Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post
Table of Contents
- Pillar Topics
- SEO Keyword Phrase
- Titles & Headlines
- Blog URL
- Topic Category
- Featured SEO Image
- Featured Social Images
- Table of Contents
- Infographic for Pinterest/Search
- Ungated Article PDF/Slides
- SEO Meta Description
- Blog Excerpt
- Include Your Irresistible Lead Magnet
- Internal Links to Essential Blogs
- Embedded Media Highlight
- Publish Date
- Choose Your Blog Elements Wisely
- Free Tools
Are you blogging with intention? Your content strategy should drive everything you publish in the world. That strategy starts with your pillar content to establish your expertise. Your pillar topics are the star nursery for your Content Universe.
Pillar Topics have an inherent byproduct—your buyer persona. Buyer personas dictate who your audience is for this blog. We have “the what” and “the who” established. Let’s move to “the how” we put the post together.
SEO Keyword Phrase
Your Pillar Topics and subtopics will help you identify your keyword phrase for search optimization. Use a long-tail keyword phrase to improve your search ranking. Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that you can use to verify search volume for your topics. The search volume will determine if publishing the article has immediate value for your brand.
Choose your SEO keyword phrase wisely. Why? It will be in your blog titles, headlines, URL, images, and copywriting. Remember to make your focus keyword phrase meaningful for humans and search engines.
Titles & Headlines
Did you know that WordPress blogs can have up to four titles for one post? Use a different title based on where your audience is engaging your content. You can experiment with your headlines to optimize your click-through rate for your perfect posts. Let’s look at the different titles for your blog anatomy.
- Blog Title: The blog title appears on your website loop and single post.
- SEO Title: The SEO title is the headline search engines use in their index.
- Facebook Headline: Create a short, attention-grabbing headline for your Facebook Page.
- Twitter Headline: Create a focused title for your Twitter followers.
Later, we will discuss getting more headlines for your blog posts to drive traffic to your content.
Your blog URL must contain your keyword phrase for your post to rank well on search engines. Search engines read content and context to determine the content of your article. The URL syntax will strengthen your SEO ranking.
Your Topic Categories can reflect your content pillars or topic clusters. The SEO experts at Yoast highlight two benefits to effectively categorizing your blogs:
- Don’t compete with your content for search rankings. Your topic categories will help you identify similar topics that you’ve previously written about to avoid duplicative efforts.
- Get your category pages to rank on search too. Categories are inherently topic clusters. If you don’t have time to create a content hub for your topic clusters, your blog category page can play a role. Your category page will rank for more keyword phrases from your headlines.
Never use “Uncategorized” as your topic category. If you can’t categorize it, don’t publish it. Imagine going to your favorite department store, and there are no categories for products. The store manager piles everything in the middle of the store for everyone to sort through yourself. That’s the effect of the Uncategorized topic category.
Be intentional about the categories you use for your blog posts. They’re a vital element in your blog’s anatomy. You will also improve the usability of your site. Moreover, the depth of your categories makes it easier for your blog visitors to convert to subscribers. Take the time to get this right.
Featured SEO Image
The featured image is the most visual element of your blog’s anatomy. The image can be a visual narrative of the article. You may opt to hire an illustrator to design all of your featured imagery for brand cohesion. Likewise, you could consider hiring a professional photographer to create the custom stock that brings your brand story to every image.
Featured Social Image
What is the Open Graph protocol? Facebook and Twitter pioneered the Open Graph protocol to enable websites to be rich assets on social networks. Today, the Open Graph protocol is on all modern social networks.
So, why does Open Graph matter to your blog’s anatomy?
Using the Open Graph Protocol, you can create custom images to share your blogs on social networks. Optimize your image for Twitter and Facebook. You can increase the traffic to your blogs with a compelling picture for every share.
Table of Contents
Putting a Table of Contents(ToC) in your blog post will instantly improve its readability. Your audience can quickly scan the ToC to find points of interest. Make your ToC clickable to jump directly to a heading. Short blogs may not merit including a ToC. A Table of Contents is a must-have for your Cornerstone Topics.
