SEO copywriting checklist: 8 things to check before publishing

SEO copywriting checklist: 8 things to check before publishing

Writing high-quality content that ranks in search engines is a difficult job. And how do you know that it’s a job well done? In this post, we’ll give you a handy SEO copywriting checklist with some quick checks you should do before you publish your article.

Do the hard work first!

Before using this SEO copywriting checklist, you should’ve done much work. Before you start to write, you should’ve done your keyword research, decided upon the exact topic, then set up the structure of your article. It’s a lot of work, but… nobody said SEO copywriting was easy! To help you out, however, we’ve written an ultimate guide on SEO copywriting. Good luck!

Read more: 10 copywriting tips – from experts to experts »

Then check:

Before you hit the publish button, you should ask yourself the following eight questions. We created this SEO copywriting checklist to ensure you thought of everything before posting new content.

Note: a lot of the checks are covered in the content analysis of our Yoast SEO plugin. Useful, right?

1. Is your traffic light in Yoast SEO green?

You should have an overall green light for the Yoast SEO readability, inclusive language, and SEO analysis. Check whether or not you can (and need to) improve based on the feedback you get from the orange or red lights. Just keep in mind that you don’t worsen the quality of your article. You shouldn’t optimize just for the sake of getting a green light!

2. Is the main topic of your article clear?

When scanning through your text, check if the topic of your article is immediately evident to your audience. Your readers will probably read your subheading first, so make sure those fit the topic of your post. Next, most people read the first sentence of every paragraph. That’s why it’s wise to have these core sentences cover the topic of each paragraph as much as you can.

Another tip is to look at the word complexity of your post. If you’ve used too many complex words, it will be hard for people to understand your message. However, if you use easier words, people will breeze through your content!

Keep reading: Why text structure is important for SEO »

3. Are there any lengthy paragraphs?

People generally prefer to read only a short piece of text. So, check whether you need to shorten any lengthy paragraphs. Five or six sentences per paragraph are ideal.

Before publishing your article, think about linking to similar articles. If you have a cornerstone content article on a similar topic, make sure you link to it. And if your new article is the best piece you’ve written in a long time, you should add links to this new piece.

Read on: Internal linking for SEO: why and how »

5. Is your call to action clear?

What do you want people to do after they’ve read your article? Should people buy something? Or do you want them to read another article? Make sure your call to action is clear, and that it’s easy for your audience to click from your article to other places on your website.

You’ve probably considered which keyphrase you’d like your new post to rank for. And if your article is lengthy, it also makes sense to optimize for related keyphrases. So, if your keyword is [games for children’s birthday parties] you could also optimize for [hide and seek] or [musical chairs], for example.

Keep on reading: Yoast SEO Premium analysis: as smart as Google »

7. Do you use transition words?

A text is more readable with the proper use of transition words (or signal words, same thing). Transition words include ‘most important’, ‘because’, ‘thus’, or ‘besides that’. They give direction to your readers. Make sure every paragraph has some of these transition words.

Read more: 5 tips to improve readability »

8. Did you choose the right category and tag?

This check is all about site structure! Because if you choose the right category and tag (or tags) for your article, you clarify your site’s structure to search engines. This helps search engines understand what your site is about. In addition, it will also help visitors to your site to find this article or related articles.

Keep reading: Using category and tag pages for SEO »

Bonus tip: Use inclusive language

You might be thinking: Why should I care about inclusive language? But it’s good for your users and your SEO. Because Google’s (and other search engines’) goal is to provide people with the best result for their queries. People who feel included because of your language will probably stay on your site longer!


Writing articles that rank in search engines takes time and effort, but it will pay off! So, besides checking the Yoast SEO plugin, please look at this SEO copywriting checklist. Remember to ask yourself these eight questions before hitting the publish button. If you’ve covered these, you can confidently publish well-optimized quality content!

Need more help? Make sure to check out our SEO copywriting training.

Read on: 5 SEO copywriting mistakes you should avoid »

Cindy Paul

Cindy is a content manager at Yoast. She writes and optimizes blog posts, and enjoys writing content that will help people create better content for their site and users.

Keep reading the article at SEO blog • Yoast. The article was originally written by Cindy Paul on 2023-08-23 08:09:58.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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