Tips for Bloggers | Before You Press that Publish Button

Before You Publish Your Blog Post
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After you’ve written that amazing content and before you press that “publish” button, every blogger should take a quick assessment of their post and be certain that it’s ready to go. What do I mean by ready to go? I’m referring to tweaking your article for the search engines (things like filling out meta tag data and making sure that any special characters like apostrophes and question marks don’t appear in the URL). I’m also talking about not uploading images that are worthy of printing and framing but instead have been formatted to display efficiently on a computer monitor.

So, where do you start? Some bloggers research their keywords and know exactly what words they want to rank for in the search engines. Other bloggers write from their heart without really thinking much about SEO. Still others, write for their readers while keeping SEO in the back of their minds. (Count me in that camp.) Whichever group you fall in, a little SEO can go a long way.

SEO Data – What You Need to Keep in Mind

Basic steps for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)First, I hope everyone who is reading this has a basic understanding of SEO and how simply incorporating keywords in your content and in “meta tag” fields (like Alt text and descriptions) is important. If you need a refresher on this, check out 4 SEO Tips to Optimize your WordPress Blog. In that article, I talk about your post title, meta description tags, formatting text as headings and optimizing your images. You’ll also find a mention about the “TinyMCE Advanced plugin along with a screenshot (just in case the theme you’re using doesn’t include a WYSIWYG editor).

As for how you enter meta tag data, WordPress does a good job of providing you with data fields to enter a title, alternate text and a description for your images (all opportunities to incorporate the long-tail keywords that you want your post to rank for) but it does a lesser job of providing you with fields for SEO titles, keywords and meta descriptions. Many premium WordPress themes like Genesis, Headway and Thesis have SEO built into them. If your theme doesn’t provide you with data fields to enter this information, check out the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. At the time I’m writing this, it’s been downloaded 3,445,392 times!

Resize and Optimize Your Images

Resize Optimize Blog PhotosA common mistake bloggers make is that they upload large images (for example photographs taken with 16 megapixel cameras) without ever resizing or optimizing them for a computer monitor. The average blogger does not need to upload a 3.5MB image that is 3240 pixels by 4320 pixels. It will not display on most monitors. (I have a fairly good sized monitor and my display setting is 1680 px by 1050 px – for the entire screen.) Before I upload the graphics that I use for my posts, I resize them to 200 pixels wide and the average size is about 15KB (not MB). The screen-shots that I use run bigger and someone who is posting photography will probably post larger images than my graphics but they will also use smaller optimized thumbnail images that open larger images for viewing. (As always, feel free to “chime-in” in the comments and let us know whether your agree or disagree and share your tips.)

Start by determining the width of the content area where you are going to insert your image. Then, use that width as a guideline before resizing your image. For example, the width of the content area of this article is set at 655 pixels. If I were to insert an image that was larger than that width, the server (computer that I’m hosting on) would have to resize it before displaying it. So, for better performance, I always use an image editing program to resize and optimize my images for the web (compress them).

Next Steps

In this article, I covered some of the basics of how to enter some SEO data and get those images ready. In my next post, I’ll share tips with you on how I keep track of my SEO data for my blog posts. By tracking the data that is related to each article, I ensure that I don’t miss keying any important information (before I publish it). I also have that info on hand when I’m sharing my post (on sites like and tracking also provides me with an overall snapshot of the content on my blog.

Now over to you . . . What tools do you use for entering meta data into your content? Are you using a premium theme? Do you use Joost’s plugin? What tools do you use to resize and optimize your images? We’d love to hear from you.

(Update: You can read my follow up post here: Tracking Your Blog Post SEO Meta Tag Data.)

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

89 thoughts on “Tips for Bloggers | Before You Press that Publish Button”

  1. I’m more of the “write as I go” with SEO in the back of my mind. When I have more informative posts on a topic, I try a lot harder to make it SEO friendly. Also, thanks for the info on pictures. I’ll start changing the size of mine because I usually just upload the full 5MB – very large – picture.

