Blog Optimization: The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Your Blog Posts

Blog Optimization: The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Better SEO & ROI

by | Jun 5, 2018 | Blogging

Want your blogs to rank in the top #3 of Google… or even earn a coveted Featured Snippets placement?
Want huge ROI in the form of traffic, leads, conversions, and even sales from your blogging efforts?
It’s time to start optimizing your blog posts.
Blog optimization is the road to take if you want to hit the bullseye on Google’s various ranking factors.
SEO success factors
And, because ranking factors for your posts/web pages are based on the relevancy and ease-of-use they provide to your audience…
… Optimization is also the #1 way to draw in more profitable traffic.
In other words, what satisfies human searchers also satisfies search engines.
If you do that, your content will rank.
Here’s how Moz puts it:
search engine rankings
Think of it this way:
The more work you put in to make your blogs 100% user-friendly, the more your results will skyrocket.
So… Where to start?
If you have no idea how to create a blog in a way that nets targeted SEO, traffic and subscriber growth…
…Or you’re staring at a recommended laundry list of what to do, but aren’t sure you know the right points to focus on, this post is for you.
With this guide in your hand, I promise you’ll be able to learn the methods and techniques you need to optimize your blog posts for results, right now.
(Psst: I’ve been able to net 99% of our traffic, leads, AND clients at Express Writers through publishing consistent, SEO-optimized blogs.)
Ready? We’re digging in deep for this one, so buckle up.
Learn the methods and techniques you need to optimize your blog posts for results, in today's Write Blog by @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
ultimate guide on blog post optimization

Table of Contents: Blog Optimization (The Ultimate Guide on Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Better SEO & ROI)

Before the Blog: 4 Simple Steps to Prep for Powerful Blog Optimization

  1. For SEO Rankings: Do Keyword Research
  2. For Your Audience: Do Topic Research
  3. For Better Content: Outline Your Blog
  4. For High-ROI Blog Optimization: Craft Better Headlines

How to Write Your Blog (& Optimize Correctly As You Go) in 5 Steps

  • Keyword Use and SEO Optimization
  • Blog Length
  • Adding Images + Using Keyword-Rich Alt Text
    • How to Optimize Images with Alt Text in WordPress
  • Blog Formatting
  • Conversion Techniques That Get the Clicks
    • Write Matching CTAs for Your Blog Posts
    • Write Your CTAs Powerfully
    • Insert at Least One CTA at the End of Your Blog, & Test Other Placements
    • Try Offering a Lead Magnet

Publishing the Blog (How to Push Blog Optimization Over the Top)

  • Writing Metas
    • How to Write an Optimized Meta Description
  • Optimizing in WordPress with Yoast SEO

After It’s Live (What to Do for Blog Optimization and What NOT to Do)

  • Low-Cost Content Promotion
    • How to Write and Send Emails Promoting Your Newest Blog Post
    • How to Not Get Canned in Spam
  • Blog Optimization Done Right: A Crazy Good Example

table-of-contents blog optimization guide

Before the Blog: 4 Simple Steps to Prep for Powerful Blog Optimization

Before you can start crafting a high-ROI blog, you need to do some blog optimization prep.
This is the research, drafting, and outlining that will make all the other steps much easier.
It all starts with keyword research.

1. For SEO Rankings: Do Keyword Research

You cannot optimize your blog for search results, Google rankings, traffic, and more without keyword research.
quote 1 blog optimization guide
It’s just impossible.
The value of using the right keywords in your blog content is astounding:
Businesses that use blogs with keywords generate 67% more leads than businesses without keyword-optimized blogs.
quote 2 blog optimization guide
The right keywords will attract the right traffic.
No matter your industry or niche, use this general guide to get started finding those high-ROI keyword opportunities to use in your blogs:
1. Start with broad, general seed keywords (also called “root keywords”) related to your industry, products, or services.

  • Example: If I sell bike parts, I might start with a no-brainer root keyword, “bike parts.”

2. Plug that keyword into the tool of your choice (find good ones to use in the next sub-section).

  • Example: Plugging the keyword “bike parts” into Keyword Tool immediately brings up a list of long tail keyword variations I can research further:

3. Continue to search for long tail keywords that expand on your root term, but hit a desirable sweet spot: low competition + high search volume + low difficulty score.

