7 Things Your Blog Post Needs Before You Hit Publish

by Carly Stec on March 10, 2014

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Are you arming your blog posts with the elements they need to succeed?Keys-Ways-To-Engage-Your-Audience-When-Writing-Blogs

While it may be tempting to race to the publish button the minute you finish your latest masterpiece, premature publishing could result in missed marks.

Point being, check your post before you wreck your post. In order to help you do just that, I’ve detailed 7 things that your blog post must have before you hit the publish button.

A Keyword

While SEO changes have shifted the way many bloggers research, view, and implement keywords, your blog will still benefit from a well-defined keyword.

A keyword will not only help you narrow your focus from a content creation standpoint, but if properly selected, it will have an influence on the way your post performs on search engine results pages.

What marketers have found is that long-tail keywords are highly searchable and often times easier to rank for than a highly competitive single keyword. Long-tail keywords are more targeted which ultimately leads to better quality traffic and increased conversions.

Once you’ve defined a keyword(s) you’ll want to be sure that you include it in the following areas:

  • Title
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Body

A Headline

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. (Source: Copyblogger)

Your blog post doesn’t simply need a headline, but it needs a headline that will help it stand out against the rest of the noise on the Internet. It’s all about convincing the reader to move from on to the next sentence.

When approaching headline creation consider the following elements:

  • Clear value or benefits
  • Question words like: Why? How? Who? When?
  • Numbered lists
  • Specificity
  • Length

A Persona

What buyer personas do is help to paint a picture of your audience. They work to shed light on what challenges the people you are trying to reach are faced with, how they consume information, and what goals they are ultimately trying to accomplish.

The new SEO calls for content that is optimized in accordance to the wants and needs of buyer personas, which means you’ll want to be sure that your post lends itself well to their interests.

A Relevant CTA

The conversion potential for your blog posts is highly dependent on the call-to-action that you employ. In order to be sure that you’ve selected one that will perform well, you’ll want to consider the following factors:

  • Lifecycle stage
  • Buyer persona
  • Content subject matter
  • CTA analytics

If the offer being highlighted in your CTA is relevant to the audience’s lifecycle stage, lends itself well to their wants and needs, addresses their challenges, and has performed well in the past, you’re on the right track.

An Image (With Alt Text)

Perhaps what visual content does best is express ideas quickly. It works together with your headline to capture the attention of your audience and evoke curiosity.

It is important for bloggers to recognize that posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without. (Source: Wishpond)

When including an image in your blog post, be sure to include alt text to increase SEO potential. What alt text does is serve an an alternative text for web users who cannot see images, however it also serves as a way for bloggers to boost SEO by including relevant keywords where they fit in the image’s description.

Meta Description

Your blog’s meta description provides an explanation of the content within your post that will appear on a search engine result page.

It serves as an opportunity for bloggers to “advertise” their post to potential readers by highlighting a snippet of text that explains exactly what they can expect from the article.

The goal is to keep it short and simple. In order to avoid your sentence being cut off, try to keep your description between 150-160 characters.

Links

Including links within your blogs posts is a highly effective way to extend the shelf life of some of your older posts.

Internal links encourage your audience to explore your content library further, and increase page views which could potentially lead to conversions.

Additionally, internal links can be used to provide readers with further clarification without having to expand upon the length of your article. If you touch on a more complex topic that you’ve already detailed in an older blog post, use a link to increase the value and your business’ credibility.

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