Most people think this is a simple process and it is… but there are some vital steps you need to make.
These tips will help optimize your posts for Google and your readers.
Here are the steps I take for each new post:
1. Free-write post.
This is with no concern for spelling or grammar. I typically do this in a Google Doc and just let my ideas flow.
As any free-writer knows, editing is a must. The grammar will need to be corrected, as well as spelling. I love Grammarly for this but even that needs a once-over. Make sure there are plenty of breaks and begin thinking of what text will be used for subheadings.
3. Title post.
You’ll want to find a title that is keyword-rich and relevant to the content (and ideal client). When coming up with a title, consider what your ideal clients are searching for when they go to Google for answers. In fact, go to Google yourself and type your title in and see what comes up. Use some of the links provided as inspiration for what ranks higher.
4. Add to WordPress.
This is pretty self-explanatory. But within your WordPress dashboard, you’ll go to Posts > Add New. Then add your finalized title and copy.
5. Edit the Permalink.
The permalink is just a fancy word for the URL for the blog post. You’ll want to make sure this is something relevant, not too long and keyword-rich. Sometimes this will be the same as the post title, other times it will be simplified down a bit.
6. Make it scannable + add links.
Next, I go through and break up any lengthy paragraphs with breaks. Then I set relevant headings through the text. Most readers will scan your posts before committing to reading it. Make headings relevant and enticing.
At this time, I also add relevant links to particular words/phrases throughout the post to help provide additional resources and information to readers. Not only will it invite users to stay on your site for longer, but Google is also a fan of relevant backlinking.
7. Add Featured Image.
Then, I search for images relevant to the topic (and my brand) and add them throughout the text, as needed. I’ll also be sure to pick one of these to be used for the Featured Image of the post. The Featured Image is what will show up on any social media site when sharing your link, so make sure it’s on-brand and relevant to the topic.
8. Set Category + Tags.
You should already have a few primary categories for your blog posts. Choose one of these categories (at most two) and then move on to your tags. The categories are more big-picture where tags are more specific.
Google really likes an organized Category + tag system on websites. Think of these are helpful tools for your users to easily navigate your site finding relevant content.
9. Preview then schedule.
WordPress has a Preview button on the top right of each blog post. This will let you see what it would look like live, on the front end, and adjust as needed. Then schedule the post at your regular day/time set for scheduling.
I’m not the best example of this but I’m working on it… Google really likes consistent content. So if that’s every other Wednesday, stick with that schedule. Don’t switch to a Friday, then a Tuesday, then wait a month and post on a Monday. Google likes (and rewards) consistency, so batch your content and schedule them regularly.
Using the Yoast SEO plugin I’ll update the settings to enhance SEO. I add a focus keyphrase and update the meta description. If needed, I’ll also update the title that search engines display if I’d like it to be different than the post title itself.
All of the above steps are assuming I already know what I’m writing about when I sit down to write. Every few months I revisit my content calendar to make sure it aligns with my business goals and ideal client.