How To Optimize Your Blog Content in 10 Simple steps

How To Optimize Your Blog Content in 10 Simple steps
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Blogging is inarguably one of the best types of content marketing. Unfortunately, some marketers underestimate the value of a blog post and conclude that their kind of business does not require one.

It has been proven that blog posts have the ability to tremendously increase lead generation. One company, MODassic Marketing, experienced 600 visitors a day from just one blog post.

blog-post-traffic
Source

Within that blog post, the company needed readers to download one item, which in turn generated 1300 new leads. You can only imagine how much this would mean if your business produced one such blog post per week. Sales would skyrocket.

See how this success has been proven to cut across the board:

To deeply understand the value of a blog post and provide marketers with actionable information in comparison to other modes of content marketing, IZEA commissioned a study, which was carried out by Halverson Group. Titled ‘Lifetime Value Of a Blog Post’, the research revealed that the life span of your blog post is almost 24 times the current accepted measurement of 30 days.

Clearly, traditional methods of measuring blog post value do not only underestimate its worth but are also imprecise. The study also showed that a blog post will obtain 99% of its impressions only after two years and only until then, can the true value be calculated.

Another different case study showed that blogging increased website traffic by 481% in just 5 weeks. The authors however cautioned that to see great results, blogging requires patience, commitment and great skill.

It is more than just knowing how to write and posting content on a daily basis.

Here is how Trensic Media increased its traffic by 481% in just 5 weeks.

Source: Trensic Media
Source: Trensic Media

This did not stop there:

Source: Trensic Media
Source: Trensic Media

Even after aggressive blogging ended, the business still experienced tremendous increase in blog traffic.

Now that you know the value of a blog post, is that all?

Well, attracting traffic to your blog post is an achievement. But the real deal is how well your blog content is optimized. After all, you need more than a few views a day. You should ask yourself how much traffic you desire, the target actions you want your traffic to take and how best to increase your traffic.

I’m going to share 10 proven and very simple ways of optimizing your blog content to get the most of the benefits blogging offers to your business.

1. Do Ample Keyword Research

The importance of keyword research for on-page optimization can never be overemphasized. There is a great chance that you put keywords without putting much thought into it. When you do this, chances are that you will miss out on the important keywords that actually matter.

Keyword to optimize blog

Why research?

I am glad you asked. You obviously know that for you to find anything on the internet, you must conduct a search using a search engine.

For this to happen, there are certain words that you type in, which in turn bring up the information you were seeking. This process results in multiples of pages, and like other internet users, you never scroll past the first results page.

This is exactly what happens when other users are trying to find information which you probably have in your site. But, how do they find you within the first search results? Ample keyword research will help you understand what your target audience types in search engines and in turn, optimize your blog content to suit your target market’s needs.

Where do you get great keywords?

Did you know that there are online tools for keyword research? Semrush.com and Google Adwords Keyword Tool are both great resources for finding keywords related to your topic.

Better yet, they spy on your competition to see their target phrases and words, which further help you attract more traffic.

male-business-spy-conducting-competitor-analysis-500x500_c

2. Turn Keyword Research Into Blog Topics

After doing ample keyword research, you could end up with an even better blog post topic. By analyzing what your target audience is seeking answers to, you would know exactly what topics would rank you among the first results on a search engine and better yet, get your audience to read your content.

Your keyword research could help you understand what challenges your prospective clients are facing, then create blog content well-suited for them. Currently, people are using more than just one-word keywords. They are getting more detailed.

Instead of simply searching for ‘gifts’ for example, they are now searching for long phrases such as ‘ perfect gift ideas for a 50 year old man’.

While this seems like a complex method, Google has actually come to the rescue of marketers. It has now changed its algorithm to fit conversational questions. This step has benefited blogs that are educational among others.

 

3. Incorporate External Links And Sources

You definitely want to attract traffic and keep it through great and authentic content. Backlinko has explicitly explained the importance of external links, linking to content outside your website.

According to the article, adding mentions and other sources within your blog content not only makes your website seem authentic, but also increase your chances of being mentioned in a different website.

image-20151112-9388-u1xs8v-400x291

By incorporating external links and sources, you increase your chances of appearing in the first results in a search engine.

Take for example, a marketing solutions website which mentions TruConversion as a credible all-in-one website analytics application. When a user searches for such an application, the website which mentioned our services would most likely come up.

Additionally, high value external links will result into higher conversion rates and more sales. Digital Philippines for example experienced $14,000 worth of sales due to incorporating high value external links.

Source: Digital Philippines
Source: Digital Philippines

4. Optimize URLs And Blog Post Headlines

You probably feel achieved that you have faithfully followed steps 1 to 3 above and come up with a great blog topic. However, you need to understand that a catchy headline is what will trigger people to click and share your content.

Newspapers-USED

How do you optimize your blog headline?

Running an a/b split test is one of the ways of finding out which of your blog headlines will perform best. Basically, you create different blog headlines whose results will be evaluated after the a/b split test is done.

But, how do you get headline ideas?

There are several ways of getting different blog post headline ideas to suit your blog content. These depend on the type of headline you would want. You could decide which headline format works best for your business, for example, the gossip, teacher, instigator, know-it-all and campaigner among others.

