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