Blogging for SEO is both an art and a science. There’s a formula to ensure you have the best chance of ranking in Google’s search results.
Using highly searched keywords is still essential, but SEO has evolved far beyond that—and it continues to evolve with every Google algorithm update.
To rank at the top of search engines, your content also has to provide value, be authoritative and stand out from the current top search results.
This checklist offers helpful guidelines you and your team should follow every time you write a blog post.
Blogging For SEO (And Beyond)
- Are you using a keyword research tool like SEMrush to identify search volume and keyword difficulty?
- Do the keywords have high relevant search volume?
- Does the blog post have 1-2 designated primary keywords?
- Are you using your primary keyword within the first sentence or two and defining it? This can increase your chance of getting a featured snippet.
- Are you asking questions in your H1 that include your target keywords?
- Does it have a meta description that includes the primary keywords within the first 155 characters along with a call-to-action?
- Does the blog use subheads (H2s) that include the primary keyword phrase?
- Are the keywords used frequently but naturally throughout the remainder of the blog post?
- Do you have a keyword density of 1%-2%? That means using your keyword once or twice for every 100 words.
- Are you using natural variations of the primary keyword?
- Does the blog include at least two internal links to your website?
- Is your primary keyword included in your URL?
- Do any images include optimized alt text?
Writing Quality & Clarity
- Do you have a strong, intriguing headline? (Tip: Use CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer)
- Does the post achieve its intended objective? (i.e. deliver on what’s promised in the headline?)
- Does it educate the reader?
- Is it easy to read? (Tip: Use the Hemingway App to grade readability)
- Does it fit with your brand’s tone and style? (Refer to brand guidelines and previously published posts)
- Does it have a strong intro and conclusion?
- Is it free of clunky sentence structures or run-on sentences?
- Is there redundant or unnecessary information that could be removed?
- Does it use active voice and avoid passive voice?
- Is it free of typos and grammatically correct?
- Does the post make any claims that seem unlikely or unverified?
- Are statistics and facts attributed to reliable sources (either your company’s own research or an objective third-party source)?
- Does it avoid using sources that could be considered competitors?