Quick & Easy SEO Checklist for Blog Posts to Help You Get More Organic Traffic
The world of health and wellness is a competitive one. As a professional in this field, you’ve worked tirelessly to establish a successful practice. Now, you’re ready to extend that success to the digital landscape. Your key to unlocking online growth? Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And the key to SEO is our quick and easy SEO checklist for blog posts. It will help you drive more organic traffic to your site and, in turn, expand your practice – just as it’s done for our clients.
Understanding SEO and Why It Matters
Consider SEO as the process of optimizing your online practice. Just as you’ve ensured your physical practice is easily accessible and inviting to clients, your digital presence needs the same strategic attention.
SEO involves improving the visibility of your website in search engine results, attracting more organic traffic, boosting click-through rates, and driving client conversion. This process can seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can harness its power and significantly elevate your online presence.
Your Quick & Easy SEO Checklist for Blog Posts
Before diving into the specifics of the checklist, I want to review some basic information for understanding SEO.
Keyword research is akin to understanding the unique needs and wants of your patients. It’s about discovering what phrases and queries your potential clients are typing into search engines when looking for the services you offer.
Here are some key factors to consider:
- Search Intent
This refers to the reason behind a person’s search query. Are they looking for information (informational intent), intending to visit a specific website (navigational intent), or planning to make a purchase (transactional intent)? Understanding search intent can help you better tailor your content to meet users’ needs.
Your target keyword should align with the content you’re producing and the services you provide. Irrelevant keywords may bring traffic but are unlikely to convert visitors into clients.
- Search Volume
This is the number of searches a particular keyword receives over a specific period. High search volume indicates that a keyword is frequently searched, which could translate into more potential traffic.
Keywords with low competition are those that not many websites are trying to rank for. Ranking for these keywords can be easier than trying to rank for highly competitive keywords.
(You can learn more in our comprehensive article about how SEO marketing works.)
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for understanding keywords, let’s dive into the specifics of our SEO checklist for optimizing your blog posts.
Your keyword phrase needs to be in your blog’s title.
This is the first thing that a reader sees. It not only sets the tone of your article but also helps search engines understand what your content is about.
For example, if your keyword phrase is “holistic health tips”, a title could be “10 Effective Holistic Health Tips for a Balanced Lifestyle”.
The keyword phrase should appear approximately once every 100-150 words.
This ensures that your content is thoroughly centered around the topic. This effort helps search engines in determining your blog’s relevance to user queries.
However, you’ll avoid keyword stuffing which is essentially using your keyword too much. It could lead to penalties as search engines see it as a spammy tactic.
Instead, you’ll want to maintain a natural flow in your writing as you incorporate your keyword phrase.
Your keyword phrase appears in approximately 50% of the headings.
Headings break your content into digestible sections. Including your keyword phrase in some of your headings helps to emphasize your topic’s relevance which enhances your SEO.
Use the keyword phrase in the blog’s URL.
URLs are one of the first elements that search engines crawl. Having your keyword phrase in the URL can help signal the page’s content and improve its chances of ranking higher.
Work your keyword phrase into your blog’s meta description and the page title.
The meta description and page title are displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs). They give potential readers a snapshot of what your blog post is about and can influence click-through rates.
Especially when you’re starting out, you’ll want to make sure your blog has internal and external links.
Linking to your own content (internal links) and reputable sources (external links) not only provides more value to your readers but also boosts your SEO.
Internal links help search engines understand the structure of your website and the relationship between various topics you cover.
External links help search engines to know that you’re not just creating content, but that you’re aware of best practices and general industry knowledge. This enhances your content’s trustworthiness from the search engine’s POV.
Ensure the keyword phrase is unique to the blog you’re writing.
Optimizing multiple posts for the same keyword could result in keyword cannibalization – a situation where your own posts compete against each other in search results.
Your blog should be at least 500 words long, preferably longer.
Longer, comprehensive posts are seen as more valuable to readers, leading to better ranking. However, the length really depends upon the topic.
For example, I could have just dumped the SEO checklist for blog posts that I use into this blog. It would have been less than 500 words long. However, it would have only made sense to my clients who are familiar with my shortcut explanations. But, that’s not who I’m writing this blog post for.
I want you and every other reader to feel that you have the knowledge you need to use the checklist, so I’m going into much more detail. The result? A much longer blog post.
Use alt-tags on images containing the keyword phrase.
