Checklist for Writing Fully Optimized Content

Checklist for Writing Fully Optimized Content

Before you publish your next blog post, use this checklist for writing to make sure you fully optimize your content for readers, search crawlers, and your marketing goals.

Checklist for Writing Blog Posts

1. Create a starter headline. Write down at least one initial idea for what the title of the post will be. Knowing the headline before you start writing helps you stick to the topic and deliver what you promise in the title.

2. Identify your audience. Pinpoint exactly who you are writing the post for. When you know the exact audience of your content, it’s much easier to be direct with your writing. If you don’t know your audience, use our buyer persona template to start outlining your ideal reader.

3. Know your purpose. All digital content should be created with your marketing plan in mind. So one of the first things on your checklist for writing should be to identify the top goal for your blog marketing content (e.g. build brand awareness, capture email subscribers, boost SEO, etc.).

4. Assign one primary keyword. Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to identify the best keyword to use for the post. The keyword should accurately represent the topic and be a top keyword for your industry. It should be relatively popular and have a keyword difficulty that you can likely rank for.

checklist for writing keyword research

5. Use the primary keyword in the headline. Go back to your headline and make sure the primary keyword is used in the title.

6. Assign a few secondary keywords. A strong checklist for writing also includes a step to find related keywords to use in your post. Choose three or four secondary keywords that are related to the primary target keyword for the post.

7. Write 300+ words. Write as much as you need to fully cover the topic, and as a best practice, write more than 300 words to show search engines that it is a thorough resource.

8. Add value. As you write your post, provide details, facts, stats, takeaways, news, and information that are valuable and helpful to the reader.

9. The show, don’t tell. An important part of this checklist for blog writing is using examples that help audiences deeply understand and absorb the message you are trying to share.

10. Use the active voice. Keep the post interesting by using an active voice. Avoid passive voice, which can make the content appear drab or dull.

11. Write for an eighth-grade reading level. While the quality of the writing should be high, keep it simple. Don’t use overly complex sentence structure or terminology that may lose readers.

12. Don’t steal content. The content you create should always be original and never copied from another website. Plagiarizing content from other sites can lead to search penalties.

13. Provide proper sources. If you use quotes or information from other sites in your blog post, provide proper citations by listing and linking to the source.

14. Use subheadings. Split up your content using subheadings throughout your post to break up sections of text.

15. Use the primary keyword in at least one subheading. A part of your checklist for writing should include inserting the keyword in at least one subheading.

16. Break up big paragraphs. Digital content should be skimmable, so break up big blocks of text and paragraphs by adding paragraphs and white space.

17. Highlight important information. One of the most important contents writing tips is using formatting features that make posts easier to skim. Bold, italicize or otherwise highlight important information.

18. Add supporting graphics. Your blog content checklist should also include adding images, videos, embedded social posts, etc., that make the post more engaging or interesting.

19. Ensure that images are the right size. Images that are too large will slow down site load speeds, so don’t use photos with large file sizes.

20. Add the primary keyword to the image alt tag. Use the page’s target keyword in the image alt tag to improve the blog SEO.

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