For a deeper dive into to keyword research, check out our guide, “How to Find SEO Keywords.”

Recommended Keyword Research Tools

2. For Your Audience: Do Topic Research

Got your keywords? It’s time to dive into potential topics you can write about using those hot terms.
Topic research is essential to the blog optimization process because it ensures you’re writing about what interests your readers.
What’s important to them, what will help them, what will capture their attention?
If, on the other hand, you write about topics they don’t care about, your content marketing will suffer. Nobody will want to read those posts.
How do you find hot blog topics?
Try a few tried-and-true methods and tools:

1) Watch Your Competition

The most successful competitors in your industry are a good benchmark for content and blog topics.
Check out their content, and start taking notes about the topics and subjects they’re covering.
Analyze each topic idea and ask yourself a few questions:

  • How can I put my own spin on this?
  • Can I write a better post on this topic? (more thoroughly researched, better writing, better visuals, etc.?)
  • Is there a sub-topic or facet of this broader topic I can write about with more depth?

quote 3 blog optimization guide

2) Use BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool to use to get a sense of what’s hot with readers.
One of the easiest ways to find topics is to use two general features: “Most Shared” and “Trending Now” (under “Content Research”).
buzzsumo most shared
The “Most Shared” feature lets you research which content pieces have the most engagements over a set period of time. So, I could search a broad keyword and see which topics have done well in the past for that term.
In the example above, I searched the term “mountain biking” to see which articles were most-shared over the past 6 months.
News articles do very well, but I also notice that mountain bike reviews are hot, as are reviews of the best places to mountain bike.
buzzsumo results
buzzsumo results
buzzsumo results
These results give me some great jumping-off points for my own blog topics.
Similarly, the “Trending Now” feature can help you find topics that are hot or trending in your industry.
To see these articles, you’ll need to create your own Trending Feed:
buzzsumo trending feed
This lets you add custom topics to follow based on hashtags and keywords you specify. Once you create your Trending Feed, BuzzSumo saves it for you so you can quickly click on it and see what content is trending right this second.
buzzsumo trending
Check out the topics that are hot, and brainstorm ways you can use this information.

For a deeper look at how to find hot topics using BuzzSumo, check out our guide, How to Use BuzzSumo to Crush Your Competitors & Produce High Traction Content.
For additional research inspiration, take a look at What Blog Topics Get the Most Shares & Reads? A Data Driven Answer.

Download free ebook about SEO content

3) Analyze Google Results

Sometimes doing a cursory Google search can give you great ideas for blog topics. This is a perfect method to use when you’re short on time.
First, start by entering a keyword into the Google search bar. A box should pop up underneath with a list of keyword variations, which can give you ideas for topics:
google search for mountain bike comparison
Next, analyze the top results for the keyword you want to use and see how various competitors have spun the topic.
google search for mountain bike comparison
Remember, all this research is for inspiration/ideation purposes only. NEVER copy another creator’s content!

For even more inspiration for coming up with blog topics, read up on our list of 20 creative blog ideas.

3. For Better Content: Outline Your Blog

You may groan at the idea of creating an outline for your blog post, but this is a helpful optimization step you shouldn’t skip.
After you have one or two keywords and a solid topic to write about, creating an outline will:

  • Give your blog post direction and organization (think of it as a map or blueprint for writing the post)
  • Help you plan keyword-optimized headers and sub-headers
  • Make sure you cover everything that needs attention
  • Increase your writing speed (because you’ll know exactly what to write about and when)
  • Prevent rambling or tangents that can bore your readers
  • Give your creativity a honed focus

quote 4 blog optimization guide
Convinced yet?
The best part is your outline can be as simple or as detailed as you want. No matter how loosely or precisely you organize your thoughts, your outline will serve as a tool for a better final product.
quote 5 blog optimization guide
Copywriter Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing has some great outlining tips – for example, she likens creating an outline to following a recipe.
Henneke on outlining
You could go deeper than this. For example:

  • Try writing out first-draft versions of your headers and subheaders with a short explanation of what will go in each section.
  • Or, simpler: Make a list of your main topic and subtopics using only key phrases.

