Here's a 25-step checklist to help you optimize your blog post from scratch and ensure it ranks well 40-60% of the times.
➡️ Determine the primary keyword for your topic.
➡️ Identify secondary keywords.
➡️ Consider the intent of your topic.
➡️ Ensure your blog post solves the searcher's problem.
➡️ Identify if there is a featured snippet you can win and how to do it.
➡️ Determine the primary and secondary keywords for your headings.
➡️ Check what your competition has covered and add those topics to your post.
➡️ Include relevant search data as headings/sections.
➡️ Use your knowledge to identify additional subtopics to cover.
➡️ Organize your content into an optimal structure that flows, covers all subtopics, and is skimmable/readable.
➡️ Include images or other media and compress images to under 100KB.
➡️ Use optimized anchor text to link to relevant articles.
➡️ Use bullet/numbered points where possible.
➡️ Use tables where possible.
➡️ Use short sentences and paragraphs.
➡️ Include CTAs relevant to the search intent.
➡️ Consider adding a table of contents.
➡️ Create a compelling title and include the primary keyword in the title and H1.
➡️ Keep the URL short and concise and include the primary keyword.
➡️ Use concise alt-text for images.
➡️ Create a relevant meta description that includes the primary keyword and encourages clicks.
➡️ Avoid using the primary keyword more than once in H2-H6.
➡️ Create an introduction that hooks the reader and includes the topic in the first sentence or paragraph.
➡️ Tie the post back to the topic in the conclusion.
➡️ Use italics to add emphasis.
➡️ Use contextual external links for jargon terms.
➡️ Include links to any references used.
Bonus: Use optimization tools like Clearscope, MarketMuse, Surfer, or Frase to identify any missing topics to add, but don't go overboard.
Following this checklist can help ensure your blog post is well-optimized and has a better chance of ranking well on search engines.