Checklists are one of the easiest (but most valuable) content types to create.
You may be creating checklists all the time without even knowing it.
Things to buy. grocery list. chore list. A to-do list for completing a project.
So it makes sense to take a very familiar format, apply it to common problems and tasks that readers face, and publish it on your blog.
This is content that is readily available to our readers. So if you’re looking for more helpful content ideas to add to your website, look no further and create a checklist article.
How can the checklist blog post help my SEO?
When thinking about how checklist blog posts can help your SEO, think keywords.
Regardless of industry, audiences have issues and questions related to the products they research on search engines.
Questions like ‘how to plan Thanksgiving dinner’, ‘how to load film in a 35mm camera’, ‘how to write a meta description’ and more.
If you could find a problem like that, a problem that is related to the product you sell, that could be solved or solved with a checklist, and tie that problem to a keyword that you could get in search results…
This is your recipe for getting targeted leads.
An example is shown below. This photography website is aimed at novice film photographers and provides an introductory checklist for the first steps in your new hobby.
You can do the same thing, but it should be aligned with your industry and audience.
Here’s how to create a checklist article for your blog (or a client’s blog). This is very valuable and useful for your specific target audience. Because this is the kind of content that builds trust.
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Checklist 5-step checklist for writing articles
A checklist for writing checklists? why not?
Here’s how to build a new checklist article step-by-step, including how to tie the article to your SEO keywords.
1. Choose actionable topics based on audience-specific goals or problems
Technically, any topic that helps readers reach a goal or solve a problem can be turned into a checklist.
Make sure your topic is:
- viableto give clear steps needed to complete an action.
- Audience relatedSo it’s a goal or problem they actually care about.
Most how-to topics can be turned into checklists, because you need to follow certain steps or perform certain tasks to reach a certain result. Readers can “check” them as they go. for example:
|how to bake bread||bake delicious bread|
|How to balance your checkbook||manage finances wisely|
|how to prepare for a party||Throw an unforgettable gathering|
Ultimately, you’re creating a checklist because your readers need to do something, but they don’t necessarily know the correct steps or actions to accomplish their tasks. You can use a checklist to help them do just that.
2. Tie to keywords
If you want to increase traffic and leads to your website, you should optimize your checklist blog posts with keywords that correspond to your topic.
For example, let’s say you sell party supplies and your topic is “Party Planning Checklist.” Is that also the keyword you’re targeting in your blog post?
To find out, you’ll need to use an SEO tool (Mangools KWFinder, Semrush, Ahrefs, etc.) to research that topic/keyword and find that topic. keyword difficulty (or KD, a measure of how difficult it is to rank for that keyword) and search volume (Average number of searchers who looked up that keyword in a given time period).
If a keyword is really too difficult to rank for, you can search for and target variations and synonyms instead.
For example, if you look up the “Party Planning Checklist” on Semrush, you’ll see that the KD is 69 (difficult).
But if you look at the list of related terms, you’ll see that “Bachelorette Party Planning Checklist” has a KD of 29 (easy).
To target that second keyword, just narrow your topic down a bit. Write a good article and you can rank on the first page for that keyword and engage your target audience.
3. Create a task outline
Then outline the main tasks your readers need to do to reach their goals. This is the point of a checklist, so imagine writing it down as you check off one at a time. (This will also be the article outline.)
At this point, write down only the most important or worthwhile tasks and rank them in order from most important to least important.
why? As a general rule, you want your blog posts to have the most valuable information first to keep readers engaged. At the very least, we want our readers to be able to quickly find the information that matters most to them and provide them with a satisfying content experience.
That said, if your tasks need to be ordered to make logical sense, put them in that order. For example, your checklist for party preparation should begin with planning your meal menu and gathering supplies before other tasks such as decorating and making appetizers.
This checklist from Social Tables is laid out just like that.
On the other hand, this fall home maintenance checklist from Better Homes & Gardens follows the order of task importance.
Once you have an article outline, you can tweak your headers to not only pull readers down the page, but also highlight the action you want them to take. And of course, for SEO, you should insert your keywords in at least one header (ideally several).
Here are some tips to make your header better.
Use the verb + noun phrase formula‘
If you scroll up and down this article, you’ll see that I used the verb + noun phrase formula for all the H3s in my task list (e.g. Create [verb] Task overview [noun phrase].
This formula allows you to focus on each action required to complete your checklist. This makes the list scannable and easier to read. Plus, it’s motivating – you’re literally telling the reader to do something.
change the verb
Try changing the verbs to make each header even more unique and attractive. For example, every H3 in the list can repeat the verb “write” multiple times (“write an outline”, “write an attractive header”). Instead, switch verbs to add variety and interest.
By the way, if you’re having trouble coming up with unique verbs, don’t be afraid to grab a thesaurus. Just by increasing your vocabulary, your writing will improve.
This year-end financial checklist from Bankrate is a great example of the “verb + noun phrase” formula in action. It also uses different verbs.
Note that “review” is repeated several times. Suppose this entire checklist and all action items are labeled as Review, like this:
- “Check your progress.”
- “Review your spending.”
- “Review your beneficiaries.”
- and so on.
That’s going to be pretty daunting, isn’t it? Additionally, it becomes difficult to distinguish between tasks.
Bottom line: Expand your vocabulary to make your action items more engaging and readable.
5. Include insider tips and how-tos in your checklist
Remember, your brand (or your client’s brand) is an expert on this topic and how to complete this checklist.
With that in mind:
- What information can you add that most people don’t know or don’t consider?
- What are some insider tips for completing action items faster or better?
- What is useful to know if you are using checklists?
Do not simply regurgitate what others have said before you. Add flavor from your brand’s expert perspective, as if you’re sitting with your audience and giving them personal advice on the topic.
This not only makes your checklist articles more unique, but also more useful and helpful.
For example, Bankrate’s financial checklist includes advice on each action item from the company’s chief financial analyst and quotes from him directed directly at the reader.
This is not cookie cutter advice, but useful information from a true expert interviewed for this blog post.
Bonus: Consider creating an infographic or PDF checklist for download
Checklists are great content to consider for repurposing or offering in different formats.
First, a well-thought-out checklist article can be so helpful that your audience may want to download it for later storage, reference, or printing (a convenient, visually appealing PDF documentation).
By the way, providing a downloadable checklist within your checklist article is a proven way to convert readers. Just insert a few calls to action (CTA) that link to a landing page where readers can enter their email address and download the checklist. end.
Good example: Updater includes a button with a CTA to download a PDF version of the first apartment checklist.
Second, checklist articles can be endlessly shared when condensed into a well-designed infographic or other list of action items. Include an infographic in your checklist blog post to make it visually appealing and share it on social media.
For example, Venngage created a pretty infographic for their image optimization checklist.
For these reasons, consider designing the main content of your checklist in several different formats, or choose one additional checklist format to create based on your goals.
Write a checklist article to get you closer to your SEO and marketing goals
Checklist blog posts are just useful content that search engines want to provide to their users.
Create around a relevant problem your audience has or a goal you want to achieve, tie it to the right keywords, create a unique and helpful list that showcases your brand’s expertise, and you’re sure to see results.
Plus, the humble checklist article is evergreen. So, as long as you’ve done your SEO research, you’ll find that you’re attracting traffic and leads long after you go live.
Whether you’re looking to improve your brand awareness, SEO rankings, or build trust with your readers, we recommend adding the Checklist article format to your content list.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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