5. Optimize Your Images

The potential of photos driving insane traffic has been studied, and in-turn divulged very interesting information. On Facebook, posts with photos generate 53% more likes than an average post. Another study also showed that photos generate more engagement, reporting that they boost tweets by 35%.

facebook-engagement-metrics-hubspot-resized-600 (1)
Source: Hubspot

Here’s how optimized images increased traffic for Design School from January 2015 to March 2015, compared to posts without images in the previous 3 months:

Source: Cloudfront
Source: Cloudfront

Clearly, images could be the much needed panacea to your blog content. Why create content without visual appeal? This practice does not end with getting attractive and creative images. The images also need to be described and tagged where necessary.

Okay, so how do you describe images?

This is pretty simple. Keywords are utterly essential. Remember that your desired result is a fully optimized blog post. Therefore, you should put enough thought even in simple things like photo descriptions, which ideally should be keyword-rich.

6. Allow Readers To Subscribe To Your Blog

Congratulations if you have managed to get an avid reader to your blog. But how do you ensure that this particular person is locked in while you look for the next reader? You should not spend too much time trying to bait the rod when you already caught the fish.

How do you do this?

Source: Amazonaws
Source: Amazonaws

RSS or Feed Subscription buttons allow you to deliver content directly to your readers whenever you have published new content in your blog. Instead of searching for your website in the internet, your readers can simply find your blog content directly delivered to their emails.

This strategy, which is focused on retention helped Roel Manarang generate $8500 more sales for his business. Here is the case study Roel shared. Although his was based on email subscribers, the same can work on blog post subscribers.

Source: Digital Philippines
Source: Digital Philippines

7. Optimize For Social Media

Do you know that 64% of American adults own a Smartphone and use it to visit online platforms? Did you also know that 90% of United States internet users visit social networking sites?

This data only means that you should use social media to your advantage, because this could be where your prospects meet you first.

like-share-click

How do you do this?

Why should a busy corporate person click on your Facebook post over lunch hour and visit your blog? You need to create a catchy title and a short description that will make your reader yearn for more. Forget the easy way of simply clicking the share button and only posting a link.

After creating your blog content, write down a summary of your blog post, including the relevant keywords and use this as your pitch to send traffic to your blog.

While you are at it, remember to avoid common social media mistakes in order to make the most out of your post.

Who has succeeded at this?

Trensic Media climbed search rankings for 496 different keywords by simply writing great content and wittily sharing it on social media and other platforms as seen in the graph below.

Source: Trensic Media
Source: Trensic Media

8. Choose Your Blog Tags Wisely

While tags are great for your blog content, there is a thin line between meaningful use and harmful use. According to Joost de Valk of Yoast, overuse of tags is one of the most encountered website problems. He informs marketers that tags in themselves do not improve SEO. What matters is how they are used to relate one piece of content to another.

As a common practice, tags usually create separate aggregative pages. Due to this, some SEO experts argue that too many similar tags are therefore treated as duplicate content by search engines, which could get you penalized. Instead, you could consider categories usage.

So, what do you do?

You need to be smart enough and avoid creating tags for things you do not need a rank for. You should also avoid using synonyms of tags you already used.

Just like you are keen when selecting keywords to use, is the same way you should avoid haphazard tag usage.

First, you need to choose a set of 15-25 keywords for which your blog should rank. This list should be made available to anyone who blogs for your business, who should then be instructed not to add any other tags unless they are on topics you frequently, write about.

Need help grouping your tags?

There are numerous online tools, which will help you reorganize your tags. Hubspot for example has blogging software that helps marketers re-categorize or group their tags.

You could also consider using WordPress, which also has in-built collection of plug-ins to help bloggers effectively group their tags.

9. Learn And Use Social Search To Your Advantage

Reportedly, social search is the new SEO. Traditionally, search engines have been ranking content relevance based on freshness, comprehensiveness and ease of use. User interaction then refines the digital algorithm that search engines use to serve up content.

social-media-seo21

What difference does social search bring?

The new age ranking will be driven by personal interaction such as commenting, voting and ranking. All this is to better understand the intent of the reader and in turn, search engines will focus on a personalized angle of search results.

In social search, content with a social connection to your business is prioritized. This could mean someone you are linked to via a social network like Facebook.

Alternatively, this can work through social media influencers, who’ve shared content but are not directly linked to you.

10. Write Engaging Meta Descriptions

You probably don’t put much thought into meta descriptions because Google assured you twice, that meta descriptions do not help SEO. You should however note that despite this, you should not neglect them because optimized meta descriptions are important for SEO therefore important for your blog.

So, why bother?

Did you know that meta descriptions are the most important feature for improving click-through rates from search results page?

Did you also know that Google uses Search Engine Results Page (SERP) click-through rate as part of the algorithmic ranking process?

Now you see why meta descriptions matter. To see the best results, you should learn how to write meta descriptions that will get incredible click-throughs. Generally, they should be able to entice searchers to click on your link and read your content.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen, blogging requires prowess in not just grammatical perfection but the technique to attract and keep readers glued to your site in the already crowded online space.

You are advised to learn tips and tricks that will enable you produce quality content that not only reads well, but also ranks well.

What other easy ways do you think you could use to optimize your blog content better? Let’s hear your views in the comments section.

 

 

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Nora is the Head of Content Marketing at TruConversion.com She has been instrumental in devising strategies for Content Marketing, Social Media and lead generation at TruConversion.com Her experience and knowledge in Online Marketing is second to none.

2 Comment

  1. Great insights, Nora. I am one of those who “underestimate the value of a blog post and conclude that their kind of business does not require one.” Having read your article thoroughly, my mind is quickly changing.

    1. Hey Victoria !! Thanks for the compliment. I’m really glad that you liked the article!

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