Let me guess…
Your aim as a blogger is at least one of these: to write about what you’re passionate about, get more eyes on your work, hone your writing skills, be seen as an authority in your expertise, market your product(s), earn money, and build an online presence.
Well, those certainly were cheap guesses – they all are some of the main intentions for blogging.
But let’s be candid. Do mere intentions make the cut?
Intentions which aren’t backed by clear, effective strategies do not drive results.
Whatever your reason for blogging, you’d be doing to yourself a great disservice if not implementing actionable tactics that yield success.
This article reveals how to improve your blog posts to achieve better results.
13 Ways To Optimize Blog Posts For Success
There’s a lot more than writing a quality content blog to make the most of it. Here are all the ways you need to know as a blogger to optimize blog posts.
1. Craft Compelling Headlines
Research has it that 6 in 10 people read only headlines. It is, therefore, necessary to make the right impression so as to lure even the most hesitant reader into reading your article. The more compelling your headline, the better your chances of achieving this.
The first leap towards making this reality is understanding the interests and challenges faced by your audience. This will guide in writing content that specifically suits their needs.
Your headline must then be written in such a way that makes devouring the content, irresistible.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for writing compelling headlines, tons of bloggers have tested and discovered what works and what not. Copyblogger’s “How To Write Magnetic Headlines” is a go-to resource to equip yourself with this knowledge.
Note: the ability to pique the interest of readers is what makes a great headline. And you definitely are in great need of, at least, a scratch-the-surface knowledge of psychology to do this.
Open loops, which has a psychological undertone, for example, can be used in writing a great headline, for it spurs curiosity.
Below is an implementation of an open loop saturated headlined by Kristen Pope.
As can be seen, the above headline is powerful because it veils what is in for readers in the headline, thus, urging them to explore deeper. This is the first step to optimizing your blog posts.
2. Rank For A Keyword
For the most part of content marketing, SEO isn’t really dead as frequently argued. In fact, your aim for setting up a blog, as a business owner, should be to get found when words related to your work are searched.
Never fail to plan out the keywords you want your blog posts to rank for, in order to boost your visibility. Blog optimization is crucial for success.
The Google Keyword Planner is an invaluable resource for this. It reveals the average monthly search and competition for keywords; thereby, giving you an idea of how to better position your content. For more effective results, target long tail keywords.
Now, assuming you wish to rank for the long tail keyword, “create cheap blog,” follow the following steps:
- Embed the keywords in the URL – Instead of a generic one, your URL should spell out the keywords you intend ranking for.
- Input it in your post’s title – Of course, your post’s title must contain the keywords “create a cheap blog”.
- Insert it into the alt tag of your images – Search engines aren’t so smart. They aren’t able to decipher what’s in an image. Therefore, it’s your job to tell the search engine what an image is all about. Ensure to input the keywords which you’re trying to rank for. Such image may surface whenever a relevant search is made.
- Use synonyms – Just because search engines aren’t smart doesn’t mean they are dumb. Most are programmed to understand words and their respective synonyms.
Try out various synonyms of your keyword in the body of your text in order to not come off as creepy nor bore readers, all in the name of ranking high in SERPS.
Finally, whatever you do, ensure never to stuff your piece with keywords. This may not only scuttle users’ experience but can get you personalized by Google.
3. Integrate Social Sharing Buttons
Your social media buttons should be placed at strategic locations so that readers can promote and drive traffic to your blog.
The best positions to place your social media sharing buttons are either at the left, at the top, or at the bottom of your blog posts.
You can as well try out various combinations.
In 2008, Jakob Nielsen stated that users read at most 28% of the words in an article during an average visit. Meaning, there is a great likelihood for tons of readers not to read your post to the very end.
This in mind, you may choose to place your social media sharing buttons at the top of the post and on the left-hand side. Better still, it can be positioned both at the top and at the end – just to see which makes the cut.
4. Embed In-Text Cta’s
Readers troop to blog posts because they wish to be better informed and find solutions to certain problems.
While satisfying their hunger for more knowledge, you can also serve your interests by incurring more conversions.
All you’ve got to do is garnish your posts with hyperlinked call to actions at certain intervals within your blog post.
John Clear’s blog post, as seen below, exemplifies this:
Note: Asides improving conversions, call to actions soar click-through rates and minimize bounce rates. Thus, by doing this, you may just be flaunting the quality of your blog at Google’s face.
5. Add A ‘’Click To Tweet” Button/Anchor Text
This point would have been a perfect fit for Number 3. It is however emphasized separately for the sake of elaboration.
