We’ve all been in that situation where we are so excited to get a new blog post up that as soon as the content is written and there’s a few images, we want to publish it. However, if we want as many people as possible to enjoy the content, follow our checklist below to make sure the post is ready for the world to see.
1. Use the Plugin!
If you are using WordPress, you can download a plugin called “Yoast SEO” which amongst other benefits, rates your posts based on their ‘reading score’. It tells you where you need to improve; whether that be in something like reducing your sentence length or adding in a few more transition words. More on this later…
2. Is your title clear, to-the-point and search engine friendly?
If you want to be ranking highly in search engines, having a 50 word long title probably isn’t the best way to go. Identify your keyword (more on this later), make sure this is included and ensure that it is clear enough for people to know exactly what is going on.
Remember: niche titles are often better for SEO purposes:
Bad SEO title:Christmas Gift Ideas Better SEO title:10 Christmas Clothing Gift Ideas For Men (Under £30)
3. Change the URL
Sure, changing your posts URL makes the link much nicer to look at than something like /index.php?p=379 but it has importance that most people don’t actually realise. Having a suitable URL can allow people to see how recent the post is and the category on your site that the post belongs in. For example:
As well as this, your post title will be in the link which means that search engines may rank the post more highly.
4. Keyword analysis
From Yoast to Google Keyword planner, there are plenty of tools online to help you identify keywords and make sure that you’re using them efficiently. We could sit and talk for hours about the importance of keywords but basically the general ratio is 1 keyword for every 100 words but don’t overdo the keywords, because Google will penalise you.
Focus on writing for humans, not for Google!
5. Flesch Reading Ease
This is another aspect which is managed by the Yoast plugin on WordPress. This is incredibly useful as it shows how easy your post is to read and obviously, the easier it is to read, the more people will be inclined to read it. Flesch Reading Ease measures sentence length and word length. Therefore, use a variety of sentence lengths and opt for more commonly used words to increase understanding.
6. Check your image properties
Changing your alt tag of your images to a relevant keyword is a great way to optimise your site. For example, if you are running an ecommerce site, applying relevant alt tags to the product photos can positively impact upon your store’s search engine rankings.
Finally, share your post with your teammates or friends privately and ask them to proofread it for errors. If you stare at something for too long, you can be blind to little mistakes – so a second pair of eyes is essential!
Now you’re ready to publish!
About the author
Lauryn is a psychology undergraduate student at the University of Exeter. When she's not at work, she's writing on her own blog or spending hours getting those perfect Instagram shots.
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