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The SEO Checklist for Writers for 2019

Making a website rank high in search engines is a lengthy and challenging process. But, it is also quite knowledgeable. With SEO being as complicated as it is, your knowledge of the latest practices is the only thing that can give you a solid handle in the process.

If you are a writer who is responsible for the identity of an online brand or the optimization of a blog, learning about the latest practices is the way toward success. To be more precise, it is the ONLY way to get there.

Since you are given a task to create a digital copy that impresses the readers and puts the website ahead of its competition, you already have a lot on your plate. Still, if you go into this armed with the most effective SEO tricks, you can masterfully boost the site’s ranking.

To help you out with this, I’ve gathered a short SEO checklist to guide you in 2019.

1. Focus on How Your Audience Searches

Finding the target audience remains one of the first steps of all SEO strategies. If you have been in the writing industry for at least a short time, you are already familiar with it. However, what’s equally important in regard to the audience nowadays is how they search. 

Everyone will tell you that the very first thing you need to know about SEO is your audience. But right now, with the tremendous amount of blog posts and websites that go live every day (2 million blog posts), it simply isn’t enough to create a targeted copy. Your audience needs to get to your specific content even though there are thousands of similar articles right there at their disposal.

When you learn all you can about the target audience’s likes and dislikes, needs and pain points – you can create the content that inspires them, entertains them, and solves their problems. However, once this content is finished and ready to be published, there will still be one element that’s missing – the thing that gets the brilliant content to your audience. This is determined by the audience itself, more specifically the ways they use to find your type of content. To determine this and use it to your benefit, go through this first checklist:

  1. What search keywords and terms are mostly used to find it?
  2. Do you have these terms in your copy and headlines?
  3. Where do they find the content? Do they use social media to get what they need?
  4. When does your target audience visit the places where they look for the content?

Once you have the masterpiece ready to be published, schedule it to go online based on the schedules of your readers. When you know where they hang and when they hang there, you will have the key answers – when and where to post your well-targeted content.

2. Be Bold with Your Headlines

Thinking that your headline should just be informative is wrong. Yes, headlines serve to give readers an idea about the content that follows and one of the tipsis to be short and concise, but this does not mean that they should be – well, common. If you want to attract attention, you better be bold with it.

Other websites who share your kind of content will all have similar ideas and present them in a similar way. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Right now, standing out is your best option to be noticed.

As I’ve previously mentioned in my post about subject lines, being unique and personal is the best trick you can ever use.

My checklist for this tip is as follows:

  1. keep your headlines short and to the point
  2. don’t be too official unless you have to
  3. include a hook in every heading you use
  4. don’t be afraid to be bold

3. Keep Your SEO Momentum Going

Not everything comes down to your headlines or the title. Not even to the introduction. All these should be unique and great to attract the reader’s attention, but that doesn’t mean that the rest doesn’t matter.

Don’t make the common mistake of focusing too much on attracting the audience, just to lose them right after they start reading. Start with a dazzling title and bold headlines, but keep your momentum going until you finish. It is often better to write one incredibly brilliant article than a dozen pieces of average and rapidly declining quality.

Here is a checklist for this tip:

  1. include keywords, but naturally
  2. make compelling opening sentences
  3. keep your summary brief and enticing
  4. insert hooks wherever you can

4. Up Your Game!

Everything above can fall under this tip, but the truth is – if you want to be an SEO writing expert and a good one, you need up your game every single day. Everything you do matters and the more you learn, the better you can become. Digital content is more than just the wording or the clarity of your content – it is a combination of various features in addition to words and paragraphs.

All tips above were related to the content, but if you really want to up your SEO game, it is time to add something more, too. Here is my final checklist:

  1. use multimedia – a variety of it, all of high-quality (photos, infographics, videos, GIFs, charts, and screenshots)
  2. break up the content with headings and subheadings, bullet points, tables, and multimedia
  3. update everything according to the latest trends, including your past posts
  4. leverage the unique powers of voice search

Tip: How to Keep Your Site Optimized for Voice Search

According to WordStream, we can expect a rise in voice search use that would result in 50% of all searches done without using the screen in 2020. This makes it essential for marketers to utilize the powers offered by the voice search, especially when it comes to local customers who might search for a business like yours in the area. 

Knowing this probably raises many questions for you. Voice search is one of the biggest trends in SEO today, but how do you actually approach it to leverage its full potential?

ALTAgency has come up with a very handy checklist that will help you keep your site optimized in terms of voice searching:

  • Concentrate on giving short answers (preferably somewhere between 15 and 30 words)
  • Use simple and easy-to-read language 
  • Use the right content length (larger content of high quality is favored by Google’s algorithms at this point)
  • Promote social engagement 
  • Ensure a high domain authority
  • Boost your site’s loading speed
  • Deliver a secure browsing experience
  • Get your site and content features in snippets
  • List your business on GoogleMyBusiness

In addition to this checklist, ALT Agency also lists some very helpful tips that help marketers turn their SEO strategy into success. Here are some of the most effective ones among SEO experts:

  1. Ask questions – structure your keyword strategy around full answers, as well as questions. 
  2. Focus on the semantics – use terminology that’s similar to your vision for the products and services. Keep the keywords relevant.
  3. Use Google’s position zero
  4. Prioritize local voice search by focusing on the locals.

The Bottom Line

You need to keep exploring to up your game. My list combines what I find to be most effective in 2019, but this doesn’t mean that something new won’t come up tomorrow. The more curious you are, the better results your SEO strategies will yield.

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