Hands down, a WordPress blog is by far the best and has the most SEO potential among all content management systems. In this SEO tutorial, I have specifically chosen how to optimize your client’s WordPress blog because of this advantage.
Previously, I’ve given ways on how to encourage B2B clients to start blogging. I even gave out a sample winning content calendar to initiate blogging. So this time, let’s get down to business with these SEO blogging tips:
But first, a FREEBIE!
1) Install SEO Plugins
The secret sauce is made up of SEO plugins! WordPress is notorious in giving away free apps called plugins. You can integrate them into your blog with just one click!
My SEO plugin favorites are:
- Yoast SEO – This is actually what you’ll ever need! It’s complete with Google Analytics integration, SEO recommendations, and all the essential on-page and tech SEO elements to optimize each blog post.
- All-in-One Schema.org Rich Snippets – Very easy to use. This plugin is a no-brainer when you need to use schema.org rich snippets, especially if your client writes product reviews, launch videos, etc.
- Broken Link Checker – Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
- WP Smush – minifies images so they are optimized for speed. Site or page speed is now a SEO ranking factor, FYI.
- W3 Total Cache – The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improves the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.
2) Write down the goal of the blog post
If your client prefers to write the posts by himself, this is a good guide. First step: determine the goal of the content piece.
Be clear if it’s intended to generate leads, convert to sales, increase blog subscription, or for reader-retention – put it down in your content calendar. What stage of the funnel will this blog post serve? By sticking to a goal, it will provide you direction.
3) Determine your target persona
As part of the free content calendar template I gave, you need to identify the persona or the audience you are targeting in this blog post. Why? Because that will guide you in outlining the content of the post. Each target persona has a pain point that you intend to solve. By knowing who you are speaking to, and what their needs are – you can be more effective in crafting your content.
4) Identify relevant keywords
Do your keyword research. I prefer using Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner and the Moz’ Keyword Explorer. There’s also great benefit in doing a manual keyword search for your planned blog title and checking out Google’s search suggestions:
Keyword targets will be the backbone of your content. These will be used in step number 7. But before planning the full content piece, do competitor research (step 5):
5) Look out for the best post out there
This step is important because it gives you a glimpse of how difficult or how easy it is to outperform all the other published content out there that are similar to your topic. This step involves doing a manual google search using your intended blog post title.
Sometimes when I see that there are so many blogs who have published the same kind of post, and it’s impossible to outperform the top ranking ones – it brings me back to the drawing table. Perhaps, I should pick a different angle or blog title that still serves my target persona and content goal. Other times, I need to rework my keyword targets all together.
- Millions of content are published every millisecond on the web. Competition is tough. So make sure you have a fighting chance given your resources in publishing the post. Make it the best one!
- Do not be discouraged. Now that you know what others have done, you are in the position to seek and provide the gaps in their content. That’s your opportunity.
6) Create a long-form content post with useful media
I have a bias for long-form content pieces because they rank better, convert better, and are being shared more. Also, long-form blog posts command authority especially when the content is of high quality, unique make up.
Great content incorporates other media types like images/infographics, PDFs, charts, etc. Just make sure these are used not just for the sake of being there, but to aid you in making your content richer, and more informative.
7) Implement On-Page SEO
Now it’s time for keyword targeting. Your on-page SEO blog process involves using your:
- Primary keywords (1-2) in your URL, title, meta description, headlines (such as <h1> or <h2>), first paragraph, and images
- Secondary or related keywords (2-4) mentioned in your body content, relevant images, or other sub headings such as <h3> or <h4>.
- TIP: Use the Yoast SEO plugin in guiding you through especially in filling up your meta tags.
- Old or existing posts that are relevant to what you are writing should link to your new blog post. Use a good anchor text link. When I say good, it means using a sentence or phrase as the link anchor, rather than just using the main target keyword. That would appear unnatural and spammy.
Additional Tip: Your blog title determines your click-through-rate (CTR). Enticing titles, and meta descriptions contribute to the number of clicks you get from the search listing.
Below is a sample title and description form using the Yoast SEO plugin.
8) Plan your Post Outreach Strategy
To leverage your content piece, it’s necessary to do outreach and amplification. An outreach strategy is the process of “reaching out” to a set of influencers, known industry bloggers, complementing brands, or even your avid customers with the goal of encouraging them to share your content and gain traction.
The elements of an outreach strategy are:
- Target List – the list of people you intend to reach out to
- Method – the means of outreach: Email, Twitter, Facebook message, blog comment, or even offline personal approach to the person.
- Timing – Would you like them to share an insight about your topic before you publish so they will watch out for this piece? Or will you just inform them after you have published the post?
- Reason – Why would they want to share this blog post to their network? Is it because you mentioned them here? The post is helpful to their audience? Both your brands will mutually benefit from it? Find that out and include the reason when you approach them.
Final SEO Tip:
Practice makes perfect, and iteration is key. After you evaluate the results of your efforts, analyze where you can improve on. Experiment. Report this to the client, as well. In my personal experience, they like understanding our work and how we intend to make it better for their brand.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss about optimizing an online strategy, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Romela de Leon-Ortega
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Great post Romela.
Yoast SEO is a great free plugin to optimize every blog post. I have been using it for a long time.
W3TotalCache helps you to optimize WordPress speed.
WP Smush is a great free plugin but I think it’s better to use online image compression services. It takes only few seconds to optimize your images with these online services.
Thanks for the positive feedback. Could you share your favorite online image compression tools?