I bet you started your blog as a labour of love. You just wanted to share your message far and wide and connect with other people. For months or even years, you put your heart and soul into writing your blog.
And then you heard about it…
There’s this strange thing called SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, which people keep talking about – they say it is THE GOLDEN KEY to getting more readers to your blog.
You do some research and find hundreds of articles about how to do blog SEO and give them a read…. and you are just left feeling completely overwhelmed.
You’ve got an established blog with hundreds of posts – where are you even meant to start?!
What if I told you that there is one type of post that you need start with – and you don’t need to spend hours and hours working on it for it to have a positive effect on your blog traffic?
What if I told you that I have a method with just THREE simple steps to do this?!
For a quick blog SEO win, you need to start with optimising:
The Review Post
Yes, you should focus specifically on review posts first.
It’s because these types of posts are extremely likely to get a high volume of people searching for reviews on Google. I bet you’ve found your self in at least one of these common scenarios
- Wandering around Boots, phone in hand searching for reviews for every piece of make-up or skincare you pick up to make sure it’s actually worth spending your hard earned cash on.
- Checking out reviews for food places near you when looking for a new place to eat, especially when you’re in, or planning on visiting another city
- Planning on making a ‘large’ purchase like a new mattress, hairdryer or phone and checking out reviews for the item, or checking reviews for the actual website you’re going to be buying from to make sure they’re reputable.
People are always looking for advice and feedback, and their first port of call is generally Google.
If lots of people are searching for those types of posts, the more potential readers you have for your review posts…. if you can get the post in front them when they search on Google.
I’m going to go through the exact steps you need to follow in order to optimise your review posts, to make them more likely to perform well on search engines, so they’ll bag you more traffic to your blog posts!.
Step 1 – Find Your Top Performing Review Post
The very best post to optimise first is the post which is already performing well on Google.
But if it already doing well on Google, what’s the point on focusing on this one? Why are we not focusing on the review posts that are not doing well? I hear you ask.
This is because the small tweaks on a post which is already doing well gets results just that little bit quicker! Because let’s face it – we’re all about the quick wins here.
So, first we need to find out which of your review posts is performing well – and to do this, we need to look at your Google Analytics data
If you haven’t got Google Analytics on your website, you can use your blogging platforms inbuilt traffic data, but I would definitely recommend getting Google Analytics set up. The data tends to be far more accurate and gives more in-depth information then what your blogging platform can show you.
In Google Analytics, go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages
To further narrow down the data we need, we need to add ‘Organic’ as a segment.
Click ‘choose segment’ – the drop down opens
Scroll down and click ‘organic traffic’
Change the date range (in the top right) to the previous 1-2 years to get the most relevant posts that aren’t super outdated)
Click on the little arrow in the top left of the ‘All Users’ box
If you’re confused you can also follow this Google Analytics guide to finding your most viewed blog post
The list of URLs should be already sorted by most popular first, so you can just look down the list and make a note of the first review type post in the list.
If you’ve got a massive list, there is a search bar at the top which you can just pop in the word ‘review’ or ‘guide’ to find those posts quicker
It’s handy to also make a note of next top five posts (so you can work on them in that order after you’ve done the first one)
So now we’ve narrowed down which post you are focusing on, it’s time to get stuck in!
Step 2 – Update the Meta Title
A meta title is the page heading, line text which appears in Google searches, and what is displayed in the browser tab. A meta title needs be around 50-60 characters long and should sum up the content of the post and let the searcher know exactly what to expect when they click through.
First, let’s do a bit of research – Google the general topic that your post is about, and have a look at the results.
let’s say, you’re working on updating a review of the Urban Decay naked palette for example – Let’s take a look what comes up;
This text which is on first line that appears is called the meta title
To get people clicking on your blog post out of all those results, you will need to make your headline (meta title) grab someones eye and stand out from all the rest.
“But how on earth do I make it stand out?!” I hear you ask.
The answer is simple;
It is not enough just to have a headline which says the overall content of the post, as there are pages and pages of blog posts reviewing the same thing, in pretty much the same style.
You need to give the searcher more information about your blog post, and tell them exactly why your post is what they’re looking for.
So to stand out, you need to get specific – what does your blog post cover and include? Is it written from a particular viewpoint or angle? We need to make sure we put this front right and center in our meta title.
For our Urban Decay palette review example, we should ask questions like this;
- Have you included swatches?
- Are you showcasing a look?
- Are you answering ‘is it worth buying’?
- Do you compare it against a similar palette?
Then we need to make sure this kind of detail is in the meta title.
For example; let’s pretend we swatch and do a look in our palette review – here is what our meta title might look like:
Urban Decay Naked Palette Review: Swatches & Neutral Eye Look
This title really makes it clear to the person reading it what to expect from the content of the blog post.
We also mustn’t forget that we need to keep the meta title under around 60 characters long – you can check how this would look using the Moz Title Tag preview tool to check it all fits.
Lovely, it fits in the space! Now, we just need to update the meta title on our blog itself:
How you ask? Here is where you would update the title tag;
on a Self Hosted WordPress site using Yoast (in Gutenburg editor)
Click “Settings” and find the “Search Preferences” link on the page’s left side. Click that link to view your search preferences. You’ll see a Meta Tags section near the top of the page. Click the “Edit” link in that section and then click the “Yes” radio button that appears next to “Enable Search Description.”
SEO tools feature is only available in the WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plans and the Jetpack Premium and Professional Plans for self-hosted WordPress. If you have this, full details of how to edit in link;
It is okay if the SEO title doesn’t have your site name in it – when people are searching for a review, they’re generally not going to be looking for a specific post from your site.
Even if they were, your site name is going to be in your URL anyways, and Google will know to serve your result.
By being specific about what information people can find, it both stands out from the other generic titles in the search results, and because the specific option is there you’re more likely to think ‘actually, I’d love to see a swatch’ and click on that result out of all the others.
Step 3 – Add an Intro Paragraph
The first introduction to a blog post is the most important – It’s a great idea to include a statement at the beginning to prepare readers what to expect from the post – because this also tells Google what your post is about too.
Google can use this information to automatically create a relevant meta description (the text below the title when searching on Google) for your post, which means we don’t have to spend our precious time writing one ourselves.
By including an introductory paragraph which explains what the post is, at the top of the page that is likely to contain some search terms too.
Sometimes, other than the title of the post, you might not mention the word review again – this addition just reinforces exactly what the post is.
Something simple like “I’m going to review the Urban Decay Naked palette, show you the smokey eye look I create with it, and let you know if its worth the investment – here goes!
This lets people know that you’re covering exactly what they’re expecting, and helps reduce your bounce rate too (which is the percentage of people visiting only one page on your site, and then leaving)
You’ve now made your review post more appealing to Google, without spending tonnes of time. Just rinse and repeat for your next most popular review post, and watch the traffic come in!
I haven’t covered everything possible that you can do to improve your on-page SEO for a blog post, but this is SPEEDY BLOG SEO after all.
Will you be trying this method out? Got a question?
Leave a comment below and I’ll answer!