  2. @Sherryl,

    I see you have covered some required tips above. I think Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress is what all we need when it comes to writing seo friendly blog posts. As many of us already know; it allows us to enter a focus keyword, and then it will tell us if we have any reference of this keyword in title, heading, description etc…

    It will also tell us if our blog post is poor, o.k, or good, in terms of search engine friendliness. The best part is; this plugin is still free (and i hope it will).

    As far as re-sizing image is concerned; i have read a blog post yesterday, where the blogger mentioned about ‘Smush it’. Its an WordPress plugin, and can help compressing images for web. This will improve overall page load time, which is good for both blog readers and also search engine crawlers.
    Fred D recently posted..Airtel 3G Speed versus BSNL EVDOMy Profile

  3. You are absolutely correct Sherryl, I have personally come across a lot of blogs which have oversized images in them. I would agree that without an image the expression is not complete but if the image overtakes the content then the visitors get an impression of the bloggers ignorance, which is not good for the blog’s future.

  4. It is not required to mention the need of SEO in online marketing today, it is the backbone of internet marketing. These small things like meta tags, texts, headings and images affect the seo rankings to a great extent, so they must be dealt with care.

  5. Pio,
    When I started blogging, I didn’t pay much attention to keywords either. It’s a common newbie mistake. I still write without concentrating on them and then tweak my article before I publish it. (Although now I have several keywords that I blog about quite a bit so they’re always on the top of my mind.)

    The tip that I mentioned about using your keywords in your “headings” really helped me increase the amount of traffic that I get organically from search engines.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Your Blog Post SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

  6. Another great article, Sherryl. Blogging is tough enough for most of us. Applying all the tweaking gives us better SEO results, but it can make the whole process overwhelming. Thank goodness for people like you, who can help us along.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..take heed and listen to the signsMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the kind words Doreen. You’ve come a long way optimizing your sites for the search engines. SEO becomes a habit after a while but it can definitely be overwhelming. I try to gently reinforce the tips that could help the greatest number of bloggers. Once people start noticing the results, then maybe they can move on to another tip or strategy. It’s a learning process for all of us. 🙂

  7. Hi Sherryl,

    Its quite practical that we as a reader are put out by grammatical mistakes. Thus we must take utmost care before hittting the publish button. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Hey Sherryl you have mentioned helpful tips in your article but I am afraid many of us don’t use them which results in making mistakes. I think there are so many things you need to take care of which saves you from making blunders in front of public. Thanks for the post.

  9. Great post. For large images, I suggest photoshop to open them and using save for web option to convert them to jpeg or gift format. That way, you can reduce the image size drastically.

  10. Any images I upload to my site I tend to either use Gimp or Paint. Depending on what I want to do. If its a simple resize I tend to use Paint as its quick and easy. If the images need editing in anyway then Gimp is free and as good as Paintshop Pro

  11. Great points to remember, this will be a huge realization for people like me who commits several mistakes. Proofreading is very beneficial,simple grammatical error can cause a great loss to the blog. Good post, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Jack,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. I like to draft my post in a word processor first and then paste it into WP admin. I’m not a fan of the grammar check but the spell checker is a great tool. I also use the find/search tool to check for keywords after I’m done writing. Sometimes, I’ll find that I’ve overused a keyword or not incorporated enough of them.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Your Blog Post SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

  12. I believe everything on the web is done from a perspective of SEO, so it should always be taken care of. And I also admit that while working we all make mistakes, it is very much human, but there is no harm in checking things before publishing them. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Karlon,
      I have a laundry list of things to check before I click on that publish button. My reason for creating the Word document (that I posted today) was to have a checklist of sorts so that my SEO data was complete before I published it. In the early days, I missed a key meta tag and there’s really no way of going back. Once the search engines have crawled a post, what are the chances of that missing data being picked up the next time around? It’s best to get it right the first time.

      Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this.

  13. Sherryl, thank you. I have been trying to understand the meta tag from my geek son’s explanation. thanks I need your input.I write from my heart, then I work at exchanging wrods so they get picked up by the seo. My son has been helping me, so I am improving.

    1. Hi Malika,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. Today, I published my folllow-up article on how I track my meta tag data in a word processing document.
      (The link is below.) You may find that helpful as well. Maintaining a document like the one that I suggest creating can help you not forget to enter data and get an overall snapshot of the SEO on your site too.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Your Blog Post SEO Meta Tag DataMy Profile

  14. Hi Sherryl,
    Your picture tip is so timely! Thanks so much for these points, I appreciate them. Do you use a SEO plugin of any kind? We are using Yoast and it really helps to ensure that all the fields are optimized.
    Thank you!

  15. I always try to preview my posts several times before I publish them. Proofread the post, If you’re linking out to products, other sites, your photographer or an image source, double check each hyperlink is working correctly.

    1. Hi Janet,
      I always double check my hyperlinks too. I want to make sure not only that they work but that they open in a new target window. Sometimes, people forget to check that off and they end up sending people away from their site. I also check to make sure that I’ve entered a title for the hyperlink. It’s one more opportunity to enter a keyword rich description that the search engines will “read”.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time to Tweak Your Twitter StrategyMy Profile

  16. Great information, I’m more of the “write as I go” with SEO in the back of my mind. When I have more informative posts on a topic, I try a lot harder to make it SEO friendly. Also, thanks for the info on pictures. I’ll start changing the size of mine because I usually just upload the full 5MB – very large – picture.

  17. Hey Sherryl,

    I agree with you about this one. Now I have Thesis so my SEO is built in and I also include the meta tag data in every post. I also add the right title to my images as well as resizing them. That’s just become second nature with me. I admit though that I don’t always write for the search engines but at least I do include all of this.

    I do get a lot of traffic from the search engines though so I’m killing two birds with one stone. Yay!!!

    Great points to remember and some I know a lot of people probably aren’t doing. This will be a huge eye opener for them.

    Thanks Sherryl!

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Access Your Passwords EasilyMy Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,
      That’s great that you get a lot of organic search traffic. SEO being “second nature” is paying off for both of us. It does become a habit.

      I don’t write for the search engines either. When I first started blogging, I didn’t pay much attention to keywords at all and my lack of traffic from searches reflected that. Once I did a little keyword research and identified a few long-tail keywords, it just became a habit to start using them in my writing. I’m working on article now that is going to touch on the document that I keep track of my posts in. When I started maintaining that, it was like a light bulb went off and I could see the big picture of the SEO I used in my posts.

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Gets Social | How to Use Social to Get More out of SearchMy Profile

  18. I would have to agree with you about making sure we check out content. Both the grammar but also those seo points as well. I notice that when I get into my writing, I forget about the seo angle and have to go back and re-write sentences so then the keywords actually make sense. Thanks for the reminder and that plugin.

    1. Hi Jordan,
      When I first started blogging, I didn’t think much about SEO either. Back then, the majority of my traffic was coming from referrals and direct links. That can be great traffic but it can be difficult to grow. Since I started paying more attention to SEO, it’s become a bit of a habit and the amount of traffic that I get from organic searches has increased significantly. I value my referral traffic because visitors tend to stay on my site longer and come back but search traffic is also valuable and I find it easier to generate.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and joining the conversation. Good luck with Yoast’s plugin too. If you need help getting started with it, there’s a lot online to point you in the right direction.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Encourage Reader Interaction On Your Blog & Reap Numerous BenefitsMy Profile

  19. Hi Sherryl,

    This is my first visit via BizSugar. I really enjoyed reading all your tips.

