Looking for the ideal blog post checklist for SEO?
You’re at the right place!
In this article, we will talk about things to do before hitting that publish button that will help you optimize your content to rank better, and get more traffic & sales.
Let’s get started!
The Mega Blog Post Checklist for SEO at a Glance (2023):
- Create a clear and simple permalink structure
- Optimize Your Meta Data For CTR and SEO
- Include related internal links
- Cite trustworthy references
- Optimize for On-page SEO
- Include Table of Contents
- Create a featured image
- Optimize your images
- Create a compelling author bio
- Add schema markup
- Add quotes from experts
- Add Multimedia
- Add Charts and graphs
- Proofread your article and make final edits
- Optimize your posts for social shares
- Hit the publish button
1. Create a clear and simple permalink structure
Let’s start our blog post checklist with a task that will take the least time and has the most impact.
Google can show your permalink/ URL in the SERP like this:
If you’re not optimizing your permalink, it can create a bad user experience and confuse Google about the page’s context and relevance.
Here are some of the best practices to optimize your permalink:
- Make your URL short, clear, and descriptive
- If needed, add localized keywords in the URL
- Try to use your target keyword in the URL in a meaningful way
- Use hyphens (-), not underscore (_)
- Try not to use Year or numbers in the URL (e.g. best-blogging-sites-of-2022)
- Avoid using unnecessary words or characters in the URL
Here’s a comparison between a good and not-so-good URL structure:
- New blogger? Click here to learn blogging or check out our top blogging books for bloggers to fast-track your blog’s growth.
2. Optimize Your Meta Data For CTR and SEO
Metadata (page title and meta description) is the first thing a user will notice about your brand in the SERP.
So, make sure you’re optimizing your title and description for higher clicks/ CTR.
Here are some best practices for writing meta descriptions and page titles:
- Use your focus Keyword in the title and description in a meaningful way
- Avoid clickbait or exaggerated titles, as it is against Google guidelines.
- Include power words such as complete guide, faster result, step-by-step, etc. to boost the CTR
- Keep your page title and meta description under 580 px and 920 px, respectively
3. Include related internal links
Internal linking optimization is one of the underrated blogging activities. Think of internal linking as a way to help search engines discover your other articles and pass the page rank from high authority pages to new and important pages.
Also, this helps to build connections between topic clusters and pillar pages.
Here’s how to find internal linking opportunities:
Method 1: Using the Google search operator
Google this: site:[domain] intitle:your_keyword
This will give you a list of related URLs on the same topic. Next, you can check whether these pages are internally linked with each other.
Here’s an example:
Method 2: Using pages with high-quality backlinks
First, make a list of pages on your website with quality backlinks from credible and trusted websites.
Usually, these pages hold a high level of PageRank because of the high-quality backlinks pointing to them.
Next, try to add links to other fresh or low authoritative pages on your website. Make sure to only add links meaningfully and match the page’s context.
“Look where the highest quality links are pointing to on your website. Link internally to other relevant, valuable pages from that page to pass link equity to other internal pages.”Jeremy Moser
If you’re interested in how Google measures PageRank, visit this guide on PageRank.
4. Cite trustworthy references
Linking to relevant information should be on your blog publishing checklist. Adding references to helpful and related external resources helps you win users’ trust and credibility. Not to mention, it is a great search engine optimization trick.
If you mention a company, link to the company page. If you include an expert quote in your article, link to the expert’s bio page or source of the quote.
Likewise, you should always back up your claim and statistics with relevant and credible sources.
This not only helps improve user experience, but Google also considers external references as one of the characteristics of a high-quality page (according to the Quality Raters Guideline).
- If you have given proper attributes to image sources, Wikipedia citations, and links to authority sites to gain SEO juice.
- Add descriptive text while linking to external references.
- Do quality checks before linking to any website. Make sure that the source is credible and holds expertise in the topic.
- Do not forget to cloak ugly, too-long, weird affiliate links with simple and clean URLs.
- Fix broken links (if updating an old piece of content)
Ugly URL: https://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=685563&u=1051026&m=26748&urllink=&afftrack=
Clean URL: https://www.digitalgyd.com/grammarly
5. Optimize for On-page SEO
You get full control to optimize your page and article for on-page factors such as internal linking, SEO copywriting, adding related FAQs, SEO optimizing metadata, etc.
