Let’s be honest, content creation is a lot of work. Thinking of blog post ideas, writing them, and then promoting them can take a lot of time. So it’s important to make sure that all of that time is worth it, right? Once we spend the time to create new content, we want to make sure that our ideal people can actually find it. And the best way to do that is to optimize your blog posts so that they get found in searches. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that your content is being optimized.
A title tag lets the search engine and the visitors know what your blog post is about, pushing your link to the top and encouraging the viewer to visit your webpage. Your title tag has to be well thought out in order to fit what someone would search for when looking for this type of content, that way the search engine recommends it to them.
It is also very important that your title tag is short and sweet. It should be less than 60 characters long. If extended past the amount of characters/pixels that the search engine allows it will begin to cut it off, known as title tag truncation.
If I were to make a title tag for this blog post a good example may look like:
How to Optimize Your Content for Search Engines | Blog Post
While a bad example (title tag truncation) may look like:
How to Optimize Your Content for Search Engines and Socia…
Notice how in this second example the title tag gets cut off and isn’t nearly as compelling as the first example. A helpful tool to use when creating title tags is the Pixel Width Checker for Page Meta Titles & Descriptions, this site will allow you to test title tags to find the perfect length. A table will be created like the one shown below showing how many characters / pixels you have left to use before crossing into creating a title tag truncation.
A meta description appears under the title tag in the search engine result and is a short description of the blog post letting the searcher know what the post is about. This description should be intriguing enough to entice the reader to click and read more. The meta description should be less than 300 characters and should include keywords, readable copy, and a rich snippet into the content.
Use this checklist to ensure that your content has everything needed to successfully optimize for search engines and social media. Are you using a compelling title tag, meta description, subheadings, links to related content…
You’ll notice that in this example it is okay for the meta description to get cut off unlike the title tag. This is because this content is longer and pulls the reader in, once the description is cut off it will encourage the reader to click in and continue reading more.
Like the title tag Pixel Width Checker for Page Meta Titles & Descriptions is a great tool to use in order to get the length of the meta description just right. A similar table will be created with the adjusted character / pixel lengths.
Make sure to break your blog post up with relevant headings, you should have three heading variations to establish hierarchy throughout your post.
Your headings should be formatted as so: Heading one (H1) This should be the largest and most bold heading (used for the main title), Heading two (H2) This should be midsized and less attention grabbing than H1 (used to title sections), Heading three (H3) This should be the smallest heading yet should have hierarchy over the body of the post (used to break up the text).
Once you have your subheadings established be sure to use H1, H2, H3 headings where they’re most applicable. Not only do these help to visually break up your text making it easier on the eyes, but they also help Google read your post and can help you rank higher in search engines.
To see a good example of these subheadings being used properly, simply take a look at how this post is formatted, you’ll find H1 used on the title at the very top laid over an image, find H2 to identity the key points of the checklist and H3 throughout the body to identify examples of each key point.
Throughout your post, it is important to add links to related content and information that may be useful to the reader to gain a better understanding of the subject or to use it as a tool to make the process easier. While it is great to link to more of your own content, it is also very helpful to link to other sources of the information. Overall you want to provide your reader with as much information and content as necessary. Don’t overdo it by littering your text with a million links to everything remotely connected, to the topic, simply pick the most relevant and reliable sources and link to those.
Notice how this post has links to a few helpful tools and a related blog post. This is all the necessary information needed to support this topic. But keep in mind depending on the length and complexity of your topic you will want to sprinkle in different amounts of information.
An Alt tag is a detailed description of an image that helps the search engine recognize it. Therefore helps with the overall optimization of your blog post. Ensure that your images are being described accurately by including the following: describe your image in specifics but don’t over-explain, if the image includes any text be sure to include it, use keywords quite sparingly, focus on describing what you see.
What not to include:
DON’T start out by saying “picture of…:” or “image of…”
DON’T repeat yourself
DON’T stuff your alt tags with unrelated keywords
If I were to make an alt tag for this image it may look something like this:
an iPad and an apple pencil resting on a white sheet alongside three clementines with leaves attached
Notice that I simply described what I was looking at, I was specific but didn’t describe every tiny detail. You’re simply letting the search engine know what the image is of.
Unoptimized images with large file sizes can dramatically slow down your site. Finding the balance between quality and file size is key. I’ve found that for large banner images, keeping the image between 1200 – 1900 px wide with file size below 1M has been the sweet spot. For images that won’t be spanning the width of the website, you can use smaller dimensions and lower file sizes. If you have access to Lightroom you can quickly bulk-optimize your images. Read the tutorial here. If you don’t have access to Lightroom, Adobe has a free resource you can use here.
Ensure that you are always using high-quality images with your content. If you don’t have access to high-quality images of your own. Check out any of these sites that provide high-quality stock photos: Pexels, Depositphotos, or Unsplash.
An og: description is incredibly similar to the meta description, but rather than appearing in a search result it will appear under a social media post (most commonly Facebook). Though the location of this description is different the purpose remains the same, to entice the reader to click and read more. This description should be less than 200 characters, and can simply be a shorter version of the meta description.
“Use this checklist to ensure that your content has everything needed to successfully optimize for search engines and social media.”
Notice how this is simply a shorter version of the meta description. This description should be quite easy to create but is important to include for your social media posts.
By checking off ALL of these important steps to optimizing your blog post you’ll bring more traffic to your webpage. Once you have Google’s eyes on you who knows what visitors it’ll bring in! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to bring in your next client!
Looking for more tips on how to optimize your content? Check out The Ultimate Checklist to Optimize Your Showit Blog: here!