    I am using SEOPressor for all my onpage optimization. It really helps me to do things quickly 😉

    Amrik Virdi

    1. Hi Amrik,
      Thanks for visiting my blog via BizSugar. (I’ll look for you there.) Also, thanks for mentioning SEOPressor. (I honestly was not familiar with it.) I see that it’s a premium plugin and $47 for a single site license seems reasonable based on the reviews. (I recognize many of the bloggers who have left praises on their site.) I don’t feel that I need this plugin at the moment but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for the future.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 6 SEO and Social Media How-To Posts of 2012My Profile

  20. Hi Sherryl,
    All helpful info and thanks for mentioning the BizSugar community. I think keeping track of this information long term is extremely important not just for SEO purposes but also for brand building. It’s helpful to know where you’ve been and where you’re going so that your content evolves with the needs and response of your audience over time.
    Heather Stone recently posted..Measurement – A Reminder from Bill GatesMy Profile

    1. Hi Heather,
      You bring up a good point about the importance of tracking the keywords that we’re optimizing our site for and brand building. For example, I blog a lot about SEO and social media. Those words are in my categories and meta-tags. I also use those words as hashtags when I tweet. Knowing which keywords I want to rank for and consistently using them has significantly helped increase my traffic from organic searches.

      As for BizSugar, I’ve been a fan for a long time. It’s a great source of valuable traffic (to learn from and to share) and it’s also a good source of referral traffic. Contributing to BizSugar is a win-win for me and I encourage other bloggers to check it out.

  21. Sherryl, I love the Yoast plug-in for SEO. I have done SEO on 2 retail sites for years and it was all done manually. I love the Yoast plug-in for my WordPress blogs as it makes it so easy and it helps you to be better at SEO. And once you are done with SEO you are not really done, you have to check weekly or monthly in your Webmaster tools. Just finished doing mine for hours. It’s so much work but worth it if you can rank on first page, right? It’s interesting to see how keywords change over time too. As for proofreading I love to proofread mine after I hit publish on my smartphone – it’s easier to catch things that way even after proofing on the screen before hitting publish.
    Lisa recently posted..How Do Blog Comments Help Your Blog’s SEO?My Profile

    1. Hi Lisa,
      You bring up a good point about checking Google Webmaster tools. I checked mine a couple of days ago and was surprised to find some crawl errors and a problem with my robots text file. (I moved my site to a new host a month ago and had relied on the WP robots file.) After checking out an article on Yoast’s blog, I created a new file based on his recommendations. I also recreated my xml site map and submitted that too. There’s always something to do!

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience with SEO with us. It’s always good to hear from other bloggers like you.

  22. This was a great article for the “I’m trying to take my blog to the next level” blogger. Still trying to make sense if meta tags and SEO and will check out your article on that as well.

    1. Hi Alisha,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my article helpful. I just followed you on Twitter and I tried to check out your blog but it wouldn’t load for me. (I’ll have to try again later.) If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Also, you (and a few other readers here) might wonder why most of the people have their profile pics showing when they leave a comment. You can easily set one up yourself by visiting and registering the email address that you comment with. (I hope to see your smiling face soon!)
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Thanks to SEO a Newspaper Reporter in Pennsylvania Found my BlogMy Profile

  23. that’s really cool stuff its useful for beginner .This post was very insightful and I really enjoy reading your tips. I am so glad I have found this blog and I can not wait to read more of your posts on here. thanks your post is very informative . thanks alot dear .

  24. Having a user friendly permalink will also help to get more searches for the keyword. Better check the permalink too before publishing.

  25. Hi Sherryl, these are some great little tips for any blogger.

    I think I can count myself in the same camp as you when it comes to SEO. I always write for the readers of any blog and if I can SEO it up a bit then that’s a bonus. Content should never be sacrificed for the importance of SEO; there is no point forcing square pegs into round holes.

