Since blogging is one of those things that we should all be doing, for added value to our consumers and for SEO (search engine optimization) value I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some extra must haves for your blogs.
Obviously you want to be sure that your blog has all of the components of a blog from being grammatically correct to the SEO necessities to your blog but I am going to touch on some of the extras that can help with the shareability (yep, it’s a word) of your blog.
- meta titles – that’s your headline or a version of it that shows up on the search engine snippet and in the tab of your browser.
- meta descriptions – telling what the blog is about and also shows up on the search engine snippet
- keyword-rich content – this should go without saying, that you need to have not only valuable content but content that has your keywords within it, naturally
- internal and external links – providing extra value to the consumer.
- various other must have components for an optimized blog
The extra toppings on your blog
However with this post I wanted to talk more about the extras that you can add to your blog to make it extra special. Those things would be:
- comment plugin
- sharing friendly plugins
If you don’t have a WordPress blog then you’re going to want to look into the various functions, or your website help section, so you can these types of things to your blog to help make it more consumer friendly.Make sure your blog is reader friendly, comment friendly and shareable. #bloggers #boom Click To Tweet
As always your blogs should be reader-friendly
Now what I mean by reader-friendly is something that is visually appealing and has plenty of plain paragraph text (not overly bold-faced, too many colors of text or too many font styles) which is easier for consumers to read. You’ll want to be sure you are giving the reader options to read on by using links which help them understand the point better. When you space your text out appropriately, you are spacing out your paragraphs with header tags (h2, h3) which help tell the reader what the next paragraph is about (and search engines too). This is something I like to refer to as skimability. Because, let’s be honest, they aren’t reading every word!
If the blog is reader-friendly and visually appealing the reader is more likely to continue to read, or skim. If the reader is staying on your website they are telling Google that this website is something of value, then giving you better chance to show up in search.
You want to make it easy for them to comment
Now that the reader is reading your blog, hopefully we want them to comment and share it. You need to make sure that you have the plugin or functionality for your website that makes it easier for the reader to comment. Often times various plugins that require the reader to create/register and thus log into something in order to comment. This is not the best method because you are making it harder for the consumer to comment, why would you do that? If you are trying to protect yourself from spam, then get a plugin for spam… don’t make it harder on your readers to comment! Bottom line, if you must, find a plugin that makes it easy for readers to register for, login and then comment.Why make it harder for comment by using spam logins? Control them separately! #comments #spam Click To Tweet
Make your blog easy to share
You clearly want your blog to be spread across the internet (viral) so be sure you have the plugin, or functionality on your website that makes it easy for the consumers to share. There are various plugins that can be used and it will likely depend upon the theme and compatibility with your website.
Don’t forget to review all of your settings, like the Twitter sharing setting, so your Twitter handle shows when others share versus the sharing plugin’s Twitter handle.
Don’t forget Click to Tweets – for more shares
Lastly I wanted to mention an extra fun feature – Click-to-Tweet. This is a WordPress plugin that gives others something else to tweet like a graphic, quote or your own creative for them to tweet instead of just tweeting at the end of the blog with a title or description of your blog. Plus, you aren’t making the reader work, you are providing it all right there for them! And a Bonus… you get a better chance to get your content shared on Twitter. Like check this out below….Create your own 'tweetables' for others to share from your blog. #clicktotweet Click To Tweet
Visuals – didn’t want to leave this to assumption
I really wanted to add this one in too… as it may seem like common sense, just didn’t want to leave it to assumption. People are visual and pictures help to tell the story in your blogs. Make sure that you add a picture to your blog that is appropriate for the social media that you are sharing it to.
If you have a long blog which hopefully you should have more than 500 words, at least, you will want to put more than just one. Usually putting one at the top is great attention getter but be sure to spread a few pictures throughout the blog in appropriate places. I like adding images to my blogs within the text area and have the text wrap around the image versus separating an image with a bunch of white space. This makes the consumer scroll more but I do believe this is more a personal choice. Don’t forget to optimize the images and add the SEO vodoo to it.
To wrap this up I just want to remind you to make sure that you’re providing valuable content for your consumer as well as utilizing a few of these extra blogging must-haves.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or additional suggestions of things that others should use when blogging, please add those in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. Or, if you need help with blogging on your website, adding visuals or these extra plugins, contact me as I would be happy to offer my consulting services.