This post is for after you have already done your keyword research, written your article or post, and are ready to hit the publish button.
Blog Post Checklist Overview
- Titles and Descriptions are to the point and eye-catching
- Posts Headings and post format is at its best
- Internal links added to provide value to readers
- Images added for colour and ease of reading
- The post has a Call To Action
- Posts are shared to Social Media
- A teaser email is sent out to current subscribers
- Review website visitor data and make adjustments
“Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come.” – Mario Quintana
The internet is a madhouse and you’re trying to be heard (sorry, read) above the noise. A nicely written piece of content is you trying to stand out from the crowd. And once the eyes are on you, your content will determine how long they stay there.
Whip that blog post writing into shape and keep that spotlight on you forever.
Before You Hit Publish On Your New Post
1) The Importance of Eye-Catching Titles And Descriptions
Writing a headline that grabs your readers’ attention is a critical skill.
On average, five times as many people read the headline that read the copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. – David Oglivy
There are 3 types of titles and descriptions for each post with a website:
- The post title and excerpts (Descriptions) that are seen on your website in the blog overview
- The title and description that is seen in social media
- The title and description seen in search engines.
You can use the same title and description for all 3 areas, though the option to edit each one is there for potentially better results in that area.
We won’t cover the technical side of these, as we assume you have either Yoast SEO or another similar SEO plugin for your blog already installed and correctly set up.
Quick Tip: The Zeigarnik Effect
When writing titles, open a curiosity loop in the mind of your ideal client in your titles.
There is an interesting phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik Effect from Lithuanaian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik.
Basically, she found our minds remember incomplete tasks until they are complete. So in the case of a curiosity loop, we need to close it, especially if the loop is highly relevant to something that is at the top of our mind right now.
You have to know your market deeply to make this work. But let’s look an example in this case we are targeting parents wanting money to pay for quality education for the kids.
The open loop could be something like ‘The single daily action you can take that ensures you have more than enough money to pay for your child’s education‘. No one can really know what the action is unless they click/responds to your post.
They have to close the loop or at least the most interested ones do.
It takes some thinking about how to apply this to your business but almost anyone can use it so long as you have taken time to deeply understand your client’s needs.
Post Title and Description
This is what is seen on your own website and is what is seen on your own website in the Blog overview section or often in the “read more” areas of your website.
This is the main field in Post Edit page called “Title” and should sit at the very top.
Like any title of an information book or email header, you want to make sure the title matches what the content is about. Keeping it short and to the point is best.
You can even use a plugin like Title Experiments to test multiple headlines against one another and find out which performs the best.
Post Description (Excerpts)
This is the Excerpt of the post – often found at the bottom of the post edit screen. If not, open your Screen Options and see if it needs to be ticked.
This description should be short (About 200 chars) and to the point that briefly explains the topics of the posts.
Note: if no excerpt is entered, most times the first bit of content of the post will be used instead – often this does not look great.
Search Engine Title and Description
Googles product is it’s ability to answer a question with the your content.
Assuming you have Yoast SEO (or something similar) installed, there will be a section on the Post Edit page where you can add in a title and description just for search engines with a display example of what it would look like.
Quick Tip: A/B test Titles and Descriptions to help improve Click Through Rate from Google.
Search Engine Titles
Like a book title, your headline should attract people’s attention, then prompt them to click (or open) and read further. This is what Google will display within the search.
- Include your main keyword for the post
- Keep it between 5 – 7 Words (or 55 characters for Google)
- Be of emotional value: www.aminstitute.com/headline
- Try to Avoid stop words (and, to, etc) – they take up valuable space
- People dig numbers in headlines
- Using more verbs than nouns is usually a winning combo
Search Engine Meta Descriptions
While note read all the time, they should include the main keyword (which is often bolder in Google) and support the title.
- Be kept under 150 characters for Google.
- Try to have a call to action – eg Trail Today! Or Get A Free Quote!
Including the following in your meta descriptions tends to increase performance:
- Include Main Keywords (And LSI Keywords).
- Brand names people know.
- “Official site” (a trust signal).
- Promotions and sales (if relevant)
Social Media Title and Description
Assuming you have Yoast SEO (or something similar) installed, there will be a section on the Post Edit page where you can add in a title and description just for social media posts.
These are important for when you share it to Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Most times the title of the post will do as the same title for Social media posts, but you may want to play around with more “click bait” titles using the Zeigarnik Effect.
2) Keep readers longer with Headings and Formatting
People don’t read everything word-for-word anymore. The average internet reader today skims. There’s just too much content and too little time to do anything else.
A well-formatted post makes it easy for your readers to skim (to see if the post is worth their time), then dive in if they feel it is.
Make the most of your Headings
Headings and subheadings are the h16 tags you may see in website code. But are also changed in a text editor as Heading 1-6.
Keyword-friendly headings subheadlines make your content more visible to search engines.
Use LSI Keywords in your subheaders and be sure to stay relevant to your topic.
Be sure to include Bullet & Numbered Points
Make your blog post more easily understandable by using numbered lists or bullet points. It helps people read blog posts and find the information they are looking for instantly, without much effort.
