How to Post a Top-Tier Article on WordPress

We here at Affiliate Engine strive to provide consistently high-quality content for our readers. This applies to not only the info provided, but also how it is presented. The following steps explain how to post a top-tier article on WordPress.

One of the tools we use to ensure our content is in its best form is the Yoast SEO plugin. We’ll cover how to utilize it later on in this article.

First, let’s go over our formatting standards.

Step 1 of How to Post a Top-Tier Article on WordPress – Formatting

WordPress will automatically mark the first block of text as the title. However, the headings need to be individually configured. 

Headings

The major section headings should be H2 heading blocks, while any subsections within them are H3

The title and all section headings should be in Title Case. Title case may have a few odd-seeming rules, but this Title Case Converter can handle it for you. Just copy and paste the heading into it, ensure the options are configured correctly, and hit convert. It has a nice little button to copy the results, making it easy to paste over the heading in the other tab.

If the post-to-be was written in a compatible word processor like Google Docs, it will carry over its existing formatting. This also includes things like bulleted lists and links.

Speaking of links, always use relevant anchor text for them. Google puts more weight on the SEO generated by links based on the keywords in their anchor text. Putting links on click here doesn’t do you, or your reader, much good. 

Make sure every link to different sites uses unique anchor text. Sending the same keyword to different sites is detrimental for SEO.

Also, make the anchor text bold, so it stands out a little extra. This helps readers that are skimming through the article find them again.

Last, but not least, configure every link to open in a new tab. Simply clicking on the link in WordPress will bring up a little menu. The very first option is ‘Open in new tab’. Thanks to the Yoast SEO plugin, it is followed by the options for ‘nofollow’ and ‘sponsored’.

The nofollow and sponsored options are for niche purposes. 

Use nofollow when you don’t want your external link to give the target site any SEO credit. For example; when you want to reference something that neither you as a creator nor the site you represent endorses. 

The sponsored link tag is for paid guest posts or ad links, as Google doesn’t look kindly on treating them like natural links.

Step 2 of How to Post a Top-Tier Article on WordPress – Post Settings

The WordPress menu off to the right, just under that not-yet-ready-to-be-clicked publish button, has several options. Its two main parts are ‘Post’ and ‘Block’. 

Block will let you customize individual components. 

Meanwhile, Post will handle the overall settings for the, well, post.

As you likely guessed already from the heading title, we need to configure some post settings:

  • Author – When you’re managing a site that has multiple contributors, you should give credit where it’s due.
  • Categories – Organizing your content helps both you as a creator and your readers.
  • Tags – While categories are more general, applying tags will help you organize further.
  • Featured Image – A relevant picture helps attract attention and is good for SEO. Details on getting and configuring the image are below. Check out this People’s Eyes Optimization article if you want to know more about why you should include art assets in your posts.
  • Excerpt – A sentence or two summarizing the overall post. I typically use the meta description, which we’ll cover in the plugin section.

When selecting an image to use, be mindful of its ownership rights. Just because an artist posted their work online doesn’t mean they’re okay with people reposting it willy-nilly. You should only use art assets that either you made yourself, are royalty-free, are available for commercial use, or you bought the rights to.

There are a lot of free–and not-so-free–websites for usable artwork. Some that I have personally used are Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels.

Once you have chosen an art asset, you should resize it so it displays properly. WordPress displays the featured image as 1200px by 628px. If you don’t adjust it yourself, it gets smooshed and stretched accordingly. I do it in Paint 3D, but just about any image manipulation program should give you options to resize while stretching, maintain aspect ratio, and turn those settings off to trim the edges.

When you click on the featured image field, the first thing to pop up is the existing media library. However, you’ll need to go over to ‘Upload files’ in the top left to add your chosen art asset to the library. 

Once it is uploaded and marked with a checkmark, fill in the alt-text, title, and description for it. Be sure to include the keywords for the post within these fields.

Once all of this is done, it’s finally time to put that Yoast SEO plugin to use.

Step 3 of How to Post a Top-Tier Article on WordPress – Yoast SEO Plugin 

You could check manually for everything the plugin does without its help. However, it improves efficiency and catches the things you might have otherwise missed.