Outlining is a great way to draft your blog post and get all your ideas on paper. Commit to making outlines and your posts may just become more cohesive, thought-out, and organized – all of which is great for your readers and optimization.

4. For High-ROI Blog Optimization: Craft Powerful Headlines

Another step involved in prepping your blog post for the most clicks, traffic, and shares is optimizing your headline.
What does this mean?
It means you make your blog title as enticing as possible, which ensures it looks good in Google search results.
And, if your headline looks good, more people will click on it and check out the meat of your post.
Here are the steps to get there:
Insert your keyword at or near the beginning of the headline. Google cuts off headlines in search results after about 50-60 characters. Keeping your focus keyword toward the front helps readers understand the relevance of your post more quickly.
example of focus keyword
Keep your headlines shorter, about 8-14 words.
quote 6 blog optimization guide
Research from HubSpot has shown that headlines that fall into this length range get the most engagement on Twitter and Facebook.
content title length vs social shares
Write for the reader. If your headline does nothing but plainly describe what your blog post is about, it won’t look very enticing. Instead, write your headline to appeal to your audience.
Luckily, there are tried-and-true words, word combinations, and formats that have been proven to make people want to click. Here are the best of them, according to a Conductor study:

  • Start with a number, i.e. “10 Ways to Improve Your Life without Spending Money.”
  • Address the reader, i.e. “You Need These 10 Tips That Will Improve Your Life Without Spending $”
  • Start with “how to,” i.e. “How to Improve Your Life without Spending a Dime.”

headline preferences
Find the best words for the job. Don’t be afraid to evoke emotion in your headline. Use strong verbs and adjectives that are descriptive and powerful. CoSchedule says all great headlines include both emotional and power words to make the biggest impact.
To see how many of both are in your headline, use their Headline Analyzer. You can also use this tool to tweak your headline and optimize it for length, character count, format, and more.
coschedule headline analyzer
coschedule headline analyzer

Read more about crafting high-ROI headlines: The Ultimate Guide: How to Create Headlines that Will Go Viral

How to Write Your Blog (& Optimize Correctly As You Go) in 5 Steps

Now that you’re prepped and ready, armed with strong keywords, blog topics, an amazing headline, and an outline, you can dive into writing the actual body of your blog post.
conan o'brien gif
What are some ways to SEO optimize as you write?
Ah, the tricky part.
This section will show you everything you need to know.
Let’s start with keywords.

1. Know Keyword Usage for Better SEO Results From Blogging

Using the keywords you found during the research phase is essential for blog SEO.
But, how should you use them while writing your blog? When? How often?
Strategically, strategically, strategically.
Here are the basics.
Using keywords this way will help search engines crawl your page faster and understand its relevance quicker (which leads to higher rankings).

Your Handy-Dandy Blog Post Keyword Usage Shortlist

  1. Use your focus keyword once in the title tag (A.K.A. your headline).
  2. Use your focus keyword once in the opening paragraph.
  3. Use that keyword in most, if not all, of the subheaders (H2s).
  4. If you can, use the same keyword in a few of your H3s (sub-subheaders).
  5. Write the body of your blog post. If using the keyword feels natural in the text, do it. The same goes for any related terms or secondary keywords.
  6. Include the keyword once in the closing paragraph.

your handy dandy guide to blog post keyword usage

2. Know Your Blog Post Length Standards for Better Optimization

What’s the right blog length for the post you’re writing?
This is a common question that leaves many content creators scratching their heads.
The reason?
There are different answers to this question all over the internet.
Many experts like Neil Patel agree that 2,500 words is a good standard length for highly-shared blog posts.
I’ve even put together a study on why long-form content is incredibly sticky in the rankings:
why long-form content works
Be comprehensive at all times when you're working on blog content that has a goal of building your online authority. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
And remember, the length of your blog needs to depend on the audience you’re writing for, the topic you’re writing about, and the exhaustiveness of the information you’re sharing.
If you’re going super in-depth, your blog post should be longer. 10,000 words isn’t easy to bluff your way through, and will absolutely position you as an expert on the topic (and take weeks, or months, to put together).
Case in point: the blog you’re reading is 5,000+ words in length, and took 4 weeks to assemble, create, produce, and publish.
On the other hand, if you’re sharing news in your industry or a personal opinion, your post might be shorter. The key is to follow the outline you created during your blog prep, edit ruthlessly, and write as clearly as possible.
Remember: A successful blog post doesn’t always depend on its length. It depends on the quality of the research and writing, the accuracy of the information, the usefulness of the content, and the value you provide.

