When you know your article is a masterpiece, you surely want the world to know. For that to happen, your post must be good enough for search engines to display on their search results. It must appeal to them, so to speak.
Without any further ado, here’s the checklist you need to comply with in order for your blog post to be pleasing to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Blog Post SEO Checklist
Choose a focus keyword. This is the heart of your article, meaning you can think of this word (or phrase) as if it were a thesis statement in an academic article. That said, it needs to be present in the following parts of your blog post/article:
- Page/blog title
- Blog post URL
- Content (especially in first/introductory paragraph)
- Meta description
The focus keyword must be used often in the content, reaching a keyword density of around 1.50 to 2.5 percent. Too many insertions is considered stuffing, while too less means less exposure and detection from web crawlers of search engines.
For SEO purposes, the focus keyword must appear as close to the beginning of your blog post title as possible. If your blog name appears first and is irrelevant to the topic of the post you’re currently writing, it can hurt its chances of appearing at the top of search engine results. Luckily, there’s a way to modify blog titles.
The focus keyword must be fresh and new to your blog. Just as your readers don’t want to read yet another duplicate article of the same topic, search engines prefer new content over recycled ones. There are several sources where you can look for fresh things to write about. For one thing, your mind never stops thinking, so always have a pen ready when that figurative bulb of yours lights up brightly.
Optimize the SEO title of your blog post. This title is the one that appears in search engine results. Google limits these to only 70 characters, so be sure to put the important keywords within such restriction (i.e., without too much keyword stuffing and making the whole thing incomprehensible to users).
Describe the gist of your blog post in the meta description. The meta description is like a summary of an article. It can also be a teaser or a preview. Only 140 characters are allowed to be displayed in search engine listings, with exceeding characters getting truncated.
Just as using outlines make things easier to digest, adding subheadings (h1, h2, h3…) makes your article appear more structured and convenient to read.
The blog post must reach the minimum recommended length of 300 words. If you truly are a writer, surely you can expound on your ideas and share more thoughts to your followers. Use blogging programs with built-in word counters like Windows Live Writer and Microsoft Word.
Take some time to find relevant posts all over the web and link to them from your post. It helps your readers find more things to learn about the given topic, and you’re also helping fellow bloggers gain traffic to their own blogs. They might even return the favor by referring to your posts in the future, too. Don’t also forget to link to your own old posts.
Especially for nontechnical blogs, the style of writing used in articles must be easy to read. There are tools online—easily searchable through Google/Bing/Yahoo—that lets you determine if your writing passes the Flesch Reading Ease test.
If you’re to follow the SEO checklist above, expect an increase in traffic to your blog.