Ok, so you wrote the blog post and hit the big publish button. Now what?
Sit back and watch the money/leads roll in – right?
Ha! I know you are smarter than that. The next thing you have to do is get eyeballs on that post you just wrote. That means having it be picked up by Google as well as pushing it to all the major social media channels. While some of this might be automatic, you might be tempted to automate the whole thing. That’s wrong and here’s why.
Let’s start with the automatic part that is OK to be automatic. That’s Google. When you publish your post it becomes LIVE on the internet, but that doesn’t mean Google knows about it. If I built your site you have a properly functioning sitemap.xml file. Think of this as a hidden table of contents file for you website. It lists every page, every post along with important information like the permalink and date it was last modified. Want to see one? Here’s the one for this site https://areweconnected.com/post-sitemap.xml Remember: that happens automatically. What I also setup to happen automatically is I register that sitemap with Google. When there’s a change to the site map, I automatically “PING” the Google and say, “Hey we have new content over here!” and of course Google then comes over and puts it in it’s index. Yay!
NOTE: This doesn’t happen with every site, just the one’s I build.
Next, let’s look at social media. It would be great if once you published that the post would also be driven out to social media channels too.
The good news is that it can. There’s a module in Jetpack (one of the great plugins from WordPress.com) that will allow you to do just that!
The bad news is that it doesn’t do a very good job of it.
Let me explain. We’re pushing this out to social media so that we get more eyeballs on our stuff right? That means having people click through and actually read the post. If you allow Jetpack to push your posts to your Facebook it will grab the title, grab the Featured Image (because you always set a featured image) and then it’ll grab the first 40 or so words of the blog post. That’ll be your Facebook post.
I imagine the title might be compelling and entice me to click to read the same cannot be said for the rest. If you didn’t set a Featured Image, chances are that FB will display one of any pictures it finds on the page. That might be the picture from a comment or a related post. Something that might not go with the post at all. Below that picture is the first 40 or so words. That’s the first part of your post and chances are they are not going to entice anyone to read either.
Are the first few sentences of your post going to get people to click? That’s the fight we’re fighting for.
In July, Facebook made a change so that automated 3rd party publishing systems like these have a harder time displaying what you hope they’ll display. You can read about it HERE.
Here’s What To Do Instead
Start by using an SEO plugin. I recommend Yoast. I build it into all of my client’s sites.
Once you’ve written your post the plugin gives you the chance to dictate what Google, Facebook and other social media networks show for the Title and Description.
Here’s how this post might show in Google without it.
But I can dictate for them to use something different in the Title and Description. Something that might entice more clicks. Something like this…
That’s the same permalink, same post. It’s not click bait but it’s using similar approaches. You simply overwrite the meta title and meta description for the post.
Once you done that, it takes just a few (and only a few) minutes to MANUALLY share the post to your Facebook Page and other networks.
When you do, you’ll also have the chance to add an enticing sentence or two as a lead in to the post – adding further to your click through rate!
So that’s it. The big secret is to take a few extra minutes and you’ll get much much moe engagement and clicks in all of your posts! What would that look like? Glad you asked.
BTW: This was inspired by a conversation I was having with a potential client who initially wanted this feature built into his site. Now he knows better and we’re building him a rocking cool site that’ll get better engagement!