same. And they’ll wait five seconds before they start penalising you for it.
Slow page loading time can have a really bad effect on your SEO rankings. And the biggest contributing factor is usually images.
Ready for part two?
SEO Tips While You’re Writing
So your site is ready - but is your content?
The good news is, you know you need to get your keyword first. Once you’ve got that, it’s up to you what kind of article you create. I wrote a post here about some of the best types of blog posts you can write.
Now let’s look at how you can include SEO within your content.
#5 | YOUR HEADLINE NEEDS TO BE AMAZING
I love headlines.
Although it does take a hell of a lot of time to come up with one.
But when you put the effort into creating a kick-ass headline, you’ll see the clicks and high rankings come rolling in.
This is how I go about creating a headline:
- I pick the keyword I want to include
- I use CoSchedule’s headline analyser to try different versions until I come up with the perfect one
I’ve used this fact in plenty of blog posts, but I’m going to use it again.
80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will go on to read the rest of your content.
Your headline needs to arouse curiosity with your audience, but you need to keep your keyword at the root of it.
For this blog post, I chose the headline “17 Of The Best SEO Tips To Add To Your Blog Post Process Now.”
The phrase “SEO Tips” is clickable in an indirect way and by using words like “best” and "now”, it conveys immediacy and importance.
#6 | USE YOUR KEYWORD IN YOUR SUBHEADINGS
You know how subheadings work - they separate your content into easy-to-digest sections.
Basically, you need to use different variations of your keyword in all your subheadings, or words and phrases that relate to the topic of your main keyword.
#7 | WRITE A META DESCRIPTION
The little bit of text that appears under a headline in a Google search? That’s your meta description.
If someone searches for words that are included in your meta description, Google will highlight them. This makes your article stand out and shows readers that your content will talk about this specific topic.
Like your headline, you want to arouse interest, but keep your keyword the focus - and only use it once.
#8 | EDIT YOUR URL
Did you know you can edit the URL of your blog posts? Did you know it’ll help your SEO if you do?
Before I knew about this tip, my blog post URLs used to look like this: http://abranchofholly.com/blog/2016/2/24/how-to-promote-your-blog-content-my-magical-advice
Now, they look like this: http://abranchofholly.com/blog/double-pageviews-in-four-months
Why? Because search engines pay attention to your URLs. You only need to include the most important information in there. The dates and unnecessary words don’t matter.
Just remember to include your keyword!
#9 | WRITE A GREAT INTRO
SEO bots are like real people - they’ll read content the same way you do, starting with the introduction.
Your first 100 words or so are mega important. You need to craft them really carefully.
SEO bots want to see your keyword in the intro so they know you’re talking about this specific topic. Readers want to be drawn in by the introduction so they continue to read the whole post.
I include “SEO” and “SEO strategies” in the first 100 words of this blog post. Look back through your most recent content and see if your keyword is included in the intro. If not, add this to your blog post checklist.
#10 | NAME YOUR IMAGES CORRECTLY
Images can rank for SEO too, you know.
If you save your image as something related to your keyword AND include your keyword in the alt text of the image, you’re increasing your chances of being ranked more highly.
Describing your image is like describing your text. Keep it concise and informative.
#11 | INCLUDE LINKS IN YOUR POSTS
Linking is one of the best SEO strategies out there. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but it’s SO easy to do. And totally worth it.
So here’s what you do - add links to your keywords.
If your keywords are linked, search engines will put an emphasis on those words.
You can link internally, where you link to your own content. Or you can link externally, to content from other sites. I just did that above, in the headline section.
Focus on internal linking first. Why? Because you’re taking people on a journey around your website. You’re keeping them on your site and decreasing your bounce rate. Win win.
#12 | WRITE VALUABLE CONTENT
Come on. You saw this coming 😉
This is THE number one SEO tip I would give someone.
Don’t just hit publish. Read your content. Read it out loud.
Does it flow? Do you understand it? Is is entertaining? Does it serve the purpose you set out to achieve?
None of the tips in this article will work unless you create a valuable, personal, helpful piece of content.
Here’s a post I wrote about how and why to add value to your content.
SEO Tips After You Hit Publish
Congrats! Your amazing blog post is live. Time to sit back and relax, right?
Content is king but self-promotion is queen.
I used to think you could just hit publish and watch the traffic roll in. How wrong I was. Now, I also have a process for after each of my blog posts goes live.
Not all bloggers will go through this list I’m about to share with you.
That’s where you can stand out and increase your results.
It’s hard work. But when you’re consistent with this process, your articles will seriously start to work for you. And you’ll definitely see the benefits.
#13 | IDENTIFY HOW READERS READ YOUR CONTENT
We’re getting up close and personal now.
You want your article to be so valuable that people read the whole thing.
I’ll be honest - it won’t be like this for every article. You can’t control people’s reading habits. People can leave at any point without having a good reason.
But the better your writing is and the more valuable your content is, the more chance you have of getting readers to stick around. That’s why your introduction is so important - because that’s also the time when most people will drop off.
So, you can find out how much of your content your readers are consuming - and where they’re leaving.
I use a tool called Hotjar, which is essentially like a heat map to analyse your readers.
You can use this to analyse every piece of content. Get the results and then implemented the changes. Edit your published article. That’s also something Google prefers!
#14 | YOU NEED TRAFFIC
So yeah, traffic is a given.
Easier said than done, right?
When your article gets traffic, search engines will recognise that and continue to direct traffic towards that article.
One of the best things that can support you in that process is social media.
Here are some things you can do:
- Facebook posts
- Instagram posts
- Post a shorter version on LinkedIn and Medium
- Share it with your email list
The more you do all these things, the more social proof you’ll generate and the most relationships you’ll build.
This means people will start sharing your content more, on their own social channels or in their own email marketing. Which leads me onto...
#15 | GET YOUR CONTENT SHARED
You need people to link to your content in order to get really good rankings. Fact.
But you need to be careful, because Google gets pretty tough when it comes to backlinks.
An old method used to be like follow for follow - you’d link to a site and then ask that site for a backlink in return. This is much harder to do now.
A recent method I’ve seen people do is this - they create one big article and then create smaller, sub-articles. You can then pitch these articles to websites (you’d be surprised how many sites let you publish articles for free) and hey presto...the backlinks start coming.
This all comes back to the big V word. You’re providing these websites with value, and you’ve done all the work!
#16 | HAVE A CONSISTENT POSTING SCHEDULE
Consistency is like a buzzword in the blogging world.
But the main reason why you should be consistent with your posting schedule might be one you’ve not heard before.
Having a consistent posting schedule means your readers and SEO bots or crawlers are in a routine.
By publishing more content, the more your site will be indexed. The more that happens, the more your rankings will increase. Why? Because your website will be seen as “healthy”.
This simple formula is what makes a difference to getting high rankings for one article and getting high rankings for ALL your articles. Have a break from posting content and search engines will notice.
Now here comes the final tip…
#17 | TIDY UP YOUR SITE EVERY SO OFTEN
I know most bloggers don’t do this. Because I myself didn’t, until I started working in digital marketing.
This is about tracking the success of the strategies you put in place. SEO doesn’t make changes overnight. It’s a process that happens over time. And you need to make sure it’s working.
Can you remember the blog post you published four months ago?
Maybe not. But guess what? Search engines can.
You need to keep track of the performance of your content. Is it still generating traffic a month, two months, three months later? This is how you work towards your long-term goals.
Now all that’s left to do is implement these strategies into your blog post creation process. Keep your eyes peeled for a full checklist coming your way soon!
Which of these SEO tips is your favourite? Do you think you'll start adding them into your blog post creation process?