Ultimate Blog Post Checklist: How to Increase Traffic

 

We all know how time consuming blogging can be.  A lot of effort goes into researching, writing, and formatting a thoughtful and informative blog post. Creating the content is the hard part but the steps below are the things you can do to set yourself up for success. Follow this checklist to get more shares, likes, engagement, and page views to your blog and website. Download a printable version of this list to keep by your desk here.

Is your title [super] catchy?

Did you know On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the title, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest? The title is your big chance to draw people in and get them to read your post. If it isn’t engaging you are not going to get click-throughs or engagement, which is the entire point of writing a blog.

Things to keep in mind

  • Keywords: Every post should have a keyword that you are targeting. Make sure your title includes that keyword.
  • Optimal length: Titles 55 characters long tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs.
  • What people will notice: Most readers tend to read the first and last three words of a title.

Not sure what makes a good blog title? Not to worry because CoSchedule has an awesome free tool that you can use to test how attracted people will be to your title. It will then give your title a score and suggest improvements that you can make.

Blog post best practices

Do you have an eye catching blog graphic?

Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. So this one should be obvious- Don’t skip a step that makes you 40 times more likely to succeed!

It’s okay if you do not have access to photo editing tools or a budget for stock images. You don’t need one. Canva.com makes photo editing beyond simple and they have a ton of templates and free stock images to get you started. Plus, their stock images that aren’t free are extremely affordable, literally ONE dollar. Make a Canva account and I promise you won’t regret it. Here is a super easy guide to creating blog graphics like a pro.

Using canva to create blog graphics

Does it draw the reader in?

Keep in mind, visitors will first scan your post. If they see huge blocks of texts they are likely to decide it isn’t worth the time to figure out if it is valuable information. Numbered lists and headers are a great way to break content up into more manageable sections. You can call attention topics by using the H2 or H3 text options and reserve colors for these places.

formating a blog

Have you linked to onsite and offsite sources?

Linking is not only important to give credit to your sources, but it is also very important for search ranking. There are two types of linking that are very helpful to improve your ranking.

Outbound linking. This refers to linking to pages outside your websites, where you have gotten your information from. This makes your content more valuable to the reader because they can find out more information about the topic or check sources to make sure they trust your data. It is not publicly available exactly how the search engine algorithms rank search results, but experts believe that they reward this behavior because valuable content usually links to valuable content. Outbound linking also encourages others to link to your content which increases your exposure even more.

Inbound linking. This refers to linking to pages or posts within your website. This gets easier the more you build out your content. It is a great way to keep people engaged on your website. You can get them to stay longer and check out related posts by linking to them within the content.

One more think about links: Set the links to open in a new tab instead of taking the reader away from your site all together. This way you aren’t losing the traffic, just letting them check out additional info they might be interested in.

adding links to your blog

Have you implemented SEO best practices?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization affects how your blog post will be ranked by search engines when someone searches for the topic that it discusses. For WordPress sites the most popular SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. It is free and has all the basic features you will need to get your blog post ranking. After you install and activate the plugin you will see the following options under where you write your blog post.

Blog SEO

There are 4 easy steps to set this up. Click where it says “edit snippet.”

  • SEO title: Write the title of your post (making sure it includes your keyword) and then the name of your blog. You want every section to be green because that indicates it is following best practices for that item. If you have a short title with a short blog name you might have to add a few keywords to it. Make sure it still flows when you read it because this is how your post will show up in search results.
  • Slug: I don’t usually alter this one and it defaults from the title of your post.
  • Meta description: Pick a couple of sentences from your post that really describe what it is about. Again, make sure it includes your keyword. The plugin is set up to guide you to the right length, so delete or add words until it is green.
  • Focus keyword: This is where you enter your keyword.

Note: Your keyword must match exactly down to the spacing. Also, a keyword doesn’t have to be one word. For example, this post’s the keyword was “blog post checklist”.

To improve your SEO further, check out this post about 5 easy SEO tips everyone should know.

Does the look and feel match your brand?

Have a style guide for your blog with a set of 3-5 colors that you use for graphics and the text within your blog post. This can keep you from going too crazy with color or looking bland by not having enough. Keep the main content easy to read in a grey or black and save color for links and headings to call attention.

 

Why Partner With The Bauen Group?

The Bauen Group is a full-service tech and digital marketing company with services including mobile app and website development based in Houston, Texas. We focus on the unique needs of small to midsize businesses. The websites are built in a user friendly content management systems making it easy for your team to make updates or maintain a company blog. Our team focuses on your brand’s personality to create a professional, modern, easy to navigate, conversion-focused website or mobile app that is structured to build brand loyalty and growing your market.

2017-01-27T16:03:51+00:00

About the Author:

The Bauen Group is a Houston web development firm focusing on business software, customized web and mobile development services, and consulting solutions for small businesses. Our team of experienced and skilled developers specialize in creating customized web and mobile application. By incorporating smart design and extensive experience, we help our customers achieve their goals quickly and with lower costs.