How to Optimize Your Blog Post

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Blog posts are an excellent way to share technical information, especially for the purpose of content marketing. However, if the post is not readable and cannot be found easily (i.e., optimized for search), it defeats the purpose of writing it. Here are some tips to optimize and increase the visibility of your blog posts.

The two most important factors to measure before publishing your blog post  are: readability and search engine optimization (SEO). Readability is critical to ensuring that your blog post is easily read and understood. SEO is vital to making your blog post easily found online.

There are various ways to increase both readability and SEO. Sweetcode’s copy edit process is in accordance with the Yoast standards.

Optimizing Readability

Organize

One of the simplest ways to increase the readability of a blog post is to use subheadings and distribute them evenly within your post. 

This not only makes it easier for readers to digest content, but also helps readers easily pick out specific topics in your blog post that they may be interested in.

Condense

Another way of making content more digestible for readers is to be mindful of the lengths of subsections, paragraphs, and sentences. 

As a general rule of thumb, it is beneficial to keep each subsection to no more than 300 words. Any more has the potential to discourage readers from engaging further with the post if it appears too dense.

Overall, it is best to stay as concise as possible.

Clarify

To avoid creating confusing sentences, your blog post should maximize its use of active voice. When we write a sentence, we write in either an active or passive voice.

 In an active voice, a subject does something to a receiver. In passive voice, the receiver becomes the subject. 

For instance, an example of an active sentence would be, “I wrote a blog post.” An example of a passive sentence would be, “The blog post was written by me.”

Active voice in a sentence makes it more concise and clarifies who is doing what. As a result, it makes a sentence more straightforward and easier to understand.

Flow

Another crucial aspect of optimizing readability is ensuring that sentences and paragraphs flow well together. This helps readers to take in information more easily.

Using transition words and being mindful of variety in your sentences are both ways you can optimize the flow of your blog post.

However, even assuming you optimized your blog post for readability, it does not matter if people can’t find you blog post online. This is why you must also be mindful of SEO.

Optimizing SEO

Your Key Phrase

Before you can begin working with and improving SEO in your blog post, decide on a focus key phrase for your blog post. 

This key phrase should be relatively short, kept to about three words, and it should encapsulate the topic of your blog post.

When you choose your focus key phrase, it is the search term you most want your post to rank for. As a result, you should use it throughout your blog post.

Meta description

Your meta description appears as your blog post’s explanation in Google’s search results. It is best kept short – between 120 and 156 characters – so that it is fully visible in search results, and not truncated. 

It should include your focus key phrase, as well.

Images

The use of images can substantially increase your SEO. They help to bring more visitors to your blog post, and they can be useful in making a concept more easily understood.

However, if you are going to use an image, it must be high quality and it must add value to your blog post. It is no use adding an image if it does not enhance the understanding of your readers.

Never use copyrighted images.

You can also add alt text to your images, which helps increase your SEO if it is relevant to your focus key phrase.

Links

There are two types of outbound links you can include in your blog post: internal links or links to external sites.

Internal links lead to another page on your website. This is helpful as traffic from one page of your website can also help increase the traffic of another.

Links leading to external sites increase your perceived expertise and authority on the subject because you are offering other sources that confirm what you have written. 

Measuring Readability and SEO

While each of the suggestions above serve to optimize your blog post, they can be difficult to measure and keep track of. As a result, it is often useful to have a plugin that does it for you.

One helpful plugin is Yoast. Yoast not only keeps track of the various strategies to optimize your posts and your website, but it also provides a method of measurement for how optimized your blog post is. 

Conclusion

As candidates for Fixate’s practitioner network, we encourage Sweetcode contributors to develop strong writing skills and to optimize their blog posts. Clearly, there are various ways to optimize your blog post. When you are writing your blog post, using every strategy is not necessary, but the more you use, the better your post will be.

If you are interested in learning more about writing with us, take a look at this article: “Nurturing and Recognizing Good Technical Writers.”


Maia Thompson is currently an intern with Fixate, and acts as a copy editor of DevOps technical posts for the Sweetcode community. She also works closely with Sweetcode as a DevOps community organizer. Part of this community organization includes managing the social media accounts for both Fixate and Sweetcode to increase engagement. Maia is passionate about building communities, as well as bringing them closer together, and strives to do so in all aspects of her work. Additionally, she has an interest in graphic design, and will often incorporate this by creating graphics for technical posts or by using these graphics to promote technical content on social media.


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