WordPress is an exclusive content management system that offers beautiful way to publish your blog articles. However, you need to do basic research and spend hours for preparing your article. This is the only way to publish outstanding content that stands out from the crowd. As a content writer, there are many things you need to consider before hitting the publish button on the editor. We have prepared a checklist of items that you should check before publishing posts in WordPress.
Gutenberg Pre-Publish Checklist
Gutenberg editor by default shows a pre-publish checklist when you click on the “Publish” button. You can toggle this by following the below instructions:
- When you are in the editor, click on the three vertical “Options” icon showing on top right corner.
- Select “Preferences” menu which is the last item in the list.
- In the pop-up that appears, go to “General” section.
- Enable “Include pre-publish checklist” option under “Publishing” heading.
This will show a checklist like below whenever you press “Publish” button. It shows your site name, site icon, visibility and publish status which you can check and change if required. In addition, plugins like Yoast SEO will add readability and SEO analysis status to make sure the content is good from SEO perspective.
However, this pre-publish checklist is not sufficient and you should consider the following before hitting the publish button.
1. Do Keyword Research
There are gazillion blogs available on the internet and Google will easily return thousands of results for any search query. You have to write content that stands out from this crowd and ranks top in Google. Finding proper keyword or phrase is the first step before you start preparing your content.
Remember, it does not make sense to fix your keywords at very high level. For example, instead of fixing your keyword as “dog”, you should narrow down and focus on the article for keywords like “taking care of dogs in winter” or “buying dog’s food in Texas”.
- It will help you to reduce the scope of your article and focus on your content surrounding the keywords.
- You will get high quality targeted traffic from search engines as users will land on your page looking for specific solution.
- It is easy to upsell your products or promote affiliate products to the targeted users.
Therefore, first fix your focus keyword before start writing the lengthy content. There are many SEO tools and plugins available for you to help in finding the keywords. For example, you can use Google Trends to compare and find the popular trending keywords. Alternatively, you can use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to find the keywords that your readers are using to land on your site. Plugins like Rank Math also suggest keywords using in-built AI which you can make use to create focused content. You can also use tools like Semrush to analyze keywords and find competitor’s traffic data to optimize your strategy.
2. Use Attractive Title
Search engines display post titles in the result pages. Thus, an attractive title can get high click through rate compared to a dull title.
- Make sure to include your focus keyword in the title.
- Limit the length of the title to 50 to 60 characters. Remember, Google will show your page title along with site title. Therefore, adjust the length accordingly to avoid title gets truncated in the search result.
- Include numbers and other attractive words in the title.
If you are running short of innovative ideas, check out the online title generator tools to get an idea for you blog title.
3. Add Meta Description
Google displays a short description of the page in search results below the title. This short description is the meta description you can add to each page on your WordPress site. however, WordPress does not have any default option to include meta description to posts. You need to use SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to add the meta description.
- Make sure your focus keyword is part of the meta description.
- Limit your meta description’s length to 150 to 160 characters length.
- Make the description short and interesting to address the summary of your page.
You can preview the how the search results will show in Google with your title and meta description using Yoast or other SEO plugin.
4. Structure Your Content
Many bloggers do the mistake of sitting in front of the post editor and directly preparing the content online. This is highly time consuming activity and you may end up with lots of distraction. We strongly recommend to setup productive writing environment for preparing your content. It is easy to use tools like Microsoft Word or any other word processors to prepare your content in a structured manner.
- Use title and headings properly to distribute your content.
- Insert the focus keyword in the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
When you are ready, simply copy and paste the structured content on the WordPress editor. Gutenberg block editor will automatically create blocks and retain the heading and paragraph structure of your text content. You can check and correct the heading levels by clicking on the “Details” icon from top tool bar.
5. Add Media to Your Post
Long form or short form is one of the popular debates in SEO world for many years. In theory, when you have more content there are lots of possibilities of getting traffic from long tail keywords. However, lengthy content can make the readers quickly bored in this super fast mobile world. The solution to tackle this issue is to media in your content. It can be few instructional images or a video or an infographic that users can check when reading the content.
