If you don’t have a strong working knowledge of blog optimization, you’ll have a hard time getting ranked in search engines.
By now, many businesses understand that SEO is a major audience development strategy used by digital publishers, organic digital marketers, and any website owner that recognizes the potential in search. As an SEO writer, I’ve seen up close the positive results of utilizing a comprehensive SEO strategy. This has included numerous page one rankings for keywords that I’ve researched for BuzzFarmers clients looking for a boost in traffic – and, more importantly, customer conversions.
Are you struggling with how to SEO a blog post? Don’t stress! Let’s take a look at some of the rules for optimizing your digital content. Think of it as an SEO primer, with this very post serving as a great example!
Content publishers are still wondering whether they should play the short game or go long.
It’s an interesting conundrum that we face in the digital world, because some of our audience members only want to consume content quickly. Other audiences want content that’s thorough, similar to what would be found in magazines or newsletters.
But what does all of this really mean for content publishers?
Catchy headlines are powerful, but there’s one type of headline that’s more powerful.
“This Designer Just Did Something Amazing To His Shelves… And Now You Can Too” – Dose.com
“I Hope You’re As Angry As I Am About What She Says At 0:31″ – Upworthy.com
“You’ll Never Believe What This Guy Did During an Airport Layover” – Entrepreneur.com
“You’ll Never Believe Who Made Our Best Dressed List This Week” – HuffingtonPost.com
“You’ll Never Guess Who the ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ Is” – TIME.com
If you’ve been reading the web, say, at any point this year, then perhaps you’ve stumbled upon this familiar headline formula. It goes by many names, but the most accurate is the curiosity-gap headline. The newly re-popularized curiosity gap headline makes a huge promise to the reader and provokes their curiosity to click.
This headline archetype has been used since the printing press rolled out its first inked-up parchment, but sites like Upworthy have brought it back in vogue (and out of vogue), while other sites have jumped on the bandwagon. Now they’re being called Upworthy headlines.
Every blog deserves an editorial calendar. This will ensure that you’re publishing content at a steady frequency. It will also help your editorial planning so your best content is ready to run.
Once you decide on a schedule, stick to it. Publishing content three to five days each week is always a good idea, because it keeps your website fresh for search engines, and it gives your audience a lot of content to consume. With an astounding amount of stuff available online, it’s important to push out high-quality content consistently. You could even publish multiple times each day if you have enough resources and an active readership.
A diamond is forever. It’s also a girl’s best friend. Women love pretty pearls and beautiful baubles. Gemstones glisten. If you like it, then you better put a ring on it. Every kiss begins with wherever he went to buy it.
We’ve all heard these clichés in the jewelry business for decades, but who can blame stores and manufacturers for leaning on them for so long? The business is all about glamorous products aimed at women. For chains with big TV ad budgets, it’s easy to sell beauty, especially when it comes wrapped up in emotion or romance. But for jewelry makers and retailers in a market more crowded than the setting in Kim Kardashian West’s wedding ring, the story is the most important part. It’s one of your few opportunities to separate yourself from the pack.
“If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.” – Tina Fey
From the moment we can string sentences together, we learn to keep in mind the people who will read them. Do you remember when your sixth-grade science teacher would tell you to write your paper on kingdoms, phyla, and classes for “someone who has never heard of the subject,” or when you lined up the thesis, body, and conclusion of your college essays with the precision of a watchmaker for that shadowy admissions panel who could set the course of your entire adult life?
The same, of course, goes for your blog today – except that targeting your audience is even more important. But breathe easy: As a business leader, you actually have a leg up on your younger self. After all, you can cut through all of the noise and get straight to the heart of communication by keeping in mind the following:
You know what you need to do every single time, with every single piece of content.
I love writing.
I love it for the the creative aspect, of course. The ability to use words for spreading energy and emotional impact is a powerful gift. Then, there’s sharing information. Learning is a lifelong process, and the knowledge we gain each and every day can change our lives. Is there a better feeling than to inspire someone with insight? And that’s why I love blogging: Because we can reach more people than ever before.
But preparing content for the web is a very different world than what many writers are accustomed to.
Great writing needs to be engaging, filled with story and description. Online, it also needs to be well-researched and properly formatted for reader-friendliness and search engine optimization.
When someone shares a big, out-of-nowhere story with you – say, one with surprising data or some counterintuitive trivia – what’s your first response, usually? Mine takes one of the following forms.
“Where did you see that?!” or “Where did you hear that?!” or “Who told you that?!”
Do any of those questions sound familiar? Most human beings are equipped with critical thinking skills and healthy skepticism to make it through most days, and the phenomenon of reading and hearing interesting or unknown things is no exception. As the messenger, if you you’re not finding credible sources – whether in casual conversation or while writing for publication – you might as well not even bother.
When I was working in politics, one of the more popular – and cynical – sayings that would float around campaign offices was this bit of W.C. Fields advice: “When you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull****.”
During home improvement projects in today’s world, when visits to websites far outpace visits to the hardware store, homeowners and renters are looking for inspiration and guidance online – while also keeping an eye out for products that can make their lives less complicated and their spaces more stylish and functional.
If you’re an interior design firm or a retailer, you have to get your own house in order before helping customers tackle their plans.
Just as we scramble to ready our guest room for that visit from the in-laws, you want to to make sure everything’s in place when weekend warriors storm your site with traffic generated from search queries about window treatments and area rugs, let alone when architects, contractors, property managers, business execs, and the super-rich staging their mansions in preparation to list them on the market come looking for partners.
Aren’t you tired of bosses, teachers, writers, coaches, and self-help types breaking out the “house” metaphor to get a point across about some project or lesson, telling us all about the “tools,” the “bones,” the “building,” the “planks,” the “levels,” the “rooms”?
You’d think these so-called thought leaders and expert communicators could come up with something new after all of this time. But once more couldn’t hurt too much, right?
So, I want you to imagine the post you’re working on … as a house.