Step 4: Practicalities before publishing
Before you can send your new masterpiece into the world, there are a few more things to do, to improve its chances to do well:
Don’t forget to add images
Images are an invaluable addition to (almost) every blog post. So before publishing the post you wrote, you need to add at least one quality image and make sure your images are optimized. Some bloggers prefer to create photos and images before they start writing their texts. Others prefer to first write and then find the correct images. Whether you use stock photos or create your own graphics, make sure you at least have a header image that can also be used to share on social media. In Yoast SEO Premium, there is a social preview where you can see what it looks like when your post is shared on Facebook or Twitter. And you can also set a different social image if desired.
Add categories and tags
Categories and tags provide an extra layer of structure for your site, and you really need to give some thought to how you use those. As you’re preparing your blog post, it’s easy to forget to add the right taxonomies. So check whether you’ve done that before you hit the publish button!
Optimize for social media
Not only can you set your own social image in Yoast SEO Premium, you can also write a different description for Facebook and Twitter than for Google. People who find you through Facebook, often have a different connection with you than those who find you through Google. Make sure the description resembles that!
If Pinterest is a platform that’s relevant for your blog, another part of your blog post’s preparation is designing a Pinterest image. These should have a ratio of 2:3, which means that it’s vertical. Also, fun to mention: Pinterest comes with a scheduled feature now. So you can schedule your pin before publishing the post. Just make sure you put the correct publishing URL in!
Read on: 10 tips to streamline your blog content workflow »
Step 5: After publishing your post
After publishing your blog post, you can either sit back and hope people will just pick up your newest masterpiece or you can take some steps to draw attention to your new post. It’s time to make some noise and get the story out there!
Share your post on social media
Although social media are designed to keep their users on their platforms, instead of clicking a website, your followers love hearing from you. And especially if you write for your social audience, it’s important to post your blog posts on these social media accounts. There are plugins that push your blog posts to social media as soon as you hit publish, but you could also do this yourself.
And although Pinterest isn’t a social medium, but a visual search engine, we’ll discuss it here as well. While Google finds out about your new blogpost through crawling and sitemaps, Pinterest doesn’t. So, if you want your content on Pinterest, you need to actually tell Pinterest you have a new post by posting to it. So if you have not used the scheduler or want to place your pins on more boards, now is the time to do so!
Internal linking to new post from other posts
Are you aware of the importance of site structure? To improve your post’s chances to rank, you should add internal links. Internal links are links that are in your text and they tell Google all about context. It’s important to link to your blog post. While writing your post, you most likely already linked to other posts you’d already written. After publishing, make sure you check which blog posts could have a link to your new post and add those links immediately.
Step 6: A while after publishing your blog post
To make sure your blog posts don’t disappear in the large sea of content out there, it’s important to keep working on promoting and improving them even after they’ve been published for a while.
Including posts in the newsletter
A lot of businesses maintain a newsletter. If you send out a newsletter, you have to decide if you are going to share all your recent blog posts, or will only share your funniest or most informative ones. You can share your newest blog post in today’s newsletter, and if it’s still relevant six months from now, or you’re doing a themed newsletter, you can include it again. If the content is still relevant, it won’t matter if the article is one week or month old.
Reposting on social media
You shared your blog post on social media right after you published it, but that doesn’t mean you cannot republish it again after a few months! The same goes with the newsletter. Don’t overdo it, but it’s safe to reshare something 6 months after you first shared it. You can even decide to use another social image or another introduction text to give the social media post a different look.
Analyzing the post performance
After a month or so, you can start to analyze your post’s performance. This is something you need to do regularly, for instance, every three months. You should look at Google Analytics and check Google Search Console to see how people find your blog post, but also whether you’re ranking for the keywords you want to rank for and if you should create more posts surrounding the subject or make the blog post even more in-depth.
Optimizing where necessary
SEO is an ongoing process. One month, you may rank #1 for a keyword, but what if the next month your competitor has created a better piece and starts ranking first? And, did you know search intent for a keyword can change over time? In short, you should periodically revisit your blog post with the data you have collected and optimize where necessary.
Check what your competition does better than you and decide whether you want to optimize. Do you feel it’s worth your time to improve a post if you dropped from the first to the second place? Optimizing could mean you need to focus more on things like link building, or Schema. Check what your competitors do that you don’t. Don’t copy, but learn from them.
While updating and optimizing your content, it might be a good idea to work from a copy of the original post. This makes it possible to work on your update without bothering visitors with work that’s half-done. By using the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin, you can clone the original post with everything in it. Simply edit this clone to your hearts content and copy the content over to the original post once you are done.
More internal linking
So ideally, you already worked on your internal linking when you just published your post. If you did that and kept an eye on it over time, then you can skip this step. If not, you probably need to work on your internal linking again! Use the orphaned content filter in Yoast SEO Premium to see which articles need some attention regarding internal linking.