How to Optimise your Blog Posts for SEO Success

7 min read
Watb Team
Graphic image of stats

So, you’ve got a blog post or two. What’s next? It’s now time to optimise your content.

SEMrush did a study recently that showed longer content tends to win the ranking race, particularly for longer search terms.

Detailed, in-depth content lets you get forensic with a topic and provide even more value to your audience.

You can boost traffic by making sure your blogs and guides are the best they can be. Let’s look at some of the best ways to optimise your blog.

1. Optimise for Keywords

There’s still value in ensuring you have the right keywords in your content. It tells Google what your page is about. Gone are the days where you’d stuff your content full of keywords, with the result being blog posts that were crammed full of unnecessary terms. Concentrate on making your content natural and useful – and use a few keywords to signpost your content for Google.

Also, a bit of extra keyword research can highlight opportunities to expand upon the content you already have on your blog. You can find what people are searching for in your niche and create content that is specifically delivering the answers to queries and trends.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a link on Keyword Research Tips

Hint – Long Tail keywords can drive significant traffic as you answer more precise questions!

The video above is worth a watch. Don’t have time right now? Here a link to, Moz’s Long Tale Keyword Guide

2. Test your headlines!

Could a different title capture more interest? Add power words, lists, and other numbers to improve the clickthrough rate of your blog. Just be sure it still relates to the content!

Optimising Blog Posts
We love CoSchedule’s Headline Optimiser. Have a play, it’s quite fun trying to beat your score!

3. Internal Link Building (Watch your anchor text)

Internal link building is an SEO strategy in itself. By connecting pages on your website together, you can pass link juice through to your to your most important pages, and help control the user journey, making it easier for your audience to get to where they need to go.

This means that you need to make sure that the content you’re linking to is quality too. Having a consistently strong user journey means that people won’t be put off by poor content as they navigate through your website. There’s no point hooking someone in with killer content and then losing them as they click through to something poor and sub-standard.

Orbit media have put together a solid internal link building guide. It’s definitely worth a look.

4. Short URLs

From a basic aesthetic point of view, short urls look much cleaner and more attractive. Having concise, manageable urls means that they’re likely to stand out and grab attention. For example:

watb.co.uk/optimise-your-blog-posts-seo

Is much simpler and quicker to read compared to:

watb.co.uk/content-marketing/seo/blog-seo/how-to-optimise-your-blog-posts-for-seo

Plus they look better as Anchors if people link to your website using your blog url. Or if they’re sharing it on Twitter, they might not have to visit a site like goo.gl to shorten the url before they can post something about the article.

Google URL Shortener showing how to simplify your links

5. Consolidate your content into an ultimate guide

The Ultimate Guide

When you’ve got a stream of quality content, you can work on putting it all together into one big mega-guide. You can theme your guides, so that all of the content is relevant and you can then target your guide at specific audiences. You can create a gated guide too, so that people need to sign up with an email address in order to access it. This can help you to generate more leads and subscribers.

Example of The Ultimate Guide to landing pages

This article by Ahrefs shows how to identity and merge your best content to drive better rankings and traffic.

6. Improve Readability and Sharability

Turn data into infographics. Adding strong visuals to your blog posts and you’ll be able to beautifully communicate the data and stats you’re using. You can create infographics easily using canva.

Canva example

Create podcasts or videos (if you have videos, checkout this guide on how to make your videos rank better on youtube). Podcast and video popularity continue to soar, so using your blog post as a script or discussion point for your pod or vid can be a great idea. You can flesh out some of your points, gather questions from your audience and if you’re doing a Facebook Live video you can take direction from your audience and interact as you go along. It’s a great way to repurpose a blog post or add some extra substance to your post.

7. Optimise your META titles and descriptions

Meta Title and Desription Example

META titles and descriptions are what are shown in the Google Results Page. Improve your META by including your top keyword/s and a CTA. Make sure your descriptions are simple, clear and compel users to click through. This is harder than it sounds – ask any copywriters about the hardest text to write and they’ll probably tell you it’s the shortest copy. You’ve only got a small space to simplify a message and persuade users to take action.

Use the strongest benefits/features of your product in a description i.e organic and make your description customer-focused. What are you proposing to an audience and why should they choose you?

Hit up this Shopify blog for more advice on META descriptions

8. Make it sharable

Social Media icons on a mobile device

Add obvious social share icons to improve the sharability of your post. Obviously you want to be able to point to sharing on big sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to add sharing plugins for mobile-based messaging apps like WhatsApp too, as people can easily share and discuss posts with friends.

Ultimately, you need your audience to want to share your content too, so again – work on making your content engaging and people will look to share it with others.

Looking for a list of the top Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress?

9. Push out your content

Share your content on social media channels, but we’d recommend cross-promotion instead of cross-posting. Not every piece of content will benefit from being shared on every social media channel. It’s easy but not all channels will be compatible with your brand’s content. Look at tailoring your message and repurposing content for specific channels.

Cross content promotion uses unique messages for each social media channel to signpost towards your post and adopt the best language for each channel i.e a visual post pushing to content on Instagram instead of something text-heavy.

Instagram content examples
Look at tailoring your message and repurposing content for specific channels.

Have clear CTAs and stagger your content sharing. Don’t just share your content once; intelligently share it as part of a coherent content strategy.

Send out your content to your email subscribers and reward them for their loyalty with exclusive content and gated content. If you’re just sending out content that they can find on your website then there’s not much incentive to give their email address to you, so make sure you make it worth their while and put together a strong email sequence.

Here are some sure fire tips for successful email campaigns

10. Outreach, link building, and influencers

Send a few emails to those who may be interested in reading your content. They might offer you feedback, share your blog, or link to it! Having a blog post that is endorsed by people in your industry or the niche area you’re targeting will help to give your content authority and build its credibility.

Ahrefs have put together a guide on some of the best outreach tips

Find influencers who may already be interested in your sort of content. Contact them through social media or email. You should offer influencers something in return like a guest-blog spot or a payment. Build up relationships with a team of influencers that you can count on to share and comment on your content.

Here’s a guide on how to find influencers who want your content

Working with other brands and influencers is crucial for link building, but you should also aim to create quality content that people will link to regardless. Emailing bloggers, pitching to sites, paying for listings and generally contacting website that rank well for your targeted keywords and niche are all ways to start link building. Ask you audience to link to your site, create a brand blog, produce sharable quality content and be on trend.

Your blog can be a superb way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic towards your site and generate leads. Keep plugging at it and remember that the key priority that is central to your success is creating consistently great content.

SEMrush did a study recently that showed longer content tends to win the ranking race, particularly for longer search terms. Detailed, in-depth content lets you get forensic with a topic and provide even more value to your audience.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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