Editor’s note: SEO changes fast, so it was time for a refresh on this one. We’ve included new tips and information, and our blog post SEO checklist has been updated with all of the latest and greatest practices on maximizing blogging SEO.
Many of our customers tell us that SEO is one of the primary reasons they blog. And it’s a great reason—blogging can have a profound impact on your organic rankings and traffic.
But, to realize that benefit, you need to do a number of things, one of which is to ensure your blog posts are “optimized” for SEO success. This post is designed to act as a resource for just that kind of optimization, thanks to our revitalized blog post SEO checklist.
You may be wondering, “how does a content writing platform have knowledgable advice for SEO?” — so we want to reassure you that we do in fact have plenty of experience in this arena. Content that doesn’t consider SEO isn’t good content, and we’re simply not in the business of making content that doesn’t have SEO in mind.
On top of that, we also collaborated with our friends at SocialSEO (one of the many trusted SEO super-experts we have on speed-dial) on this piece to help ensure we nailed it all. The resulting SEO checklist for blog posts is nothing short of a valuable resource that anyone can use.
Here’s a quick summary of what we’ll cover here:
- What is SEO for blogging anyway?
- A blog post SEO checklist
- Learn more about on-page optimization
- How should I keep my blog writers using this checklist?
- Does Verblio offer blog post optimization?
Read on to learn how to get the most out of our blog post SEO checklist.
What is SEO for Blogging, Anyway?
“SEO optimization” and “SEO optimized” are terms that get thrown around liberally in the digital marketing community. They simply mean that your blog post (the content and the supporting formatting and webpage that content lives on) include a number of things known by the search engine optimization community to help your blog post rank well on Google (and other search engines).
This is typically referred to as “on-page optimization”. Optimizing blog posts for SEO is a lot like optimizing other content and website pages, but there are some blogging-specific things you’ll want to pay attention to when optimizing your blog SEO.
On-page optimization is an incredibly powerful SEO tool and believed by some experts to be more important than ever in getting your website to rank well. The challenge is that on-page optimization is 1) fairly complex, and 2) changing frequently.
So, we’ve created our below checklist to use the most up-to-date thinking on optimization and distill down tons of resources and thinking into one simple checklist.
A Blog-Post SEO Checklist
It’s a great idea to use a checklist for on-page SEO—there are a lot of things to do, and a checklist will help you ensure all the right boxes are checked before publishing. This is our version for blogging. It also happens to be the same checklist we use ourselves—this post, for example, is optimized for search queries like “blog post SEO checklist”.
Before you jump in, it’s important to keep in mind you should optimize your blog posts (and all of your website content) for human users first, search engines second.
So if creating an awesome post for your human users and creating a perfectly optimized post ever conflict, choose the humans over the machines.
That said, you still have to write for Google’s machine, which includes queueing up the high-value images you use in the text of your blog post. Google can’t read all of our SEO checklist for blog posts directly (since it’s an image), as an example, so we have to help tell them what’s happening and what the image is all about. (Yes, this is getting more “meta” as we go.)
So here’s our checklist, complete with in-depth information on how to optimize blog posts for SEO, including on-page considerations, human-oriented content, and other quality assurance measures:
This may seem like a long list, but, believe it or not, we’ve tried to just stick to the basics. If you want more, check out the resources below. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed about this whole “wow I need to create a lot of content and optimize it!” thing, read on.
Learn More About On-Page Optimization
If you want to learn more about some of the advanced techniques or more detail on on-page SEO, this is the section of resources for you.
On-page blog post optimization resources:
1. How to Make Your Blog Posts SEO-Friendly (Source: HubSpot)
This is a more detailed version of our checklist above, and it’s stood the test of time thanks to HubSpot’s constant revitalization efforts with their content. If you have questions about the “why” on any of the above and how to optimize your blog posts, this is a good checklist with additional information.
