Originally published by Rishabh Dev on Medium.

Ready to hit ‘publish’?

Think again.

Now that you’ve created amazing, unique content. It’s time for you to make sure it gets the love it deserves.


Your content won’t get all the visibility just by being awesome. You have to make sure you follow SEO best practices according to the latest search algorithms.

This checklist is a complete list of things you need to optimize your new content with before you hit the publish button. And the list has been updated to match 2018 search algorithms.


It might seem a long list and you might find a ‘short and sweet’ SEO checklist somewhere on the internet but then you’ll be doing it wrong. You need to follow this exact checklist for your content.

Really want the traffic your content deserves?

Here’s your checklist:

  1. Use the main keywords in the page title
  2. Use a page title under 60 characters
  3. Use the main keywords at the beginning of the page title
  4. Use the main keywords in the page descriptions
  5. Use a page description less than 160 characters
  6. Use the main keywords in the heading
  7. Don’t follow the one-keyword per content rule. Include 2 or more keywords throughout the post
  8. Generate LSI keywords — You can use the tool at lsigraph.com for this
  9. Include LSI keywords in the page body, content, and heading tags
  10. Use a short URL for the post with keywords included
  11. Remove common words from the URL
  12. If using SEO for WordPress, choose only one category per post
  13. If using WP, use a maximum of up to 10 tags per post
  14. Include an image or creative within the first 25% of the blog content
  15. Use the keywords in the image alt tag
  16. Create content with at least 1800 words if pillar post or at least 800 words if cluster post OR with 500 words if the post includes an infographic*
  17. Include synonyms of the keywords in the content naturally
  18. Add a media embed — video or presentation (more the merrier)
  19. Include a downloadable file — PDF guides or template docs
  20. Include 3+ external links
  21. Include 3+ internal links within the content
  22. Do a grammar and spelling check using an online tool
  23. Use numbers in the content title or headings
  24. Include a share to social media option in the content — you can use a plugin for this
  25. Do the keyword research before writing the blog post
  26. Include CTAs in your content
  27. Ensure the publish date of the post is visible in the content
  28. Include the most important keywords naturally in the H1 tag
  29. If publishing Pillar content, make it at least 2000 words long and link to the respective cluster content*
  30. If publishing Cluster content, make sure you link to the corresponding pillar content*

*Pillar and Cluster content explained below:

The pillar-cluster content architecture is more structured for SEO and all the content you publish in 2018 should follow this model. The idea is to have a Pillar content which is very long-form broad topic content and cluster content are relatively smaller posts on more specific topics. For example, ‘The Ultimate Guide for SEO 2018’ could be a 3000-word pillar content with videos, infographics, and multiple embeds while ‘The Ultimate 2018 SEO Checklist before Publishing Content’ can be a cluster content. There can be multiple cluster posts like this one for the pillar content, linking back to it. The pillar content should include a link to each cluster post while the cluster posts must link to the pillar content and can also have links to other associated cluster posts in the same pillar.

Ready to dominate search traffic in 2018?

Make sure you follow the exact checklist and watch the magic happen!

CLICK HERE to download the checklist excel version. You can track the SEO of all your content using this.

If you have any questions regarding the checklist or would like to add something to the list, tweet to me @reachrishabh and I’ll embed your tweet in this post!

And.. wait.

Here’s a little extra for you:

Want to 10x your traffic in 2018?

Check out the ‘SEO Mastery Course for 2018’ to not just optimize your content, but also learn SEO, website optimization techniques and marketing strategy for 2018. The course also includes the top 10 best SEO techniques for the coming year.

P.S. If you want to enroll in the course, just email me at rishabh@mapplinks.com :)

Moreover, The first 10 People who email me regarding the course will also get a special discount code!