So I’m furiously typing away, preparing this awesome post showcasing the new way I’ve organized the workouts on the blog, bubbling over with excitement, patting myself on the back for improving my little ol’ website, wondering if I should alert the media, deciding I definitely should alert the media, and then it dawns on me: Nicole, you are literally the only person who cares. Like, not even your mom gives a shit that you’ve re-categorized your workouts.
So how do I make this post useful for my readers? I vowed when I started blogging that each post would serve a purpose or provide some sort of value—Wait, didn’t you just dedicate an entire post to Candy Crush Saga? Shut up.—so I decided to offer some blogging advice along with this tour of my new workout categorization. I know a ton of you guys have blogs of your own, so I think discussing a tip here and there would be a fun feature on Pumps & Iron. If you don’t care, just skim through and look at the pretty pictures—they’ll guide you through my new workout categorization.
Before we start, I’d like to clarify that I’m not delusional—I know that compared to some powerhouse blogs, I’m totally amateur hour over here—but from working in online marketing and learning through trial and error with P&I, I think I have at least a small amount of knowledge to share. So on to today’s blogging tip:
Turn your most popular category of posts into a page.
Why? First off, it improves user experience. Prior to this makeover, when you clicked on WORKOUTS in my top navigation bar, it would bring up a feed of blog posts tagged with the “workout” category. It was easily the most clicked on link on my homepage, but this feed wasn’t at all ideal for readers who wanted to browse through my workout archives.
We live in a world where people are being constantly bombarded with content, and because of that, we’ve been trained to discard at a rapid pace. If you don’t immediately provide people with what they’re looking for within the first glance at the page, they’re going to hit that “back” button or, even worse, that “x.”
Let’s use an Internet search as an example. You Google “Is Ryan Gosling single?” The results page includes:
- Ryan Gosling’s Wikipedia page, in which you’d have to scroll through his entire life story starting from when he was immaculately conceived by a Unicorn and God Himself in order to maybe find your answer.
- A Tumblr of “Hey Girl” Ryan Gosling memes.
- An E! News article that includes the sentence “Because the Universe is cruel and wants your life to be full of suffering, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendez have confirmed that they are dating and he will never be interested in you” right in the preview.
Which is most useful for you? Obviously the article—you don’t even have to click the link to get your answer! People want to get what they’re looking for the fastest, easiest way possible, and creating an index page that organizing your most-searched-for category is a great way to provide your readers with just that.
Ok, so you make your readers happy. But this is the age of the selfie—what you really want to know is how this helps numero uno. The answer is three little letters that are oh-so-important in the online world: SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Turning your popular categories/blog topics into their own landing page will improve your visibility in Google searches for that keyword, and consequently increase traffic to your site.
While you may think it’s Oprah or Steve Jobs’ ghost, our lives are actually being dictated by Google (especially if you’re a blogger). Take Google+ for example. It’s horseshit. No one likes it. It’s like the word “fetch.” Stop trying to make it happen. It’s never going to happen! But like the little minions we are, we all have a g+ button at the end of each blog post because Google said we have to if we want to improve our posts’ ranking in search results.
Here are a couple specific ways creating a category index page will improve SEO:
- Category/tag feeds in WordPress aren’t indexed by Google (they can be, but you have to change your default settings). Your page is.
- Keywords, keywords, keywords. When you create a page out of your most popular category, you’re optimizing for that keyword. Mine, for example was the “workouts” category. That keyword is now right in the URL: http://pumpsandiron.com/workouts. And it appears a million times over on the page as I list all the subcategories: AMRAP Workouts, Pyramid Workouts, Ab Workouts, etc. etc.
So….my main point is basically that people are too lazy/busy to read anymore so you have to just cut out all the clutter and make a page with pictures and bolded keyword-filled titles. And I made this point by…writing the longest blog post in the history of my blog. Good work, Nicole. Good. Work.
On that note, I’m signing off. Have a great weekend! And follow along with me on Twitter or Instagram if you want to see how my Newport Wine & Food Festival adventure goes. This is my first time attending an event as a member of “the media,” so it’s kind of important/exciting…which means I’ll inevitably find some way to totally embarrass myself. That’s how my life usually goes.
Have any blogging tips on the topic you’d like to add? Leave a comment!