When you write a blog post, do you just bash out the content, click publish and hope for the best? Or do you make sure that you have scrutinised and optimised it before you commit it to the public eye? Today, I will go through a blog post checklist of tasks you should ensure you do before you click on that publish button.
Does Your Blog Post Include: –
- a great title?
- researched keywords?
- internal and external links?
- subheadings as well as a main heading?
- methods of breaking up the text such as bullets, images, headings etc?
- a featured image?
- a meta title and description?
- categories and tags?
- a call to action?
All of the above are crucial to ensure your blog post is optimised well so that Google looks upon it favourably. Let’s look at why each of these elements are important.
An Attention Grabbing Title
Irresistible headlines help grab readers’ attention in the first instance. The title is usually the first thing a reader sees and bland, uninteresting headlines will make them look elsewhere for the information they are seeking. Great headlines draw a reader in and often result in a full read of the article, improved conversions and also the sharing of the post on social platforms. All things we want our posts to achieve.
I will look at keywords and phrases in a blog post in the not too distant future as well as how best to optimise your blog posts for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). However, you need to ensure that your post includes a well researched keyword and that you optimise your post for that keyword or phrase. This will help to rank your post on Google, thus bringing more visitors to your site.
Internal and External Links
Using links in your blog posts helps to build authority – yes, even links to your own site will help! It is important however to not try to cram too many links into posts, that will not help. Instead, links should be relevant to the content of the post and provide further information for readers. Don’t be afraid to use Google-friendly opportunities to create external links to connect with other credible external sources. External links can help to build your page rank and domain authority which are especially important if you are more than a hobby blogger. For more information, Moz has a great Beginner’s Guide to Link Building.
As well as a main heading, you should break your post up with subheadings. Subheadings act as signposts within your post allowing readers to find the information that is important to them. They give your blog post structure and, again, also help to improve the SEO of your post.
Methods of Breaking Up Text
These methods help to improve the readability of your post and are therefore an important item on the blog post checklist. Using bulleted or numbered lists, inserting relevant images and using subheadings can all help to make a post more readable.
A Featured Image
Make sure you select a featured image for each blog post so that when the post is published on your blog page or shared across social media, the image can be seen. Images can be a lot more powerful than text in drawing a reader in so it is important to use images in this way. Images visually represent the content for your readers and can be an essential part of your branding strategy.
Meta Title and Description
The meta title and description is. the snippet of your post that is visible when shared on social media, or appears in Google search results. These are incredibly important as they are used by people to decide whether the post contains the information that will answer the question that have. If you do not edit the meta title and description, WordPress will automatically use “Blog Title – Site Title” as the meta title. Sometimes this is ok but sometimes it could be too long or too short a title and may not contain the keywords that will cause someone to click on it. WordPress automatically uses the opening characters of the blog post as a meta description if no text is entered into the description box. Always ensure you provide a well worded summary of the post here to encourage people to click on your post.
Categories and Tags
Categories help to index your blog content and enable visitors to read posts on a similar topic if they want to read more of what you have to offer. Categories tend to be broad topics and are hierarchical so you can also use sub categories within broad categories. Tags are used to niche right down to specific topics. It is recommended that you use both within your posts and on your site to enable visitors to find information that they are seeking.
A Call to Action
At the end of every blog post ensure that you have an actionable call to action. Be that encouraging readers to leave a comment, subscribe to a newsletter, purchase a product, send you an email, follow you on social media etc. You want people to do something when they reach the end so make sure visitors know what it is they are meant to do next.
Download a Printable Blog Post Checklist
In order to help you with your blog post essential tasks, I have curated the above list into a handy printable checklist. You can download this (completely free) by clicking the button below.
Do you ensure that you do all of these tasks on every blog post you publish? Do you already use a checklist? Let me know your experiences in the comments, and let me know if the download is useful.