Be bold with Bold Text (sparingly)
Grab your reader’s attention by using bold text in your posts. But only do this strategically. Writing an entire paragraph in bold will make your blog ineffective. But using this tool to highlight some important sentences is an ingenious formatting technique that will put extra emphasis on things you want to stick out in your readers’ minds.
3) Add value with On-Page Links
Links to other blog posts and other websites are the backbone of the internet. They are also an SEO ranking factor (mainly if they link to you). But by adding links on your own posts, you add value to your posts and therefore adding value to your readers and visitors.
Interlinking your blog posts with each other makes them easier for Google to index, helps you rank in search engines, and it keeps readers browsing your blog!
Also, when you have a blog post that ranks highly in search engines and got a lot of backlinks, any internal links from that page to your other pages help boost those pages’ rankings.
Take a look at other posts you’ve written and add any links to them that point to your newly published post.
4) Add colour with Images
Images make it easier for people to read your content, keep them on your page longer, and help readers digest the information you’re giving them.
Infographics are also great though are often time-consuming or costly to create.
- Canva – A design tool for non-designers. A great way to quickly create fancy styled images.
- Unsplash – A collection of free to use high-quality stock images – Good for Featured Images
- Pexels – Another collection of free to use high-quality stock images – Good for Featured Images
In Post Images
Visually-appealing images will always attract readers to your blog post. Noticeable images in a blog post emphasise its message and also grab the viewer’s attention. It will be great fun to use images to break up your lengthy content into digestive paragraphs.
Reading fully text-ified posts is tiring and boring – so there is bonus points for relevant images that add to the ‘story’ of your content.
Seeing data visually helps readers process it quickly.
Graphs can be an essential tool for content marketers who are in technical industries or covering data-laden topics. Data visualisations can divide the monotony of dry articles, and increase the chance of sharing.
By creating graphics, you add significant visual interest and give depth to your blog post.
WordPress posts as an area for featured images. These are used for both on your own website in your blog feed and for social media posts.
Instead of just images, add videos to your blog posts to increase engagement
One of the easiest ways to increase time on page is by adding video content. It’s a great way to stand out from the crowd and increase engagement.
You don’t have to be a videographer genius or spend a ton of money on fancy equipment to get started. In fact, your smartphone is more than enough, and most smartphones can shoot HD video now that will more than suffice.
5) Add a Call To Actions to get the most from your audience
A CTA is anything you want for your customers to take action on. It could be subscribing to a newsletter, reading another blog post, or making a purchase. Not every post needs to sell something. It just needs to give your reader a “next step”.
Every post should have a CTA of some kind. Whether it’s as simple as a request for a share or a comment, or as big as making a purchase, every post should have an outcome.
Help others spread the post with Share Buttons
There are heaps of plugins out there to add social share buttons to your website and blog posts. As seen above, a CTA can help complete your main objective (or be part of a funnel).
After You Hit Publish On Your new Post
Your first order of business is to get some immediate traffic to the blog post.
6) Share To Social Media Platforms
Here are some ideas for social media updates:
- Share the headline or a variation of the headline for your post
- Share a quote or excerpt from your post
- Share an infographic or image from your post
- Tag an influencer who you featured in the post
Share these updates to relevant niche Facebook groups, and your business’s Facebook page feed.
Quick Tip: You can add posts for 7 days in Google My Business – great for local SEO.
7) Send A Teaser Email
Another to do gain some website traffic is by promoting the post to your own email list.
Now, many people like to include the entire blog post in their emails, but you shouldn’t do that.
When your subscribers get your full post in their inbox, they don’t need to visit your blog to get the content. Plus, it also makes them less likely to share, comment or read other posts on your blog.
Instead, use a brief “teaser email” that entices your subscribers to click through to your blog and share the post with their friends. This gets the ball rolling so that even people outside of your email list can find your post.
Be sure to write a compelling title that intrigues the viewer and is backed up by equally intriguing preview text.
8) Reviewing The Visitor Data
If you don’t analyse your post’s performance, how will you ever know what’s working and what’s not?
But staring at analytics is almost as addicting as your Facebook news feed. And when you start to see your numbers consistently grow, it gets even be more addicting. Looking at analytics data over time is helpful so set a day once a week to review your website visitor data.
Within about three months the post should be gaining some traction on search, even if it’s on the 30th page. That’s fine, because now it’s time to go back and optimise the articles.
Quick Tip: Sign up to Google Alerts to track when a new post is indexed and displayed on Google. Use the following search text: site:yoursite.com
Replace “yoursite.com” with the domain of your website. Test it in a normal Google search and see if your website appears as the only search results.
Review Google Search Console
Once you know your article is on Google, check its keywords and decide if it worth editing your post to include these topics.
Facebook & Instagram Data
Heading over to business.facebook.com will help see stats about your social media posts. You can look into the engagement and comments and decide if it was a success or needs work.
After All The Updates
Now that you are hit published, shared the post, and checked the visitor results, it might be time to ensure your business details are up to date across the major internet platforms.