Streamlined Blog Post Workflow for Improved SEO

by Toby

August 26, 2022

Blog Post Workflow WordPress for Better SEO

Do you want to improve your blog post SEO but don't have the time to learn about all the latest changes? Or don't have access to all the latest SEO tools?

We can help with that!

Our streamlined workflow steps below will help you write better, more engaging blog posts that will keep your readers coming back for more. Plus, our SEO writing tips and tricks will help you rank sooner and higher on search engines (Google is the only search engine that matters), so more people can find your content.

It's easier than you think! And with our help, you’ll be able to write better content in no time. And the best part is that it won’t take up much of your time – we promise. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!

So please bookmark this page and share it with those that could benefit. Take all or part of this process to improve your writing for better SEO. (and read our related post answering the question, does blogging help SEO?)

But before we begin, remember this: 

The best content for Google to show is content that is helpful and insightful. Write for humans first, not search engines. 

The below process will help you write better and more thoroughly based on what is already ranking. And it will help you rank in more places within a Google search results page, not just the normal search results.

Step 1

Keyword and Topic Research 

Begin the process by identifying 2 or 3 keyword phrases or topics you want to write about. The next step will narrow these keywords to one main and perhaps two or three secondary words.

Here's A Quick, Efficient Keyword Research Process

Using AI for Keyword Research

AI-driven keyword research is a crucial component in creating successful marketing campaigns.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Seed Words

The first step in your AI-driven keyword research process is to identify relevant seed words to your product or service. These are broad terms that describe your product or relate to its features. For instance, if your product is an eco-friendly water bottle, your seed words could be "water bottle," "eco-friendly," "reusable," and "sustainable."

Here's a simple example prompt to generate your keywords from the seed list:

AI Prompt: what are keyword ideas from this seed list: "water bottle," "eco-friendly," "reusable," and "sustainable"

AI Results:

  1. "BPA-free water bottle"
  2. "Best eco-friendly water bottles"
  3. "Reusable water bottles with filter"
  4. "Sustainable water bottle brands"
  5. "Benefits of reusable water bottles"
  6. "Eco-friendly water bottle alternatives"
  7. "Insulated reusable water bottles"
  8. "Why choose sustainable water bottles"
  9. "Affordable eco-friendly water bottles"
  10. "Recyclable water bottles"
  11. "Durable and sustainable water bottles"
  12. "Glass vs plastic water bottles"
  13. "Top-rated reusable water bottles"
  14. "How to clean reusable water bottles"
  15. "Impact of eco-friendly water bottles on the environment"

These keywords cover various aspects like the quality, benefits, alternatives, usage, and impact of water bottles that are eco-friendly, reusable, and sustainable. 

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it's time to analyze their relevance, search volume, and competition level. After all, you don't want to spend time developing content if nobody searches for the keyword. 

Relevance refers to how closely a keyword matches your product or service.

Search volume indicates how often users search for the keyword, while competition level shows how many other websites are trying to rank for the same keyword. Your goal should be to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords that are highly relevant to your product.

So now you take your keywords and throw them into a keywords analysis tool. Many paid SEO Tools are out there - like SEM Rush, Ahrefs, etc. These SEO tools can be expensive. So, if you want a free, inexpensive option - use Google Ads Keyword Planner.

Free Tools to Help You Do Quick Keyword Research:

You should use Google as a research tool regardless of whether you tap into generative AI for keyword research.

Use it to research your keywords and topics - this step aims to narrow down the terms and topics you will write about that have the most economic value. And then, to also gain insights into the ranking pages, you can write even better content. 

Google Trends: Head over to Google Trends and type in your search phrase.

Here's an example where I typed in "Content Marketing" and changed the date range to show 2004 to 2022. Right away we can see this has been trending up consistently since 2010 (a related post here on why content marketing plus SEO will skyrocket your leads and sales).

Google Trends - Content Marketing

Google Trends - Content Marketing Search Term

The default timeline is the last 12 months. You can change that to see longer timelines as I did and that will help you see trends (here's a more in-depth post about using Google Trends for marketing).

Keep in mind that Google Trends is big data so you won’t get all sorts of keyword variations or more granular insights, but it will give you hints into other topics and perhaps something you didn’t consider, along with trends. Some topics that are low volume will have little data here.

Next, scroll down and pay attention to the Related Topics and Related Queries for additional ideas that perhaps you had not considered. Do any of these resonate as better topics to write about?

You can also change this to show "Top" Related Topics and Top Related Queries - just click the word Rising with the down carrot. You can then click on any of those terms for more trending insights. 

