Have you optimised both pages your blog posts live on? Did you even know that your blog post doesn’t just live on one page? Here’s how it all works and what you need to do to optimise your blog posts in each location. It’s not just about search engine optimisation. This is about optimising your blog pages for maximum interaction with your readers.
Every website (should) have a blog page. There is usually a link to this blog page in the main header bar (other pages on the header bar are probably Home, About, Our Service, Contact Us, etc.).
Here’s what my header bar looks like in case you’re still not sure what to look for.
This blog link should lead to the main blog page.
Optimising your main blog page
There are two different ways this blog page can be laid out.
- You can have a short preview of your blog posts in one, two or even three columns
- Your blog posts appear in their entirety, latest one at the top.
I recommend you use number 1. Here’s why. If your blog posts are shown in their entirety, people have no incentive to click through to the actual post page. This is the place where your social sharing buttons are. If you share the main blog page, by the time someone click the link you might already have written another blog post and it looks like the link is pointing to the wrong post. Hardly anyone these days has patience enough to scroll down to find the right blog post.
Another reason that if people are not particularly interested in the latest post you have written (the one at the top), they have to keep scrolling down to find your other articles and chances are people won’t do that. This means that people who would be interested in articles that you wrote a few weeks or months ago will not get to see them. They simply won’t scroll down far enough.
On the other hand, if you have short inviting snippets, with a blog graphic right there on the main blog page, they can see straight away that you talk about a variety of topics. Several articles are visible straight away, and people are more likely to scroll at least a bit further down to find even more. Your chances of attracting your visitors to click through to a blog post have just increased.
To illustrate, here’s the layout I use. I have chosen 2 columns to show more articles at any time.
Ideally there are 3 links in each of your previews:
- The headline
- The image
- An invite to “Read More”
This is because everyone is different and people click on different things. Some people prefer to click on picture, whereas others will only ever click on a headline. So make sure they all work.
Optimising your blog post page
So what about the actual blog post page? This is the page your blog post lives on. Every time you create a new blog post, your website automatically creates a new page for it, so this isn’t something you need to worry about.
Make sure the page has a meaningful link though, ideally a short version of the blog title.
You also need to make sure your social sharing buttons appear in the places you want them to. This could be above the post (usually right under the headline), at the bottom of the post or floating to one side (left works better). You should be able to customise your buttons in the settings or ask your web designer to help you with this.
Also, you want to add a call to action to each blog post, something you want the reader to do when they’ve finished reading your article. Do you want them to comment, share or go on to another related article? Pick one action for each blog post. Of course, you would like people to do everything all at once, but let’s be realistic. That’s not going to happen. If you ask them to do multiple things, chances are they don’t know which to do, so they end up not doing any. Just stick to one action at a time. If you want to learn more about creating good calls to action, here are two articles I wrote previously: 6 ways to create a CTA in your blog post and How to make your call to action stand out.
Over to you
If you’re at the beginning of your business or you’re about to have your website redone, make sure your web designer implements some of these ideas. If your main blog page is still the kind where one whole article follows another, ask your web designer to change it for you. It’s only a small change for them and won’t take very long. But it will help you with optimising your blog page to get more readers to interact with your content.
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