On-Page SEO Checklist for Blog Writing

Darcy Price
Written By
Darcy Price
Published On
Oct 05, 2020
A woman looks at a blog on her laptop

You’re almost there – your cursor, hovering just above that big, somewhat daunting “publish” button. One click will see the blog post you’ve spent hours researching, planning, writing and editing go live. Of course, you’ve also optimized it for the best possible search results – or so you hope. Never fear, this SEO checklist is here to help! We’ve created the ultimate on-page SEO checklist for blog writing that will ensure you’ve done everything in your power to make your website more user-friendly and increase its quality of traffic.

Blogging continuously proves to be an increasingly powerful tool for companies around the world. A staggering 77% of internet users read blogs while companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites.

Follow along with this essential on-page SEO checklist for blog writing to increase your search rank and get your online presence noticed:

Write High-Quality Content and Keywords

You’ve already determined a great idea for your blog post. You’ve defined your target audience (and their intent) and you have clear objectives and goals for the piece you are writing. Now it’s time to do some keyword research. 

Keywords are arguably among the most important parts of on-page SEO. These meaningful words and phrases are critical as they tell search engines what a page is all about. In order to find out what keywords are garnering the most traffic, you can explore the search volume of multiple related keywords. For example, try Googling a set of keywords you’d like to use in your blog. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the “searches related to” section and you will see a list of other keywords that are being searched in conjunction with your own. This simple trick is super helpful when choosing more robust, effective keywords!

Here are some more tips for writing high-quality page content:

  • Incorporate short and long-tailed keywords (without forcing it)
  • Consider the content length – the average Google first page result contains 1,447 words
  • Write researched, targeted copy that will drive results
  • Develop content people will share and want to link to

A title tag is being determined for a new blog post

Don’t Forget About Title Tags

A website title tag is an HTML element that tells both visitors and search engines exactly what they can find within the page. It’s obvious why this step is critical for on-page SEO – the title of any written work is the first thing that attracts a user’s attention. This is prime real estate for incorporating your keywords as naturally as possible to ensure your blog is being ranked for its proper intent.

Follow these best practices for writing a page title:

  • Keep it between 50 to 60 characters – any longer and it will be cut off
  • Don’t use all caps
  • Make it relevant to the page
  • Include your brand in the title (make sure people know who you are!)

Creating the Right Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a brief, concise snippet of information within a text box that shows up on the search engine results page. It tells the user what to expect within the blog and should be between 155 and 160 characters. While meta descriptions are not a direct ranking factor, they do affect the clickthrough rate (CTR), which is a ranking factor.

Optimize Your URL

The blog post’s URL should be easy to understand and relevant to your content. It’s often easy to produce as it’s generated from the blog title. Keep it short and sweet at three-to-five words without any weird number or letter combinations. Also separate words with hyphens for better readability.

Structure Your Content For Better On-Page SEO

Adding headers to your blog post will not only make it easier for readers to navigate, but search engine crawlers as well. Adding H1 tags for the main header, H2 for subheadings, H3 for the subheading of H2 and so forth will keep your content organized and concise. Incorporate some of your other important keywords within subheadings for better SEO!

Add Alt Text To Your Images

Another important step in our SEO checklist is having images that include a brief description (alt text or alt tags) that is optimized. Alt text, first and foremost, helps those that are visually impaired so they can understand the page better or, in a case where a photo cannot be loaded. It’s also another opportunity to drive on-page SEO by providing search engine crawlers to index an image properly.

Here’s what to keep in mind when adding image alt-text:

  • Keep it shorter than 125 characters
  • Avoid keyword stuffing
  • Make it descriptive and specific
  • Ensure it’s relevant to the broader page content
  • Don’t include “image of” or “picture of” in your alt text

Use External and Internal Links

External links are links on your blog that direct users to related external content that help search engines determine your page’s topic and quality. What this means is that the search engine will follow the linked content and determine whether it’s of high quality, therefore, so is yours. Always link to websites that have authority or high rank such as news sites or an expert in your field. 

Side note: If another website links to your website, it’s known as backlinking.

Internal links allow you to hyperlink to other pages on your website. The benefits of this are that you can build a better user experience and you can lead them to more than one article on your blog! This also drives organic traffic to your website. Try to include at least two to four of these links for every 1,000 words to elevate your on-page SEO.

A woman goes through her SEO checklist before uploading her blog

Mobile Responsiveness and Site Speed Matters

Nothing ruins a great website more than a slow-loading page. In fact, it’s so important to the user experience that Google began including it as one of its ranking factors in 2018. It’s not hard to understand why pages that load quicker, rank higher. You can check your page load time to verify you’re under the three-second mark, otherwise, it’s time to start researching ways to cut it down.

SEO For Blog Writing

Whether you’re writing a blog for business, pleasure, or are interested in guest blogging for us – this helpful on-page SEO checklist will make sure you’re hitting all the key factors that will drive your rankings. Here at The Influence Agency we really work to drive your rankings forward by analyzing your on-page SEO, off-page SEO, content and website code to decipher the best strategy for your business.

Contact us now for more information on the services we offer!

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