- Make sure to insert images in appropriate sections on the article.
- Compress and optimize your images before uploading on WordPress editor.
- Add unique and relevant alt text for each image on the article.
Remember, each image on the article will send a separate HTTP request to your server. Therefore, limit the number of images or use content delivery network (CDN) to serve your images fast.
6. Check Keyword Density
Keyword density is the percentage of focus keywords used on your article compared to the total words. For example, if you use 10 times your focus keywords with the article length of 1000 words, then the keyword density is 10/1000*100=1%.
- You can use third party tools outside WordPress or use plugins like Yoast SEO to warn you about the keyword density.
- Keep the density within 3% to 5% and avoid over optimizing the article by stuffing more keywords.
- Also avoid using synonyms or plural of the keyword.
Remember, using proper keyword density is as important as finding correct keywords for your article.
7. Use Proper CTA
Call to action is a content block that prompts the readers to respond. Before start writing your article, think of the response you expect from your readers while or after reading the content. Here are some of the examples:
- You can ask readers to lever their feedback in the comment section.
- Promote a product to sell.
- Drive readers to service or product page on your site.
- Ask users to leave their emails for newsletter subscription.
- Forward readers to an affiliate product.
For example, if you want to promote an affiliate product link, make sure to create a call to action block in an appropriate place.
8. Proofread Content
How do you feel when reading a webpage with lots of spelling mistakes? Ultimately, you will lose the trust and leave the page. In order to avoid this happens to your own page, you should proofread the content before publishing. As mentioned, use rich text editors to prepare your content and proofread before you transfer the content to WordPress editor.
- Check spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Avoid using passive voice and use direct sentences.
- Use Flesch Readability Score to make sure the content is easy to read.
There are some online tools like Grammarly available for this purpose. However, you can do the spelling check with Microsoft Word and get the readability statistics.
9. Assign Category and Tags
WordPress offers two taxonomies to link your blog articles.
- Category – group the article for classification.
- Tag – assign tag for similar articles.
Frankly, there are no rules for using category and tag for your blog posts. For example, when you are running an animal blog, you can use “dog” as a category or tag depending on the situation. You can avoid using tags to prevent thin and duplicate content. However, category is shown in the breadcrumb structure and you need to mandatorily assign at least one category to a blog post in WordPress.
- Avoid using the same phrase or word as a category and tag.
- Limit the tags to 3 or 4 and categories to 1 or 2.
- When using multiple categories, choose one as your primary category to show it in the breadcrumb. Use plugins like Yoast SEO to choose the primary category to show in the breadcrumb.
10. Show Meta Data
The meta data helps search engines and readers to get more details about the blog post. It has been a very bad habit of bloggers to hide the meta data below post title and comment section. We strongly recommend to show the details to help users to understand the post meta details. By default, all WordPress themes will display meta data below the post title and some theme may also show below the content. Here are some of the meta data you should show in each WordPress post.
- Date – published or last updated date to help users to understand the relevancy of the content when they read.
- Author – post author, useful especially when you have multiple authors on your blog.
- Categories and tags.
- Number of comments.
- Reading time.
- Number of post views.
11. Internal and External Links
Internet is nothing but chain of hyperlinks connecting multiple websites. Just imagine what will happen if there are no hyperlinks in a page. First, you will be at the dead end and can’t navigate to another page. Second, you will never know there are many other websites exist in the web.
- Internal linking – this helps users to navigate through your website pages. You can link few relevant internal pages in your article.
- External linking – it helps to keep healthy ecosystem for the internet.
If you are struggling to get traffic to your blog then check whether you follow the above checklist before publishing each post. If you are the one scrapping thin article and publishing thousands of blog posts then it’s a high time to understand the reality. Study says that a niche blogger needs at least 3 hours to prepare a good article for following the above points. No wonder, your hard work will take your webpages top of the Google search results with the help of this checklist.