I have a detailed guide for on-page SEO techniques as an SEO checklist for blog posts that will teach you:
- Optimizing your article for the primary keyword (using keyword research tools to find keyword stats & search volume)
- Matching search intent of search queries with content
- User and SEO-friendly permalink
- Working on improving dwell time, and so on.
Consider reading that guide to know more intricate details on how to optimize your blog posts for maximum SEO benefits.
On to the next item in our SEO checklist for blog posts…
6. Include a Table of Contents
Another common blogging mistake and the next item to tick off our blog publishing checklist is, adding a table of contents.
Table-of-Contents (TOC) significantly improves content readability and scannability.
Here’s the TOC structure that we use in our articles:
Adding Table-of-Contents TOC within the article has several benefits, such as:
- Lower the time-to-value (means the user can find the important information faster by scanning the article)
- Help you win rich results (Table of contents links often show up as site links in Google, thereby boosting your CTR)
This is an example where TOC anchor links triggered the site links in the SERP:
As a result, the CTR of blog posts goes up.
7. Create a featured image
Featured images are what draw the attention of the readers to click on an article.
Adding a click-worthy featured image in articles is important for building a brand identity and grabbing clicks from social media platforms.
Google recommends an ideal featured image size of at least 1200px wide to maximize your chances of getting featured in Google Discover.
However, consider not using a large-sized image for the blog featured image as this can affect your page speed. Use image optimization tools to compress your images for faster delivery.
Recommended: 21 of the best blogging tools to grow your blog faster and make money
8. Optimize your images
Images speak a thousand words.
In blogging, images carry a thousand SEO points too. Properly optimized images can bring you a good chunk of organic traffic through image search engines.
Images help people understand the context better, break the monotonous flow of a block of text and boost your credibility (if you’re writing reviews of products and can share firsthand pictures)
Here are a few things that should be on your blog post checklist (when adding images:
- Add descriptive alt text for every image (check out Google’s guide on alt text optimization)
- Add related image title.
- Add images that reflect your brand. You can create or edit free images (from sites like Wikimedia commons) with tools like Picmonkey. Alternatively, you can create your own branded templates from sites like Canva.
9. Create a compelling author bio
Author bios are often the most overlooked aspect when publishing an article.
If you are a solo blogger, write a compelling author bio for yourself.
If you are a brand, try to give your authors their due credit in the post. Include their Twitter handle and other social buttons so your readers can connect to them personally.
A well-optimized author bio helps readers know you and gives them a reason to trust you for what you are saying. It is a big aspect that helps you boost your E-E-A-T (or experience, expertise, authority, and trust).
Here’s an author bio example that shows the credibility and expertise of the author:
Tip: Always add structured data to highlight the Author’s name and URL. This helps Google to understand who the author of the main content is.
10. Add schema markup
Schema or structured data is used on web pages to feed search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) important information and the page’s context.
While you are writing blog posts or publishing articles, it is recommended to add the required structured data types. This will enhance the search appearance (rich results) of pages in the SERP.
For example, adding an article schema will accurately show
- Page title
- Author name
- Date information
- Featured image
- Last modified time, etc.
Here’s what John Muller says about using structured data:
“…we do use structured data to better understand the entities on a page and to find out where that page is more relevant.”
If you’re using WordPress as your go-to CMS platform, you can add schema using plugins like SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath (sidenote: Check out our Rank Math vs. Yoast SEO to learn more).
Some common types of schema to use in articles are:
- FAQ schema
- Article schema
- News article
- Fact check
- How-to schema
- Author schema (author name, URL, and), etc.
Explore the common schema types and guidelines on how to implement them
TIP: If you’re working on a product review website, make sure to use the pros and cons schema type (officially launched by Google).
For example, if you’re writing a product review article, then adding the pros and cons of structured data will help Google to extract the information and show the product review snippet in the SERP.
Here’s what the pros and cons of rich snippet look like:
Also, validate the structured data code using a schema validator. This helps to prevent any errors in the schema.
11. Add quotes from experts
Another often overlooked thing to do before publishing your blog post is to add more engaging elements like quotes and citations.
One of the most effective ways to get social shares, traffic, and even quality links is by collaborating with influencers in your industry.
