Do you constantly find it difficult to devise ideas for your latest blog post? Or maybe just find it hard to muster up the effort to sit and put something together? Whatever the case, with the direction that the digital landscape is progressing, it’s now more important than ever to step up your blogging efforts to get you ahead of the competition. So here we outline five key tips on how to curate the perfect blog post:
Naturally, your topic selection should be based around and related to your main keywords, or at least the ones that bring you the most revenue. When deciding on a topic, you should use tools such as Buzzsumo to gauge an insight into what related content performs the best organically and socially.
Using this information, you should put together a full content brief and plan a structure to ensure that your blog has a nice flow to it. For the structure, you should include:
Intro – Short description and explanation of what you’ll be discussing in your post including any hypotheses made.
Tip – It’s a good idea to include call-to-actions and questions to hook the reader in.
Body – A discussion of your main points, structure in a way that presents your argument with evidence to back up any claims made.
Tip – Be opinionated, but ensure that your points are well made.
Summary – A summary of all main points discussed and evaluation of whether the body has proved/disproved your hypothesis in the intro section.
Tip – Don’t overkill here, but make sure you demonstrate why your post is relevant.
For the brief you should look to include the following:
- Keyword focus
- Short explanation of blog post
- Word count
- Sources of further information (links etc.)
Before optimising your content, it’s vital that you carry out further research based around your chosen keyword, so using both Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are definitely worth taking advantage of. This will help to gauge whether people are searching for your chosen term and see whether other variations which are more popular. Secondly, it would be fruitless to optimise your post for the same term that already ranks to an inner or service page, as the blog should never rank above your inner page in Google’s SERPs.
So, for the optimisation itself, relevancy is critical to success as this will dictate whether the post will be found organically. Therefore, you’ll need to be aware of the particular page elements that Google is looking for when it indexes your content. These include:
- H Tag – Outlines the structure of the page
- Image Alt Tag – Outlines what the image is
- Keyword Inclusion – Outlines what your post is about
- Page Title – Outlines the title of the post and is the title of your search listing
- Meta Description – Used as a hook to briefly explain your post in the search listing
- Page URL – Keep as short as possible for easier indexing and include chosen keyword
- Tags – Keep uniformed so as to complement Google Tag Manager
If using a WordPress CMS, content optimisation is simplified when the SEO Yoast plugin is installed and activated as it will help to guide you through improving the relevancy of the post for the keyword you’ve selected. However, if you’re using a different website platform then it’s likely that you’ll have to input some of these manually or directly into the HTML code.
Formatting may sound complicated, but realistically all this entails is using certain techniques to help further enhance your content’s appeal. For example, not everyone will read the entire post, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still take something away from it.
The human eye is naturally drawn to things that stand out, so by making certain elements of the page eye-catching it ensures that even if the reader skims through your post something will grab their attention. Examples include:
- Links – Ensure links are correctly embedded, using a relevant anchor text to the page you’re linking to.
- Quotes – Ensure to put all quotes in italics and “speech marks”, give them ample spacing, and include the author.
- Headers – Ensure headers are configured correctly as this will allow enough spacing to give the post a solid structure.
- Captions – Any captions should be included at the foot of an image, outlining what the image is of or to credit the source.
- Key Terms – Ensure all key terms are shown in bold, as they help the reader to understand what your content regards.
- Lists – For any lists custom icons are ideal, but if this isn’t possible then it’s wise to use the bullet point function in your website’s CMS. This may require additional coding.
Multimedia + Imagery
When it comes to multimedia and imagery, you should ensure that any graphics used for your featured image are wholly relevant to the post and fit inline with your branding. For any image embeds, it’s best to use stock images just to ensure that you steer clear of any copyright infringements. If you don’t have access to stock images, you can use the filters on Google Image search to exclude any images that require the permission of the owner/s before public use.
Multimedia is a great way to help bring your post to life, as it helps to break up your content from just simply looking like an impenetrable wall of words.
- Using videos can help to embellish your points and will also require the user to click on it to play, thus reducing your bounce rate.
- Images are similar, though by ensuring that you include an Alt Tag it will mean that Google will index it in the Image search results. This further increases the online visibility of the post and potential for people to visit the page.
Okay, so this technically isn’t a part of curation but it’s still incredibly important. First things first, it is absolutely necessary to promote any content that you produce for your blog over all social channels that you have, as you’ll naturally gain referral traffic back to your website from them.
In addition to this, you should also include your keyword in the description that you use to promote your content over social networks and using an eye-catching or relatable image will appeal to more of your audience. Any content produced should be promoted more than once over social to ensure that you maximise its effectiveness. Along these lines you might also want to consider the option of paid social promotion to help increase the reach.
Following these simple tips can really see your blog posts jump from underperforming to carrying their weight in your SEO strategy. While it may take a while for you to get used to, once you can format and optimise your blogs it will become second nature and soon you’ll be consistently producing the perfect blog post.