Yee-haw! Your blog is written and you have that ecstatic feeling that’s a mixture of both relief and pure joy that comes after you actually sat down to write your blog and lo and behold, finished it! You might be so dang proud of yourself and confident of the pure genius you just produced that you simply click publish and move on. Whoa there, cowboy! It’s time to pull back the reins a bit because remember that feeling you also get when you don’t see results? It’s time to cowboy up and take a moment to review your blogging checklist before galloping onto the next project.
You don’t have a blogging checklist? Well, you’re in luck partner! Today’s internet marketing tips are giving you that very thing.
Blogging is a lot like riding a horse. You’re the rider. Your blog is your horse. Before you jump in the saddle, you have to have all the proper gear and get it set up right on the horse. If it’s not working properly or you’re doing something wrong you’ll get bucked off and maybe even hurt. The same is true for you blog. If you don’t have a good blogging platform and you’re doing something wrong, it could hurt your internet marketing strategy.
Every Blogging Cowboy’s (and Cowgirl’s) Checklist
1. Title is 70 Characters or Less
This is easier said than done. First and foremost you want your title to be interesting and attention-getting. That is sometimes hard to do in only 70 characters. The 70 character thing is important because when the title shows up on the search engine results page (SERPS) this is the number of characters you’ll see before the rest gets cut off. At least get your keyword within the first 70 characters.
2. Word Count is 400 – 600 words
There are varying opinions these days about the right length for a blog post. Some people follow the “just say what you need to say” approach and don’t worry about word count. But if you’re in the beginning stages of your blogging, word count matters. You want the search engines to see that you are providing substantial content as the central part of your internet marketing strategy.
3. Keyword Density is Natural, Not Artificial
You have your list of keywords you’re hoping to rank for, so make sure that you use them in your blog. You should focus on one keyword in each blog post and make sure you use it in your blog post. How often do you use it? Well, there really is no hard and fast number, but you want your content to sound natural. Want to figure out your keyword density out? Number of times keyword appears / Total word count X 100 = your keyword density. Remember to write for humans, not for search engines by keeping your content natural, not artificial like Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, explains here:
4. Meta Description
The meta description shows up on the SERPS to tell you what a page is about. While including the keyword doesn’t factor into the ranking of the page, it is a good internet marketing best practice because it gives the searcher more validity to what the page is about. The length of the meta description should be 150 to 160 characters, give or take, to avoid truncation and it’s best to have a unique description for each blog post.
It seems that in the world of internet marketing people are more forgiving of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, but that’s no excuse not to proofread. Don't be a lone ranger either - have a second set of eyes look at your blog article if possible….and spell check doesn’t count!
BONUS: Add media!
An interesting, relevant image or video will add a little something to your blog post.
Riding and writing can be intimidating at first and you don’t become an equestrian or famous author overnight. It takes time, patience, practice, and consistency.
When you feel like you’ve been bucked off because you aren’t seeing results you gotta get right back in the saddle again. Only when you find the right rhythm with your trusty steed can you begin to ride comfortably into the sunset. And only when you get into the right rhythm of following best practices you set for you blog, can you hit publish and start seeing results with your internet marketing. Happy Trails!