And asking for contributor quotes is one of the strategies of collaborative content marketing.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1. Make a list of 10-20 experts in your industry
Make sure that the person has expertise in your blog topic. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on SEO, you can consider Brian Dean from Backlinko (a trusted expert in the industry).
Another criterion to pitch someone for a contributor quote is that the expert should have some level of social media following. This will help you get more traction once your article is live.
Step 2. Collect contact information
Always try to pitch via social media channels such as LinkedIn or Twitter. This makes the connection more genuine.
Step 3. Reach out and ask for a contributor quote
Here’s an email template you can use for contributor quote outreach.
I’ve quietly been working on updating an article – that is relevant to you.
And I was looking for experts and practitioners to get a contributor quote (say 50-150 words of your thoughts) for the article.
Here’s the topic for which I am looking for your thoughts: [Put your topic here]
So if you’re interested in sharing your advice/thoughts on the above topic, it will add great value to our readers.
In favour, I would love to give you proper credit in the article with a headshot and a link back to your website/social media profile.
Here’s the website where the content will be published: [add your website URL here]
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Step 4. Publish and share the article
Once the article is live, share the page URL with all the experts who have contributed to the article.
Make sure you credit each contributor with a headshot and a link to their bio page or social media profiles.
In favor, you can ask them to share the article on their social channels.
As a result, you will notice that many of the experts will share your article with their audience (social media, newsletter, or even website)
This helps you get site traffic and brand exposure from day 1.
12. Add Multimedia
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and videos are even more.
Adding multimedia or visual elements to your article will make it more engaging and visually appealing, helping you to capture and keep your reader’s attention.
Here are some of the tips for using multimedia in your content:
- Turn your article into an infographic and embed the image file in the article
- Use related videos (either from your YouTube channel or someone else – this will improve the dwell time)
- Instead of adding meaningless illustrations, try adding a lot of screenshots to validate your points and claims.
- Embed other content formats such as Twitter threads, Facebook posts, etc.
13. Add Charts and graphs
Consider using charts and graphs in your articles to summarize and present data more visually appealingly.
Also, custom charts can be used as an SEO strategy to build high-quality backlinks.
Tip: If you have the time and effort, always work on creating custom charts and statistics-related images. Otherwise, always support your statistics or complex data with third-party charts and graphs.
14. Proofread your article and make final edits
To create valuable and popular content, you have to have a wider vision. Writing your first draft isn’t easy.
It might take 6-8 hours to produce a piece of decent and helpful content. Now that you have produced your first draft you need to turn it into publishable content.
This part of the blog post checklist is divided into sub-parts to make it easier to follow through.
1) Proofread the content
- Proofread the article: Use tools like Grammarly or any other proofreading software and comma splice checkers to wade off punctuation errors to spot typos and punctuation errors.
- Look through a fresh set of eyes: Checking our content after a couple of hours of sleep (or changing the font) helps us find mistakes that we normally miss.
- Ask someone outside the industry to read it: We often get used to industry traditions and overlook certain mistakes. When someone outside reads your content, he can quickly notice abnormal patterns in it, like over-stuffing keywords or improper tone of writing.
- Check outsource content: If you outsource content, make sure to use plagiarism checker tools to detect duplicate content or make sure to use AI content detector tools like Orginality.AI to detect content generated by AI writing tools.
2) Give proper structure to your article
One of the goals of your blog article should be to lower the time-to-value for readers. That means the reader should get to the important information faster.
And how you structure (heading 2, heading 3, etc.), your article plays an important role here.
Here are two examples to understand the better way of structuring your article:
This helps your readers pull out the required information from the article easily and quickly, leading to user satisfaction and a better user experience.
Pro Tip: Remove fluff from your content. Edit the articles ruthlessly and remove anything that isn’t adding value.
3) Format your article:
Last but not least, format your article in the WordPress editor before it goes live.
Here are some final formatting checks to do in WordPress before publishing:
- Add relevant post category
- Optimize the permalink
- Make sure you do not do keyword stuffing
- Write the title and meta description
- Check if the author’s bio is added
- Structure your content with relevant H2s, H3s, and so on
- Use long tail keywords to boost search engine rankings
- Use a catchy blog post title to draw attention and get more blog traffic
- Consider the readability score in WordPress plugins like Yoast or RankMath
- Add relevant categories and tags
- Optimize for featured snippet
15. Optimize your posts for social shares
Social shares multiply the reach of your post. You must optimize your posts for social shares and invite your audience to share your content.