  26. Proofreading is very necessary before publishing & leave some room for readers to add something to the post. Really a very nice and detailed post,you have covered all the topics that are necessary to be kept in mind before publishing. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I have thought about giving Yoast SEO a try, but I have SEO All in One installed on my sites already. I hear great things about it, and if or when I start another project I will try it out.

    One of the things I see fairly often that you mentioned is people use full or large original images. They have a big image but they are displaying a little 200×200 thumbnail. It still loads the full image size, but displays it small. It can be a huge waste of bandwidth and load time especially if there are many of them. I just saw one that was well over 200 KB’s that could have been 20 KB’s or less. Now image if there were 10 of them on a page. With Firefox if you right click on an image and choose view image info if it says “scaled to” in the dimensions it usually means a much bigger image is being loaded.

    I see quite a few sites that have 2 MB’s to 4 MB’s per page load, which is quite a bit. I know internet speed is fairly fast, but I try to shoot for 500 KB’s to 1 MB’s unless I happen to include a lot of images in a long post.
    Ray recently posted..How to Manually Install WordPress Step by StepMy Profile

    1. Ray,
      Thanks for sharing your observations with us. It’s good to hear from other readers that (as website visitors) we do recognize when sites are loading slowly due to image size. It definitely can have a negative impact on our overall experience.

      As for your SEO plugin, you may have seen an article that I wrote about the “SEO Data Transporter Plugin”. If you do decide to switch to the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” plugin, you can easily transfer the data from the “All in One SEO Pack”. (You can find that article here:

  28. Good tips Sherryl and I am lucky my theme has inbuilt SEO so it saves adding another plugin. I like your tips about images as my theme has setting I should use I haven’t got around to using them in the best way.

    1. Hi Susan,
      You know I’m in the same camp with you when it comes to not wanting to load any more plugins. Lots of people don’t optimize their images for the search engines. So, it does give those of us who do a bit of an advantage. Thanks for dropping by and weighing in on this.

  29. I have the All-in-one-Seo pack, but I’ve heard Yoast is better. I still am hit and miss with applying SEO, but it is gradually becoming more of a habit. When I used to post more travel photos, I got a lot more traffic due to filling out the SEO boxes on the uploaded images. I’ve used a plug-in called Smush-It to further strip down my already compressed images, but I think it’s past its prime and no longer updated, so it doesn’t work as it should. I’d like to go with a premium theme someday and hopefully that will cut-down on the number of plug-ins I have.
    Jeri recently posted..JeriWB Writes: Such is Life (My Short Story Collection)My Profile

    1. It sounds like you’re definitely on the right track Jeri. Thanks for letting everyone know that optimizing your images for the search engines resulted in more organic search traffic. It’s always good to hear from people who can verify that a strategy has achieved the results they were expecting. In the future, if you decide to switch plugins, you can use the “SEO Data Transporter Plugin” to transfer the SEO data from the “All in One SEO” plugin to Yoast’s plugin. I wrote about it here:

  30. Hi, Sherryl. I use Yoast’s SEO plugin, for my own blogs and for my clients. I find it is a good fill-in-the-blank solution to the nagging question of what should I do with each post or page to optimize SEO. Instead of thinking, oh, yeah, I should do something about SEO, you just fill out the form on the bottom, and it helps you to think more clearly about what you want to accomplish.
    Leora recently posted..Local SEO in 2013My Profile

    1. Thanks for letting us know Leora. I use Thesis so I don’t use Yoast’s plugin on my site but I use it on client sites too. It does an excellent job and Joost maintains it. The WordPress community is fortunate to have it available to us.

  31. Sherryl, This post could not have come at a better time! I just discovered a few days ago that I had “relapsed” on filling out my SEO data. I had done it for photos but not for blog posts–going back quite a few posts. I’m trying to catch up on at least some of them, but I discovered I had forgotten some of the principles. I’m going to reread your previous articles on SEO tips. At least I have been optimizing my photos using a web optimizer! So I’ve kept up some of the skills you helped me with.

