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FOUR WEEK WEBSITE TUNE UP WEEK 3: OPTIMISE YOUR BLOG

 Lisa,
 20 January 2019

We’re now halfway through our Four Week Website Tune Up and this week we are focusing on your website’s blog.

If you missed week 1 you can catch up here and week 2 is here.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A BLOG?

Not every website needs to have a blog but they have a number of benefits:

  • They are great for driving traffic to your website.
  • Blogs are good for SEO
  • They can help establish you as an authority

One of the key factors in making your blog work for your website is consistency. You need to post regularly and make sure your content is relevant to your product, service or niche.

OPTIMISING YOUR BLOG

If your website already has a blog, and you blog regularly, and plan your content then you can probably skip to the next section. If don’t do all of those then it’s time to think about the following:

  • How frequently should I post new blog content? It doesn’t matter if you post daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly as long as you post consistently. Set a schedule, reserve some time in your diary for creating blog content and then stick to it. Set a deadline 2-3 days before you plan to publish the post to allow for unexpected delays.
  • What should I write about? This is a topic worthy of a blog post by itself, however my short answer is: write about topics that you think your customers/ website users would find useful and that you will enjoy writing about. There’s no point coming up with blog post ideas that you think will help you rank highly for keywords but that are boring and you don’t want to write. This article by Moz gives in depth strategies for coming up with content ideas if you are stuck for inspiration.

Once you’ve done the above I’d recommend creating a spreadsheet to plan out your content schedule for at least the next 3 months.

An important point that we’ll cover in more detail next week relates to keywords and SEO. We see loads of blog posts that are poorly written, stuffed full of keywords and clearly aimed at SEO. Don’t do this. The aim of your blog is to create interesting and useful content for your users and the Google algorithm will reward you for this.

REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR EXISTING BLOG CONTENT

This is just as important as planning your new content. Most people write blog posts and then never think about them again but updating old blog posts is good practice, keeping your content fresh and relevant, and is also good SEO practice.

Neil Patel wrote this great article about the benefits of updating old blog content.

Depending on how many posts you have this might take a while, and it might be worth scheduling this as a regular activity on your blog scheduler. If you are pressed for time to spend on your blog then alternating creating new posts and updating old posts is a good strategy.

Things to look at when assessing your old blog posts:

  • Does any of the content need updating? Check all links are working, and that all content is relevant and up to date.
  • Does the image look dated? This is probably one of the easiest ways to make a blog post look fresher. If you create your own images it might be worth batch creating new ones, if not then stock photo websites like Unsplash and Shutterstock are a good place to start.
  • Is this content too out of date/irrelevant to be worth updating? If you need to delete a blog post that’s fine but make sure you use a 301 redirect to another blog post on that topic or your blog landing page.

ASSESS YOUR CATEGORIES AND TAGS

Categories and tags are important for organising your blog content but are often misused.

My favourite analogy for explaining the use of categories and tags are that categories are like the chapters of a book and tags are the index at the back ie a post can have multiple tags but should only be in one category.

Let’s start with categories:

  • How many categories do you have? If the answer is more than 8-10 you might want to consolidate them into a more manageable number. This article explains a good way of thinking about blog categories.
  • Are you using your categories correctly? Are your posts in more than one category? If so then you probably want to rethink your categories and may need to think about sub-categories.

Tags are often confused for keywords as some SEO plugins can be configured to use tags as meta keywords. Tags should be used to link similar content together, so it is easy for your users to find.

It’s tempting to tag a blog post with as many tags as you can think of but try to be judicious in your use of tags. A tag used on 20 articles is much better than 5 tags used only once or twice.

I hope you found this useful and you’ll feel confident optimising your blog for 2020.

If you struggle with blogging or content marketing or would like some help writing your posts then contact us here.

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