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How to Make an SEO Friendly Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

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Having an editorial calendar for your blog simplifies and brings discipline to the process of coming up with post topics. Taking it a step further, an SEO friendly editorial calendar simplifies and brings discipline to the process of writing blog posts that support your SEO strategy.

Here is a simplified version of an SEO friendly editorial calendar format that works really well for me.
seo friendly blog editorial calendar

This hypothetical blogger with an online golf equipment store has four categories he wants to blog about.

Blog Categories. The editorial calendar lists and repeats the category group over and over, so the blogger can systematically cycle through the categories.

Blog Topics. In the next column, we drill down to specific subject matter the blogger wants to talk about within each category. For example, in the broad “Golf Equipment” category, wide selection and high quality are his two most important sales points. The calendar allows the blogger to switch off between the two themes, always having a relevant “angle” for his post.

Keyword Phrase 1. This column displays the primary keywords for each post topic. The blogger will want to incorporate them into each post, particulary as anchor text pointing to the URLs that appear in the last column – more about that in a minute. You’ll notice that the primary keyword phrases exactly match the Category labels in every case. This is not a must, but if you can do it, you’ll enhance visibility for that search term.

Keyword Phrase 2. Now we display secondary keywords, which may be “long tail,” or niche phrases that perhaps – but not necessarily – apply more specifically to the topic. For example, when the Golf Clubs topic is Drivers – “low price drivers” is selected. When the Golf Clubs topic is Sand Wedges, target phrase becomes “sand wedges on sale.” Secondary phrases usually vary more than primary phrases from topic to topic.

Target URL. The overriding goal of this blog is to drive traffic to specific landing pages of the blogger’s online store, where people can buy his stuff. Therefore, every blog post will contain links to a landing page, which will help that landing page rise to the top of the rankings for the selected search terms. We always want the store’s home page to appear prominently in searches for “golf equipment” and “shop golfing”, so the keyword emphasis and URL target for posts in the Golf Equipment category will remain constant. However, in other categories, the target URLs will vary to cover other landing pages, such as drill down product group pages and sale item pages.

You should add other columns to the spreadsheet for things like Publish Date and Author, but I hope this stripped down version gives you the gist of the idea. A little time spent on planning up front can make a world of difference in your SEO results.

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27 Responses to How to Make an SEO Friendly Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

  1. Hi Karen, Blogs are a tremendous social marketing tool – it’s a shame that so many bloggers forget to leverage the tremendous SEO power of blogs despite having rich, engaging content. Glad this helps you out.

  2. Brad, this is a great topic! I never even thought of applying SEO to an editorial calendar for a blog. It is a brilliant idea that helps maintain focus on your desired outcomes. Thanks for the tip!

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  5. Fred, An editorial guide needn’t be written in stone. I change them all the time, but having an outline allows me to get back on track … or tells me to build a new track. Things always come up that interfere with a rigid publishing schedule, so I think it’s silly to obsess about it. In other words, go with the flow, but have a flow chart.

  6. This sounds suspiciously like thinking things through ahead of time. :)
    Not only good for SEO, but a great way to keep the creative juices flowing.
    See any problems with publish dates changing or editing as plans change?

  7. Thanks Brad. I agree with Fred—this is a great creative discipline. Once you’ve written a lot of blogs and want to go backwards to fill in the calendar to see what you have done—so that future entries can fill in needed gaps–how do you look backwards easily for key words?

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  9. Kay, As you identify new, high priority keywords, you can go back and associate them with already published blog posts, then tweak the content to include them. Putting the information into the preadsheet helps you keep track of what changes you made, and when.

  10. Hi Jan, You definitely appreciate the flexibility of this calendar. If you are trying to elevate a particular blog post to the top of the rankings, in my scheme, that post becomes your target URL. You’re going to use the editorial calendar to support that target URL with new posts. For example, your new post could include a link to the target post using keyword rich anchor text.

  11. This is by far the most original and SEO inspired editorial calendar I’ve across in 10 months. Much of the usual fare about editorial calendar I’ve seen are how to create sub-topics from a main idea.

    Here you’ve categories, topic, and lo and behold – keywords and long tail keywords, with url leading to the sales landing page. Well, not every blog has that but you can replace that with something you’d like to push. A post with keyword perhaps you’d like to promote on the top of SERPs ?

    And as you’ve explained highly flexible. You can tweet it as you go. Great sharing, Brad.

  12. Hi Ashley. Glad this is helpful to you and will prove to be a time saver. Speaking of time savings, I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure all this out. :)

  13. This is a great article, Brad. I often use a spreadsheet to organize keywords I want to use, but this puts it all in a more organized form. I especially like the Category column; this is a great tool to ensure topics are covered and keywords are used.

    Thanks for sharing.


  14. Brad,

    In the world outside of SEO, there seem to me to be two kinds of people, those who plan ahead of time (as Frank said), organize their lives and get things done, and those that don’t. Generally, I would think that those in the former category generally have a much higher probility of achieving sucess than those in the latter.

    I don’t see why it should be any different with SEO. Your fictional blogger above seems to have taken an extremely disciplined approach toward planning his or her blogging schedule. I’d sure love to be the fictional owner in your example – I would say his or her online store is about to have a lot of orders to fill!

  15. Hi Andrew, I think you are exactly right. And not only can you say there are two kinds of people, there are also two kinds of attitudes. What I mean is, some business leaders make a false distinction between “creative” disciplines like marketing and “scientific” disciplines like IT. But I would argue that both functions are a blend of art and science. If you go too far in one direction or the other in a particular department, results will suffer.

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  18. make an SEO friendly editorial calendar for your blog #prsaslc

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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  20. Grace Wieber

    What an eye opener , Brad. You’ve helped this neophyte jump to the fast track. Thank you.

    • Glad it helped, Grace. Your website design and images are awesome.

      • Grace Wieber

        Thank you, Brad. It’s been a long haul. I do believe you have taught this ‘ole dog’ some new tricks. Looking forward to you newsletter. ~ Gracie

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  23. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  24. Never give bland or one-word answers, always elaborate and provide examples when
    possible. Be leery of any SEO company that does not offer this information to you or makes unreasonable guarantees regarding your SERP.
    There are numerous options available on the internet.

  25. Much appreciated Brad. I concur with Fred—this is an incredible innovative control. When you’ve composed a great deal of websites and need to go counter directionally to fill in the timetable to see what you have done—so that future passages can fill in required gaps–how do you search rearward effectively for pivotal

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