Simple WordPress SEO Checklist

We created a WordPress SEO checklist to help our clients get the most out of every blog post. After all the objective of blogging is to attract your target audience and that means search engine optimisation.

WordPress SEO Checklist

We thought you might find it useful too. Here is our 10 point WordPress SEO checklist for what to do when publishing content to your WordPress blog:

1. Before you start writing, create a post objective e.g. to educate, entertain or engage your audience.

2. Identify the target keyword that supports your objective.

3. Write your copy for human consumption i.e. not search engines.

4. Make sure your copy starts with the punchline, explains your argument / story and then closes with the punchline again.

5. Choose a relevant image(s) for the post.

6. Edit your copy to factor in your target keywords, highlighting the relevant keywords throughout the post including:

> early in your post title (which should be your H1 heading)

> opening sentence (which should be your H2 heading)

> the body copy

> the image title, alt tags and description

> the post’s permalink

Note: don’t go crazy, only add your keywords where it makes sense and doesn’t detract from the human reading experience. A couple of times per post is fine.

7. Link to another post on your blog or category on a related subject, like blogging.

8. Setup  your SEO plugin with appropriate title, meta description and keywords – we recommend the  WordsPress SEO or All in One SEO Pack plugins.

9. Add keyword tags in your WordPress post settings.

10. Select an appropriately named category.

With all this done and after you have proof read your post a few times, hit publish and share widely across your social media accounts and all your communications.

And that’s it, our simple WordPress SEO checklist for getting maximum eye balls to your blog posts.

If you want some advice on how to setup your blog to attract search engines in the first place, you need to read this excellent post from Joost de Valk, the WordPress search engine optimisation expert.

Let us know in the comments if there are other tactics you use to optimise each blog post to attract traffic. 

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  • Marko Saric

    Hi Andy,

    I don’t do much lately in terms of meta tags, WordPress tags and categories. Doesn’t seem that it helps much these days.

    I would focus on the domain and permalinks. These still seem some of the most important ways of ranking. Adding your site to Google Webmaster Tools and submitting a sitemap is a good tip at the start too. Get these right and you’re well on your way.

    On top of this Google authorship with getting your picture next to your ranking is a good tip – I have a guide on this here http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/seo/integrate-google-authorship-to-wordpress-thesis-blog/

    Last and very important is getting social media shares and links to your content – without these you won’t rank no matter how much you optimise your SEO.

    I hope this helps!


  • Phil Szomszor (@theredrocket)

    Great tips, will be sure to share.

    It’s DEFINITELY worth adding google analytics and google webmaster tools (lots of people forget to do the latter) so you can see what’s working well and ensure that the technical side is all fine.

    You could write a post on images alone, as there’s lots you can do to optimise them (e.g. from naming conventions to descriptions and metatags). just be careful to use original images or creative commons pictures to avoid any copyright issues.

    • Andy Bargery

      Thanks Phil. Images are often overlooked and simply dropped into a blog post last minute to make it look nicer, but you are right, they add a lot of value from an SEO point of view and we should take them more seriously.

  • Jon Buscall

    1.) Put your keyword phrase at the beginning of your title and meta description as much as possible.

    2.) Link to other posts within your website that reinforce your keyword content. CF The Scribe Premium WP plugin is excellent for this.

    3) use a title tag in a tag. E.g. A href=”http://yourdomain.com/post-link” title=” your key word>key word

    • Andy Bargery

      Thanks Jon, I hadn’t come across the CF The Scribe plugin before, but will check it out.

  • Ann Hawkins

    Another tip I learned is the difference between the post title and the meta Title. We need really catchy titles to grab the attention of readers and make them want to read the rest of the article. However, that catchy title might not be the best one for the search engine robots to read, for example, “Social media: Why its a big fat waste of time and money” might get people clicking the link to read the post but “Social Media for Small Business: Marketing Help and advice from experts” would work better for the search engines. You can write the meta title in the space provided in the Seo plugin, including keywords and using all 70 CHARACTERS that are displayed in a search.

    • Andy Bargery

      Great piece of advice Ann and something I have genuinely not come across before. Thanks for sharing.

  • Yiannis pelekanos

    All good points, I would argue that a lot of good SEo techniQue is tHe same as Just good written Content. I always aim to PRIORITISE My information, provide a consIStent message Throughout. Search engines may stRuggle To determine if a piEce is of high written quality, but if it focuses on One point, and Consistently uses A few selected Keywords and phrases, then it will be a lot easier For (search engine of choice) tO ‘understand’ what that content is about.

    • Andy Bargery

      OK that’s good feedback too Yiannis, thanks.

      So focus your writing and message around fewer, more targeted keywords then. This will help to drive your point home to your targeted readers, but also it will make life easier for Google et al to interpret and rank your post.

  • Sarah Arrow

    I’d also add in the alt text to the image, and try to add a keyword rich caption. However if the caption looks like spam… Then i wouldn’t add it in all.

    • Andy Bargery

      Thanks Sarah. Some good advice. What does spam look like then – specific keywords, phrases, characters?