Blog post checklist: how to optimize for search engines

So you’ve decided to write a blog post. That’s great! Now let’s make sure your efforts pay off and it turns into an awesome post that also ranks. What do you need to write that post? What steps do you need to take? You can use this blog post checklist to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered.

1. Conduct proper keyword research

You (probably) want to write a blog post about a topic related to you or your business. And that’s definitely something you should do. But, to make sure you reach your audience, you also want your blog post to rank in the search engines. This is where keyword research comes in.

Keyword research helps you determine which words your audience uses when they’re looking for a product, service, or information you offer. Because the words you use might not be the same as the ones your audience uses. By conducting keyword research you can draw up a list of keywords or keyphrases that are relevant to you, but also help you create content that ranks.

2. Preparation is key

Now that you know what keyword or phrase you want to write about, you might want to get started right away. But there’s one more step we need to take before you put your (digital) pen to paper. And that’s preparation. This might feel like an extra step, but it’s important to realize that the right preparation helps your readability and SEO, plus it saves you time in a later stage of your writing!

So take some time to think about what you want to say and to whom you want to say it. What is your goal with this text? Do you want to inform people about a certain topic or persuade them to buy one of your products? By formulating the purpose of your blog post and defining your audience for this post, it’ll become much easier to decide on your angle and writing style.

It also pays off to think about the structure of your piece before you start writing. The structure is the skeleton of your text: it will help the reader and search engines grasp the main idea of your text. Also, it’s easier to start writing when you’ve already decided on your structure beforehand.

Start by writing down a list of topics you want to discuss in your post. After that, you can bundle similar topics together and your structure will begin to take shape. Now you can decide on the order of your topics and it’s up to you if this will be done chronologically, didactically, or any other way that suits your blog post.

3. Start writing

When you’ve completed the first two steps of your blog post checklist, it’s time to start writing. And I know that this part can be hard, especially writing those first few sentences. My advice is to just start writing while keeping the structure you’ve created in mind. Don’t mind awkward sentences or typos too much in this phase, as this can take you out of the writing flow. We’ll fix them later on.

Also, don’t get hung up on your first paragraph or introduction too much. It’s always easier to write a beginning (and ending for that matter) once you’ve written the main body of your text. Just write down a few words or phrases you want to discuss in your first paragraph and start with your second paragraph if this comes easier.

4. Check your readability bullets

Once you have written your first draft, it is time to correct all of those typos and awkward sentences. You should take the time to carefully read and re-read your blog post and make adjustments where needed.

5. Check your SEO bullets

When you’ve written a great and readable blog post, you want it to rank in the search engines. This is where the SEO analysis comes in. Assuming you haven’t skipped the first step in this blog post checklist, your blog post will be focused on a keyword that is beneficial to your SEO strategy.

6. Hit publish!

You’ve made it to the final step in this blog post checklist! And that’s to finally hit that publish button.

One thought on “Blog post checklist: how to optimize for search engines”

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