Alt-tags help search engines understand what an image is about. They also improve accessibility for visually impaired readers using screen readers.
Avoid passive voice. The bulk of sentences are 20 words or less.
These practices improve readability, leading to a better user experience. And user experience is one part of how search engines evaluate the quality of a blog post.
Use subheadings every 250-300 words and keep paragraphs short.
These make your content easy to scan and read which is another way you can improve the reader’s experience.
Create a well-written blog to engage your intended readers.
Quality content keeps readers engaged, reduces bounce rates, and increases the chances of social shares, all of which can positively impact SEO.
One of the mistakes I most often see people make when writing blogs is using too much passive tense. Using a predominantly active voice keeps readers engaged.
Your blog contains a call to action or CTA.
Directly inviting readers to take action can increase engagement and conversions. Your CTA might be an invitation to join your mailing list, inviting comments, or even a request to share your blog on social media.
The Power of Social Media in SEO
While social media signals are not a direct ranking factor for search engines, there’s an undeniable relationship between social shares and visibility in SERPs. So, how does social media aid your SEO efforts? Let’s take a closer look.
Amplifying Your Content
The purpose of your top-notch content is to be seen, read, and shared by as many people as possible. Sharing your blog posts on your social media platforms puts your content in front of a larger audience. The more your content is shared, the more likely it is to be seen by others who might link to it in their own content, indirectly benefiting your backlink profile.
A backlink is when another website links to your website. Both the number and quality of backlinks your site has are ranking factors for the SERPs.
Enhancing Brand Recognition
Consistent social media activity helps boost your brand recognition, making users more likely to search for your content. Increased branded searches can indirectly influence rankings.
Building an Engaged Community
An active and engaged social media community can amplify your content reach and provide invaluable feedback. Engaged followers are more likely to like and share your content, which can contribute to improving your organic traffic.
Driving Traffic to Your Site
Every link to your blog that you share on social media is a potential stream of inbound traffic. The more diverse sources of traffic you have, the less reliant you are on any one of them.
Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engines
Lastly, your social media profiles also appear in SERPs. So, keeping an active profile can help you occupy more digital real estate in the search results.
Remember, the key to a successful social media strategy, much like SEO, lies in providing value. Regularly post useful content, engage with your followers, and promote your blog posts to leverage the power of social media in boosting your SEO.
Real-life SEO Success Stories
Witnessing SEO in action through case studies can provide more practical insights and boost your confidence in implementing these strategies. Let’s explore a few compelling examples:
My Path to Success
When I launched my first website (a divorce coaching site), it attracted a modest number of visitors each month – 236. However, through consistent blogging using the SEO checklist in just ten months, I saw the site’s monthly visits grow to 5,000, and by the end of 18 months, it reached nearly 1,000 visitors a day. That’s a 12,000% increase in site visitors in just over 2½ years!
The search engines, recognizing the quality and relevance of my site to visitors, began assigning more and more keywords to my web pages and blog posts. As a result, more people found that site. Thanks to a strong SEO strategy and powerful content marketing, my gross revenue with that business increased by 300% in just 18 months!
A Content Creator’s SEO Awakening
In our second case study, a content creator started blogging consistently in the first nine months of his business but saw little website traffic. Recognizing the need for improved SEO, he asked me to create and content marketing and SEO strategy for him.
He followed the strategy I created and Following a detailed SEO and content plan, he was astounded to see his traffic double within a few months. His organic traffic increased 10x over 12 months, with SEO becoming the biggest driver of traffic to his website, accounting for 55-65% of his traffic.
Inconsistent Blogging, Consistent Growth
Finally, let’s consider a client who had us create an SEO and content strategy for her, but blogged inconsistently, seemingly flouting the conventional wisdom of maintaining a consistent publishing schedule. Nonetheless, her organic traffic grew 5750% in 18 months! With opt-ins and a thriving list of 506 subscribers, she laid a solid foundation for offering products to her website visitors.
I know that at first glance, SEO can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. When you understand search intent, focus on keyword relevancy, and implement SEO best practices, you can significantly improve your blog’s organic reach. Remember, consistency is key, and the results will not be instantaneous but gradual and, more importantly, sustainable.
Although I would love for you to bookmark this blog to keep this SEO checklist for blogs handy, you now know the basics and I can share with you the abbreviated version I share with all of my clients. You can make a copy of it here.
Once you consistently hit all the right points each time you create content, you’ll be well on your way to seeing an increase in organic traffic, just like I did and our clients do.