Are you searching for optimizing or SEO using your blog posts in WordPress before they go out? Pre-publish optimization in WordPress is so important, it could be the difference of your blog post being visible and Google or not. Plus it’s just almost a crime to spend all of your time creating this epic amazing piece of content around a great keyword only for it to fall flat because it wasn’t optimized properly on WordPress. In today I’m sharing with you my personal checklist that my team and I use every single time we publish one of our write blogs.
If you follow each of these eight steps in my checklist you’re much more likely to see results in google search rankings with your blog post and I’ll even show you an example of one of the blog’s we published this year using this optimization checklist that ranked in the top of Google for a high value keyword in just 30-days, so let’s get going. Before we get into my personal checklist of how to optimize your blogs and WordPress, a word to the wise; no matter how much you optimize a piece of content, no matter how great it is how comprehensive, it’s really not going to work if your site, if your foundations are broken it’s like trying to build a house on a shaky foundation, it’s just going to crumble and fall in. So, if you’re at that stage where you don’t have a beautiful fast SEO friendly, well-designed website, stop right now make sure that gets fixed before you post and optimized free content. With that foundation of a fast clean beautiful site your results will be 10x whenever you start to publish optimized content and on the right blog we recently created and published this checklist of how to build content that ranks in Google, including some of those foundational tips.
Load the blog we’re going to edit, proofread it,and upload al the corresponding Images
Okay, so I’ll tell you the 8-steps to take every time you schedule or publish a WordPress blog. Ok, so here are first of all the steps that I’m going to go through for how to SEO optimized a blog post and WordPress. So our first step here is to load the blog we’re going to edit, proofread it, we’re going to upload all the corresponding images then we’re going to go through the sub headers, those are our H2s H3s, we’re going to make sure that all links open in a new window which is really important to lower bounce rate,so people don’t leave your site. Then we’re going to include any relevant CTAs, we’re going to add some social shares that make it really easy for people to share this content, then we’re going to go into used at our meta title and description very important,then we’re going to upload the right images in the right spots with alt text that is SEO friendly and finally we’re going to optimize it for social sharing.
Okay so let’s go through each of these steps. I’m in my blog I’m going to hit add new for posts, So, my blog post is titled this tone of voice and POV, how to correctly use bold for stronger more consistent brand presence. Now I’m a big shortcut key fan, so I’m doing central V which is actually command on a Mac, okay I’m going to take this title, move it up here. So, what we’re doing right now is we’re just loading in the blog and then we’ll format it after we’ve added everything Okay so here’s what our H2s look like we’re going to have to go in the text editor for that and then we need to add this code, so that tells Google hey this is a header and an H2 is a primary header, H3 secondary header.
Sub Header Optimization
So, one thing we really like to do in the write blog is we like to add all of our headers at the beginning, you can take that a step further and hyperlink each of these to the sub headers but this gives readers a really good view of what’s coming and lists like these do really well in search. So, sometimes these get inside of the featured snippets. Okay, so the rest of the content we need to make sure that it’s broken up we’ve proofread it, we need to make sure all the sub headers are in correctly, so see how this is that is an H2 so this is an H3 anything that’s a numbered list should be an H3 you should always have a header before a numbered list so that would be an H2. So, what our tone of voice and point of view? Well we have two points explaining both and then in my content you’ll see sub headers below the sub headers, so what we do for those is we just bold them.
Check all Links open in New window
I haven’t found any value in an H4 if anything in H4 doesn’t look it doesn’t read well so I just avoid it and if we have a secondary sub header to an H3 we simply bold it. And then all of our links open in a new window which we’ve double-checked, the way to do that is to hit edit on the link go to link options and then make sure that little box is clicked.