The “Tweet This” Button serves the function of enabling readers to tweet an eye-popping quote, straight from your blog post.
The enormity of daily active users on Twitter makes this a great way of getting your words out and across. Notable quotes pique the interest of readers. Thus, when tweeted, they’re likely to set traffic rolling towards your blog.
6. Insert Images
Images are a powerful resource for and a good way to optimize blog posts.
Legendary online marketer, Jeff Bullas, suggests that content with images get 94% more total views than those without images.
Also, research has it that the brain processes images 6,000 times as facts as it does text.
A headline accompanied by a compelling image is, thus, an impressive mix for making your blog posts more enticing to readers.
Images break a large chunk of text and make your blog posts more appealing. Viewing images strategically inserted at intervals may just be analogous to taking the prescribed 10 minutes’ break after working for about half an hour.
They relieve you the stress of writing tons of words, just to get an idea through, and make assimilation easier. In other words, images speak a thousand words, within a snap.
7. Embed A Pinterest Hover Button On Your Images
Pinterest is a fast-growing social medium with about 100 million daily active users. Due to its visually driven orientation, it is suggested to incur massive conversions. For instance, 49% of its users were said to have purchased 5 or more products which they pinned.
This laudable fact may tickle your interest if you aim at not only pulling traffic over but also boosting your revenue.
The point, however, is: you can make the best of Pinterest without being an active user. By simply embedding a Pinterest hover button on your images, you’d be empowering readers with the ability to share your blog images.
8. Use Scannable Sub-Headings
The internet is filled with rather too many busy people. Bloggers are thus foisted with a mean plight: an endless struggle for attention.
It is important you know that the first thing many readers do before venturing into reading a post is scanning through its entire content. In a world where 2 million blog posts are written in a day, this action helps them to discover whether or not what they are about reading contains something appealing, or something they’d never read before – something unique. A positive impression entices them to take the right step towards your direction.
Also, sub-headings structure your piece in a rather understandable way. It emboldens your flow of ideas, and forestalls the possibility of your great posts coming off as a turn-off.
9. Break Text With White Space
What do you notice in the image above? Yes – all paragraphs are, at most, two lines long, and each is followed by an empty space, before the next paragraph.
You’d agree with me that the above guest post written by Jeremy Sutton on Aha!NOW is extremely readable.
The take home point: it’s important you make none of your paragraphs exceed five lines in length, as readers are less likely to read jam-packed content.
White space helps add a smooth flow to your piece and gives it some sort of intrinsic beauty whose explanation eludes me!
10. Link To Your Blog Posts
While writing a new blog post, always link certain points to previous content on your blog. This serves many reasons.
First, it encourages readers to spend a longer time on your blog, thus, increasing the engagement rate and boosting traffic.
Second, it enables you to rank for the keywords with which you’ve linked the posts, using an anchor text.
Also, it lets Google crawl your website more effectively. It is an act of improving your on-page SEO or optimizing your blog for the search engines.
11. Link To Other Sites
Links to other sites are known as outbound links.
Provide outbound links in order to refer your readers to blogs where they can learn a little bit more of what you’ve written.
Asides this, linking to other sites are great for SEO purposes and helps you grow a relationship with fellow bloggers.
12. Add A ‘Similar Posts’ Widget
Would you rather let someone who stumbled upon your blog, click ‘close’ on the tab housing your blog post immediately after reading it, or make them spend more time reading more content?
Of course, being a rational blogger, you’ll definitely choose the latter.
I mean, your aim is to expand your audience base; to capture new people who will grow to love your content, right?
Well, it’s obvious you can’t do this without giving readers easy access to more of your work. And yes! Tons of people are too busy to ransack your blog themselves.
So it’s time you upturned the occurrence of massive bounce rates.
Do this by enabling a ‘similar posts’’ widget, so your barrage of content can be sieved, and similar articles of a particular blog post, offered to readers, to get them even more enthralled.
13. Embedding Information About The Author
Integrate an ‘about the author’ field at the end of every blog post. This will enable people who stumbled upon your post for the first time to know who you are.
It also helps personalize each post and gives you the opportunity of getting clients who are in need of your services. All you’ve got to do is talk about yourself, your expertise, and, perhaps, a little of your achievements.
Blogs are a great way to get more eyes on your work. For best results, you need to be able to harness the opportunities they provide. This article has revealed to you some thirteen effective ways to make the best of your blog posts as a blogger.
Over to you –
How do you optimize your blog posts? Kindly leave your comments if you’ve got any concerns that leave you pulling your hair in frustration.
Posted on: September 12th, 2016
Last Updated on: September 12th, 2016