Bloggers, online publishers and writers tend to be a quite trigger-happy when it comes to hitting that publish button, especially after having written a long blog post. And why wouldn’t they be: when you’re done completing a kickass article, you wasn’t to hit the publish button as soon as possible, so that your awesome post can be indexed by search engines as soon as possible, and be seen and read by a large group of people.
However it is important to stop, take a step back, and perhaps take a moment or two to quickly analyze your post one more time, taking a few things into consideration before clicking that publish button.
Not only is this important from an SEO perspective, doing so – i.e. spending a few minutes to fine-tune and/or tweak some of the elements of your post could enhance its quality tenfold, and turn it from a great post into an awesome masterpiece that kicks some serious blogging ass!
Things to do before publishing your next blog post:
1. Format the text
Make sure that your copy is broken down into small, easily-digestible pieces, instead of a large wall of text that is simply unreadable, incomprehensible and/or simply illegible. Instead, use short sentences, and short paragraphs, and if need be, make sure that you split different points into bullets.
2. Add meta information
Meta tags, or specifically, the meta headline (the H1 tag) and the meta description are important tags from a SEO perspective. These tags (or more specifically, the inclusion of keywords in these tags) allow search engines to index your posts in a better manner, and it is these tags that show up in the SERP as well – making them all the more essential.
3. Check for no-follow/do-follow on links
Add external and internal links for no/do-follow, as per your linking policy. Check if your internal links are being no-followed, they should always be do-follow as they help keep link-juice within the blog. As far as external links are concerned, it all depends on your linking policy. Properly attributed links can have a positive effect on your SEO.
4. Check for properly-filled image attributes
SEO best-practices dictate that it is essential to properly fill out all image attributes, including the title, description and most importantly, the ALT attribute for all images. ALT attributes serve the same purpose as the meta information, they help search engines ‘look’ at your images, and index them for the right keywords properly.
5. Check for any errors in your copy
Pretty self-explanatory, and perhaps one of the things that a lot of bloggers tend to overlook: checking their copy for any errors. This includes spelling mistakes, grammatical errors as well as factual errors. An error-strewn article or post will not only reflect badly on your blog as well as the bloggers, you cannot expect to get a lot of direct traffic/returning visitors if your posts are, well- poorly written, can you?
A call-to-action, or a CTA, asks your readers to take an action, and brings attention to this particular action (hence the name call to action). This ‘action’ could be anything: subscribing to your mailing list or RSS, buying a product or a service, posting a comment on the article, giving them links to other similar/relevant articles on your blog, or something else. Whatever your CTA might be, it is important to add it to the end of the blog, as it will bring more attention to it. For instance I tend to leave a line at the end of each post, inviting people to leave their comments.
7. Write a catchy headline
I believe this deserves its own separate point. Change that generic headline you wrote the first time around, and replace it with something that is catchier, attention-grabbing, and attractive. Headlines that actually MAKE people want to click on your links. Headlines that garner a positive reaction from anyone who comes across it. So try adding some spice to that headline by completely rewriting it. Remember that standard rules apply: add keywords, and keep it short.
Last step (yes, we’re almost there!), but the most important one. Proofread the article once more. It is always a good idea to be a little late in publishing the article, rather than putting up an article that is filled with errors and mistakes. If you need to add something, now would be a good time to do so. If there’s any irrelevant information in the copy, simply delete it.
Hit the publish button once you’re done with everything that’s been mentioned here.
What did you think about the points that have been mentioned here? Leave me a comment with your thoughts in the comments section below.