Content analysis and checklist is an important part of the content marketing for publishers.
Great content is the key ingredient of a successful website and a successful content marketing campaign. The important question is figuring out how to create all the great content.
The best part about content marketing is that it can bring you thousands of social shares, new email subscribers, and tons of comments, but only if your blog posts are successful and you do content marketing right.
You can work on something that you feel very good about, you can spend a lot of time on making it the best that you can do, but then you publish it and nothing happens. It is difficult to predict viral potential of content but to give yourself a better chance of achieving your goals, you can definitely be more structured and focused when preparing to publish your content. With so many moving parts that take place even before you press “Publish,” a checklist can seriously come in handy.
You can use this checklist to go through before clicking on the publish button.
It will definitely help you publish better content, faster!
Is my title effective?
Effective headlines do the heavy lifting for content, since many potential readers decide whether or not to read your content based on how well your headline draws them in from your site, newsletters, or social media.
It is difficult to get much attention in social and even more difficult if you try to do it with a boring headline. Generate multiple ideas for titles based on your topic to see all the different combinations and angles you can use.
What is my call-to-action?
For most of the posts, you might want your visitors to take an action after reading your content. Each piece of content should encourage readers to take a specific action — such as visiting your site, subscribing to your newsletter, etc. Think through the steps that need to be followed to implement any further action that takes place beyond your content.
Have look at the definition of Call-to-Action and the checklist for an effective CTA by Hubspot.
Is my content useful?
Any piece of content should serve your strategic goals, but more importantly, the content should always be useful to the audience you’re hoping to reach. You have to ask yourself does this piece of content help your audience and is it valuable to them in any way. Would you share this piece of content with your friends?
Is my content error-free?
Many word processors have spell checkers but they don’t catch everything. To this end, it’s useful to have a copy editor to check your content and ensure that it’s consistent with grammar and style rules for whatever content outlet you are using. Reading your work out loud is also helpful to hear the flow of your piece. It makes you aware of spelling mistakes, typos and sentences.
Is my content visually interesting, or is it a wall of text?
Make content easy to read so your target audience can consume it on the go via any device such as smartphones or tablets. Play with formatting like bullets, numbered lists, quote call-outs, and sections to help guide the reader. Take a look at how your content visually shapes up in a way that invites a reader in, not away.
Also, it’s a better approach to keep your content left-aligned.
Did I break up my content into sections with headings?
One of the biggest ways to break up a wall of text is through sections. Not only does it help you get your point across in well-defined subsections, but it looks and reads better.
Your content can be difficult to read through and engage with if it is full of text. Make it easier to consume by splitting it in paragraphs and adding subheadings every few paragraphs. Subheadings make it easier for your readers to read and skim your content.
Did I include images?
With images, photographs, and graphics, you can tell the story of your content. The amount of images within a piece depend on the length, but they are always good to use.
Visual content does a great job of helping your content grab readers. If possible, use images that include human faces to maximize the impact, and avoid using bland stock photography. If you don’t have good images, you can look at free stock sites like Wikimedia Commons or Unsplash.
Did I optimize my images?
Creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial for image optimization. Search engines not only crawl the text on your webpage, but they also search for keywords within your image file names. Image optimization gives your images a fighting chance of being indexed and showing up in mixed search results or Google Images.
You should optimize your images ingeniously. Since search engines can’t “see” your image like humans do, they have to go off the information that is available to them: the ALT tag and file name.
Here’s an example how should be your file name and ALT tag:
Did I include internal and external links?
Links are a way to lead readers to relevant content on or off your site. Internal links move people to your own content for more information or possible product and service content. External links can point to source material off of your site or really great articles that will help readers dive deeper into the topic.
Are my categories and tags set up?
Depending on the site infrastructure where your content is published, the category and tags will vary. While the primary purpose of categories and tags are to help your readers navigate your blog, using them properly will also give you an SEO boost.
Categories allow your posts to be classifieds into groups and subgroups. If a visitor to your site clicks on a category link, an archive page with all the posts belonging to that category will be displayed. Unlike tags, categories may be assigned to a parent category, enabling you to set up a hierarchy within the category structure.
Did I complete my meta information?
Meta elements provide information about a given webpage, and are most often used to help search engines categorize pages correctly. The most commonly used meta tags are the meta keywords, meta description and meta abstract tags.
The best title and meta description may not be the best fit for Google, literally. Make sure they fit into the space on Google’s search engine results page. A rule of thumb to follow is to keep your title under 55 characters or less and the meta description at 156 characters or less.
Have a look at the definition of title tag by MOZ.
Did I manually edit the permalink?
CMS systems often auto-generate these slugs, but you always want to make sure yours is what you want. It’s easy to edit the URL of your post so it is more concise and direct compared to your headline so make sure to click on that “edit” button and do it. It looks nicer, more clean and is better for your SEO. Also, if you change your title mid-production, make sure you go back to revise your URL structure to reflect those changes.
Did I preview and check over my post?
Click on that “Preview” button as check how the post looks like to the visitors before you actually publish it.
Did I schedule my post?
If you have a set time and day to publish your content, schedule it right away to get away from accidentally publishing your draft. Look into what times and days work best based on hard data to decide when you publish your content.
Do I have a promotional plan?
Have some sort of plan in mind, so once your content goes live, you can pull in as many eyes as you can. Think about how you promote your content; social media posts, ads, influencer tags so on…
You can follow these steps before you publish your content on your blog. This content checklist makes content marketing easier and helps you boost your website traffic with SEO.