3. Add Images and Use Keyword-Rich Alt Text

As you write the body of your blog post, you may want to use images and screenshots to help support your points.
That’s great!
Images are proven to encourage your readers to stay on your page longer AND remember your content better (this is called the picture superiority effect).
picture superiority effect
Of course, if you include images in your blog posts, you need to optimize them, too. You can do this by using keyword-rich alt text.
Alt text (alternative text) tags are pieces of HTML markup that tell web browsers what to show the user if your image won’t load (like if the user has a slow connection or uses a screen reader).
Here’s what that code looks like, via W3schools:
alt text code
If your image can’t be loaded, the browser will grab and display the alt text inside a placeholder instead, like so:
alt text example

Image via wpbeginner

Alt text is also useful for web crawlers, which can’t “see” or interpret images.
Descriptive alt text tells the crawler what the image is about. (Bonus: this will help your images rank in Google Images, too.)
Get high-quality content for your website

How to Optimize Images with Alt Text in WordPress

If you use WordPress to publish your blog, you can add alt text for all your images as you go.
1. In your WordPress dashboard, when you’re creating a new post, you can insert images or gifs directly into the body by clicking “Add Media”:
add media in WordPress
Now you should have a view of your image library, where you can select images or upload new files.
2. Select the image you want in your blog post (or upload a new one). On the right-hand side of the image library, a sidebar will pop up where you’ll find the image details as well as the option for adding alt text:
3. Enter a short, yet descriptive, word or phrase into the text box that will tell web crawlers and users alike what the image is about.
4. Then click “Insert into post.”
add alt text on WordPress

  • Remember to keep your alt text short.
  • When relevant, use your keywords as alt text to describe your images.

That’s it! Easy-peasy.
Bonus: Not only does using alt text for your images help ALL users understand your page better, it can also contribute to Google rankings.

4. Know Your Blog Formatting

Another way to optimize your blog while you write?
Blog formatting.
This piece of the puzzle is important mainly for your readers.
A well-formatted blog makes the text easier to scan, read, and digest for internet users and their short attention spans.
This also means you’ll help people stay on your page longer because they’ll find reading your post as easy as breathing.
This is called “dwell time” – the logic is, the longer someone stays on your page, the more relevant your page must be to their search.
Here’s a good example of that from Ahrefs:
ahrefs dwell time
Longer dwell-time (and a lower bounce rate) is great for more possible conversions and Google rankings.
Since good formatting helps increase dwell-time (time visitors spend on your site), never neglect it in your blog creation process. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Blog Formatting Shortlist

Here are the basic must-dos for a well-formatted, easy-to-read, organized, logical blog post:

  • Outline! This helps organize your post and is useful for making sure your points are logically laid-out, which aids reader comprehension.
  • Keep paragraphs shorter. Electronic screens are harder on your eyes than printed paper. Plus, the internet is full of distractions that can pull at your readers’ attention, especially if you present them with mind-numbingly large blocks of text. Shorter paragraphs help with both issues.
  • Use headers and subheaders. This organizes your content so readers can find the pieces that interest them. Most online readers skim, so don’t hinder that process.
  • Use H1, H2s, H3s, etc. for headers. Your headers need to be a larger size (and perhaps a different color) to help differentiate them from the body text.
    • In WordPress, you can apply headers to your text by highlighting the phrase and choosing the right heading level from the “Paragraph” settings.

wordpress heading headers

  • Where it’s logical, use bulleted and/or numbered lists. For example, if you have a long list of items separated by commas, that list will be easier to read if you format it with bullets.
    • In WordPress, it’s easy to add bulleted lists:

wordpress bulleted list

  • Use bold or italics to highlight significant words in a paragraph. I’m using this technique right now – it draws your eye to the most important information, which makes the text easier to understand and skim. Just don’t overuse this technique; you’ll start looking silly, and may hinder the reader rather than help.

