Content CreationMarketing Strategy

The Blogger’s Simple SEO Checklist

SEO checklist for bloggers

If you’re a blogger today, you don’t have to be an optimization expert. But you can’t afford to ignore SEO.

What’s the point of creating content if no one will ever find it?

Search is the #1 traffic-driver to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%. Yet 75% of users never scroll past the first page.

Implementing basic SEO best practices isn’t rocket science. Check the following boxes, and you’ll be good to go.

Want to print out and customize this list to your needs? Click here.

Pick Your Target Keyword(s)…and Use Them Sparingly

Keyword research doesn’t just help you attract visitors to your site—it attracts the right visitors.

Keyword research doesn’t just help you attract visitors to your site—it helps you attract the right visitors. Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to search for keyword ideas, get historical statistics, and see how a list of keywords might perform. But don’t overdo it. Use your target keywords sparingly. You do not get credit—and may even be penalized—for using the same keywords too many times.

Keep Your Title Tags under 55 Characters

Keep your title tags under 55 characters so your titles are readable on SERPs.

How your blog post appears in search engine ranking pages (SERPs) matters. If your title tag is too long, it will get cut off, and searchers will skim right over it. Keep your title tags under 55 characters so your titles are readable on SERPs. If relevant, title tags are a good place to include the keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Include Relevant Links

Relevant links will enhance the quality of your blog post and your search ranking.

Relevant links will enhance the quality of your blog post and your search ranking. Again, don’t go crazy. Search engines are looking for the best, most relevant blog posts for their users. Irrelevant or poorly placed links can limit your search rank potential.

Keep Your Meta Descriptions under 140 Characters

Meta descriptions should be relevant, engaging, and under 140 characters.

Your meta descriptions give readers a preview of what your blog post covers. They should be relevant, engaging, and under 140 characters. Don’t use this space to paste all of your target keywords. Use it to tell your audience what they can expect from your post.

Diversify Your Anchor Text

Search engines want to understand the context of your blog posts, not just the keywords.

When you’re choosing what text to link, don’t just link one or two words. Search engines want to understand the context of your blog posts, not just the keywords. Instead, link long tail phrases that are relevant to the the destination you’re sending readers.

Rename and Add Alt Text to Images

Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than those without.

Images are a great opportunity to optimize your post. Give your images a title and alt-text to add extra power to your post. Doing so also ensures it look appealing when displayed on social media sites. And more appealing posts get more love on social. Tweets with images, for example, receive 18% more clicks than those without.

Keep Your Content Relevant and Human

The best way to improve your blog posts ranking is to write great content.

The goal of search engines is to serve their users the most relevant, helpful content. And their algorithms are getting really good at doing it. The black-hat SEO tricks that worked years ago, don’t anymore. The best way to improve your blog post’s ranking is to write great content.

Share, Share, Share!

Content shared on various social media sites can help your post rank well. Search algorithms (including Google’s) incorporate social signals into their ranking factors. The more social love your post gets, the more reader love you’ll get, too.

Improving your blog’s search ranking is not a job reserved for your SEO manager. If every writer incorporates these steps into their workflow, great results will follow.

Liz O'Neill Dennison

About Liz O'Neill Dennison

Liz is a former Content Marketing Manager at Kapost. She's psyched about human-friendly content, beekeeping, and playing outside. Reach her at @lizkoneill.