Do You Have an SEO Checklist for your Posts? I do and here it is!

Last Update: December 29, 2018

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a checklist to use before you publish your posts? Or a checklist you could use to go back and check all your older posts to make sure they are SEO ready?

Great news, I have been working really hard for the last year, here at WA and I have done a ton of research and studying on SEO. In this post, I am going to give everyone here what I have learned and the checklist I use for every article I write on my niche site.

I truly believe that if you follow this checklist at a minimum, you will have far less errors in your posts on your sites and you should see tremendous benefits as well.

Here we go with my SEO checklist:

1. Is Your Title Going to Get the Attention You Want?

Think about it, when you go to an article, and you don’t find the title of any interest or it just doesn’t catch your attention, are you going to read the article? Probably not.

So, think about your title and make sure it will get the reader’s attention.

Before you publish your blog, post or article, make sure that your title is eye catching.

There are actually title or headline analyzers on the internet that you can also use to see if you title has what is called “emotional marketing value”.

2. Your Title needs to be less than 60 Characters.

Since your post and SEO titles are usually the same, you have to be sure you keep them both under 60 characters. If you don’t, some search engines, including Google, will cut off part of your title.

It is best for the title to fit for all search engines, so readers know completely what your article is about.

3. Put your Keyword in the post Title, Meta Title, and post Content?

By now, you probably learned that each article needs a keyword that is the main focus of your article. You need to put that keyword as the title of your article, make it the Meta Title and in your introduction of your article as early as possible.

For example, if your keyword is “Best Vitamin D Supplement”, that needs to be the article title, the Meta Title and you need to include those exact words in the first paragraph of your article, in a natural flow of writing.

4. Fill in the Meta Title and Meta Description for your post?

You may or may not have yet learned, that there is a meta title and meta description for each post you create. In the Wordpress editor, it is on the bottom of the page.

As I mentioned earlier, the Meta Title is basically your Keyword for your article and has to be 60 characters or less to make social media happy.

The Meta description is a very short description or introduction to your article. Once again, this needs to be less than 160 characters. This is an important part of SEO, because this title and description is what will appear on the search engine when someone searches for your keyword and you don’t want it to get cutoff. I tend to use the first part of the first paragraph of my post for this.

If you do not create a meta description, search engines will just grab the first few sentences of your article and it may not be what you want searchers to see and it might not look very good.

5. No keyword stuffing, but put related keywords in your article?

Keyword stuffing is when you put the same keyword in your article all over the place. Don’t do that or Google will penalize you and you won’t get ranked.

Just write your article naturally and add related keywords in your post.

All you have to do to find related keywords is to search for your keyword in Google and then look at the “Searches related to” your keyword section, and those are some related keywords you can use in your article.

6. Add internal links to point to some of your other posts.

Internal links between your own posts on your niche site is good for SEO and it should help you get more page views on your site.

I try to link to at least a few of my older related articles in each post in a natural flow of writing. It gets easier as you get used to doing it and just becomes a normal part of writing an article.

7. Any external links you put in your article should open in a new window.

Since we are doing affiliate marketing and creating affiliate links, we need to make sure those links, when clicked by our readers, will open in a new window. This way our readers can go right back to the article instead of leaving our site.

This will help with page views and should help with your bounce rate when a reader clicks any of your external links.

8. Add links and/or proper titles to your images.

You will have product images if you do product reviews. Make sure you link your product images using affiliate links just like you would text links to the products.

The first image in your post should always contain the Keyword/title of your article. This is another SEO ranking thing.

Make sure all your images have titles or descriptions that make sense for your post.

9. Give all your images alt text.

Image title tags and image alt text are not the same thing.

Alt text shows up when someone hovers over an image on your post. This is especially helpful when you image does not show up correctly.

Alt Text for images is another one of those SEO ranking elements.

10. Set your Featured Image size for Social Media.

When you create/add your featured image to your article, make sure you check that the dimensions make sense for a thumbnail. If it is too big, it will get cut off and not look good on your home page for your article. This will vary for different themes.

For me, I always make them around 300 by 300 pixels. That seems to work well on my theme.

Doing this will make sure your featured image will be the correct size for all Social Media sites.

11. Make sure your article is easy to read and properly formatted.

I know, what is properly formatted?

  • It means you are correctly using proper headings, especially h2 and h3.
  • It means you use bold letters to accentuate important text.
  • Paragraphs should be relatively short and use italics for “quotes”.
  • Use any other available formatting, like colored text to bring attention to critical parts of your article.

Doing all of these formatting tricks will make your readers more engaged and keep them interested.

12. Have you added clear call-to-actions (CTAs)?

Make sure your call-to-actions are obvious and clear on what the reader needs to do to go order your product or click on an affiliate link.

Examples of CTAs: CLICK HERE, Buy Now, Go Here, Sign Up Here, etc.

13. Your article is categorized.

You don’t want your articles to all be uncategorized. Eventually you will have several categories, so get in the habit of making sure you set the category for each article.

14. Do some hashtags for your post.

Make sure you have created relevant hashtags for your post. How many is up to you, but you should do some for sure.

