Blogging is so much more than just typing up your thoughts on an issue and clicking the “Publish” button. One way to make the most of your blogging efforts is to consistently apply your SEO skills along with consistently tagging and categorizing each new blog post.
Below is a list of 9 points to be sure you work through before publishing every new blog post.
A 9-point Blog Post Pre-Publishing Checklist
Before you publish your next blog post make sure you have…
- Completed your SEO keyword research Each new blog post is a new chance to rank on a new keyword phrase. You don’t ever want to miss out on another chance at optimizing a page from your website for search engines. Performing SEO keyword research and deciding what keyword phrase you are going to use for that post will impact some of the items below.
- Edited your default permalink Your page’s or post’s “permalink” is another way to say the direct URL for that page or post. Website platforms like WordPress allow you to change your permalink to whatever you want. Meaning, you can write a more catchy headline (post title) for your post, while crafting something much more SEO-friendly for your permalink.
- Completed your SEO title tag and meta description Your title tag and meta description, plus your permalink, are what show up in Google search results. Incorporate your chosen keyword phrase into all three (permalink, title tag, meta description). Keep in mind that while title tags are most often phrases (and limited to 60 characters), meta descriptions are written in sentence-form (and allow for 150 characters).
- Re-read your draft with keyword usage in mind Editing your post before publishing is always a crucial step. But as you do that, consider if you need to make some minor wording changes to your text to maximize the impact of your SEO for that post.
- Checked for interlinking opportunities Adding links to other posts and pages on your website helps with brevity (add links to your homemade marinara sauce and lasagna noodle recipes in your recipe for homemade lasagna) and SEO (bots can use those links to crawl deeper into your site), and keeps people on your site longer (since they’re more likely to check out the posts or pages you linked to).
- Marked your categories and tags Using categories and tags is confusing to some. But learning how to use them and then doing so regularly greatly improves your site’s usability and means you can add plugins like Efficient Related Posts, too.
- Added ALT tags to images Images included in posts mean nothing to Google bots unless they’re given a text value through ALT tags. Wondering what you should use as the ALT tag for your included image? Your targeted keyword phrase.
- Properly credited your images In an ideal world, you’d have all your own images for use in your blog posts. But in the real world, it’s typical to use images found via a Creative Commons search, including proper source credit.
- Scheduled your post to publish Last but not least, the scheduling of your post! A regular blog post publishing schedule is ideal just like your favorite newspaper columnist’s articles always run on the same day and in the same section, and your favorite TV shows air on the same network and on the same day and time each time. To grow an audience of faithful readers, don’t publish your post when you finish writing it; schedule it to publish at a regular day and time.
Working through all 9 points on the checklist means you can feel confident in each and every blog post you publish.