Blog post checklist for social media shares:
- Include share buttons (CTA) at the beginning and end of your posts.
- Create social media images for distributing your content on sites like Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
- Optimize your blog metadata for Twitter and Facebook. Add Twitter cards to get even more from the Twitter audience.
- Use a tool like SocialPilot or Sendible and Hootsuite to schedule your blog posts to promote them when you are busy interacting with the audience.
Now that you’ve checked off most of the blog post checklist.. it’s time to let the article see the light of the day.
16. Hit the publish button
Finally, it’s time to make your article live. But don’t follow the publish and pray approach for traffic.
Instead, look for sharing and repurposing your content on different platforms and social media channels.
This will help to get initial traction from other channels – which can speed up the indexing process in Google, Bing, etc.
If you’re posting for the first time or after a long gap, consider submitting the URL of the article in Google search console and big webmaster tools.
Conclusion: Blog Post Checklist for SEO Rankings in 2023
I hope you liked our article. I will update the article with a free printable download version of this blog post checklist very soon.
In case you have any doubts about the do’s and don’ts before publishing blog content or any doubt regarding your content marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch.
33 thoughts on “The Mega Blog Post Checklist for SEO for Bloggers in 2023”
A great write up. The points you have mentioned are extremely important for a blogger to follow. Initially, I did not much emphasis on internal linking, but from last few articles, I have understood the importance of internal and external linking.
Also, proofreading is a very crucial step one should definitely follow. Thanks for such a wonderful article. :)
Hi Swadhin bro,
It was like something..no..no…someone came out of my body, stood infront me and asked the question you wrote in your fb status. That’s a fantastic article bro. Loved it with all my heart. I actuallly take care of a few points only. But from now on I’m gonna take care of all the points before publishing. I even expected that you would also mention the monetization in this article, but no problem it is still a fantastic one.
Thank you for sharing :)
Have a good day :)
Hello SWADHIN !
Great information, I really enjoyed reading it…. It has almost everything any new bogger or webmaster could need.. Its great you included internal and external linking techniques. To search engine, it is very important and it really really regards it when ranking a website !!
Glad you lked the articleand found it informative. Yes linking strategies really matter in SEO.
You rocked it again. Though I am late due to some issues but a great post to read. Images, External links are the two things that people doesn’t care a lot. But these play very important role in getting into the search engines.
And yes a big thanks for the free image making site :)
Hello Swadhin, Thank you for your complete guideline. As well a newcomer Blogger, really helpful for me. Most of new Blogger i meet just write article and post in their Blog. They never read their own Article as well Who come their Blog, they also don’t read Caz, lot’s of Grammar People. And Thanks again for add also How to Optimizing Article. It’s more valuable for new Blogger and Google Ranking .
Your post was great, and I liked your infographic as you gave a lot of good information.
I use a system which involves a Standard Operating Procedure. I go through that each time I’m creating a new post so I don’t forget anything because I’m so forgetful! LOL
Your emphasis on proper image optimization is spot on, and I thought you did a great job.
Thanks for sharing, Swadhin, and I hope you have a lovely evening. Talk to you soon,
The thing I probably don’t do enough of is the SEO and optimizing posts for social shares part. With SEO, I know it’s important but for whatever reason I don’t use it when I write a post. My mistake because I then have to go back in later and optimize it.
And for optimizing posts, I’ve started to do that more and more and I agree that’s something that should be done all the time.
I am glad to know we are members on some platforms.Could you elaborate where we both are co-members :)
I am sorry to hear that you don’t get the desired results. Anyways, first track what your audience wants. After knowing your audience and who they are you can now know what type of content they want. Then your posts will go viral and you will see results. :)
I absolutely agree, Swadhin – so often we are in a hurry to hit that publish button without putting the finishing touches that could make a tremendous difference at how well the post would be received.
And thanks so much for the shout to Traffic Generation Café!