5. Know Conversion Techniques That Get the Clicks

Everything we’ve discussed so far should go a long way toward helping your blog conversions. Making your post as user-friendly and SEO-friendly as possible are the first steps.
However, there are a few extra strategies you can use to nab more profitable reader action from your blog.

1) Write Matching CTAs for Your Blog Posts

If you want more conversions from your blogs, each and every post you write should include at least one matching call-to-action.
What do I mean by “matching”?
Just that: the CTA you include should seamlessly integrate into your blog post topic. It shouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb – it should make sense within the text.
quote 7 blog optimization guide
Here’s a good example from a HubSpot blog, The 17 Best Advertisements of All Time:
hubspot best advertisements of all time
Their CTA naturally ties into this topic – they want you to download a freebie about “The Best Marketing and Advertising Campaigns”:
cta example
We’ve done the same thing with our posts at the Write Blog.
Check out, for instance, how the header of this very blog you’re reading and our CTA at the end match.
Here’s the blog header:
ultimate guide on blog post optimization
And, the CTA:
cta authority content

2) Write Your CTAs Powerfully

Including CTAs with every blog post is important for conversions, but nobody will convert on a weak CTA.
Your CTA is weak if you use weak words. Here’s an example: Say you want to encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list at the end of your blog post.
Weak CTA:

  • “Subscribe to the mailing list.”
  • “Book me for a call here.”

Why it sucks: This CTA is not persuasive. It’s boring. It uses weak verb, “subscribe,” which, frankly, nobody will care to do, because they have no idea what’s in it for them. And “book me for a call?” you should tell me why I should do it, not just tell me what to do.
Powerful CTA:

  • “Sign up today to get freebies, tips, and updates sent straight to your inbox!”
  • “Want copywriting so good, it’s internet-breaking? Click to see our services!”

Why it works: I use straightforward action verbs (“sign up,” “get”) to inspire the desired action. I also tell the reader what’s in it for them (freebies, tips, updates, results so good they’ll break the internet) if they follow through. Finally, I top the whole thing off with an exclamation point for emphasis.

3) Insert at Least One CTA at the End of Your Blog, & Test Other Placements

There are lots of studies out there that compare how well various CTA placements on a page convert: above the fold? In a right-hand sidebar? Tucked into the body text?
According to Kissmetrics, though, there isn’t much difference in conversion power between these options.
What should you do, instead?
Focus on at least placing a CTA at the end of your blog. Then, test out other CTA placement areas and see what works best for converting your particular audience.
Optimizely explains A/B testing (or split testing) in more detail in their glossary. This technique can be great for finding the perfect formula for your CTAs.
A/B testing

4) Offer a Lead Magnet

If your current CTAs aren’t enticing enough, maybe you’re just not offering the type of goods your readers will go for.
Try to up the ante and offer a lead magnet in exchange for mailing list sign-ups, for instance.
Lead magnets are high-quality content pieces that contain information you haven’t offered elsewhere. Their value should be apparent, which will make your audience much more likely to opt-in to get them. (Read: they’re conversion gold.)
Here are some lead magnet examples for inspiration:

  • Digital Marketer offered these free Facebook ad templates, which netted them almost 36,000 new leads in 60 days:

digital marketer facebook ad template library

shopify return policy generator

  • Our lead magnets, plugged into our Resource Page and featured in different blogs, earn an organic subscriber growth of 6-12 new people per day, and is heavily targeted to win the attention of our ideal customer. See our Resource Center. Here’s an example of one popular lead magnet:

Obtain a free ebook about optimizing your blog

2 Major Steps in Publishing Your Blog (& How to Push Blog Optimization Over the Top)

You’ve done the research and prep. You’ve written the blog.
It’s time to publish.
But, wait.
Not so fast.
There are some final steps you can take to prep for publishing and make sure your blog hits every possible optimization note.

1. Write Your Metas

Once your blog is finished and edited, it’s a good idea to write out your metas, next.

