Your blog post is written and ready to be published. Bravo. The time-consuming part is done. Next step? Publishing the content on your website. Just like the keyword research we put into writing the blog post, it’s important to follow best SEO practices when publishing your post on your WordPress site.
We have a defined process here at Brindle for publishing blog posts on our site (or client’s websites) which we’ll dive into now.
1. Make sure your headline/title is catchy
Is your post something people will actually want to read? Ask yourself: how can you level up a notch and create a more enticing blog post title?
The following tools will help you create more effective headlines:
2. Use a short, descriptive slug (URL)
a. Descriptive = they tend to include your target keyword.
b. Make sure the URL still offers insight into what the blog post or webpage is about…
VS: /25-social-media-post-ideas-to-spruce-up-your-platforms (too long, unnecessary fluff words)
Plain and simple: pages with shorter URLs rank better—according to a study of 2M (that’s million) keywords done by Ahrefs.
3. Optimize Images
- Make sure the image is sized down for web (72dpi and resized, a general rule of thumb is no larger than 700-1000px wide). You can also optimize the image further using a plugin such as WP Smush.
- Before uploading to your post, rename the image file, describing what it is, also with related keywords.
- Optimize all images with descriptive “alt” tags: Use target keywords from the blog post in the image alt tag once uploaded to WordPress
4. When pasting content… Focus on readability
This drives some copywriters crazy, but no one wants to read a big chunk of text.
Always break up your content with subheadings, images, quotes, etc.—anything that will keep the reader glued to the page. Remember, this isn’t a research paper…people are likely scan-reading.
5. Ensure All External Links Open in a New Window
A good rule of thumb for UX: make sure every external link opens in a new tab; internal links open in the same window.
6. Add Categories/Tags
Please, don’t let your blog posts default to the “Uncategorized” category—add some level of organization and content hierarchy by creating post categories. This also relates to usability, which impacts SEO.
7. Configure the SEO title and meta information
Make sure you’re using the target long-tail keyword in the meta information – meta title and meta description – (aka onpage content optimization) in Yoast. Once you have the Yoast plugin installed, this box will appear at the bottom of every post, under the body content.
Always, always preview the post! Sometimes WordPress is known to throw a funky space or break in a paragraph (usually user error ;)), or you’ll see an error that wasn’t as obvious on the backend.
*Also worth noting, some WordPress sites have been configured to hide the featured image from displaying in the body of the post, in which you’ll want to insert the photo.
9. Publish (or schedule)
Cheers, that’s all.
Keep reading & learning:
Looking for a more in-depth checklist? Maddie’s Blog Post Checklist is worth noting… plus includes a handful of the best WordPress checklist plugins.