9 Ultimate WordPress Post Checklist
It’s almost a cliché these days, “quality content is king”. But, it continues to hold true as it did during the formative stages of the Internet. However, without going further to dissect what constitutes quality, this statement can be subjective. How does one determine whether a blog post is of high quality?
After all, what’s quality to one person can be total crap to another.
Fact is, there is little consensus on this. The only consensus is that a post must offer valuable information to the reader which triggers engagement and a loyal following. But, over and above these, there are a number of items that when implemented, lead to better search ranking and reader engagement.
A powerhouse blog that makes a lot of money has perfectly optimized blog posts that rank high for various terms.
The following is a 9 point check list which you should use every time you post to ensure you end up with a high quality WordPress blog post:
1: Strong Topic & Focus Keyword
A high quality blog post must have a concise topic and a keyword. The focus keyword should then have two to three related keyword phrases that anchor the topic and help search engines and humans understand what the post is all about. Avoid blog posts that seem to be all over the place. Stick to one strong topic and link to other blog posts that discuss a closely related topic where necessary.
2: Persuasive Headlines and Sub-headings
Internet audiences have fickle attention spans so it’s important to write headlines and sub-headings that grab their attention. This is an essential ingredient for a blog post to be deemed high quality.
3: Correct Formatting
Correct formatting will vary with the type of post. But, as a general rule, you must use sub-headings, that is, h1, h2, h3 etc and also infuse formatting variety with bullet lists, bolding and italicizing where necessary.
4: Meta Descriptions
While Google no longer uses meta descriptions are as a ranking signal, they are important because a well written meta description can improve search result pages click-through rate. Readers also know what to expect when they land on your site.
Media adds eye candy to your blog posts in addition to enhancing the reading experience. For a blog post to be considered high quality, it must incorporate some form of media. This could be in an image, video, podcast or infographic. Some readers may not be able to read a blog post due to the fact they are busy, so a podcast which they can listen to while in traffic or working may be what they need to get engagement.
6: Concluding Paragraph & Call to Action
A conclusion is a short summary of the main point. It should leave the reader with something to think about. A call to action, on the other hand, is a statement that spurs the reader to take some specific action such as leave a comment, visit another page, click a link or whatever else you may want the reader to do. The choice of whether to use a conclusion, call to action or both depends on the type of blog post.
A high quality blog post should link to internal and external content to help readers that want to investigate the subject matter further. Links are like references in conventional writing. But, make sure the links work because broken links contribute to a poor quality WordPress site.
8: Tags & Categories
First and foremost, categories and tags help you organize the content on your WordPress site in a coherent manner. Secondly, they communicate the theme of your site to search engines. A high quality blog post should be properly tagged and placed in a relevant category.
9: Grammar & Typos
This goes without saying. A high quality blog must be written in excellent grammar and shouldn’t contain any typos. The WordPress editor helps to pick up typos but to check grammar, you may need to install a grammar checking WordPress plugin.
Don’t think of this checklist as a monotonous straight jacket. It is a valuable tool to writing high quality blog posts. It holds you accountable and ensures you replicate success. Incorporating all the items listed above into your blog posts can only lead to well-structured and formatted posts that are found by search engines and shared widely by readers. Furthermore, if you find this process monotonous, you can always invest in check list plugins that partly automate this process for you.