Your college already hosts a blog and has already made it the hub of its content sharing online. You are already updating it once or twice a week and are looking for ways to improve your blog without doing some extra writing. Here are 10 tips that you can apply at any time to improve your blog’s visibility regardless of your tight writing resources:
1. Optimize your blog for SEO:
- Do some keyword research to determine what keywords need to be included in your posts. Tools such as Wordtracker, SEMRush, and Google AdWords Keyword Tool will help you choose keywords that are most popular for your topic.
- Add links to your blog posts. Links really are the currency of the web. Be sure to include links to other popular websites in fields related to your college or blog. This will give authority to your blog posts for search engines. Note that, in order to keep your readers on your blog, make sure all links open on a separate page, by adding the code target=”_blank” to the link. Also, keep in mind that internal links are just as important as external links, meaning you can link keywords directly to relevant pages within your site. At least one of the links within your post should be internal and its anchor should include a keyword you are trying to rank for.
- Create categories. Categories enable readers to easily find posts related to the topic without leaving the page. Adding a search bar is also a great way to help readers easily find content.
- Use tags. Tags provide readers with a quick and easy way to navigate through topics of interest. You can also build your blog’s topic authority by indexing tags.
- Index tags or categories in sitemap. Choose to index tags or categories in your blog sitemap. If you only write 2 or 3 blogs posts per month, we recommend making categories indexed. If you post more than 2 posts per week, we recommend making tags indexed. Also, for SEO purposes, make sure to use “No Index for Archive.”
- Optimize the URL, tags and meta-tags, and follow all the tips for SEO for higher education.
2. Direct internal links to older posts. Edit 10 of your older posts to create internal links (using one or several of your keywords as the anchor text). This process can be implemented in about 10 minutes and can be used for any keyword your site ranks for or is trying to rank for. It should only be implemented if the link is relevant to the content you have published. For newer blog posts, we recommend to have at least one well anchored internal link in the article body. It helps to enhance page authority and establish relevant information flow.
3. Update and republish all blog posts. Some of your blog posts about internships, scholarships, or program information were very popular, but are they still current? An easy quick win may be to simply freshen up the content and republish it. When republishing, do not create a new draft, but rather, simply change the date of publication. Share the new content on social media and other mediums as you would any other new content.
4. Make your blog mobile-friendly. Having a mobile-friendly blog requires a fast uploading theme. You should also make sure your CMS can be set in mobile-friendly mode. Various content management systems offer applications that enable you to make your content easy to read from mobile devices. For those using WordPress, here is an article to learn how to make your WordPress blog mobile-friendly in less than 60 seconds.
5. Create a content calendar. Following a detailed schedule will help you blog consistently and tie your blog topics to your other marketing initiatives. The calendar should include content creation, but also a clear process of how content will be shared on social media, as well as on curation and syndication sites.
6. Add social media plug-ins. Make it as easy as possible for readers to share your blog posts through social media plug-ins.
7. Add images and/or videos. Remember that not all of your readers will find your posts on your blog. Many will probably find you through social media or content curation platforms. This means that the title of the posts and the media aspects within the post are all important. Give preference to images that add value to your post by being related to the content in question and that are more likely to be shared. Embedding a video has great SEO benefits. For SEO purposes, make sure that these images or videos are properly tagged as well.
8. Share your blog posts everywhere. A sharing process will help you harvest the benefits of social media, social bookmarking and content syndication. Make sure you integrate this process in your content calendar to consistently share your blog posts. You can also advertise your blog by adding the URL on all your social media profiles, at the end of all emails, in presentations, etc.. Put in the extra effort to get the word out there that you have a blog.
9. Create a newsletter. If you have been blogging for a few months, use Google Analytics to see which posts have been most popular, and then package them in a newsletter sent to your client base. A newsletter is a great way to stay present in your prospects’ minds while promoting news, programs and events taking place at your college.
10. Install Analytics and learn from its results. Google Analytics is one of the most used analytics tools… and it is free! To sign up, all you need is a Google account. Google Analytics reports allow you to see which pages were most visited, the time visitors spend reading your blog, and various other important information. It can also enable you to know which keywords people use to find your posts (go to Content Site > Site Search> Search Terms) and choose a time span large enough to allow you to see the keywords that were searched for. Your GA account can be configured to see searches on your website and your blog as well. This will help you determine which post hit the spot with your students, which in turn will help guide towards creating great content.
What other tools have you been using to enhance your blog without adding a word to your blog posts? Please share!