12 Things You Should do Before You Publish Your Blog Post
About to hit publish on that blog? Hold on before you do! We might be able to help…
Blogs are a great way to increase your SEO ranking, engage with your customers, establish subject matter expertise, and promote and build your brand. But to get the most out of your blog posts, you need to know about all of the tips, tricks, and techniques that experts use when they’re optimizing their posts.
Let’s get started!
1. Add Images
Every blog you publish should have relevant images and graphics! No, we’re not saying to overload it up with tons of stock images that don’t add to the post. Quality over quantity, for sure. What you should do, however, is choose relevant and quality images, graphics, and infographics that relate and add value to your blog post. Images help break up the post, demonstrate the point you’re trying to make, and help with SEO purposes. How do they help with SEO, you ask? Well, if you put keywords in the image name and description, those will count toward your SEO!
Images are also important for when you promote your blog on social media. In this case, the feature image is especially significant. So don’t just throw any random picture on your post and call it a day. Take some time to think through how you want visual representation to add to your post and then add the image(s) of your choice.
2. Assign it to a Category
Every blog you post should be assigned to one or more categories. Depending on which platform you use, you may be able to assign the blog to one primary and multiple secondary categories. Categories are beneficial because they help your reader preview the themes of the post before they read it. Additionally, once you have multiple posts in the same category, readers can use the category function to find other blog posts they may be interested in. How cool is that?!
3. Do Keyword Research
A huge part of SEO optimization is using the right keywords for your post. How do you do that? By doing keyword research. While this may sound like a super time consuming or challenging task to do, it’s actually pretty simple. Plus, there are so many tools and software out there that will basically do it for you, so there’s no reason not to! You should be using these keywords in several different parts of your blog post — in titles and headers, in meta descriptions, in image titles and descriptions, and more. So, it’s important that you choose the right keywords by doing some research beforehand.
4. Write a Meta Description with Keywords
See, we told you those keywords are important! A meta description is that little description you see under a search result title when you do a Google search. It’s basically like a little one-liner (or three-liner) summary of your post. It’s also an opportunity for you to draw people to your post and actually get them to click on it! Being ranked on Google isn’t enough, you still need people to actually visit your website.
Meta descriptions are quite short, only about 100 to 300 characters, so make sure that you optimize them for SEO while also ensuring the quality of them for your reader; you shouldn’t just throw keywords in there and call it a day.
While spellcheck is old news, your built-in spellcheck won’t catch things like grammar, phrasing, and word choice. That’s where editing applications come in! Lucky for all of us, there are tons of editing apps out there that can help make your blogs (and anything you write, for that matter) more grammatically correct. One of the most popular ones is Grammarly, which has a free option and a Google Chrome plug-in, so it’ll automatically suggest changes for your Google docs. Even more, if you pay for premium, they’ll offer suggestions for word choice and syntax. Long-story-short, they’ll save you tons of time and effort, as you won’t have to worry about making those pesky grammar mistakes that we all make every once in a while.
5. Use an Editing Application
6. Add External Links
For SEO-purposes, you should include at least one external link in each of your blog posts. If you want to include more than one, consider linking to a smaller business’ page. Who knows, maybe they’ll link to your website in their next post! Of course, you can always formalize these relationships and work with other brands to promote each other.
7. Add Internal Links
Similar to using external links, you should also include at least one internal link to your blog post for SEO purposes. Internal links can be anything that comes from your website. Talking about a specific service or product in the blog? Link to it. Doing a series of posts about a certain topic? Link to the other posts in the series. If you can’t find absolutely anything to link to in your posts, you can always put in a “Related Reading” bar and link to another blog (see below!).
8. Use Headings & Subheadings
Before you publish any blog, you definitely need to make sure that you’re using headings and subheadings. Firstly, they are beneficial for SEO purposes, especially if you’re using keywords in them (which you should be). Secondly, and most importantly, headings and subheadings break up the text and help your audience read, digest, and understand the actual post. It allows them to skip ahead and read a specific section, if that’s what they want, and it helps them see the format and structure of the blog more clearly.
As an added bonus, headings and subheadings will also help the blog writer with their organization! If you’re struggling to write a blog, you can create an outline first with the headings and subheadings as all of the points, and then go from there.
9. Include a Call to Action
All of the other tips on this are must-do’s, while this one is a suggestion that you should implement if it makes sense for you: Include a call to action. A great way to prompt your audience to engage with your brand more, buy a product, or explore what you do is by using a call to action in your blog. This can be anything, for example: “Comment below!” “Reach out with questions.” “Schedule a call now.” But you should only do this if it makes sense for your business and your blog; don’t just include a call to action because someone told you to.
10. Make it Mobile-Friendly
The people reading your blogs most likely also use a smartphone. That means that they may be looking at your blogs, social platforms, and website using their mobile devices instead of their laptops. So, it’s in your best interest to make everything, not just your blog, mobile-friendly and optimized. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing a potential customer to a different, more mobile-friendly website.
11. Check the Draft for Formatting
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many blogs we find with poor formatting! Headings, subheadings, and images will help you format your blog in an aesthetically pleasing and logical way. But it’s your job to take it one step further and ensure that what you publish it, your blog looks good, is formatted correctly, and makes sense logically. An easy way to do that is to click the preview button before you hit publish and overview what it will look like when you publish it. Don’t like something? Great, now you have the opportunity to change it before it’s live!
12. Make the URL Search Engine-Friendly
Last but not least, you should make your URL search engine-friendly. Similar to many of the points on here, this is a great tool to help your SEO and rankings. Additionally, a search engine-friendly URL might be helpful for when your readers want to save and share your blog. It’s not hard to do, so there’s no reason not to take a few extra seconds and implement this idea.
And there you have it!
The top twelve things that you should do before you publish your blog. And of course, if you have any questions, you know where to find us!