Content. Definitely content. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Whatever you write has to add value to the reader. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them interested, make them excited. Make them fall in love with your story, if you’re that kind of a writer. We’ve already covered what makes a good writer and how to write well. For those, who are struggling with writing, there are always some good people willing to help you out.
But what if you are a writer who’s already rocking his or her content, yet struggles with technology? Say you publish your content on a WordPress site and you don’t have much of experience with its technical side. Here are some things you should do to deliver a better experience to users as well as to search engines.
Add categories to your posts
Categories are big baskets that help you to organise content and help your readers not to get lost in it. Ideally, there should be only one category per post.
You can later use the categories to set up content grouping in Google Analytics to gain insight into how people engage with your writing.
Add tags to your posts
Tags are similar to categories, however they are more detailed and fluid than categories. You can afford to be more liberal with use of tags. Don’te be afraid to have many of them per post.
Search engines and blog catalogues like Technorati used to rely on tags heavily, but those days are gone. Tags still have value, though, so feel free to use them, but don’t rely on them too much to rank better.
Add META DESCRIPTIONS and TITLE tags
Make sure you always fill out the TITLE tags and META DESCRIPTIONS. These two elements govern how your search engine listing will appear in search engines results pages. WordPress often takes your post title as a TITLE tag and your excerpt as a META DESCRIPTION. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely reliable, so I would recommend using WordPress SEO plug-in by Yoast.
Pay extra attention to writing the TITLE tags and META DESCRIPTIONS copy, so it incentivises users to click on your search result. You have 150 characters, so make it count.
Link to other people’s blogs
Links are the lifeblood of the Internet and search engines still pay a great deal of attention to them. Give out love by linking to other blogs that add value to your readers. In return, don’t be afraid to engage in your own linkbuilding activities. They will pay off big time.
Pick a post type
If you are using a theme that supports multiple post types, take advantage of it. There is no tangible benefit for your site’s SEO, but there is a benefit for your users. If you have an option to create a gallery post, take it. It will make your post layout look prettier on the homepage and if your photos are good, users will be likely to click through.
Can you feel the difference between the image post and gallery post? Which one sucks you into the story better?
Of course, you have to have good pictures to begin with…
Caption images, give them a title
Search engines are getting better at indexing visual content, but they aren’t quite there yet. Help them out a little bit by captioning your images, giving them anchor text and adding ALT tags.
Use a Facebook-friendly image
When people share your post on social media, you should make sure it looks good. To ensure that, you can include a picture of dimensions of 1200 x 630 px and hope Facebook will use it when crawling your site. Another option is to set the FB image in the WordPress SEO plug-in and leave out the guess work. This is how it looks when all is implemented.
By the way, this image took me, a notable design clod, five minutes using PicMonkey. Seriously, now you don’t have an excuse for shoddy-looking posts circulating on Facebook.
Congratulations, you’ve made it! We have covered first steps to making your posts good. If you have ways of turning your content from good to great, feel free to share them.