2. Jump In On Blog SEO Keyword Research With Moz’s Free Tool (Source: Verblio)
Just because a tool is free doesn’t mean you’ll immediately know how to get the most use out of it. We’ve tried to help speed up the learning curve with this resource, and we highly recommend checking it out if you’re new to keyword research, Moz, or want a refresher.
3. A Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO (Source: Moz)
Like the first article, this is another classic blog post that’s held onto top spot on Google for a long time. This covers a broader scope and goes beyond blog SEO. However, the recommendations here are excellent for webpages and blog posts. This resource gets into more complex and advanced tactics for on-page SEO. Regardless of time and resources available, you should familiarize yourself with this more ambitious on-page SEO.
4. The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post (Source: Yoast)
If you want an optimized blog page and a blog post with quality content, start here. This is a must-read for tackling the essentials in any blog post you publish. And beyond SEO, this is a fantastic post about the tenets of a what differentiates good blog content from crap.
5. How to Boost Your SEO by Using Schema Markup (Source: SEMRush)
Schema markup is a relatively newer, more technical, element to SEO, but it’s not going anywhere and you need to learn what you can to utilize it effectively. This post is a helpful toe-dip in that pond, and can lead to even beefier resources for those who want to dive in.
6. Guide to Site Architecture Optimization (Source: DeepCrawl)
Part of nailing your SEO blogging efforts is helping ensure Google understands as much of your website as possible, which starts with your site’s architecture. This guide covers why this is important, and gives you the tools you need to give Google a straight path to, and through, your blog content.
7. The Role of Content in User Experience (Source: UXMatters)
One element many don’t consider with blog content and SEO is their user experience. Google watches how people use your site, and your content plays a role in that balance. You can learn the basics with this post.
If you need help with a quick round of brainstorming on your keywords/what you should write about, paired with some light SEO research to kickstart your Verblio account, check out our 10 topics product.
How Should I Keep My Blog Writers Using This Checklist?
To make it easy for the rest of our team, we share those resources on our editorial calendar so that you don’t have to hunt them down every time.
You can download a version of our editorial calendar here, which also gives you immediate access to a Google Sheets version of the blog post SEO checklist, too. (It’s its own tab, called “Content Publish Prep Checklist”.)
(Check out the “Resources” tab, too.)
But beyond giving them access to tools like an editorial calendar, you also need to take steps to ensure you’re on the same page with your writer before things get crazy. We put together a helpful guide on how you can tackle that balance, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Wow, This All Sounds Like a Lot of Work. Does Verblio Offer Blog Post Optimization Services?
The answer is “yes,” and it doesn’t matter if you’re a new customer or already have a subscription with us—Verblio can help with blog post SEO optimization. Here’s what you can expect.
When you work with Verblio, we’ll always ask for SEO keywords before writing you pieces of content (and we don’t charge extra for that, either) when you’re sending a request to a writer.
It’s right in the content request for our writers, to the right:
We’ll then take those keywords and work them into each piece of content from the beginning.
And if you want us to put the full weight of our blog SEO checklist to use for your business, you’ll need to opt for our +Optimize service as an optional service to your subscription. We’ll do a host of physical/formatting SEO checks for you, and include images, CMS formatting and scheduling, and an additional round of proofreading.
If you’re a Verblio customer, you can add “+Optimize” to your subscription whenever you’d like. +Optimize ensures that every post you get from Verblio is ready to publish with on-page SEO best practices in place.
If you’re not a Verblio customer, we’re a content writing service that utilizes 3,000+ content writers to help you create awesome content for your agency or business. And with our +Optimize option, we’ll optimize all that great content for SEO to take more of the heavy lifting off your team’s plate.
Of course, we also want you to stay organized and tackle your content with as much clarity as possible. You don’t have to subscribe to do that—just download our editorial calendar. It comes complete with the SEO checklist as its own tab, and resources highlighted above too, so you’ll always have the answers in-pocket as you go forth and optimize.