Ranking in the search engines used to be dominated by backlink building. While links are still important, there is now far more focus on quality content and on-page optimization. For sites willing to create excellent content that draws in readers, the updated algorithms have only benefited them, allowing them to rank for competitive keywords. Creating a good post is key, but there needs to be a proven system in place to maximize every piece of content you create. The following 10-step method can be used to create an ideal blog post for the search engines.
Finding the right keyword ensures you target terms achievable with enough search volume. The Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Moz can all be used to find keywords, but there are many more options available. When using your target keyword in a blog post, add it to the title, URL, and briefly within the text, but avoid including it too regularly.
Competitive analysis has a couple of benefits in the early stages of planning. Firstly, you get to see the type of content currently ranking in the top positions. Understanding the type of content the search engines are including, whether long articles, videos, images posts, or a combination of these, will help you plan. Secondly, you can decide whether the competition levels make it worth your while to develop a post.
Using the top-ranking sites in the previous step, you can see the level of content with which you are competing. Your target should be to better the efforts of your competitors, ensuring visitors find what they want on your blog. When you understand the competition levels, research the topic thoroughly looking for ways to improve the overall experience when people visit the blog post.
The most engaging blog posts will include media that enhances the experience. A relevant video could help explain aspects of the post differently, while the average dwell time should also increase. Images, particularly infographics, are excellent ways of describing detailed information simply. You can also see increased social sharing when the media has some value.
Along with adding different types of media, you can optimize a post in a variety of ways. Adding a relevant title, description, and tags help the search engines and visitors know the content’s subject matter. Alt tags should be used on all images, while sub-headings and bullet points can improve readability.
Preview Content Before Publishing
Check the important elements of your post before publishing. Firstly, ensure there are no spelling errors and the formatting is correct. Social sharing is a vital part of blogging, so make sure the social buttons are active and linked correctly. Finally, consider how a new visitor would view the post, thinking about the title and the first impressions your above-the-fold content will give.
Successful bloggers have a network of people they can rely on for support. When they present an important piece of content, their network will promote the post on their site or social media accounts. After publishing your post, or even beforehand when the content is high quality, let your network know there is a new piece of content available. Reciprocal relationships of this kind help all parties to grow continuously.
Promote on Social Media
Promoting a post on social media can lead to re-posts and an active conversation about the subject matter. This conversation, along with the added backlinks, can help your SEO endeavors as the search engines see you have a relevant and topical post. Social media posting won’t usually bring about quick results, but consistency can help to grow an active following.
Follow the Reaction
Publishing content shouldn’t be the end of the process. A successful post will create a buzz that leads to ongoing conversation, requiring additional promotional work. Responding to blog comments leads to more relevant content being added to the page, showing the search engines that the post has value. Additionally, other bloggers might respond to your content, helping to create powerful backlinks.
Update When Required
If you want to maintain consistent rankings, it is important to keep information updated. Search engines want to provide up-to-date content, focusing on freshness and relevance. You don’t have to change a post entirely, but adding some new content can stop it going stale and help drive new visitors to the site.
Following this method gives you a good chance of ranking for your target keywords. Creating good content is an essential part of the process, but it is not enough to hope your blog post will do all the work. A combination of research, optimization, and promotion will ensure you give yourself the best opportunity of success, reducing the need for your content to go viral. The search engines will get want they want, while readers will be encouraged to promote you, with a host of new visitors arriving as you start to rank.