Blog Post SEO Checklist

Blog Post SEO Checklist

1. Keyword Use in the Title Tag and H1 Tag

If you want people to know what your blog post is about, give it an informative title. The same is true for search engines who are particularly sensitive to the words at the beginning of titles. If you’re not sure what a title tag is, it is the text that shows up in the top of your window or browser tab. An H1 tag is usually the tag that will surround the main title of your post. All good CMS software allows you to change this.

2. Ensure that your post is substantial and unique

You can’t quote 90% of an article, put in a little commentary and expect Search Engines to rank it well. Write a post that is thoughtful and unique and it will rank for the keywords you write about.

3. Keyword Use in Links on the Page

A very strong indicator of what your page is about is in the keywords that are being linked. As an example, you can see breaking news on CNN. The same is true for pages you link to. When you link to a page about “famous presidents” there is a good chance that you are writing about that topic. Search Engines notice that kind of thing and take it under consideration. Never write “Click here to read about famous presidents”. It’s unnatural for humans and search engines.

4. Keyword Use in the First 50-100 Words on the Page

Unless you are writing for Vanity Fair or the New Yorker, the introduction to your post will probably be used as a signal as to what your post is about. Search Engines know this and take it under consideration.

5. Keyword Use in the URL

Your Content Management System should allow you to control the URL of your post. Just like your headline, use a url that is readable and a signal as to what your post is about.

6. Use of Links in the Post

As mentioned in item three, the links you use can be a strong signal to whether you are writing about a particular topic or keywords. The same is true when it comes to using links at all. If you are writing a helpful post on a particular topic, an honest and useful thing to do would be to link to other pages that contain helpful information. While original works or other ‘link endpoints’ can and do rank well, those are not as typical.

7. Keyword Use in other headers, lists and bold/italics, image alt tags

There are plenty of other places you can include keywords. Any time you’re using something other than plain old paragraph text you’re giving extra emphasis to something, make sure you’re being informative.

8. Writing a Meta-Description

Having a meta-description isn’t super important for ranking, but it shouldn’t be neglected. The meta-description is often used on the results page as the description shown to searchers. Make it short (under 150 characters) and clear and tempting for searchers to click on.

9. Are you being sensible?

Are you being ridiculous? Jamming the same keywords everywhere you can find? First of all, this just doesn’t work, and hasn’t worked since roughly the (first) dot-com bubble. Search engines look for “keyword stuffing” and penalize appropriately. So write for people and use keywords for clarity. Remember, you’re trying to produce writing for people first that is great and worthy of earning links and being shared. These are the most important factors in SEO so it would be foolish and counterproductive to make your writing terrible and unoptimized for people.

Source: New Media Campaigns