Creating SEO Friendly Blog Posts

Before you publish a page or post, run through this checklist to ensure that you’re following SEO best practices and keeping your site optimized moving forward.

On-Page Optimization

Follow these steps to optimize a page or post for a specific keyword.

  1. Determine one target keyword for the page/post.

    1. To do this, you can take your best guess, considering your knowledge of your audience and what they would search to find the content. Or, you can conduct keyword research to determine the phrase with the most opportunity.

    2. Be conscious of other pages/posts that may be targeting the same or similar phrases. There should not be overlap across pages and keywords if we can avoid it. Yoast will warn you if you target the same keyword on more than one page.

  1. Use the exact keyword in the following areas:

    1. In the page title and H1 tag

    2. In the URL

    3. In at least 1 heading on the page

    4. 3x within the content of the page

    5. In the SEO title

    6. In the meta description

    7. In the image file name

    8. In the alt text (only follow this recommendation if it makes sense with the image)

  1. Fully respond to the searcher’s intent through the content

    1. Looking at the intent behind the keyword, ensure that you cover all topics that someone searching for that particular keyword phrase would be looking for.

    2. To get ideas for what to cover, review content on pages already ranking within the top 10 search results for that specific keyword phrase.

  1. Follow best practices in writing for the web:

    1. Create an intriguing title between 55-60 characters.

    2. Content should be easily scannable with headings and list. Aim for quality over quantity (while aiming for a minimum of 300 words).

    3. Headings on the page should follow the heading hierarchy, beginning with H2 and moving up from there. 

    4. Write in short sentences and paragraphs (2-3 sentences) at an 8th grade reading level or lower.

    5. Use images to add visual interest to the page when possible.

    6. Add links to create ways to explore your site.

  1. Add the keyword to the “Focus keyphrase” field within the Yoast SEO section of the content editor and comply with the optimization recommendations.

Not Optimizing for a Keyword

If you will not be optimizing the page or post for a specific keyword, it should still contain the following for the SEO health of the site as a whole.

  1. Page title and H1 tag

  2. Content formatted with headings and lists

  3. Links, both internal and external within the content as needed

  4. Meta description

Page and Post Placement

New pages should be created within the current website structure whenever possible. You will have landing pages outside of that structure in cases where the content truly does not logically fit within a current section or in cases where you do not want the page to be discoverable from the navigation, but these scenarios should not be the norm.

New posts should be added to the most relevant category on the blog.

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