15. Invite your readers to comment.

At the end of your article, don’t forget to tell you readers that you welcome all comments and tell them how to do that. And invite them to share your post with all their friends.

16. View the post before hitting the Publish button.

  • Always click the View or Preview Post button and see how your post looks to make sure everything is formatted nicely.
  • Make sure any links you added work correctly, especially your affiliate links.
  • Make sure your images show up and look good.
  • Make sure any adds you created look good.
  • If you have done all the above, you should be ready to Publish your post.

I know this is a lot of information to digest, but I know it will help if you do it.

Best of luck,

Curtis

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BElliott56 Premium
Hello Curtis, That is a great training for ranking and I plan on printing it off. One other thing I recomend is always go back and make sure all your posts and pages say author not admin and you should really have an up to date Picture to place when adding content. Many people get turned off when you use something like a kitten or a car.

I do have one question. what are has tags and where do you find them and how do you set them up.

Thanks Brian
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chender684 Premium
Yes, agree to change admin to author so it makes your articles more personal. Hash tags are usually at the bottom of the post in wordpress. Also lower right hand side of your post in wordpress.
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kirstenerika Premium
Thank you. I'm a bit confused, as from what I recall in training, Kyle mentioned that with the All in One SEO plugin we just have to type in the title and description for our website, and then the plugin automatically created title, keywords and descriptions for our posts?

Did I miss something? I'm just starting Level 3 training.
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chender684 Premium
Not quite. It will create a meta title and meta description but it may not be what you want. You should create them yourself to make sure they look good in Google searches.
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ericcantu Premium
That would be awesome lol, but no, keyword research is done by us. When we input the title of our post we come up with that title based on our focus keyword. All AIO will do is create the meta title based on the title we input. Once we start filling the post with content, if u leave the meta description blank it would by default use the beginning of the post as the meta description, but u can optimize that yourself to contain the keyword, etc.
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kirstenerika Premium
Lol I have so much more to learn. Thanks for the info! I just thought the plugin was super intelligent 😂
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ericcantu Premium
We're all learning! Keep up the good work and stay driven! :)
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chender684 Premium
Awesome Eric, thank you and I will always stay focused and driven.
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sharon22 Premium
This is very helpful, Curtis. You have done a very detailed checklist here which serves as a very good reminder before we hit the publish button.

Good day!
Sharon
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chender684 Premium
Thank you Sharon. I am glad you found is helpful. I am hoping everyone here will read it. Maybe I should have made it training.
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sharon22 Premium
That's a great idea, Curtis.
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lesabre Premium
Thank you for sharing that Curtis
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chender684 Premium
My pleasure Michael. Enjoy it.
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DebbieRose Premium
I do now...Thanks for this....it's a keeper!
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chender684 Premium
Thank you Debbie. I know it will help you.
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ShihTzuSteve Premium
Thank you for sharing this, Curtis. Very timely, too. I have four days leave coming up at the end of the week when I plan to use some time to get on the Mac and review and edit the posts I’ve made so far. I will certainly be using your checklist for this.
Thanks again and best wishes for 2019.
Steve.
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chender684 Premium
Awesome Steve. I am sure this is going to come in handy for all.
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AmyHD Premium
Great post. Thank you Curtis for your hard work. It’s trully helpful!
Amy
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chender684 Premium
My pleasure Amy, I want to make sure everyone here gets it.
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Cass51 Premium
Thanks Curtis, this is great. I have bookmarked it and appreciate the research that has gone into it. Cheers Cass
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chender684 Premium
Yes, please share it with your WA friends as well so they can make sure their post are SEO ready to go.
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Cass51 Premium
Thanks:)
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FKelso Premium
That is a very thorough list, and very well done, Curtis. Thanks for supplying us with your checklist.
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chender684 Premium
Coming from someone in the Top 50 here are WA, that is high praise. Thank you very much. I have worked hard to learn these things and I use them every day.
Thank you Fran!
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CandP Premium
Hi Curtis. We have to say that is one of the best pieces of training we have ever seen for maximizing SEO, thank you so much. We are sure many other members of WA are going to really benefit from it.
Colette and Philip
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chender684 Premium
Thank you both. I think it will help everyone here!
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Rubberbandman Premium
You knocked it out of the park. Great article and by following this example you will have pages ranking in the top of the search results.

I like what you said about the meta description. Using the plugin Yoast allows you to have a different description than the first few sentences of your article.

I also use inter-linking and try to use a silo technique for each category. It makes it clear to Google and my audience what the site is about and is another good SEO practice.

I'll have to use the hashtags. Sounds like a good idea. Another thing I might have to try is linking an affiliate link to some of the images.Great job and excellent advice.
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chender684 Premium
Thank you Ken. I am glad you found it useful. SEO is the key for us all.
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TimBennett Premium
A really excellent post Curtis
I think you included pretty much everything that needs to be included

Great job and thanks for sharing with the community

Tim
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chender684 Premium
Thank you Tim. I have worked hard to learn as much as possible here at WA, along with all over the internet. Lots of great information out there for us all.
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