5 Quick SEO Tricks For AFTER A Post Goes Hot


get yer blowtorch

I don’t pay a heck of a lot of attention to SEO while blogging. I’m just not that concerned with it. I realize this is blasphemy to most of you, but Rae, Rhea and Dawn are the SEO minds over at Outspoken. My interest with the blog is in creating discussions that people care about and talking about things I think the community will find important. We blog for the conversation.

That said, we don’t let hot SEO opportunities fly by either. When we notice that a post we published is gaining some traction or bringing in high volumes of unexpected keyword traffic, we do go back and optimize them to increase the SEO juice. Doing so helps us attract readers (and prospective clients) and it also helps users find information they may find valuable.

Here are some quick tweaks you can do to your posts AFTER you publish them to get an extra kick back.

Refine your keyword focus

I won’t say I’ve never written a post with a keyword in mind but it’s definitely the exception, not the rule. That means there are a fair number of times where a post will see far more search traffic than I would have otherwise expected. When this happens and we find that we missed an opportunity to better leverage a keyword, we’ll go back in and fix it. We’ll never change the meaning, intention or theme of a post, but if there’s a clearer way of saying something or to take advantage of how people are searching, we’ll use it. Honestly, I can probably count on one hand the number of times this has happened in my five years of blogging about Internet marketing blogging, but it’s happened.

We also go through our analytics to find keywords that are associated with a good on page time. If you haven’t used your analytics to tie keywords to a lead gen time or conversions, I’d recommend you set that up. It’s pretty valuable information.

Tighten your on-page SEO

Often refining your keywords in the step above will alert to other opportunities to better use the term on the page. Naturally, you don’t want to start spamming your posts to oblivion if you’re getting good traffic from them, but do look for areas where you can tighten things up.

For example, you may want to refocus keywords in:

  • The Title tag
  • Various page headers
  • Internal anchor text
  • Alt text for images
  • Media file names

Another thing to look at is the actual post title if it differs from what’s in your Title tag. As bloggers we often get a little too creative for our own good when it comes to writing killer blog titles. Instead of using a descriptive title to explain how to do a 301 redirect, you went with something witty and clever, thereby screwing yourself when people do a search looking for that information. I think Andy Beal was among the first to urge bloggers to remember that blog titles have two audiences. If you found you were a little too creative that first day, you may want to change the title (not the URL) after the fact to help you capitalize on search traffic you’re missing out on.

Lastly, look at your digital assets. You want all pictures, videos or audio files to be using optimized files names, alt tags, captions, etc. Pat Sexton has as great image optimization tool that you may want to check out.

Look for off-page SEO opportunities

I’ll be going into this in much more detail for an upcoming guest post (look for it!), but also keep in mind off-page opportunities for helping to increase SEO efforts. For example, you may want to reach out to your linkerati to help you promote the blog post, cross-link it where appropriate, or even update the post with new content to help keep it fresh and drive new links to it. By updating the post, you also allow yourself to re-promote it and get more eyes on it.

Take advantage of real-time freshness

During our Robert Scoble kerfluffle, Rae asked me if she could go into the post and tweak a few SEO things. Naturally, I told her to have at it. One thing I noticed that Rae changed was that she made sure Robert’s name appeared in the Title tag and in various headers in the page. It was clear she wanted to aggressively target his name. However, she wasn’t trying to get the post to rank for [Robert Scoble], she was doing it so that the post would appear in Robert’s Google real-time results.

Since, Robert’s name is a pretty heavy search term, Google’s bringing in all sorts of news and blog results when users do a search. With Rae’s tweak, she made sure that anyone searching for Robert would see our post and find the hot discussion going on about him. While it may not have a huge lasting SEO impact, it did help to drive traffic to the post and light of all sorts of Google toolbar data. As a blogger, this is something you want to really be aware and find ways to leverage.

Optimize page load time

With Google officially counting site speed as a ranking factor, even bloggers need to be aware of page load time. Don’t panic, but test your site to see how its performing and make sure if a post is stumbled to high heaven, it’s not going to go down.

Part of optimizing load times means optimizing your digital assets, as well. For example, are you forcing WordPress to resize your images or are you uploading a smaller image file so they’re loading faster?

Rhea wrote all about the SEO’s Guide To Page Speed, that I recommended you check out if you haven’t already. She outlines a number of great tools that site owners and bloggers can use to test page load time.

Here are some tools to test page load time:

Those are some of the most common ways we supercharge existing posts for maximum SEO benefit. What do you do to your posts?

