Blogging for SEO: The Checklist Every Writer Needs

Blogging for SEO: The Checklist Every Writer Needs

By Annie ZelmDec 20 /2018

If you write a great blog post but no one can find it, does it really exist?

Writing quality content that’s optimized for search engines is both an art and a science. There’s a formula to ensure you have the best chance of ranking in Google’s search results.

Using highly searched keywords is still essential, but SEO has evolved far beyond that—and it continues to evolve with every Google algorithm update.

To rank at the top of search engines, your content also has to provide value, be authoritative and stand out from the current top search results.

This checklist offers helpful guidelines you and your team should follow every time you write a blog post.

Download a printable version of the checklist.


Optimizing Your Blog Post for SEO (And Beyond)


    • Does the blog post have 1-2 designated primary keywords?
    • Are you using a keyword research tool like SEMrush to identify search volume and keyword difficulty?
  • Do the keywords have high relevant search volume?
  • Does it have a meta description that includes the primary keywords within the first 155 characters along with a call to action?
  • Does the blog use subheads (H2s) that include the primary keyword phrase?
  • Are the primary keywords used within the first 60 words of copy in the blog?
  • Are the keywords used frequently but naturally throughout the remainder of the blog post?
  • Did you use a tool like SEMrush’s writing assistant to find natural variations of the primary keyword?
  • Are there natural variations of the target keyword included?
  • Does the blog include at least two internal links to your website?
  • Do any images include optimized alt text?

Writing Quality & Clarity

  • Do you have a strong, intriguing headline? (Tip: Use Coschedule’s free Headline Analyzer)
  • Does the post achieve its intended objective? (ie., deliver on what’s promised in the headline?)
  • Does it educate the reader?
  • Is it easy to read? (Tip: Use the Hemingway App to grade readability)
  • Does it fit with your brand’s tone and style? (Refer to brand guidelines and previously published posts)
  • Does it have a strong intro and conclusion?
  • Is it free of clunky sentence structures or run-on sentences?
  • Is there redundant or unnecessary information that could be removed?
  • Does it use active voice and avoid passive voice?
  • Is it free of typos and grammatically correct?


  • Does the post make any claims that seem unlikely or unverified?
  • Are statistics and facts attributed to reliable sources (either your company’s own research or an objective third-party source?)
  • Does it avoid using sources that could be considered competitors?

While this checklist is a handy reference, it’s no substitute for a comprehensive SEO strategy. Kuno Creative helps companies across a variety of industries identify the best keywords to target and rank for them using on-page and off-page SEO best practices.

Does your website have what it takes to stand out in 2019? Request a free SEO Audit to find out!

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The Author

Annie Zelm

Annie is the driving force behind content strategy for clients. She uncovers insights about what motivates buyers and uses that knowledge to shape client websites and editorial calendars. Annie brings several years of PR experience gained from working at the amusement park, Cedar Point.