Our focus is on the first two tabs; SEO and Readability. We want both of these features marked in green before posting. The SEO tab is fairly plugin-specific. However, everything under the readability tab is a guideline that your content creator should follow to make the best piece possible.

SEO

Before the plugin can do its job, you need to tell it what it’s looking for. The focus keyphrase is part, if not all, of the title. For example; the 5 Reasons to Avoid Unlimited Residential Proxies article doesn’t need the number 5 in its keyphrase.

Moving forward, the slug. it’s fine to just use your keyword phrase. In instances wherein you have a long title, you can trim it down further. But, this is purely optional.

Next up is the aforementioned meta description. This is that little bit of teaser text you sometimes see next to links in search engine results telling you about the page. 

You want to keep the description around 150 characters long and include the keyphrase. Typically, I use a trimmed-down version of the introduction. Rather than aiming to fill the bar displayed underneath, you want to focus on making it green.

Once this is all set up; hopefully, the plugin is giving you a green smiley face. If it isn’t, you need to go over the analysis results to figure out what needs improving. Chances are, the keyphrase isn’t included in the content enough times, which is something the writer should have done. It should be in the introduction, closing, at least one heading, and repeated in general.

One of the reasons I mentioned setting up the featured image before the plugin is because it heavily weighs its presence. The plugin will be cranky until that picture is uploaded and has its text filled in.

However, you don’t need everything to be perfect. There will usually be a few problems left over as far as the plugin is concerned. But, as long as it gives a happy green smiley overall, it’s fine.

Readability

Much like the SEO tab, the readability tab needs to be green. But, a few residual problems are okay.

If the article is formatted properly and written with clarity in mind, you shouldn’t need to make any changes. However, even veteran content creators can make mistakes. If the mistakes are especially egregious, consider asking the creator to do a rewrite with notes on what’s wrong.

The main focus of the readability tab is the Flesch reading ease score. This is a rating from 0 to 100. Low scores mean the text is excessively complex, while high scores mean it’s easy to read. It’s improved by using shorter sentences and words with fewer syllables. 

This word counter will show your average sentence length, which you want at 17 or lower. It also covers average syllables, which should be under 147 syllables per 100 words. It gives a few other breakdowns too, including its Flesch reading ease score once you scroll down enough.

The plugin wants a score of 60 or higher, which a junior high school student could understand. If everything else is good, you can get away with a floor of 50. This puts the content at about high school level.

The other aspects apart from the reading score are:

  • Word Counts – No sections over 300 word count. If a section grows too large, it should be split into more subheadings. Similarly, there shouldn’t be any paragraphs over 150 words long. Lastly, sentences should stay under 20 words.
  • Transition Words – Over 30% of the sentences should include a transition word.
  • Passive Voice – Over 90% of the content should be in the active voice. This passive voice detector can help your writer before the final editing phase.
  • Consecutive Sentences – Never have 3 or more sentences start with the same word. Headings are included in this count.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these explanations are enough to answer any questions you may have about how to post a top-tier article on WordPress. If not, feel free to leave a comment below.

Now that you’re familiar with the detailed breakdown, here’s a condensed checklist for quick future reference:

  1. Title and headings in title case.
  2. Main headings H2, subheadings H3.
  3. Links in bold and configured to open in a new tab.
  4. Set up Post – 
    1. Author
    2. Categories
    3. Tags
    4. Featured Image –
      1. Royalty-free art sources – Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels.
      2. 1200px x 628px.
      3. Keywords in alt-text, title, and description.
    5. Excerpt
  5. SEO Plugin – 
    1. SEO – 
      1. Set the keyword phrase.
      2. Slug containing the keyword phrase.
      3. Meta description ~150 chars and includes the keyword phrase.
    2. Readability – 
      1. Flesch reading ease score is above 60. Word count tool.
      2. Sections < 300wc, paragraphs < 150wc, sentences < 20wc.
      3. Transition words in > 30% of sentences.
      4. Passive voice in < 10% of sentences.
      5. Consecutive sentence first-word varies every >2 sentences, including headings.

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About Geminel

Geminel is a multi-format author, but is even moreso a giant nerd. With how many times they’ve fallen into several-hour-long research sprees just to accurately present a one-line joke, they realized they should probably use this power for good. To see their creative work, visit their personal site at: Team Gem

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