Did you see the Whiteboard Friday from June 3rd? (SEO for Bloggers: How to Nail the Optimization Process for Your Posts)
Fishkin outlined a lovely process, but small business owners don’t have a lot of time and I bet this seems very overwhelming to them. Inspiration struck for me to translate this for small business owners.
Here’s how we can make this doable in an active small business . . .
1) Goals, Audience and Mindset
We can spend a minute thinking about goals and audience and small biz owners do forget this sometimes in the hustle-bustle.
Your intent will shape how you write the post. For example, talking about news is different from promoting a product. And talking to existing fans differs from talking to new clients, which differs from talking to your colleagues.
I do love Fishkin’s point about thinking about metrics at the beginning and having realistic expectations. Being clear what you are shooting for clarifies your writing. And just expecting any old post to improve all of your metrics dramatically is magical thinking.
For example, some types of posts are better at bringing more traffic and some are better at bringing more engagement and some help make the sale. What are you trying to accomplish with this blog post? And what is your call to action? Buy something? Sign up for the newsletter? Call?
I also love the mindset piece Fishkin mentions. You want to experiment and learn and try again and keep improving. This is an ongoing process, not a one time thing.
2) Quick Research on Keywords and Competitors
Brainstorm what different words can be used for your topic. Put these into Google Trends and pick the one phrase with the most searches. Remember, you don’t want a general term, you want a specific phrase. (In Fishkin’s example, you don’t use “clothes,” you use “luxury kids clothes” or “designer children’s fashion.”)
Be sure you are logged out of your browser and search for your keyword phrase. Who is ranked at the top? What is missing in the top 10 articles? What can you add that hasn’t been said before? As Fishkin said, how are you going above & beyond what is already there?
You can also try a tool like BuzzSumo to learn about social sharing for your topic.
Double bonus points if you already know your keyword phrase is a good choice from previously using the Adwords Keyword Planner.
3) Create and Optimize your Post
First, create a good title. Brainstorm a few titles that include your keyword phrase. Use the Headline Analyzer to check and improve your title. Stop when you get one with a green rating. Save your title ideas for social sharing in Step 4.
Write your unique & valuable post and include a visual element (image, chart, graphic, etc.) Ideally your keyword is in your image file name and alt. More on Images here.
Use Yoast’s SEO plug-in. Make recommended changes until you get a green rating.
Do you have older content related to this post? If so, link the pieces back-and-forth to each other. Or if an old post is outdated, put in a 301 redirect and delete it.
4) Publish & Share
A lot of people just push the Publish button and then wonder why it’s not bringing better results. There are a lot of possibilities for sharing and most people don’t do enough. At the very least:
- Share on your social media. More than one platform. More than once. Use your title brainstorming from Step 3 to add variety to your posts.
- Put a blurb from your article in your email newsletter and link it to your blog.
- Email anyone who would be interested. Do you have a champion who will share your post with their followers? If a client inspired your article, share it with them.
Once a month, take a moment to reflect on what is working and what isn’t and let that inform your efforts on the next blog post. Did you meet your goal and metric you chose in Step 1? What are you trying next?
Triple bonus points if you keep a spreadsheet to track your efforts! Consider including the following possible columns:
- Date Published – Some posts will see immediate interest, some will build over time, some will have staying power, some won’t. What trends do you notice?
- Post – Topic or title, whatever is easiest
- Audience – New people? Loyal fans? Colleagues?
- Goal – Traffic? Engagement? Conversion?
- Metric – Pageviews? Time on page? Social sharing?
- CTA – Call? Sign up for the newsletter? Read this next?
- Traffic – For the last 6-12 months, which posts are in your top 25 pages for pageviews?
- Time – Which posts have more then 5 minutes spent?
- SEO – Is this in your top 25 of your Search Console Landing Pages?
- Shares – Which posts are in your top 10 for most shares?
- Conversion – Which posts lead to a sale or newsletter signup?
- 🙂 – Which posts did well & how can you do more like that?
- 🙁 – Which posts failed or took too much time for the minimal results you see? Don’t do that again!
And that’s it! A little extra time spent on this process will bring you much better results!
Want help? If so, you can reach me here.