Going to Publish a Post? STOP, Check this!

[This post is part of the WordPress Guide for Beginners – Step by Step Tutorials]

SEO is not hard, All you need to do is Proper SEO. If it comes to WordPress SEO then it is more easier than you THINK.

We do a lot of things to improve our site rank like link building, social bookmarking etc. But we often forget to optimize our blog posts.

I know that writing blog post  is the main concern as others will read and engage with what we’ve written. But we can’t ignore SEO if we want our content to be found.

SEO optimized post can help you to get better search ranking and drive more traffic. So it is time-worthy to check out some important factors before publishing a post.

WordPress Blog Post SEO Checklist

This checklist includes some essential factors you should know. In this post I tried to cover all the factors. Feel free to suggest any tips I’ve missed.

Keyword Research

Keywords are the phrases or words that searchers type on Google. If you want decent traffic from Search Engines then make sure that you have relevant keywords on your post and title.

You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to determine the best words for your post. So do a little keyword research and use focused keywords.

Post Title & Meta Title

People will read your post by just looking at the title of your post. If you have a catchy title then it will grab the reader’s attention.

But this catchy title may not be SEO friendly or cannot grab the searcher’s attention. To make it SEO friendly you have to maintain another title which is known as Meta Title.

For example for this post,

  • Post title: Going to Publish a Post? STOP, Check this!
  • Meta title: WordPress Blog Post SEO Checklist Before You Publish the Post

Read : How To Optimize Blog Post Titles for Readers and Search Engine

Optimizing Permalink

Permalink means permanent link.

When we write a blog post title, WordPress automatically generates a permalink by placing every words of post title. This generated permalink contains some stop words (Words Ignored By Search Engines) .

For example, For the post title “5 Tips to Making Your Search Listings Attractive on Google” , permalink by default would be: /5-tips-to-making-your-search-listings-attractive-on-google

Now there are many stop words on the link like to, your, on . You can edit the permalink by clicking on edit button. For that title, ideal link would be : /make-search-listing-attractive

Editing Post Permalink

Some tips for SEO friendly Post URL

  • Make it short (About 4-5 words)
  • Should contain your main keyword(s)
  • Avoid stop words (to,for,your etc)

Caution : Don’t change the Permalinks of your old posts (Published Post)

Heading Tags:

H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 these are the Header Tags which used on blog post to break up content. Normally H1 tag refers to Title. And for next heading you can use H2 heading, H3 heading and so on.

Check out Matt Cutts’s video about Heading tags.

Optimizing Images

Images can generate huge traffic from image based search engine. If you want more traffic from it, you have to optimize images correctly.

Search engines can read the text easily, but can’t read the images. When we see a picture of  Snake, we can immediately recognize this. But Search Search engine bots won’t recognize it instantly if you don’t give it any cue from image’s context.

So it is important to help the bots to understand your image by optimizing it properly. Here are some points.

  • Most of the times images have names like image123.jpg. So it is better to change the file name with relevant keywords(Like my-keywords.jpg).
  • Optimize the ‘Title’ and  ‘Alternative Text’ of each image. Alt text helps both the readers and search engines to understand the images.
  • Make the image file size as small as possible. Large image size may slow down your size.
  • Use caption if needed.

optimizing post image

Read: How to Optimize WordPress Images for SEO and Traffic

Interlinking & Outbound linking

Interlinking between blog posts is the best way to keep your visitors longer in your site. It helps you to increase page views and decrease bounce rate. Moreover search engine robots can re-crawl your old posts. Make sure your Internal Links are Dofollow.

 

When a new reader comes to your site, he/she has no idea about your site. A proper interlinking can give him a good idea about your site and he may turn into a regular reader.

Read: How to Interlink your Posts with WordPress Insights Plugin

Outbound links are those links which are pointing to other’s site. It is the best way to make a good relationship with your niche bloggers. So show some love to other bloggers by giving them a link.

Some times they may give you a trackback which can be good for SEO. You can do this manually or you can use Zemanta Plugin to do this.

Meta Description 

Meta description is like a summary of your blog post. It helps Search Engines to understand what your post is about. At times, this will be shown as an excerpt in search results.

Moreover this will also be displayed when you share your post on Social Networking sites like Facebook, Google + etc.

Some WordPress themes like thesis has built-in options for writing meta description. However, You can use All in One SEO Pack Plugin for this. Read: How to Add Meta Description.

WordPress Post Meta Description

Read: How to Write a Good Meta Description That Increases CTR

Categories and Tags:

Categories are used for broad grouping of post topics while tags are generally used to describe your post in more detail.

Select proper category for your blog and each post should go for only one category.

Now move to the tags. Tags are the most abused thing in WordPress. Most folks use it as Meta tags and they put too many words in tags. SO do it wisely.

Read these posts to know more about tags.

Proofread Writing

You are the best reader of your blog. If you don’t like to read your own post, then what about other people? So proofread your writing at least 2 times.

Moreover proofreading can help you to find out the spelling and grammatical errors. Having these errors is bad for SEO and it creates bad impression to your readers.

I know it kinda tough to reread the post, but it will be easy if you make it habit. So NEVER publish your post before proofreading.

Read : Spelling And Grammar Checking WordPress Plugin (ATD)

 What Next?

It may sound like lots of work to do, but with the passage of time and practice these will become your habit or nature. Besides, you can use SEOPressor WordPress Plugin that reminds you the above things on checklist.

Have I missed any point? Let me  know in the comments.

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Istiak Rayhan
 

Istiak Rayhan is the founder of RoadToBlogging.com, a blog that aims to make bloggers' journey easier. Istiak loves to help newbie bloggers to build a better blog. Here's more about him.

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