Google Trends Related Topics - Related Queries

Google Trends Related Topics - Related Queries

Google Ads Keyword Planner: 

This free tool will give you hard numbers on monthly search volume along with additional related phrases. It also gives CPC data per keyword - cost-per-click - an indicator of relative economic value. The higher the CPC, the more valuable the word is since companies are willing to bid it up. 

Once you are logged in you should see the below options - choose, Discover new keywords.

Google Keyword Planner - Discover New Keywords - Get Search Volume and Forecasts

Google Keyword Planner - Discover New Keywords - Get Search Volume and Forecasts

Then you will see much more detailed search data that you can use to refine your topic keyword selections. 

Google Keyword Planner - Discover New Keywords Search Data

Google Keyword Planner - Discover New Keywords Search Data

Once you have the keyword phrases you’re considering, do a Google search for each keyword - incognito, of course, to get unbiased search results. Scan through the top 5 - 10 results on the first page. Pay attention to the following:

  • Content length - how many words approximately are the top pages writing to cover the topic? If everyone is writing 1,500 words, you likely need to cover the topic as thoroughly. Word count is not a number you follow precisely, it's a rough guideline, but it does show you how many words ranking pages are using to cover the topic well. And be careful writing too much content - going overboard with more words can negatively affect your SEO rankings
  • Content intent - are the ranking articles informational or transactional?
  • Tone of the content - is it professional, casual, formal?
  • Sub-topics - often, you can identify these with the article’s sub-headings. Typically, an article touches on multiple sub-topics. We might refer to these as semantically related terms in the SEO world. Pay attention to similarities in topics and differences, and perhaps you have your own ideas for additional sub-topics. But don’t get carried away - more is not always better.
  • Are there any graphics or images being used?

Here's a related post on how to develop a blog strategy that you might find helpful, too. 

Step 2

Create an SEO Template

 Summarize your research in just a few bullet points.

Here's an example:

  • The average length of the top-ranking articles is 850 words
  • The primary keyword used is: "Blog Post Workflow"
  • The sub-topics include, sub-topic A and B
  • The tone is casual
  • Most of the ranking pages have 2 images that are reflective of the post

Step 3

Write Your Headline, Blog Post Title First

The headline contains the most important words you will write for the page. Its goal is to pique the reader's interest, stop them in their tracks and get them to read the sub-headline and the rest of the content. Plus, it sets the tone for the entire article. The main keyword should be used in the headline. Here's a related post just on proven headline formulas. And of course, you can leverage generative AI to help you brainstorm many headline ideas and titles.

Also, make sure the blog post URL, or in WordPress it’s referred to as a Slug, is the same or similar to your Blog Post Title or primary Headline. Keywords shown in the URL can help improve the click-through rate (CTR) from search results to your page. 

As you can see in the results below, our page ranks first and also has the keywords in the URL. Compare that result to the next two - one has "On the Line > Marketing" and the other, "Blog." 

Use Keywords In Slug URL of WordPress Blog Post

Use Keywords In Slug URL of WordPress Blog Post

Step 4

Write The Blog Post

Now that you have an SEO template in hand and your headline is written, the rest should flow more easily, depending on your writing process.

Keyword usage guidelines:

General guidelines for keyword usage are 1 or 2 times throughout the article. However, don’t worry about this too much - if you write for humans first, you likely will be just fine. Just make sure the keyword is used at least in the headline and perhaps one other time in the article. 

But if you’re concerned about understanding keyword usage for this topic, go back to the ranking articles and search for how many times each article uses the term. And then calculate the keyword density (frequency count of the keyword / total keywords on the page). 

You can us AI to help you write more quickly.

First, ask your go-to AI tool to create an outline of the blog post for you based on your keyword. 

Once you have your outline, have AI help you write each section based on your brand's voice and style. 

Step 5

Write the Title Tag and Meta Description

Use your keyword in your Title tag and Meta Description, along with a benefit and call to action (CTA). Stick to approximately 55 characters for the Title Tag and 155 - 165 for the Meta Description. This is your free advertising space in the search results, so use it wisely to pique people’s interest to click through to read your article. And if you're not feeling too inspired, open up your favorite AI tool and have it write both of these for you. It's important from an SEO perspective that whatever keyword you are going after that it appears in the Title and Meta Description.

Step 6

Add Images

Create one or more infographics or images for the page. Take ideas from the other articles. Can you improve upon any of the images they have? 

How can you help break up the textual content with images? Can you represent data on the page in an image as a chart?

The benefit of effective image usage for SEO is that you can rank in Google’s Image search and Image tab, which has a massive volume of monthly searches. Therefore, your goal should always be to rank in as many places within Google as possible and images are one of those ways.

Here's an example of a blog post we wrote on using Facebook Ads to market your restaurant - we have two images ranking in the number one and number two positions. But don't forget to optimize your images for SEO, or you will lose an opportunity and worse yet, hurt your SEO.

