Writing high-quality content that ranks in the search engines is a difficult job! And when is it a job well done? In this post, I’ll give you a handy SEO copywriting checklist with some quick checks you should definitely do before you publish your article.
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First do the hard work!
Before you get to the moment of using this SEO copywriting checklist, a lot of work should have happened already. You should have done your keyword research, decided upon the exact topic and set up the structure of your article. All before the actual writing has even begun. Nobody said SEO copywriting was easy! To write awesome articles that will rank, you should definitely read our ultimate guide on SEO copywriting.
And then check:
Lots of the checks you should do, to make sure your text is SEO-friendly, are covered in the content analysis of our Yoast SEO plugin. That’s a checklist in itself. But besides that, you should definitely ask yourself these 8 questions from the SEO copywriting checklist below. Did you really think of everything? Then it’s time to hit the publish button!
1. Is your bullet green?
You should have an overall green bullet for both the Yoast SEO readability and SEO analysis. Check whether or not you can (and need to) improve based on the feedback you get from the orange or red bullets. But, ensure that you don’t make concessions to the quality of your article.
2. Is the main topic of your article clear?
When scanning through the text, the topic of your article should be instantly clear to your audience. Make sure your subheadings fit the topic of your post. Also, check the first sentences of every paragraph. Ideally, these core sentences should cover the topic of each paragraph.
Read more: Why text structure is important for SEO »
3. Are there any lengthy paragraphs?
Most people don’t like to read long pieces of text. Check whether you need to shorten any lengthy paragraphs. Five or six sentences per paragraph is ideal.
4. Have you added internal links?
Before publishing your article, think about linking to similar articles. Maybe you have a cornerstone content article on a similar topic. Make sure that you link to that article. Or perhaps your new article is the best you have written in a long time. In that case, also make sure to add some links to this new piece in your previous articles.
Keep reading: Internal linking for SEO: why and how »
5. Is your call to action clear?
What do you want people to do after they’ve read your article? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to read another article? Make sure your call to action is clear and that people will be able to click from your article to other places on your website.
6. Could you optimize for related keyphrases?
You’ve probably thought about which keyphrase you would like to rank for with the article you’ve written. Especially if your article is lengthy, it also makes sense to optimize for related keyphrases. So, if your keyword is [games for children’s birthday parties] you could also optimize for [hide and seek] or [musical chairs], for example.
Read on: Yoast SEO Premium analysis: as smart as Google »
7. Do you use transition words?
A text can be made much more readable with the proper use of transition words (or signal words, same thing). Transition words are words like ‘most important’, ‘because’, ‘thus’, or ‘besides that’. They give direction to your readers. Make sure every paragraph has some of these transition words.
Keep on reading: 5 tips to improve readability »
8. Did you choose the right category and tag?
If you choose the right category and tag (or tags) for your article, you clarify your site’s structure to the search engines. This helps them understand what your site is about. In addition, it will also help visitors on your site to find this article or related articles.
Read more: Using category and tag pages for SEO »
Writing articles that’ll rank in the search engines is something that takes time and effort, but it will pay off! So, besides checking the Yoast SEO plugin, refer to this SEO copywriting checklish. Make a habit of asking yourself these 8 questions before you hit that publish button. If you’ve covered these, you can confidently publish a piece of quality content that’s well-optimized!
Need more help? Make sure to check out our SEO copywriting training.