Carefully crafted and informational entries can bring visitors your way. Are you taking advantage of the potentials that each post can bring with best SEO practices?

This 10-question guide will help you answer this question. Feel free to compare your next blog post to this article to ensure optimized exposure.

1. Do you have your target audience at the forefront of your mind as you write?

You may enjoy letting your creativity flow by practicing free writing, but when you are writing something to accomplish goals, e.g. to attract site visits, generate leads, or inspire conversion, you must resist the urge to think solely on yourself or whom/what you represent. Effective content marketing happens only when the subject matter is relevant and useful to the target audience. Therefore, think long and hard about this question: Whom are you writing for?

You don’t have to wait to start a new post until you have the target audience in mind, even though it will save your time and energy. You can always tune your post to your audience’s preference after the first draft. Just make sure that you have set your target audience and written for their benefits as you pour out your thoughts and opinions before hitting that finished button.

2. Just How Distasteful/Boring Is Your Post?

Yes, what sounds interesting to you can be very boring to others, for a number of reasons. Maybe the info is irrelevant (content), or the piece is too plain (format wise), or the promise is ambiguous (drive). Find someone from your target group or just your peers to view your posts and give feedback. Is it too long? Are there too many voices which cause confusions? Is the layout visually appealing?

3. Can you keep the most diligent “errorists” at ease?

Be warned! “Grammar nazis” are always on the look out for their next victims. While no one is perfect (at least not all the time), it is still a good idea to aim at creating error-free pieces. Be mindful, proofread, and google to avoid any chance of looking dumb. Get extra help from the almighty AP Stylebook. Also, check out Ginny Soskey‘s awesome article on HubSpot: 15 Common Grammar Mistakes We All Need to Stop Making.

4. Does it match your site’s overarching theme?

Consistency retains your frequent visitors. As a content creator/contributor, you must remember that your audience comes back to you only if he/she expects positive effects by awarding you another precious click. The expectation held by viewers is the key, and consistency in content theme and quality maintain expectations. That said, you are still encouraged add variety to attract new supporters, just make sure to stay true to your brand’s essence.

5. Is your post going help you…eventually?

You may have dumped a ton of time and energy into a black hole, even when you feel that you have written the most important and beautiful passage in the universe. Ask yourself these questions before you even start writing: How will this project get you closer to your goal? Is this the best way to tackle the problem? What is its long-term benefits and short-term effects to your endeavors? Chronologically, you should have thought of this before hitting that “create” button, but it is not necessarily the most important question to ask. Remember, your audience is always your No.1, not you.

6. Have you set the feature image?

Search engines like Google encourages bloggers to set feature images that are relevant to their content. By doing so, you get awarded by both your audience (as your post will likely stand out among the rest in search results) and by Google (as you make Google’s robust crawlers’ lives a little easier).

7. Is Your Header Concise and To The Point?

Eye-catching can be challenging, but at the very least you can cut your viewers’ workload by crafting informative titles. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and in turn you will attract the right person who truly wants what you have to offer.

Additional tips:

8. What about H2, H3, H4 tags?

Header tags help Google’s search engine crawlers recognize the hierarchy of your pieces. The easier it is to break down, the more likely you can show up above your competitors.

9. How will your audience WANT to share your post?

If your content is graphic-rich or infographic, think Pinterest. If it is a slideshow, try uploading it SlideShare and then embed the slide show into to your post. How easily can your readers share? Think ahead for your visitors and define the way your visitors will share your posts before their attempt to share to guarantee a seamless experience.

10. How can you make it even more pleasant?

Imagine how your viewers will interact to your post on various platforms/devices. Is it going to be a pleasant experience for them? Make sure to encourage them to give feedback!

Did you find this SEO checklist helpful? Wanna share your insights with fellow marketers? Leave a comment below.