Before you publish any content on your site, check the following:
1. Is the main topic of your article clear?
Scan the article to make sure the topic is instantly clear. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention!
Use subheadings to let readers know what’s coming up next and help them scan through your content. Subheadings should be used before long paragraphs or a group of paragraphs that cover similar or related ideas.
Does the first sentence of each paragraph cover the topic? If not, revise it. As the main sentence of the paragraph, it’s imperative to address the topic of your post each time.
2. Are your paragraphs too long?
People often skim instead of reading. See if you can shorten any sentences or break up a long paragraph into two shorter paragraphs.
3. Have you used transition words to make the text more readable?
Each paragraph should contain a few because it makes your content easier to read and tells the reader that something new or important is ahead. Think of transition words as what connects one idea to the next.
Examples include “most important”, “because”, “thus”, “besides that”, “while”, “either”, and “therefore”. If you are summarizing a point, you can use “first”, “second”, “third”, etc.
4. Are you linking to other pages on the site?
Linking to other pages and posts on your site helps keep readers on your site longer by giving them a prompt to go explore more content on your site. It also helps them see that you know the topic well and want to provide them with something of value.
Consider linking to relevant pages or past blog posts, or update previously published blogs by adding a link to the new post you’ve just published.
5. Have you optimized for related keyword phrases?
Google doesn’t like it when you over-optimize content, so be sure to include and optimize for some variations of the main keyword phrase you want to rank for.
Example: If your main keyword phrase is [hairstyles for children], you could also optimize for [hairstyles for girls], [hairstyles for boys], or [hairstyles for toddlers].
6. Do you have a clear call to action (CTA)?
Provide clear next steps for the actions you want people to take after reading your article. Use buttons, links to other pages of your website, forms, etc., to help guide them to take the desired action.
7. Have you selected the most appropriate category and tags?
This helps clarify your site’s structure to search engines so they understand what your site is about and will also help visitors find this and other related articles.
Categories are used to classify the topics you cover in your blog content. They are typically broad and help readers understand what’s within your blog, similar to a book’s table of contents. Category titles can be multiple words in length.
Tags are used to help give a more detailed description of a blog post. They are the more specific sub-topics within each category and are often just a word or two that highlight the main points of a blog post.
8. If the site uses a Yoast SEO Plugin:
Do you have a green overall bullet for Yoast SEO Readability and SEO Analysis? If not, check to see what improvements are recommended for any red or orange bullets. Be sure that any changes you make do not affect the quality of your article.
Good: Overall, Yoast is giving this post a green bullet for both Readability and SEO Analysis. There are some recommendations for improvements, such as adding image alt attributes and adding the keyphrase in subheadings, but the major points are green and good to go.
Needs Work: Overall, this post needs some work in order to improve both readability and SEO, such as adding outbound and internal links, writing more to meet the recommended 300-word minimum, adding transition words, and editing the content to add more variety so consecutive sentences do not start with the same word.