Recently, I put together a quick-reference web launch checklist you can use to help make sure your website shows up in Google, speaks the language of your customers and generates qualified leads. In this post, I’m going to outline a similar checklist you can use before publishing important blog posts.
When it comes to getting website clicks from Google, nothing beats a blog. Regularly feeding the search engines high-quality content is great for your customers, too, since providing useful tips, how to’s and news can position your brand as a go-to resource in your industry.
To make sure your blog posts get found by all the right people (your ideal customers!), you need to focus on doing more than just writing the article itself. Before hitting “publish” on a new post, make sure you’ve addressed each of the following:
Spend time on the title, description and URL
- Is your top keyphrase in the title?
- Is the most important information in the first 65 characters?
- Is it compelling?
- Will it convince people to click over to your website?
- Does the description accurately summarize what the article’s about?
- Will it help convince people to click through to your post?
- Have you repeated your keyphrase in the description? (Google says the description isn’t a factor for rankings, but lately I’ve seen a lot of evidence to the contrary.)
Make it shareable and browsable
- Have you selected one or two relevant categories for easy browsing? (For example, the blog you’re reading right now categorizes posts into topics including “Local Search” and “SEO Writing Tips.”)
- Is the permalink (URL) easy to share? Does it contain a primary keyword?
- Are social sharing buttons included?
- Is the primary headline (h1) one people are likely to share and bookmark?
- Is there at least one image for social sharing?
- Is your image named with a keyword? (i.e. cute-kitten.png vs. image001.png)
- Have you included a caption? (Studies have shown that image captions are some of the most-read website copy.)
- Does each image have an alt tag that helps describe what the post is about? (In addition to describing the image to those who can’t see it, alt tags are used by search engine crawlers to decipher what a photo represents.)
- Does this post answer a question, provide a solution or include some offer for help?
- Does your copy include more instances of “you” and “your” than “we” and “our”?
- Do headers (h1s, h2s, etc.), bullets and bolding break up text and make it easy to skim?
- Do internal links direct readers to useful content on other blog posts and web pages?