Do you know that the top 5 search results get almost 67% of all clicks

It means if your blog post isn’t ranking in the top 5 positions, it likely won’t get much traffic.

With that in mind, here is a 7-point SEO content checklist to help you boost your blog post rankings and traffic.

1. Always do keyword research before planning content

If you are serious about growing your website traffic, you must be methodical in your approach. That means you can’t just start writing content without proper planning.

And keyword research is arguably the most important part of that planning phase.

One of the common reasons why many websites and online businesses don’t grow is because they write about whatever they feel would be good topics. The problem is that what they write about may not be what other people are actually searching for. Because of that disconnect, their website traffic or revenue never grows.

Keyword research can help you solve this basic problem.

Proper keyword research helps you find the search phrases that your potential audience group searches. Here’s a detailed resource on how to do keyword research

2. Understand search intent

Keyword research is a crucial aspect of planning your website content. However, it’s not the only aspect.

Another key part of the puzzle is understanding search intent.

What it means is that the intent of the searchers must match with (1) the keywords you select and (2) the content you create.

For instance, website content and pages can be of many types: 

  • Informational, which answers queries and shares useful information.
  • Navigational, which helps users find a particular web page, e.g., login page.
  • Transactional, which is primarily about selling a product or service.

If the search intent for a specific query is to find informative content, creating transactional pages for that keyword phrase won’t help you rank.

For example, if the search query is for “how to tie a tie,” you won’t rank for that query with a landing page that sells ties on your online store. That’s because the search intent for “how to tie a tie” is informational.

3. Don’t forget about readability

The attention span of the average online user is shrinking fast. It is now just 8 seconds. The world we live in is saturated with information, and it’s hard to stand out. 

At the same time, poor content experiences that don’t focus on readability put off users even quicker. In comparison, blog posts that are easier to read and understand engage readers more effectively. Such posts have a higher chance of ranking higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Once you’ve finished drafting your blog post, make sure to check how easy it is to read. You can use the following tools to improve its readability:

  • Grammarly — Grammarly is a freemium app that checks your content for grammatical, structural, and stylistic errors. It shares useful and actionable suggestions to improve your content.
  • Hemingway — Hemingway is a free app that grades your content based on how easy it is read to understand. It flags complicated and needlessly long sentences that you can fix. Hemingway also flags difficult words that you can replace with easier alternatives to make your writing more reader-friendly.

In addition, you can also use WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO and AIOSEO. These plugins also analyze your content for readability issues and offer actionable suggestions.

The following example is from AIOSEO.

4. Focus on user experience

User experience is more than readability, however. It includes several other things, for example:

  • Your website design
  • How many obtrusive pop-ups have you used on your website
  • The loading speed of your website
  • Whether your web page is mobile-friendly or not

If you want Google to rank your blog post high in search rankings, it is important that your web page meets every single criterion.

  • Make sure your website design uses related colors strategically, the navigation structure is easy to follow, and the fonts are of an appropriate size.
  • Do not use obtrusive pop-ups, as they can affect search engine rankings. If you want pop-ups for lead generation, consider using non-obtrusive pop-ups, such as slide-in pop-ups that trigger after the user has scrolled a certain percentage of the web page or exit-intent pop-ups that trigger when the user is about to quit the page.
  • Make sure that your web page loads fast. You can check the loading speed of your web page with Google PageSpeed Insights. Check out these tips on how to improve the loading speed of your website.
  • Test if your web page is mobile-friendly or not. It must be.

5. Add relevant meta content

Google often relies on meta content — especially the meta title — to understand what your web page is about. 

Moreover, the meta title and meta description play a key role in driving organic traffic to your web pages by increasing your organic click-through rate (CTR).

A higher organic CTR sends positive signals to Google that people prefer clicking on your web page, compared to other top pages on the SERPs. These positive signals help eventually improve your web page’s search engine rankings.

6. Add relevant images and videos

Images and videos provide essential breaks from walls of text and help make your content more engaging and helpful. 

You can provide relevant screenshots, infographics, and video tutorials as add-ons to your written content. Visual content — images and videos — also help improve user behavior metrics, such as bounce rate, average page on time, etc. All this adds up to higher search engine rankings.

Lastly, optimized images can also rank for Google Images search and bring you relevant organic traffic.

  • You can use resources like Pexels or Canva to find or create images. 
  • Make sure to add keyword-rich titles and alt text to all the images before you publish your content. 
  • Also, remember to compress and optimize your images as much as possible. Otherwise, too many unoptimized images can negatively affect the loading speed of your web page. You can use tools like TinyPNG and Compress JPEG to easily optimize images for the web.

7. Use the power of links

Links in all forms and shapes are powerful catalysts for improving search engine rankings.

There are two types of links:

  • Internal links — links from one page of your website to another page of your website.
  • External links — links that come from another website

External links or backlinks are more powerful. Google sees them as a vote of confidence in your website content. If someone links to your content and redirects readers your way, it shows that your content offers a lot of value.

Therefore, once you publish your content, it’s a good idea to initiate a backlink outreach campaign to build backlinks for your new page. Here are a few resources to help you with link-building:

In addition to building backlinks, it is equally important that you use internal links to pass link equity to your new blog post.

While backlinks are harder to create, internal links are extremely simple and easy to create. Internal links help search engines find your web page easily and also help boost the page in search engine rankings.

Here are a few tips for creating relevant and powerful internal links:

  • Find other pages on your website that are relevant to the target page’s topic.
  • Ideally, the pages you’re building internal links from have high page authority.
  • Pick a descriptive and keyword-rich anchor text.
  • Create a hyperlink to the new page that you are targeting to promote.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it useful. Check out our arsenal of free SEO tools if you want to optimize your website.