Anatomy of a Well-Optimized Blog Post
Regular blog posts are great for your site’s SEO. Search engines like regularly-updated sites, and blogs allow you the perfect mechanism to keep your content constantly fresh. But, it also helps to make your posts as search engine friendly as possible while still making them useful and informative for readers. A quick anatomical guide of a well-optimized post:
As your brain gives cues to your body, your headline is the key to what is below. Choose headlines that are oriented around the keywords you want to score for. For instance, if your post is about health insurance changes in Delaware, a headline like “5 Health Insurance Changes for Delaware Residents.”
Additionally, make sure that your blogging software is set up to make the headline part of the URL. “www.yourbusinesssite.com/5-health-insurance-changes” is better for SEO than “www.yourbusinesssite.com/051414.”
Subheads break up your post for users and also give you opportunities to reinforce the keywords that you want to optimize for. Search engine spiders scan these when getting an idea what your post and your site is about. When you hire a blog writer, let her know what keywords are important. Include instructions that your subheads should include the keywords that are relevant to your post.
Social Sharing Increases Blood Flow
As search engines continue to personalize their results, one of the resources they are using is a surfer’s social network. Posts that are liked, tweeted and shared by people in your reader’s social circle will show up higher in search results.
Take advantage of that perk by including social sharing icons on every post. You should also include a line in blog posts that encourages readers to share posts that they find useful.
Smart Use of Tags
Tagging posts can help your SEO, but only when you do it judiciously. Use tags to group together similar content, but don’t apply too many tags to a post; a few demonstrate a strong back-catalog of content; too many look like keyword spam. Additionally, you can hurt yourself by having too many similar tags, such as a tag for “email” and a tag for “emails”. These dilute your content. When you start your site’s blog, designate somewhere between 15 and 25 keywords that are relevant to your service. Create these tags and make sure that your writers all know to use these specifically; don’t introduce new tags unless the existing ones are really not relevant. When a new one is added, add it to the internal list, as well.
Setting up this health regimen for your blog posts takes a bit of time up-front. However, once a system is in place, you will find it’s worth it. Create strong and healthy SEO for your blog, and you will find your search engine rankings rising and your traffic increasing.
Lara S is a content writer and blogger. She’s written professionally since 1998 and specializes in creating reader-friendly posts for complex industries like healthcare, law and insurance. On the weekends, you’re likely to find her out on her sailboat or ensconced in bed with a book.