Hello Ana maam,
Glad you liked the post. Yes a little carefulness before letting it go can make our post much more powerful and competant. :)
Have a great day maam :)
Thanks for readig the article. Open graphs are like meta tags for social networks that tell them how your post can be seen on social media plaforms. Twitter cards let yu do more like collecting emails too. I have liked to two posts in the article itself. Those posts provide detailed instructions on how to do it. Please read them :)
Interesting article; these checklists are the basic things every content marketers must watch out for when about t hit the publish button.
A tool like WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast will come handy here if you’re blogging on WordPress. I found it very useful and a “most” have plugin for everyone.
On-page optimization might seems difficult to master at the beginning, but as we practice and thrive to better yesterday in our content writing efforts, you’ll discover that its not as hard as you think.
Thanks for sharing, and hope you do have a lovely day.
Hi Swadin Bro,
Informative as well as useful post indeed :)
Agree with you bro that sometime we are in so hurry to post our article without proof reading it. And there was so many errors remains that harass the value of our content.
To be true I never use Gramerly but read a lot of review of it so I am also agree to use it.
The other thing make your content sharable. Yes, social media play a vital role to viral your content so we should focus on creating a social loved content so people does not hesitate to share this.
All the points you have shared all awesome.
Keep posting and have a great future :)
This is really a good post for the bloggers to craft the viral blog posts!
I do agree with your every viewpoint, especially optimizing the content for search engines through image optimization, internal linking and keyword research.
Anchor text for both internal linking and external linking matters a lot. For example, you have linked Ankit’s post for the Anchor text “Epic Guide”. It would have been really good if you done the same for the Anchor text ” epic guide by my friend Ankit Singla on internal link building”.
One more thing, url should be very short as possible. It may be “www.digitalgyd.com/before-publish-content/
We need to improve our-self with these kind of pity stuff, then we will grow as a great blogger for sure.
Hope you don’t mind with my suggestions, have a great week ahead.
Thanks for reading the post. I like to get expert opinion of yours on my posts. :)
I love your suggestions on anchor text maam, I will edit it in the next free minute. Yes I know URL should be short even my posts have short urls but then I thought let me give this a try as Neil Patel uses extra long URL structure. I thought they might be good for long tail keywords :P
Thanks for letting me know these essential SEO tips maam, I will keep those in mind and try to correct the ones I can :)
Have a good day maam :)
Great post Swadhin
There is great anticipation in clicking that publish button, but you have told a wonderful way to calm down and analyze things in a detailed manner.
Ya, the meta description is really important for the blog post. I am using SEO by Yoast. Earlier, I didn’t know about this wonderful feature. I am using it now and I must say it is very useful for search bots as well to the readers
I just love the infographic
I am very new to keyword optimization. I am learning the basics. But, my intention is to focus on the content. So, I try to devote my time to the content now.
Ya, proofreading is necessary. But, for new beginners, grammarly is quite costly.
Thanks for sharing this info, buddy
Hi Yatin, glad you liked the post.
Yes Yoast is a great tool. It doesn’t directly help you in ranking high but teaches you what to do to rank high. :)
No worries, content is still the king. If your content is awesome your readers will find you even from bermuda triangle. Carry on with epic content as you do :)
You are absolutely right about the eagerness to publish a post, and it might be true with many bloggers. The ability to proofread a blog post might come naturally to some people, but there are learned skills involved. One common mistake that will not be caught by a basic spell check is the repetition of words. This often happens when a user cut and paste to rearrange their content.
Every time when I start crafting for a new article, my intention and focus will be to publish the post as soon as possible, it is the human tendency to complete the work.
Recently I started learning about proofreading, plagiarism checking and all, your mentioned points are very important to reach more audience, if we don’t check all the mistakes we lose our reputation in front of the reader.
Thanks for sharing this article.
Hi Swadhin, you really provided an interesting article alongside with great featured images. Yes here are the best things to be carried out before hitting publish button.
Thanks for sharing :)
Hi Hadharm, thanks for the visit. I am glad you liked the article :)
A must read post for every blogger! :)
When I first started blogging, I used to be very excited and eager to publish my posts as soon as possible but with time I learned show to optimize the posts before publishing it.
Your post is a great reminder for excited bloggers like me who are very eager to see their posts published. Proofreading is so much important. There are times when we don’t find any errors if we re-read the posts which we have written. But asking someone else to do this for us would solve this problem. Also grammar tools can help bloggers, especially who are non-native English speakers.
