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How to SEO a blog post before and after you hit Publish

How you SEO a blog post is how you promote your whole site – because your link building efforts should be spread evenly across inner pages of your site.

Well-planned, well-written, and well-promoted blog posts are the backbone of your website’s success. Quality posts attract links and social media shares, which in turn grows the authority of your whole domain.

So – you’ve got your content plan, know what to write about, and want to SEO your blog posts for maximum effect?

Here’s your checklist:

How to SEO a blog post before publishing


First, a list of SEO activities you need to be doing before you publish that blog post.

1) Run keyword research

  • Gather all your keywords (scrape from external tools or competition, get from your own search impressions, or make up)
  • Go through the list.
  • Identify the highest search volume keywords that your blog post will ideally rank for.
  • Do not disregard zero search volume phrases either.
  • Focus on the intent of your keywords and how they match your customer persona.

2) Write the post and make sure it’s long enough

The question of how long should a post be for SEO has no definite answer, but the following statements are true:

  • Longer posts gather more long-tail traffic
  • A good blog post is the one that covers the topic in full
  • Emulating the average post length of your competition is the most common strategy.

3) Optimize your post

There’s no reason to overthink this in 2020. Use your main keyword at the beginning of your title tag, and use it through your post. Use other keywords as well – but don’t stuff them, write for your readers, not for bots.

For more info check our blog post SEO guide.

4) Categorize and tag your post properly

Use unique tags that don’t duplicate categories, and other techniques for tagging blog posts for SEO.

How to SEO a blog post after publishing


After you’ve hit the “Publish” button is when all the off-page SEO starts.

There are few rules here, except for “do what works” and “don’t overdo it”.

All kinds of creative promotion strategies are out there for the inventive, but we’ll give you the essentials of blog post promotion.

1) Place internal links to your new post

Find all previous blog posts that mention the topic of your fresh post and place links from the old posts to the new one.

Here’s how it will look on WordPress:

build internal links to SEO a blog post

All these 8 posts will be promoting your new one.

If you do this consistently your site will get stronger and stronger with relevant internal links.

2) Share your post to your official social media accounts.

This can be automated with tools like Zapier or IFTTT, but you should also experiment with manual posting.

Every social media platform has its’ own best practices for maximum exposure.

For instance, Twitter lets you tag other users and experiment with hashtags – use that to find what give you the most benefit.

3) Share your post to your unofficial social media accounts

You have those, right? All the satellite accounts, fake and semi-fake personas – fire away on all of them.

Again, tweak your hashtags, lead ins, and other things to get the most of it.

4) Scan social media & forums for discussions on your blog post topics; drop links

If there are fresh discussions on your topic you may be right on the money with your link plug.

The places to look for are social media sites (twitter & facebook especially), Reddit, and forums.

Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit have built in search engines, and for find good forum discussions use advanced Google search operators:

“blog post topic” inurl:forum

“blog post topic” inurl:community

“blog post topic” inurl:forum

Of course, this activity is way more nuanced than just dropping a link – do what’s appropriate in the context.

If it’s a solid forum where your target audience may spend time, having an account will help you in more ways that just SEO-ing your posts.

5) Google your blog post topic and run outreach to some of the results

This is something that is best done before you actually write and publish a post – just to be there’s enough promotional potential in the post topic.

In any case, you need to get 5-7 pages of SERPs for your blog post topic saved into a spreadsheet and categorized.

Some of these results will be forum and communities (you know what to do there), some will be your direct competitors, some will be non-competing sites that happened to write on the same topic. Those are the result you need to use for outreach.

Email the authors or webmasters, compliment their post and ask for a link back or a social media shoutout. Showcase your post.

Some will ignore you, some will amend their posts, some will quote you with a price for link placement, some will offer you to publish a guest post on their site – those are all outcomes you can work with.

We’re not going into details with this short guide – but you get the idea how to SEO your blog post.

If you promote every post using the actionable checklist above you will end up with a solid DIY SEO strategy made up of high-traffic mentions and clean relevant backlinks.

Need help with your blogging strategy? We’ve helped hundreds of sites grow, so get in touch with us and let’s talk!

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