    This is a great topic. I know you’ve written on it before, but it deserves periodic revisiting. Thanks!

    1. Judy, Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. Sometimes, I wonder if I may be repeating myself but I know there are always new readers who could benefit and I try to bring a slightly different slant when I approach it again. It’s good to hear that my articles also serve as a gentle reminder too.

      That’s great that you’ve been optimizing your photos. Many people ‘t do that. Since the search engines don’t “see” images, it really does help to fill out that meta data.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Use SEO to Improve Your Website Ranking in GoogleMy Profile

  32. There are so many bloggers that do not proofread, that is a shame because the misspelling or misuse of a word can really turn a reader off. If you are claiming to be an expert this hurts your credibility.

    1. Anita,
      Are you just getting started blogging? I think everyone has their moment when things get overwhelming. If you let me know what you need help with, I may be able to point you in the right direction.

      Are you on LinkedIn? If you are, you may be interested in joining the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group. It’s an eclectic group there and most everyone is open to helping each other. (There are a few self-promoters there but where aren’t they?) Questions are encouraged and you’re bound to make some new friends there. Several of the bloggers who comment here are members of that group and I’m the manager. (So, I’ll accept your request to join. 🙂 )
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Time to Tweak Your Twitter StrategyMy Profile

    1. Richard,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. I checked out your blog post and I noticed that if I click on your images, it opens another page of that image. You may not want that. It happens because you have left the URLs of your images in the link fields.. You may want to edit your images and select “None” for the “Link URL”. That way, your website visitors aren’t directed away from the page.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips for Optimizing Photos and Graphics for Your BlogMy Profile

  33. Sherryl – another excellent post. Something I hadn’t done until recently (and maybe I got the tip from you) was to change the URL of an image so that it links to a page within my WP website. Then if someone clicks on the image s/he is taken to that page instead of an enlarged version of the image. It’s probably a subject for another post, but with more people accessing the web on their smart phones, it’s important to have your website formatted for the web. There are quite a few companies with programs to do this. I happen to use Network Solutions.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Do Community Managers and Social Media Managers Have Different Roles?My Profile

  34. Oh, my fault, I’m the one who never pay attention to image size((( I always so careful about SEO, I would reread 1000 times the article before publishing… But images…
    Thanks for the great article. As always extremely informative and helpful!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Catarina. Your topics are always so interesting and timely that I’m sure optimizing for the search engines must help your site rank well.

  35. I still need a regular reminder to do this stuff. I started using a WP plugin to help. It does not do it all, but it helps me remember.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      After a while, a lot of what we do becomes a habit but if I don’t write something down or check something off, I’m liable to miss something. For example, I upload my main post images using the media library and one of the steps is to attach my image to my post. I don’t have that simple step on my checklist (yet) and I forgot to do it before I published this post. (That will probably come back to haunt me.)

      Do you recommend the plugin that you’re using? It could be helpful to other readers to know what it is.

      1. It’s called “Word Press SEO by Yoast”. It has a cool little button / icon that changes color depending on whether or not your post has good SEO aspects. It gives you detailed reporting right on your screen about what it finds so that you know what items to fix. It has helped me a lot. It is not a cure all by any means, but it is a good reminder.

        1. Cheryl, That’s the plugin that I recommended. That’s great that you’re using it. Thanks for letting everyone know that you’re using it and that you find it helpful.

  36. Hi Sherryl,
    Its very Important to proofread before hitting publish button, but many bloggers commit mistakes in their post and then they get comments that you misspelled that word or your link not working etc etc..

    1. Hi Nishant,
      That’s a good point. Proofreading is a must. What we post online is a part of the professional image that we project. I personally would never point out a misspelled word (or the misuse of your and you’re which really drives me nuts) in a comment but if I knew the blogger, I would contact them privately. If it was someone who consistently misspelled words or made grammatical errors, I probably wouldn’t stick around long enough to get to know them. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

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