  • A meta description is simply a short summary of your blog, up to 320 characters in length.
  • A meta title is the main headline of your blog.

Search engines often, but not always, use metas to populate your listing in the search results:
meta headline example
Good news: You’ve already written an SEO optimized headline, which also can be used as your meta title.
Now you just need to write your meta description. Then you can insert both metas into your blog.

How to Write an Optimized Meta Description

Along with a short summary of your blog post, your meta description also needs 4 things to be optimized for search engines and users:

  1. Your focus keyword included once, near the beginning of the description
  2. A secondary keyword (if you have one) included once, naturally
  3. Actionable language (much like a CTA!)
  4. A benefit – what users will get from reading your post

Here’s an example of a good meta description, broken down into its essential elements:
meta description example
To learn how to add metas to your post in WordPress, continue on to the next section. You can do it using a plugin called Yoast SEO.

2. Optimize Your Post in WordPress with Yoast SEO

If you use WordPress, you can double-check your blog optimization and add meta information to your posts using Yoast SEO.
Here’s what it looks like on the WordPress dashboard when installed. All the options show up when you’re ready to add a new post. Just scroll down the page and find this box:
yoast seo plugin for wordpress
This plugin has lots of features that help you optimize your optimization (see what I did there?).
First up: the snippet preview. This shows you what your blog post may look like in Google search results:
yoast seo plugin snippet preview
If you click “Edit snippet,” you can directly edit the title, URL slug, and meta description from there.
using yoast seo plugin
Underneath the “Edit Snippet” feature is the place where you tell Yoast your focus keyword:
yoast seo plugin focus keyword
This information is vital, because the plugin will check your post for the strategic inclusion of your focus keyword in the right places.
Next up is the “Analysis” feature. Yoast will analyze your content and SEO for best-practices, readability, and accuracy.
As you can see, this part tells you what’s good and not-so-good about your post. It also offers suggestions for improvement:
yoast seo plugin analysis
If you get a lot of red and orange bullets in this section, you should review and try to fix them.
For example, for the red bullet that reads “No meta description has been specified,” I can click back to the snippet preview and edit the meta:
yoast seo plugin for wordpress
If you’re shaky on SEO best-practices and techniques, Yoast SEO is a great help and can get your blog posts where they need to be. Just don’t go 100% by the green/orange rating: I’ve had a few orange-rated blogs rank in the first three of Google.
Remember, a great blog is all about optimized SEO, relevancy to your reader, and usefulness (value). Put that above a Yoast rating at all times. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Double-checking your SEO is a fantastic last step for an SEO-optimized blog post, right before you publish.
Download the free SEO content writer's cheat sheet
But, what about after you publish your post?
Are there still ways to optimize your blog for more clicks, traffic, engagements, and conversions?
The answer is yes.

2 Major Steps to Do After It’s Live (What to Do for Post-Publishing Blog Optimization and What NOT to Do)

Your blog is published.
It’s LIVE.
You may want to dust yourself off at this point and settle back to monitor its traction…

But wait!
You know the drill by now: There’s still stuff you can do to optimize your blog and get as many eyes on it as possible.
Do Some Low-Cost Content Promotion
Promoting your content can be a vital step toward pushing your blog post to the next level.
quote 8 blog optimization guide
Want more traffic and engagement? Promote.
Here are some of the best, lowest-cost ways to do it.

How to Write and Send Emails Promoting Your Newest Blog Post

One content promotion tactic you can’t beat (it’s free) is sending an email to your list every time you publish a new blog post.
This doesn’t have to be a complicated or long email – it can be nothing more than a short-yet-sweet heads-up with a link to your post.
Here are some basic best-practices for sending out these promotional emails:

  • Test your subject line using the Email Subject Line Tester from CoSchedule to optimize for the most opens.
  • Only include one link in your email (the one to your new blog post) to avoid hitting your readers’ spam folder. (For more tips to avoid being marked as spam, check the next section.)
  • Keep it friendly, but not too informal. Starting your email with “What’s new, losers?” might work among your group of friends, but it won’t go over too well with your audience. Stay friendly, but not too friendly.
  • Quickly summarize what your post is about, then reveal one benefit your audience will get from reading it. This could be insider knowledge, fresh stats, or maybe a freebie/lead magnet that goes with the blog post.
  • Send your promotional emails on a schedule – same day, same time. For instance, if you publish on Monday nights, you might choose to send your emails on Tuesday morning.