Add Images to Blog Post - Rank in Image Search

Add Images to Blog Post - Rank in Image Search

Step 7

Internal Linking

Once your content is written, identify any pages or posts on your website that you can link to that would be helpful for the reader. I link wherever I can on any page or post within my site that would be helpful to the reader.

Linking internally on your site benefits the readers, increases your site's engagement, and helps SEO as it passes relevant internal link equity between pages within your site. As a matter of fact, here's a link to a blog post I wrote on just that - internal linking

If you have a lot of content on your site, a PRO TIP to find content that you can link to, or that can link to this post, use an advanced URL operator in Google to find relevant posts.

Here's an example below.

In this example, I searched the site for any content that includes the words, "content writing." Just vary the keywords you use to find content on your site. Here's the actual advanced operator - [whatever keyword you want]

Google will list the content on your site in order of the most authoritative. 

Use Advanced URL Operator To Find Relevant Content

Use Advanced URL Operator To Find Relevant Content

Step 8

FAQ Content

In your article research you did in the beginning, did you notice any questions and answers in the Google search results?

Sometimes these show at the top of searches in a Featured Snippet ranking in the zero position or further down below in a Google section labeled as “People Also Ask."

Include common questions and answers in your content that people are searching for in Google. And then, if you have someone more technical on your team, have that content marked up with schema code and added to your page in the <head> section of the html - this will make it clear to Google that you have FAQs on the page and allows you to show in additional places in a search results page.

faq featured snipped

FAQ Featured Snippet Appearing At The Top of The Page

Here's a related post I wrote as well on how to update content for better SEO and in that example, I show results of a page that had FAQ and Video schema added and the incremental lift in clicks and impressions that post received. 

Step 9

Embedded Video

Do you have any videos on the same topic you can embed? Preferably YouTube videos. Embed these videos into the page. Not everyone wants to read, so you’re giving people another option to engage with your content. Here's another post on using video embeds to help with your SEO.

 The SEO benefits are clear - your page can rank in the Video tab of a Google search results page, so that’s one more spot you can occupy (and a side benefit is that click goes back to your page, not YouTube if you're using YouTube).

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

And as we did with the FAQs, markup this video with schema code. Video schema markup will make it clear to Google that there is a video on the page and give it details about what that video is about. Otherwise, Google likely will not recognize an embedded video on the page.

Step 10

Submit Content For Indexing

Submit your blog post to Google to let it know it exists and get it indexed sooner. 

Here is where you paste in the new page URL for your blog post to let Google know you have new content. 

Submit New Blog Posts To Google Search Console for Indexing

Submit New Blog Posts To Google Search Console for Indexing

Google will search for the URL in its index but since this is a new post, you'll see something similar to below. Then, click on "Request Indexing" and you're done. So, you've notified Google you have new content on your site but when they decide to crawl it and index is up to them - it's not immediate unless you publish content often. Typically, it's within a couple days to a week perhaps - your mileage will vary. But without doing this, there's no telling when the page would get indexed. (a related post here about 4 easy ways to use Google Search Console to improve your SEO)
Request Indexing of New Posts and Pages from Google

Request indexing from Google Search Console 


So, to round up the advice here, the goal was to provide non-SEO writers with an easy workflow or blog writing process that improves the SEO of your posts, without relying on the hardcore SEO tools. And after you go through this several times it becomes faster and easier. It should not be too time consuming. But applying these 10 steps will get you on your way to ranking your posts more quickly and for more keywords. Finally, here's a related post on how to use WordPress Categories for improved usability and better SEO.

Got more questions?

Feel free to reach out to us by leaving comments below, via chat on our site, or calling us at, 951-444-0174

Finally, if you want to dive into a much more thorough, technical post on SEO this one is for you. 


Is it good to use AI to write your blog posts?

Using AI can be helpful in speeding up your writing and improving the content. However, for SEO purposes, be careful relying too heavily on AI machine learning content. Always write for humans first. Content that is insightful and helpful is best. Google's Helpful Content algorithm update in 2022 targeted sites that were writing primarily for search engines to rank, which AI generated content is often written for.

How To Write Blog Posts That Rank High?

  • Focus on 1 or 2 keyword phrases
  • Understand the intent of what the searcher is looking for in an answer
  • Competitive analysis: look at the top ranking pages and identify what you can improve upon
  • Write for humans first
  • Write helpful, insightful content
  • Use internal linking
  • Rank in more places: Optimize images for SEO
  • Embed related YouTube videos
  • Include FAQs
  • Use schema markup

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

  • This article was amazing and so helpful for someone trying to learn DIY SEO. 10/10

    • Glad it was helpful, Melanie! The best complement for a post! 🙂

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