Your Comments

  • Abdul F Ismail

    This is fabulous. I’ll keep it in mind when I write pieces for our company.

  • T.J.

    Awesome list. Thanks for the post and thanks to WordPress and plugins like All-in-One SEO it makes it easy to refine.

  • Jen Lopez

    Great list Lisa! It’s funny how often we write a post about SEO but don’t bother to optimize the actual post. It’s kind of a “duh” moment when you realize after the fact, but these are great tips to keep in mind. Only once can I remember SEOing the hell out of a post. :) It was on Google Profiles and I was seeing if I could rank for “Jennifer Lopez” – of course that’s impossible. But that post did rank on the first page for “Jen Lopez” for months. You know.. it’s the little things in life. :D

    • Heather Villa

      After reading Lisa’s article I said the same thing to myself. It is easy to focus on SEO when it is a part of your daily routine for work “stuff” but when it comes time for me to sit down and let my keystrokes flow I don’t really think about it much.

      I will take away the information listed on “real-time freshness” and apply that to my blogs.
      As always Lisa, fantastic blog with useful information!

  • Nick Gowdy

    I’m always jumping back in my blogs to tweak more “catchy” titles back to something that will help rankings long-term once the post has done its initial touching of eyeballs.

    I think there’s a line you don’t want to cross, like you pointed out, where you can start to change the message of the post. There’s no need to bring a pair of pliers with your blow torch and get medieval on your posts for the purposes of SEO.

    Thanks for the heads up on site speed – I’ve been out of action for the past week and still chewing through my RSS. I can honestly say I heard it here first!

  • Ken Jones

    Thanks for the heads up about Pat’s new Image Analyser Tool Lisa. I’d missed that one but it’s yet another reason why your old pal Mr Sexton rocks when it comes to putting together awesome little SEO tools for very specific purposes.

    Oh yeah and great post! etc, etc.

  • Miguel Salcido

    Great post, this going back to old posts and optimizing or re-optimizing is a highly overlooked strategy. Only the good ones really do it, and it does have a great impact.

    I also loved the resources provided for all the page speed tools!

  • UK Gary

    I would agree with @TJ that the wordpress All in One SEO plugin is great for tweaking after publishing to easily change titles, meta keywords, meta description. I think bloggers write a post so fast and then because they have spent time writing a post they need to publish it that little SEO leaks could happen. So re-reading a post slowly and then anchor linking to newer posts in the old popular post content could help SEO also.

  • Zach Prez

    This could have been one of those general posts that stops at optimizing keywords and links. But you went well above, nicely done. I really like what you added about “Take advantage of real-time freshness.” Using a name to rank within social searches is a great tip (instead of the typical ranking in general search for the name).

    That may come in handy if you can pull of talking about a competitor so that you can rank in his/her social search results. So the people searching for the competitor see you as well and then check out your goodness.

    Thanks also for the image SEO tool link. That will make a great follow up for my post about 5 Things to Know When Writing Photo Alt Text

  • Adam Woodhouse

    Great info, summarize well. Thank you!

  • Ben Griffiths

    Make sure you monitor any change in organic traffic after you make your changes. I’ve gone back to optimize a post, only to drop a page in the SERP’s after completing my “optimization”.

  • auto content

    how about keyword on domain?

  • Travis Johansen

    Wow- for someone just getting into SEO- that’s a ton of information. Some of those things definitely apply to me starting out as well- so thank you!
    And thank you for linking to so many great resources. I’ve been working on a new blog and it’s definitely a lot of work to do all myself. But with a few ‘best practices’ I’m pretty sure i’ll make it thanks to people who have shared their secrets like you!!!

  • Matt

    Great article…I think load time is becoming more important with SEO everyday!

  • Jennifer@voip mpls

    You wrote: We also go through our analytics to find keywords that are associated with a good on page time. If you haven’t used your analytics to tie keywords to a lead gen time or conversions, I’d recommend you set that up. It’s pretty valuable information.

    What a great idea! Have you written a post on how to do this? Does it require special set up, or is it just default included?

  • Cathy

    I appreciate the image tool thank you! I noticed you’re very good at linking back to your old articles. Another tip would be to always link back to one core article from every post.

    The one I always seem to forget, you did here, but didn’t mention. I never add headings to my blog posts. If I do, it’s because like you, the stats have gotten my attention and I’ve gone back and edited.

  • Danny g

    Hi lisa, ive just started out in the blogging world so just wanted to say thanks for the great tips on following up on posts…