So when it comes to CTAs, I’ve done a lot of testing and I found out that it really works best if you keep those minimal it’s best to have one two at the most three image CTAs and where we put our image see TAS area lot further down, so here we only have one image CTA and this is hooked up to the services in our content shop. Sometimes, I’ll add as a CTA where it’s relevant like for example we’ve talked about writing style here a bit so what I might do is do a block quote format with italics and type in a CTA. So, this is a really good way to just add a CTA that’s not at all annoying,
Add Easy One click Social Shares
So our one-click social shares, we do this with a plugin called click to tweet and all you do to generate that for example is you grab a sentence that you’re going to use as the tweetable, you hit that button on the plug-in you have to install the plug-in on WordPress, you put it here, you’re going to add the user name and then you hit OK and then it generates it, super simple, so definitely get that plugin consider doing that and then emojis, we found work really well or those little quick click to tweets, so check out this one, this one’s kind of crazy but it works so well, it’s really fun this is it this is a great way to social share a piece of content that you’ve done and then we’ve also referenced me as the author my handle here so that’s another good thing to do if you have an author to mention in your click to tweet code Okay,
Configure Yoest ( Add Meta Title and Description with Yoast)
So our last three steps are these we’re going to go into Yoast now and make sure the meta title and description is added so that’s all the way at the bottom you hit edit snippet make sure the SEO title reflects a variation of this, what we did is we shortened it down so it stays in that green area which means that’s the right links and then we wrote just two sentences to describe the blog, getting your brand recognized requires the right tone of voice and POV. Learn the difference between the two and how you can find your perfect brand points and then our keyword is tone of voice and I’m not really worried too much about the overall colors of Yoast because I found that these really don’t matter to end results from your content, so we published over a thousand blogs and some of our top ranked blogs are actually orange, sometimes red and Yoast. So, worry more about the actual content does it read well is it going to engage your audience. Does it have a clear call to action that pulls that reader into the next step whether that’s buying something from you calling, booking a call etc. Those are the things you should be worried about rather than just a color on a plug in, software is fallible but whenever it comes to content a human eye it’s really what it takes to make sure content is great.
Okay, so these last two parts are super important, so we’re going to upload feature images to complete out our blog , so we do these sizes and then we do a CTA for each and every blog, so the header is sized correctly to show as a featured image at the top of your WordPress we have an Instagram image that we’re going to share on Instagram and then we have this the inset is a really great image for a couple things and I’ll show you what those things are right now. Okay, so the featured image goes here, you don’t want any text on this, you want this just to be a clear image and we’ve already uploaded it so you want to make sure the title and the alt text reflects the keyword, super important. So, go ahead and hit that set featured image and now we’re going to add our inset and this inset image is sized to a couple things, so it reads well it’s visible whenever you scroll down on the blog and we’re able to put it in the social media area of Yoast which I just learned about this after six years of doing content. So, what you want to do is upload an image and then upload that inset sized image, so this is strategic the size of this image,it’ll show with the text and our branding our logo of the image, whenever we go and share this on Facebook, Twitter etc. so, it’ll show whenever the link populates an image alright so once we’ve uploaded that image there you can even see Yoast gives you recommended size, we’ve modified the size a little bit to fit even more social platforms, so go ahead and hit update once you have those images added with the alt text correctly done.
So, we just finished those last two points,now the last thing I like to do is preview the blog so we’ve proof read this blog about five or six times at this point but that’s what it takes to create great content, if you let a typo go out, if you let a sentence graph that reads like crap well people are going to notice it so see how this featured image doesn’t have any text distracting from that the blog post because down here we have two title, that’s how WordPress works, featured image title is usually right below it beside it and we have our nice inset image and because I have a couple social media sharing apps installed, one of them is actually telling me hey you can share this image, so that might happen for your reader too. We have our table of contents, we have our click to tweet showing correctly, our sub headers are showing correctly, we have our nice CTA here, see how that block quote style kind of gives it a little bit more readability as a CTA the sub headers look good images are all plugged in our click to tweets are showing correctly and then of course we end with our CTA. So, every link we’ve set to open in a new window, see how this blog stays there while it generates a link to our content shop. So, that’s exactly what you want to happen with your links. So, I mentioned that I was going to show you an example.
Now there’s something you might not know about Google but it’s this fact that if you rank in the top position of Google, the click-through rate is as high as 31% if you rank somewhere near 10 it goes down to 1% and these optimization steps can really mean the difference between ranking in 1 or ranking all the way at the bottom So, here’s a piece of content that we created this year and its ranking as you can see right here, right at the top, how to build a strong digital content strategy, right below the featured snippet, so it’s ranking really well,we probably want to go back and update it soon because it’s been more than six months which is my benchmark for updating content but this ranked at the top within 30-days and everything done on this blog follows the same guidelines, the same optimization steps that we just went through. Search traffic is turning out to become 70% of the world’s traffic now, that’s where 70% of all online traffic comes from, so you want to get this optimization, your keyword research all of these stuffs down so critical to seeing success in ranking in Google and some where like this height of a spot.
Taking care of all of those small pieces inside WordPress may seem like busy work but I can’t stress the importance of optimizing your blog before it goes out into the world. This attention to detail could be the difference between your content ranking in two, three, four, five versus the number one spot in Google which as we talked about gets so much of a higher click-through rate, they say the devil is in the details and that’s pretty true.