Before your hit “Publish” — an SEO checklist

The boundary between SEO and content marketing has been diminishing ever since Google’s latest algorithm updates. There’s basically no magic behind being successful in terms of SERP ranks any more. It’s just quality content that matters. Well, OK, it’s not just that. Magic fairies won’t skyrocket your super duper content to the top of the SERP. However, SEO copywriting can help. Here’s a handy SEO checklist for a savvy content creator.

Sure, link building is still important, but now it has a different name. It’s called content distribution, or link baiting and it is not any less crucial than it used to be. But this blog will focus on that on some other occasion. Today we’re going to explore numerous things to check before you hit the button “Publish.”

#1 Does your article serve your readers with what they expect?

Some content creators may think it’s the keyword research that needs to be done at first, but there’s something far more important. Before you delve into Google’s results, you need to think over what’s really important for you audience. What are their concerns? What makes them laugh? What do they expect to find in your content? Why would they want to read it? Knowing the answers you’re ready to serve your readers with exactly what they’re looking for by choosing the right keyword.

#2 Does you keyword sit in strategic parts of your content?

Your keyword needs to land in several strategic locations of you content without ruining its intelligibility and conciseness. These spots are especially important for both, Google bots and your readers. Basically, it’s your job as a SEO copywriter to make it sound natural, so that no one would question why it’s “insurance,” whereas “insurances” would have made more sense. Those strategic locations in your content include:

  • Headline, title and description,
  • Opening paragraph and the last paragraph,
  • A couple of more places throughout your copy, including sub-heads and numbered lists.

If you’re a WordPress user it might be a good idea to apply an SEO-focused widget that conveniently measures the frequency of a keyword in your copy. Those spots without any keyword are marked with alerting red.

Don’ forget that keywords are not just for Google. Your readers typed those keywords into Google, so now they expect to see them in your copy. Don’t disappoint them.

#3 Is there enough white space in your article?

Keyword’s there? Great. Now think about your article in terms of user experience, which should be quite high on your SEO checklist. It has to be scanning-friendly, because we all scan instead of reading thoroughly.

When you’re done with writing, look carefully at your job for the white space in between words and paragraphs. And you needs LOADS of white space.

First of all, your article needs to be arranged in short paragraphs.

There could be just one sentence in a paragraph if you feel it’s an important one.

One of the most effective weapons in your arsenal is a relevant, attention-grabbing sub heading. It helps you organize information into clearly distinctive sections. Also, your readers are offered with a clear hint what’s the article’s part is about. Numbered lists are equally powerful in terms of grabbing the attention of your reader. They’re particularly efficient when you need to convey something important. Or something difficult to understand.

#4 Have you applied links?

You SEO checklist includes linking in your article too. When you have another article which elaborates on a topic that is only briefly mentioned in your latest work, you should definitely link to that article. While you need to be careful not to overuse links and not to forget about user-friendlines, linking should be relatively high on your checklist. As with the keyword location and white spaces, linking is what readers expect to find in yout copy.

#5 Have you chosen an action you’d like to trigger by your copy?

As Hubspot puts it in its recent e-book, you can’t forget that your content’s purpose is to entice action. It has to encourage your readers to do something that’s important for your organization. Check out this article which explores a bit more the topic of CTAs in content marketing.

It goes without saying that SEO has changed and hopefully it won’t be returning to its adolescent years in which SEO magicians could draw even the most preposterous websites to the top of the results page. And those changes are not that bad, after all.

Pawel Piejko

A passionate online content marketer with experience in creating content strategies for small businesses, as well as managing the entire content creation and distribution process. I keep up-to-date with constantly evoloving trends in content creation, Social Media, SEO, e-mail marketing and emerging technologies. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.

So, what do you think ?