Search Engine Optimization for 2015 will be more about the user experience and less about “keywords” used in the content. Content matters more than ever, but it must be strong, quality, unique content on an easily navigated website that will create the results you want pleasing the visitor and the search engine.
When your navigation is set, and the architecture of your website is pleasing, the user will take more actions on the page. Google is measuring user engagement which includes clicks, actions, time on site, and bounce rates, so how you create your blog post is as important as what you create.
Below is a guide to creating a great blog post that will accomplish the goals of creating a quality user experience.
Create User-Friendly Navigation
Whenever possible, you want to show the relationships with child and parent pages (or subpages) in a clear navigation.
- This gives the user the idea that your blog topic is a focused topic of a more broad topic that you have originally started.
- It provides additional links that give the user options to click away if topic is not what they wanted reducing bounce rates.
- You can also use Menus to accomplish this goal.
Set up a Byline or Author tag
- When you are blogging, people will be curious to know more about you. In most cases, people are finding your blog post through a search engine or a social media link. They may not have yet heard of you. A quick link to your profile on the top of your post can lead to more clicks to your about page and increase followers. It is also a best practice to include an author bio on the bottom of your page.
- Here is an example of the title of the blog, date, and then link to the author description. In WordPress, you can change how you would like this to read. You would only see the (Edit) option when logged into your WordPress control panel.
The Author Bio may be included on the page at the bottom as well. There are many WordPress Plugins that will accomplish the goal. Shown here is AuthorBox Lite below the breadcrumb navigation.
Include Share Icons
- Increases SEO In 2015, one of the growing factors in SEO is social signals. The search engines are now listening for clues from the search engines. Measuring links and traffic, we’ve already proved that a higher number of hits to our site from social sites are boosting search engine rankings. When you make it easy for your visitors to share, you increase your odds that they might. Creating shares is not easy. The content must be valuable and WORTH sharing.
- If you are using WordPress, the plugin FLARE may be of interest to you and actually counts the shares. This might be a good way for you to measure the impact of your blog. Don’t be confused though. Just because your post is not being shared does not mean it’s not generating traffic. Consider using tools to measure these separately. Clicky is a great tool for measuring traffic to a page and is a Ballen Brand favorite!
Shown here is a selection of popular social media sites. You can customize and add your favorite.
Create a SEO Driven First Paragraph
- Your top paragraph matters. That first sentence is the first thing visitors see compelling them to stay or click away. Statistics show that the average visitor spends less than 45 seconds on a site. They do a quick scan and if the post is not what they want, they bounce off. That first line is going to be imperative to time on site.
- In addition, your Google Snippet in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page) may be derived from the first paragraph as well. You’ll want a compelling summary so that when someone does a keyword search and finds your link in the search engine results page, they will ready the summary and want to click increasing your impression to click conversion rate.
- Below, you’ll find an example of Google result. Sometimes, you can attempt to change this description by using a meta description, but Google will always still decide what it shows.
Use Great Images
- Whenever possible, include people in your images
- Real Images are preferred over Clip Art drawings
- Resize for faster page speed (75 – 125 KB)
- Title your image as a keyword title relating to your post rather than the preset title
- Link your image to another related page on your blog post rather than just having it open in a new window. Graphs and charts are better left to open to a larger view
- Always use copyright free images.
- Consider creating your own Infographics. Tools like Piktochart are great for this.
Use Bold Headlines for each Main Thought
- This breaks up block text
- Shows the user you are moving on to another subtopic
- Creates a flow increasing user engagement and time on site
Use Bullet Points and Lists
- Each point allows for a separate emphasized thought
- Encourages the eyes to flow down the page
- Is less stressful as block text inviting the visitor to continue reading
- Is easier to scan
Include Related Posts
- If you are creating long-form content (1500 words or more), the user may tire quickly. Including related posts throughout your blog, may encourage them to click on something more relative to their need.
- Can be used at the bottom or the top of the page inviting the user to click which decreases bounce rates and increases the user experience.
- When used with WordPress, several plugins such as Jetpack, include related articles dynamically
Example of Related Posts from our Living in Las Vegas Category