If you maintain a regular blog, you work hard to get people to engage and interact with your content.
You research your target audience, select relevant keywords, identify themes and topics, generate high-quality posts, and create a well-planned content strategy, but visitors never arrive. Even if they do, they often bounce right away and never convert.
Quite a kick in the teeth, right?
What’s the problem, then? What are you doing wrong?
There can be lots of reasons, but the first guess is: You don’t optimize blog posts for readers and search engines. But don’t worry. It’s quite simple to get your blog’s content back on track.
12 Ways to Optimize Your Blog Content
Whether you’re starting a new blog or are refreshing an old one, it’s important to follow these steps to achieve success.
Make Your URLs Search- and Reader-Friendly
Do you like URLs like this one: www.example-website/blog/1lxwl6gx1y-iewsi1eaoa6ys?
Neither do readers and search crawlers. They just can’t index your blog’s pages quickly.
To make a long story short, your URLs should look like this: www.example-website/blog/how-to-optimize-content-in-your-blog
(Your post’s title with hyphens; words without meaning such as “and” can be excluded)
Don’t forget that your optimized URLs need to include the targeted keywords. This way, people and search bots can instantly understand the page’s meaning – and rank it much faster.
Check out these optimization tips from Moz to get your URLs up to snuff quickly and easily.
Optimize Titles, Headings, and Subtitles
It’s crucial to have optimized titles, headings, and subtitles from an SEO standpoint. So, make sure that they contain keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for. The better the optimization, the higher SERPs your blog’s pages will receive.
Your heading is of paramount importance for readers as well. Just think about it: You can have a piece of content that really rocks but if the title is poor, nobody will give it a second glance.
Be sure your headings entice your visitors to read. But never choose the easy clickbait road to success. Each and every article in your blog should deliver on the headline, or search engines will penalize you for a high bounce rate.
Use Relevant Keywords and Avoid Keyword-Stuffing
Search engines are smart and can easily figure out the relationship between this or that keyword. The more relevant keywords (and their varieties) you use, the better your chances are to rank higher in search. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should stuff your content with keywords.
Rely on phrases commonly used by your visitors. After all, your goal is to find customers, not just get nearly perfect SERPs for your blog posts (which is impossible without traffic by the way).
Unless you cater to experts, avoid using jargon in your content. People want solutions, not problems, and nobody will spend their precious time on figuring out what confusing terms really mean.
In short, use simple and informal language. Inform your readers by presenting complex ideas in an easily digestible format.
Optimize and Cite Images
It may be tempting to simply Google images for your blog posts but it’s important to think about the proprietary rights.
If even a single image on your blog is copyrighted, you will have problems. Double check every image you use before publishing, and always cite the source. The safest way to ensure that you’re not infringing on any copyright laws is to use paid or free stock photo sites.
Make sure that the images are properly optimized as well. They should have titles and descriptions; Alt tags need to include keywords to increase the searchability of your posts.
Rely on Section Headers and Lists
Most people don’t read content on the Web, they simply scan it. So, you should think how to make your articles more skimmable. Use lots of images, quotes, headers, and bulleted lists. They will break up your text into sections and make it easier for users to get the most important information out of every post.
Use Shorter Paragraphs and White Space
To make your content more scannable write in shorter paragraphs. Break up your text with pull quotes, infographics, or graphs.
When designing your blog, add more white space between the paragraphs to help simplify the reading process.
Instill Relevant Internal Links
The greatest advantage of interacting with content on the Web is that any user can access multiple pages at once, and that’s your chance to build solid conversion paths.
Include relevant internal links to other pieces of your content. Be sure that all the links are useful and helpful. Never push your readers, just give them a little nudge to learn more about your company, products, and promotions.
Add Social Buttons to Your Blog
If users like your content, they will definitely share it on social networks. Just don’t make it difficult. Ensure that social buttons are prominently displayed and easily accessible.
Social buttons act as a reminder that any user can share the content as well. It makes sense to use that as an alternative to a Call to Action (CTA).
Enable the Comments Section
Some businesses disable this section because it can take a lot of time to reply to comments. Depending on your industry, however, it may be a way to build community and interact with potential prospects.
If you decide to implement a comments section, make sure that you don’t leave a single comment unanswered. Allow people to have a conversation and they will provide you with valuable feedback. Not to mention that comments are good for SEO if managed properly.
Have a Smart CTA
Every blog post should feature a well-thought out call to action.
However, it shouldn’t be any short phrase from your head – you need to test and tweak multiple CTAs for different lifecycle stages. CTAs have to be unique for every persona as well.
CTAs nudge visitors to interact with relevant content, as well as convert into leads and customers. Show the right people the right CTAs leading to the right content at the right time, and your blog will win new and returning visitors in no time.
Adapt for Mobile Devices
The elements and design of your blog should function properly and display well on mobile devices. You don’t want to lose users who access your content via smartphones and tablets. Make sure your designers and developers make your blog responsive.
Don’t underestimate the importance of mobile. So far, over 56% of traffic to US top websites is driven from mobile devices, and it will only continue to grow. Mobile is the future.
Blog post optimization methods are straightforward once you understand the basics. It’s a much more complex task to produce high-quality content that actually matters. So, if you are good at writing content, just use the checklist above to re-energize your blog.