Loved your tips for adding internal and external links. Especially I am surprised to read what you have written under adding external links. Interesting indeed! ;)
Thanks for all the helpful tips for image optimization. Great post Swadhin. All the tips are implementable. :) Loved the featured image for this post.
– Rohan Chaubey.
Hi Rohan, thanks for those kind words. I am glad you liked the post.
haha yes I too was like that. I posted articles without knowing much about them. I did not check things out like grammar or links.
Very recently Harleena maam, alerted me on this and told me that it is very essential to get your blog post perfect in the first go. So I am more cautious now. :)
I love with infographic as well. :)
I agree with all the points in this article. I as well experienced a lot of revisions before I publish it with certainty. I have to adjust everything including adjusting the keywords that I will use for internal and external links. It was really a lot of work.
Indeed, it took several hours to complete a piece of content. But it is only a rough completion, yet again I must revision here and there. lol
Thanks for sharing this with us, Swadhin.
Thanks for the infographic as well. It’s nice one! :)
Hi Nanda, thanks for your comment. Glad you liked the post.
It’s nice to connect with you! The article is very informative and useful. I know.. most of us are in hurry to press that submit button. You have aptly listed the procedure one should follow before publishing their content.
infographic is highly interactive.
grammarly is of course an essential tool. Apart from that , no tool can replace manual proofreading as eyes catch real errors that a tool cannot.
Hi Vandana, glad to see you here.
Thanks for appreciating the article. Yes, I know nothing can replace the human eyes. That’s for sure :)
I have a small doubt ,should I give preference to publish the news faster without any SEO or take time for proper SEO and post after my competitions articles are out .?
Cause its like a rat race in music sites !
Also Mine is a music niche site and I am having a hard time getting traffic :(
SEO doesn’t take any time.. For images alt tags its like renaming them. you can do it while uploading. Internal linking takes almost no time. Some plugins do exist that automatically links certain keywords with some predefined posts on your blog.
So don’t worry. :)
Informative post with an informative infographic as well :)
You are absolutely right – the writing of the post is the easy part, and though it takes me hours to write my looooong posts too, I usually have them completed in 2 days time actually, because of the several things that needs to be done after one writes a post, just as you mentioned.
I know some people are very quick and put up posts in a jiffy, but I wonder if they’re really taking care of all that you mentioned. Images speak volumes, and I take a lot of time creating those for my blog because of the huge traffic I get from Pinterest, which you know works wonders. So, I don’t usually stick to a single image for my post, and those take me time to hunt or create, but yes, having one proper one is essential.
I agree about the proper formatting, and using the right software like Grammarly helps (you know from the review on it at our blog too I guess), and it’s always good to keep a check and sleep over your posts as you’d find more mistakes the next day, so you can make your content better that ways.
SEO certainly isn’t dead, and you need to tweak your posts so that they land in the search engines to get in front of more eyes. Meta tags for your images are important as well, and having a proper author bio at the end of the posts, shows it’s authentically written as well.
Internal and external linking has to be done right, and your links should point to authority posts or sources. I’ve often seen bloggers link to each others blogs or posts, just to share link-love or because they see others do it, or to give back to another person. While it’s alright to a certain extent, but Google goes for authority, and if your external links link to the right source, then you are good to go.
Apt points indeed, and thanks for sharing them with us. Have a nice week ahead :)
Hello Harleena maam,
You are AN inspiration. I mean how much dedication you have for fellow bloggers. You are the first (maximum time) to appear for newly published posts. I know that because I have seen you on other blogs too. You never forget to add your review and valuable points to the post. These are most valuable because you have HUGE experience and knowledge base to help us.
Yes I learned more about grammarly on your blog review post. But now that I am using the premium version (courtesy Ankit bro) I know how important it is for writing. It now checks my FB statuses too (though I rarely use it FB my PC :P).
Images are really valuable. I know it from you. I know you do get huge traffic from Pinterest, and as I have said it earlier I am a fan of your motivational images.
Lining also builds relationships maam. It builds relationships with the bots as well as other blogs too. :)
Thank you maam for all the things you do.
Have a great week ahead. :)
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