To ensure that your blog post will be read, there is no way around: you will need to spend some time optimising it for search engines. There are so many articles and posts on the web nowadays that it is just impossible to stand out without SEO, whether you like it or not.
Thankfully, there are many simple ways to ensure that your posts will be well-ranked; and you probably already know most of them. But there is always the risk of forgetting to do something important, just because you are overwhelmed by other tasks.
But worry no more! In order to avoid it, all you got to do is to go through this checklist below, so that you can ensure that you have done everything required to guarantee a high volume of traffic to your website.
Also see: Tips For An Awesome and SEO-Friendly Blog Post
# 1 – Craft a highly-engaging headline
Your blog post needs to have a highly-engaging headline in the first place. And this is because it is the title of your post that will make your visitors decide to click or not on your article and read it.
So if you don’t make it exciting and compelling, your traffic and ranking will suffer. Even if your visitors are driven straight from the Google Search to your blog post – meaning that your title tag and meta-description become more relevant than your headline – you want them to stay for as long as possible.
And to achieve it, you will have to rely on the headlines of the other posts available on your site. They will be there, on your menu or related posts widgets. So you must craft the best headline that you can, with the most relevant keyword on it.
# 2 – Create a catchy introduction
The first paragraph of your post is the second thing that will guarantee a high ranking to your website. If people click on your headline or title tag but leave your blog a few seconds after, something called bouncing, Google Search will consider that your content wasn’t good enough or that you promised something you didn’t deliver – and, in both cases, you are in trouble.
So, to ensure that your visitor will continue reading, you will need to create a catchy introduction. It has to be short, clear, and easy to scan. Your keywords should be there too. But, above all, it must be written in a way to let your visitor notice what come next is relevant to them.
So always, write having your target audience in mind, considering why the topic you choose is valuable to them – and if you need help here, you should consider contracting a company to do it for you, such as Essay Republic, an online writing service, or a freelance writer on Upwork. And say it in your first sentence. If you can’t see how, then just forget about it all together, and pick something else to write about.
# 3 – Choose the right format
There are many formats of blog posts. There are tutorials, curated content, listicles, interviews, personal stories, and more. But only some of them will suit your target audience and marketing goals at the same time.
Have a look at your competitors and their metrics to see what works best for you. Which formats bring more traffic to your blog? Which doesn’t? Of course, you can always surprise your visitors with something unexpected (and you should, or they will get bored), but you certainly should put more effort in something that will work for sure.
# 4 – Write a compelling call-to-action
The conclusion of your blog post is as important as the beginning. If you want them to keep reading more posts, as well as comment and share your posts, you will need to give them a reason to do so. And this reason should be in your conclusion.
And a compelling call-to-action should always be in your conclusion. It doesn’t have to be a button or anything like this. Just take it literally and invite them to act on what you said in your post. Also, ask them to share their experiences, and even to disagree with you.
Recommended: 10 Best SEO Tips For Your WordPress Blog
# 5 – Optimise your visual resources
As you probably know, Google Search also indexes images and videos. Plus, visual and auditory resources are scientifically proven ways to increase the engagement of readers and boost sharing.
So take special care of your images and add videos to your blog posts whenever possible. They should have the right size and format, so not to compromise navigation, but also to increase the value to your content (they shouldn’t be there just for decorative purposes).
# 6 – Add relevant links
Internal and external links are both important for SEO. They keep your visitors reading more posts and add relevant information to it. But you should be careful with how you write your anchor texts as they must contain your keywords of choice, so Google Search will understand what is a priority to you.
Also, if you work with affiliate links, make sure that you keep them to the minimum, or you might be penalised for spam. Vary the anchor text, and ensure that the content doesn’t become commercial instead of informative.
# 7 – An engaging title tag and meta-description
Finally, you will want that your title tag and meta-description are engaging. They will be displayed on Google Search, and they are what make your target audience click on it or go to the next result. So it is crucial that you get it right.
Never leave for Google to decide them. It sends a message that you don’t care about your blog, for starters. Plus, it will just publish your headline and part of your first paragraph, making it look very weird in most of the cases. So write it yourself and have peace of mind.
The bottom line
So there you got the seven things that you must check if you got right: headline, introduction, format, conclusion, visual and auditory resources, links, and title tag and meta-description. If you ensure the high quality of these pieces of your posts, your SEO will be at the highest level, and you will see your post getting much better results on Google Search’s ranking.