How to Not Get Your Fantastic Blog Email Canned in Spam

For your low-cost email promotion to work, your messages have to actually reach their destination (i.e. your readers’ inboxes, not their spam folders).
Here are some tips to avoid getting canned in spam:

  • Only send emails to readers who opted-in for your mailing list. Sending unsolicited emails IS spam. Period.
  • Keep your subject lines honest. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
  • Include your business address in the email footer. It’s actually against the law to skip this. If you work exclusively online, consider getting a P.O. box to use for business purposes.
  • Include an opt-out or unsubscribe link in your email. Your readers must always have a way to manage the email communication they receive from you.
  • Keep your sender information accurate. This includes the “from,” “to,” and “reply-to” fields as well as the routing information. For example, you can’t try to make it seem like an email you sent came from somewhere else.

Here’s an example of accurate, trustworthy sender information in a promotional email from Barnes & Noble:
barnes & noble email example

Blog Optimization Done Right: A Crazy Good Example

We made it this far.
By now, you should have the hang of optimizing your blog posts from start to finish.
To keep the good vibes going, let’s look at an example of superb blog optimization.
Study this blog and note how all the pieces, from huge to tiny, seamlessly fall into place.
Take inspiration, then go forth and optimize!

How to Write Sales Copy (and Win More Clients) – Enchanting Marketing

Here’s a great example of a post ranking in Google that’s optimized to a tee: How to Write Sales Copy (and Win More Clients).
google search results for sales copy
Let’s look at each piece of optimization that contributes to the whole.
First off, the focus keyword (“sales copy”) is used strategically throughout.
We can find it in the optimized headline and first paragraph:
enchanting marketing on sales copy
And in the H2s and body copy:
enchanting marketing sales copy
Next, let’s dig deeper into the HTML.
The meta title and description are on-point:
meta title and description
And we can even see that the post was optimized with Yoast SEO:
yoast seo
Let’s not forget the blog formatting, either.
It’s easy to read, well-organized, and incorporates lots of bulleted lists. Paragraphs are short, and headings give meaning to the content and make it skimmable:
copywriting articles for beginners
The images are optimized with alt text, too:
optimizing blog post images
Finally, there are CTAs throughout the post that are persuasive, well-written, and make sense for the topic of the blog post:
blog post cta example
Overall, this blog post has optimization nailed. It’s no coincidence that this post is currently ranking #2 on Google for “sales copy.”
Now, what about earning a coveted spot in the rankings… like ranking as a Featured Snippets answer?
Here’s an example of a blog I wrote for Shopify. It’s ranking in the featured snippets as one of the primary answers to define “seo product descriptions.”
Look at how the snippet content itself is structured.
Do you see the pattern of a well-structured blog post that we’ve been discussing all along?
google snippet content
Shopify did something smart and created a Table of Contents featuring these 5 points at the top of the blog post:
shopify featured snippets
You might have seen a Table of Contents in this blog, too (scroll to the top). 😉
And finally, here’s an example of a blog on our very own site, ranking #2 for “blogging statistics.” 
blogging statistics blog post ranking
Again, if you check out the blog, you’ll see the exact same structure, formatting, and style that we’ve been discussing in our guide.
example of a high ranking seo blog
Bonus: I jumped on a keyword that was at a 30-ish score in keyword difficulty at the time of publishing.
Months later, this same keyword went up 10-15 points in difficulty!

Need to know how to find (and jump on) great SEO keywords for your content? Read my guide on how to find SEO keywords here.

Optimize Your Way to Better Blogging Results

Taking the time to optimize your blog from beginning to end can have amazing returns…
But only if you do it the right way.
Follow this guide to make sure your posts are user-friendly, not to mention SEO and ROI-rich.
Trust me: the time it takes to research, prep, write, publish, and promote will pay off tenfold when all is said and done. So, opt to optimize your content!
online content strategy

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