To help improve your next blog post’s reach and readability, don’t just press the “Publish” button without following these nine SEO checklist items:
1. KEYWORDS: Do I know what keyword or keyword phrase my blog post is targeting?
Keywords are the words and/or phrases you think people will use in search engines to find information related to specific topics. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of tailoring your content to the search engines. Every post you write should target a keyword or keyword phrase that is most relevant to your post. To find the best keyword choice for your post:
- Use Google’s keyword tool. This will tell you your keyword’s average monthly search volume, its competitiveness, and will even suggest related keywords and their relevance.
2. TITLE: Is mine to the point, captivating and optimized?
An effective title is one that is optimized under SEO best practices, which means it is easily discernible by search engines and is actually compelling to readers.
3. URL: Is mine optimized?
Your URL, or permalink, is found directly below the title box in WordPress. This simply denotes what terms will be included your post’s URL. If you do not alter this, WordPress will usually automatically insert every word from your title, which is not ideal.
4. BODY COPY: Is mine effectively formatted and optimized?
A blog post with tons of information to share is good, but fully SEO optimized blog post with well-formatted, search-engine-friendly content is WAY better—and your audience will appreciate it WAY more.
5. META DESCRIPTION: Is mine illustrative of my post?
Your meta description is the snippet of text that will appear beneath your title in search engine results. As such, it’s important that you work your main keyword phrase into this (which Google will show in bold text) and maintain an enticing tone that will attract and encourage clicks from searchers looking for the best article that comes up from their query.
Always remember, write for your reader first, and Google second.