Creating a blog post that people will want to read and Google will want to index, is unfortunately not just a case of just writing your heart out and hoping for the best.
There are several things that you must take care of before you hit the publish button, to ensure that millions flock to read your post!
Do these 21 things before you publish your blog post, and you will be on the right track to creating a well-structured, focused and engaging article that gets ranked on Google.
If you haven’t done so already see my post 24 Essential Settings After Installing WordPress which will give you a headstart before you begin.
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Do your keyword research, choose a keyword phrase
Keyword research deserves its own post, but here are some pointers to help you choose.
Before you start writing you should always have some keywords in mind and ensure that your content is based around those keywords.
To find keywords, search for a phrase that you think people might use for your chosen topic and then refine that phrase into a few words.
Here are some free tools to help you find keywords:
Make an outline
Once you have decided on keywords, take those words and then search again. The type of posts that come up will give you an idea of what kind of articles people are seeking and is known as search intent.
Are you seeing lots of list posts, instructional how-to guides, recipes, products to purchase? This information will help you to decide on a structure for your post.
In the previous step, you decided on your keywords and if you also found some long-tail keywords to include, use them to create some or all of your headings.
If you are making a list post, write down all your points.
For each heading or list item add a short summary, and any research notes and links you have found. This helps to prompt you what to write when you come back to the post later.
Make sure you have a catchy title and edit the permalink
Create a compelling title that hooks your audience’s attention and makes them want to click onto your post.
- Try to convey what they have to gain by reading your post
- Include your keywords
The permalink is the last part of the URL and should contain your keywords in a more succinct form. e.g.
Write the post – content is king!
I’m thinking you probably won’t forget to write the content haha!
But, here are some things to ask yourself before you hit publish:
- Does the post have an endearing introduction that draws your reader into the rest of the article?
- Is your content focused on the subject of the post?
- Is it interesting?
- Does it address the need of your intended audience?
- Is it too short? (Google favours longer posts)
- Is it too long and rambling?
- Does it have a strong conclusion/final thoughts/wrapping up section at the end?
Write the post – content is king!
It is important for SEO to add the post’s meta title and description because this is what will be displayed in search results.
If you do nothing then Google will use the post title and a snippet of the post content, but you can control what is displayed with the free Yoast plugin.
When you have the plugin installed and activated:
- Scroll down to the bottom of the post to the Yoast SEO panel
- Click on Snippet Preview to expand it
- Enter a Meta description
- Include your keywords in the description, but at the same time making it readable. Yoast will prompt you if the text gets too long.