So you want to write a blog. But what do you really want out of it? More customers, of course.
We’ll walk you through the best ways to optimize your blog posts to ensure that more people see it and are interested in your products or services.
Grab the Attention of the Reader through an Engaging Title
If you have a wonderfully written and edited 1,000-word essay but your post title sucks, no one will ever read it. We don’t want to be harsh, but that’s the truth. If your title isn’t grabbing the visitors attention, they are going to move on, possibly to another potential company. There are a few ways you can accomplish a captivating title:
- Pique their curiosity.
- What’s something you can share with them that they might not have thought of before?
- Visitors love articles on how to avoid mistakes.
Make Your Images and Videos Work in Your Favor.
Okay, we’re hoping that you already know that you need to add in at least a couple photos and/or videos to your blog post. And we really hope that they are original photos (especially if you are a visual business like a photographer or videographer). But if you’re struggling to find visuals, you can grab some great, free for commercial use images on Unsplash and Pexels. If you want to create your own graphics, try using Canva. It’s so easy to use, even us Baby Boomers can get the hang of it in a few seconds. For you other tech whizzes and designers out there, Photoshop is a great (and costly on a monthly-basis) tool to use to create your own graphics.
Now that you have visuals for your blog, you can “optimize” your blog post. What does that mean? It simply means to make the image size as small as possible and make it improve your online search-ability. Here’s how you do that:
If you use WordPress for your website, download the plugin WP Smush to automatically resize (smush) your images. The smaller the images, the happier Google is, and we live to make Google happy, right? If your images are slowing down your website, Google will penalize you. Or worse, the visitor may not want to wait for your post to load and leave your website altogether.
Unless it has a transparent background, save your images as .JPG instead of .PNG. WP Smush can convert all of your .PNG files (unless they have a transparent background) for you, so don’t worry about re-uploading everything if you download this plugin.
Make sure you save the filename as something descriptive. Uploading photos titled “43763802_10156831575275406_5225402944848920576_n.jpg” is not a great way to improve your SEO. Instead, make the title of the photo describe the photo, such as “Kaitlyn and Rebecca’s Bridal Photo Shoot in Durango, CO.”
Create “alt text” for your image. The alt text describes what is in the picture. It helps Google and visitors find your images when you have alt text that is closely related to their search terms.
Make Sure Your Blog Post is Well-Written and Easy to Read.
Picture yourself as a visitor searching for a product or service. AND YOU STUMBLE ACROSS THIS WEBSITE THAT HAS A BLOG IN ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATIONS!!!! Or typoes everywher. You wouldn’t take them very seriously, would you?
Each blog post should be an artistic expression of your business. A reflection of what visitors should expect if they were your client. So, to make the most of your blog post, it should be packed with useful, in-depth information that is organized like an essay, aside from a few minor adjustments:
- An introduction to your topic with an attention-grabbing sentence.
- Body paragraphs with nicely spaced information
- A conclusion and a call to action if suitable
Want to up your writing game? Download the free Google Chrome extension, Grammarly, and employ the “Readability” section in Yoast SEO, which will help you with sentence structure, transitions, and more.
Add in a Pinch of the Right Keywords
And just what are keywords, anyway? They’re basically phrases that describe your business that you can use to increase your online visibility, such as “hair stylist in Durango, CO” or “destination wedding specialist in Telluride, CO”. They describe who you are and are also the search queries people are typing into Google. Therefore, when a visitor types in “destination wedding specialist near Telluride,” you’re likely to show up near the top. Keywords are great to lace into your website and blog posts but don’t force them out of context. Believe it or not, if you abuse a keyword phrase over and over or use it out of context, you will upset the Google overlords and your SEO will decrease. So what’s the right amount? Our suggestion is to use keywords naturally as they fit into the context.
Need help determining what keywords you should use? There are tools for that!
Google Trends is a free tool that lets you search how interested people are in a keyword. One way you can look at how well a keyword is doing is to look the line graph that pops up after you search for a term. It shows how interested people were about a search term over time.
You can also view how well the search terms does by subregion and get more information on other terms people searched for.
Keyword Tool provides a list of keyword suggestions of popular search terms your target audience searched for. Although it does not provide additional information about how many people typically search for the term per month, it does list more keyword suggestions than other free keyword tools.
If you really want to know how many people are searching for a term, you can use WordStream. When you enter in a term, it only gives you 10 keywords, but it will tell you how many searches are expected from certain keywords, which is something not many other keyword research tools offer.
Use Yoast SEO to Round out Your Title and Meta Descriptions
We touched on Yoast SEO earlier for readability, but what it is really known for is helping you improve the title and meta description for any and all pages and posts.
Okay, so if you don’t manually write your own title and meta description, Google pulls the title from your “post title” and the description from the first two sentences or so of your blog post. To avoid this and to optimize your blog post, manually rewrite the title to be descriptive, while also containing your focus keyword, and make sure the meta is also descriptive and enticing, while also containing your focus keyword. Want to learn more about how to write descriptive title and metas? Yoast has an entire blog post dedicated to this and they probably explain it way better than we do.
Like your business website, your blog posts should be working just as hard as you. And if you make sure to take measures to optimize your blog posts, you can increase the right type of website traffic you need to generate leads for your business. But if you’re thinking that this is TMI, you don’t have the time to put toward blogging, or you just aren’t interested in writing, feel free to contact us for help and support. We’re here to support your local business and give you our best insight and ideas.