Following this SEO-friendly blog post checklist can help to ensure your content ranks every time.
Topic Idea – You know what your business is about but you need a topic to write about, right? Make sure you select a topic within your niche so that you attract potential customer’s attention to your business. You could decide on providing detailed information regarding a recent customer’s question asked of you.
Keyword Research – Though Jaaxy is my preferred keyword tool (see free offer to try in right-hand sidebar below), for the purposes of this post, I will share a free online keyword tool with you.
Simply typing in your chosen topic, you will be presented with ideas to use for you title.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) Competitor Research – To discover what your competitors are doing with this topic search your chosen keyword. If the SERP proves there are a lot of ads or several posts with titles like “7 steps to…”, then you will want to follow along with what your competitors are doing… BUT, use a title that will be more apt to have your post stand out and grab your reader’s attention better than what is already being offered.
Article Research – Do some research in order to write your article. Your researching could be done by reading over your competition’s posts, Wiki site information on your niche or perhaps even a study that was conducted on a topic within your niche.
Create Your Title Using Your Keyword – Your title needs to grab attention, using your keywords. Some SEO experts claim that we need to keep our title word count to 6, but apparently that is not counting conjunctions like “a”, “and” or “the”.
Pick Appropriate Category for Your Post – Make sure you use a proper category for your post to appear in. In other words, do not simply leave your default WordPress category set at Uncategorized. You can use one category at the start but once you start expanding on your chosen topic, you may find it easier for your readers if you add pertinent categories.
Use a Featured Image – Making sure your image matches your topic… and be sure to create an image to grab the attention of your audience.
Create Meta Title – This title can be different than your blog post title if you want. The Meta Title is what will be shared in the search engine results pages. So… if your blog post title is waaaay to long, it may get truncated in search results. Using a shorter Meta Title will eliminate this problem.
Create Meta Description – Using approximately 155 characters as a rule of thumb, you can use this option to help describe your content as it will appear in an excerpt in SERPs. Write it in a way as to intrigue a searcher enough to click your link and read what you have to offer in your post.
Twitter Card Using Image – These are also sometimes called Social Meta Image and is the image that is displayed when sharing the URL to your post in the different social media accounts. You COULD use your Featured Image for your Twitter card; however you can also use a different image if you wanted to… maybe an image with your logo on it.
H2 Subheadings – Using H2, H3 values for subtitle headers is for SEO value.
Internal Linking – This helps to prove the value of your present content, helps add value to the pages you link to, and helps Google spider understand your content layout better.
External Linking – When linking to authority sites, it helps prove the value of your content when citing others posts as references.
Use Supporting Images – Being sure to use relevant images helps improve your readers experience with your content. These need to be about your topic visually.
ALT Tag Description – This should be a description of what the images is about and NOT used for SEO purposes. Screen readers for the visually impaired depend on ALT tags being filled in properly, so Google now rewards webmasters who comply with the new rules for using ALT tags properly.
Embed a Video Where Possible – You don’t need to do this on every blog post you write, but when you do include an embedded video it will help hold your reader’s attention longer so they will stay on your website longer, reducing your site’s bounce rate, which in turn helps your site rank better.
Using a video can help break up the monotony of lots of text like images do. You can even use someone else’s video to embed just so long as it is on topic.
Create a Call to Action – Nearer the end of your content you want to add a call to action (CTA). To decide on your CTA; what is it that you want your visitor to do once they are finished reading your blog post? So, do you want them to:
- call, click or drop in?
- leave a comment?
- buy something?
- fill out a form?
When you create engagement people will stay on your site longer which is great SEO juice. By asking them to leave a comment, you are getting them to engage in your content.
Preview Your Post – Always preview your posts while in Draft mode, and make sure that all of your links work properly. This way you won’t find out later on that one (or more) of your links never worked… and/or one of your images (or more) were not aligned correctly.
Publish Your Post – Saving your posts as a Draft does not Publish them. If you schedule a post, make sure it gets published on due date.
Post to Social Media (Google+ ended in August 2019) – Share your post on social media, whatever social media accounts you use.
Email Broadcast – If you are doing email marketing you will want to setup an email broadcast. You can automate this, and those who receive it will have signed up to receive your emails. Not to worry if you only have, say, 10 people who have signed up. That’s 10 more people who will learn about the availability of your post. OR… you can manually email your list.
Get Comments – This gets your post engagement going which helps your visitors stay on your site and it helps others to comment once one comment has been made.
Audience Engagement – Make sure you reply to any comments you receive in a timely manner. There are plugins available for websites using WordPress that will let you know when a comment has been made on a post. For example: Comment Reply Email Notification by Arno Welzel.
Hopefully, following this short checklist you will be less apt to miss doing any of the important steps necessary to get your posts viewed, commented on, and ranked.
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All comments greatly appreciated, and you don’t have to worry, I make it a habit to reply to all comments in a timely manner.