The goal of blogs we do for clients as of now is SEO. We want them to come up in search engine results for location-relevant content. Events have been working great for that purpose. If a blog has a “subscribe” option, we worry a little bit less about SEO and more about community building.
Think of what keywords people would search for, then develop the entire article around those (e.g. “Burton US Open dates”). At the same time, remember using keywords that will benefit the entire site (Vail).
Keep it short and sweet and provide some extra value – don’t just write what somebody else has already written or could write.
Add some personal feel to it, you’re writing for a business that will or has been affected by the event after all. Sometimes even involved in the event.
We post at least a month before the event takes place. That is to allow search engine crawlers to index our posts.
If your blog does not have the option to subscribe for rss or e-mail notifications, the time of day and day of the week you post doesn’t matter. Most our blogs are like that right now. Frequency is no more than a post a week, for now.
When toggled to Visual, it works very much like MS Word. When toggled to Text, you have an HTML editor. Use the latter if you have a hard time formatting what you want the way you want. If you don’t know HTML, just give it a quick Google search using phrases like “HTML tag for …”.
Local events, big relevant upcoming news – everything timely and local that people will search for in a period of at least a couple weeks. The best possible topic is one that relates back to business of the client.
For a high-end restaurant in Vail we post about Taste of Vail, for a lodging company in Vail- a lot about skiing and snowboarding, for both about Vail Village, etc. For Mobloggy we post about online marketing and social media, so say during the month leading to a seminar on Instagram, we post (a couple times) about Instagram marketing. For knowledge sharing posts, titles inlcuding “How-to” and derivations of that phrase (“steps for”, “ways to”, …) work great. For structure and reader-friendliness, lists are super popular: 5 Tricks That…, 10 Best Examples of …, 5 Creative Ways to…
Use links in your post, a fair amount of links. This makes your content much easier to see by crawlers.
First paragraph – most important of all. Always Include an external link (to another website) and an internal one (to a different page on the same website) – crawlers love that.
Try not to link to articles similar to what you’re working on. That will decrease the perceived value of anything you write. Link rather to sites where the most interested people can read more, e.g. about examples of what you’re describing. Or link to sources that validate your statements and figures.
CTA – Call to Action
People usually do not come to your blog to buy from you, they come to learn about whatever it is you’re covering. Therefore, remind them about the steps to take (call in, book, follow, …).
500 words is what has proven to work for us. This is not black and white though and if you can get your point across in 200 words, keyword rich (not keyword stuffed)- great. If you have a good reason to make it 800 or 900 words, like when the event schedule is very long- great. If your post starts nearing 1000 words, consider splitting it to part 1 and part 2 – that can actually be very time-efficient, and we always have use for an extra blog post.
Include images. Images are awesome. Who doesn’t love images. A couple images per post (or more if appropriate), make the article much better. For one, image use will make you think in visual terms and give tangible examples. Second, images make text more reader-friendly.
Featured image – set a bombastico one and fill in all the fields in the form – very important for SEO. Crawlers can’t read images yet, so they rate what they see based on the accompanying text.
Image text – the rules apply for featured images just as everything else.
- Title needs to be short and include the most relevant keywords. Do not stuff with keywords, as they lose weight that way. So for instance “Taste of Vail food event La Tour Vail Restaurant” is bad. “Taste of Vail La Tour” is great. For another image, “La Tour Vail” or “Vail restaurant” can be optimal.
- Caption should be a catchy one-liner rich in keywords.
- Alt text is what displays if the image can’t load. It is a safe bet to use the same wording as in Title.
- Description – normally doesn’t display to viewers, but crawlers do see it. Make it different and longer than the caption.
Image size – our blog layouts are usually quite narrow so around 450p in img width is good. Do not just resize the img in WordPress, for it’s size in kilobytes will stay the same. Large image sizes make loading time longer, and that is bad for SEO. Resize Images in Photoshop and make sure they save small.
All of the above fosters SEO performance. To make sure your text itself is optimized, save the post as draft. The grey SEO ball on the right will gain color – only post if green (unless you have a very solid reason to do different).
Down below the text in WordPress, you can see Yoast SEO. That will point out imperfections and opportunities in your posts’s SEO. Fix them all so that your focus keyword (phrase) is strongly supported by your ENTIRE post.
Use an appropriate set of tags. They can make a small but important difference in SEO ranking.
Tick off the fitting categories and add one or two if needed. Tick off ‘Uncategorized’, too.
TIME SPENT PER POST
Jodi, the powerhouse, can bust out a blog post in an hour – by keeping it “short and sweet’.
Now save your draft and wait for someone to review before publishing. Re-read to yourself and look for typos or phrases that might not make sense to others even if they do make sense to you.
Go into directory listings that support calendars and set up a calendar event for each event you blog about. The main point is to include the link to your blog post, so that web crawlers see it and boost it in search results.
Become a badass blogger by understanding and applying:
Need help with your blog? We do that. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org