Writing good quality and unique content is one of the first basic steps you would take towards ranking your posts in search engines. Search Engine Optimization is the art of tweaking good quality and unique content in a manner that is in line with search engine guidelines. Content that is of good quality, unique and searchable – tends to linked to and shared thereby increasing its overall popularity.
Here is a SEO Checklist for Blog Posts that we follow while writing our blog posts. It looks at basic On Page SEO factors that are critical to ensure that Search Engines can understand what your post is all about and rank them in high positions in relevant search engine result pages (SERP’s).
1) Use of Keywords
a) Use of Keywords in Title Tag – A relevant title will help your readers know what your blog post is about. The same is true for search engines as well, as they give priority to the keywords that are in title tag and treat it as one of the most important basis for ranking posts in relevant search engine result pages. Another point to be noted is that Google displays 66 characters of a title tag, cropping to complete words in SERP’s.
So, you should ideally enter the keywords you’re targeting in your title tag within 66 characters.
b) Use of keywords in Permalinks – A Permalink is the URL of your post. An effective URL is one that includes the relevant keywords & is search engine friendly. Ensure to use a clean URL which is free of common words like “as, is, a , there, for” etc and focuses mainly on your keywords. You can use the plugin Clean SEO Slugs to achieve this.
c) Use of Keywords in Meta-Description – The Meta Description tag is a brief introduction of your post / topic you’re writing on. This is the place where you will pre-sell your post to your potential readers and entice them to click on your URL. The maximum length that is displayed by search engines is 150 characters, so keep it short, crisp and make sure to include the keywords you’re targeting.
d) Use of Keywords in Images – This is one area that is overlooked by many webmasters. This can be an excellent source of traffic to your blog if you add the alt tag to your images that include the relevant keywords. You can use the SEO friendly Images WordPress Plugin to achieve this.
e) Keyword Density – Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. It is also an indicator for the relevance of a page for a specific keyword or phrase. Ensure to maintain Keyword density for your posts between 3% – 5%. You should also try and mention the targeted keywords in the introductory paragraph or within the first 50-100 words as search engines take this under consideration. You can use Keyword Density Checker WordPress Plugin to achieve this.
2) Interlink Your Old Blog Posts
Interlinking your old blog posts has overall SEO benefits for your blog. It also helps reduce bounce rate of your blog and adds value by providing more information than they originally required which helps you build a relationship with them.
Although not a comprehensive SEO Checklist for Blog Posts, we follow these steps to try and rank our blog posts high in search engines.
We’ll be glad to hear your views, thoughts on this checklist. It would be great if you could also let us know what on page SEO factors have you included in your SEO checklist for your Blog posts?