Infographic for Pinterest/Search
Infographics, charts, and illustrations have three immediate benefits for the anatomy of your blog:
- Visual content breaks the monotony of words on the page. Give your readers a visual way to consume the content to land your message.
- Search engines love images. Optimize your graphics for SEO as you would other photos. Your visual content helps drive traffic to your blog content.
- Create pictures for people to steal, share, and reuse. You know you’re producing high-value content if someone steals your ideas. The more your audience shares your graphics, the more eyeballs you’ll get on your content. Plus, having your images cited by others builds your backlinks and authority in your market. Encourage it.
Ungated Article PDF/Slides
All popular document formats use open standards. Open Office document standards make it easy for search engines to index the content. Publish your ungated documents and slides on your website. Your documents will rank on search and provide more utility for your content.
Tags are the most underrated element in your blog’s anatomy. Use tags to connect ideas from different categories. Consider the following example. Two blog posts can share the same audience (e.g., real estate agents.) Real Estate Agents is the tag that ties these two distinct posts together.
Like categories, tags can also have their content pages. Use your tags strategically to organize your posts across different content pillars. Your audience can use your tags to find more topics with vertical or horizontal expertise on your site.
SEO Meta Description
Your SEO Meta Description is a summary of your page’s content. It’s limited to 155 characters. It’s a best practice to include your SEO keyword phrase in your meta description to improve your page ranking.
Google and Bing will include your SEO Meta Description as a snippet in the search results. Without a meta description, the search engine will randomly choose a snippet from the content on your page. That would be a missed opportunity to drive traffic to your website.
Your blog excerpt is for the blog loop on your website. The blog excerpt is not limited to 155 characters like the meta description above. Get creative with it. Use this excerpt to capture the attention of your audience.
All business blogs need a clear call to action (CTA). Remember, you’re not writing about your holiday vacations. Your CTA doesn’t need to include a “Buy Now” button. Use the call-to-action to move your audience to the next step in the customer experience.
Include Your Irresistible Lead Magnet
Think of your blog as a landing page for your website. Why? Because it is a landing page.
So far, you’ve done a lot of work to optimize your blog’s anatomy to get people to visit your website. Take the next step to capture leads.
The goal is simple. Get a new prospect. Offer to provide a content upgrade for the blog. You can also offer downloads of the free tools mentioned in your article.
Internal Links to Essential Blogs
Your blog will automatically publish related posts to your page. You can take that a step further—link to specific blog pages that you want your audience to read. Your on-site SEO will improve with your internal links to other blogs.
Embedded Media Highlight
Keep visitors on your blog longer with embedded videos. Videos provide another method to consume your content. Moreover, YouTube is the number #2 search engine. Your video will give another vector for people to discover your content.
The last piece in your blog’s anatomy is the publish date. The date published lets the world know the currency of your content. Keep publishing regularly so that your audience will have a reason to subscribe.
Choose Your Blog Elements Wisely
The anatomy of the perfect blog doesn’t have to include every element. Give your readers variety to keep your post engaging. Let your content marketing goals drive your format.
Your blog structure will improve the more frequently you publish content. Readability is the invisible blog element. Your blog readability should improve with your blog anatomy.
Always test your blog anatomy to find out what works. Experiment with different content formats and buyer personas. Your CTA, lead magnets and funnel strategy will influence your blog structure. The key to mastering the perfect blog post is discovering what works for your audience.
Take Your Next Steps with our Free Tools
We made resources to help enhance your perfect blog post anatomy and content creation. Download your complimentary Perfect Blog Post Bundle from our online store. Here’s what you get:
- Perfect Blog Anatomy Poster: to hang in your office for easy reference
- Perfect Blog Editorial Calendar: build a publishing cadence for your blog writing
- Perfect Blog Editor’s Checklist: use the checklist to verify and validate your blog anatomy
- made grand EVENTS Ticket: a complimentary ticket to our content marketing workshop series
Your audience will grow as you make your content easier to consume. Use your blog structure to reduce your readers’ mental calories on your content. Remember, the perfect blog post anatomy has fewer calories and more conversions. Let me know how I can help you build momentum.