So you’ve read dozens of – if not hundreds of SEO articles on the web. You’ve digested countless tips and tricks to improve your site’s SEO. You even pay your self-declared “experts” to help you develop an SEO strategy that fits your business goals.
But after all all the reading and learning and strategy it dawns on you: you have not done anything yet.
Especially when it comes to page SEO, there is no excuse to drag your feet. After all, you can determine the theme and / or goal of a particular page. You can determine the target audience for that page. You can choose which keywords and phrases you want to focus on.
The hard part, without a doubt, presents a way to organize and track all these various in-page SEO elements.
If you’ve been looking for a way like this, you’re lucky: The HubSpot marketing team has recently released an updated version of our page SEO template, an Excel document that allows you to coordinate pages and keywords and track changes – all in one place.
In the remainder of this article, we will step through this in-page SEO process using this template as a guide.
You should focus on the 12-step SEO page list
Step 1: Crawl your site
First, check all the pages on the site where the search engine is indexed. For HubSpot customers, our page performance tool (under Reporting) will allow you to do this. If you do not use HubSpot, you can try using a free tool such as Xenu’s Link Reptile.
After crawling your site and exporting the results to an Excel (or .csv) file, you should focus on three key columns: the URL (a.k.a.), the page title, and the page meta description. Copy and paste these three columns into the template.
The URL should be pasted into column B, the page title should be pasted into column C, and the description attached to column E.
Step 2: Conduct an SEO review and define your site architecture
Now that you’ve pasted the site’s basic index into your template, you need to start organizing your pages and prioritize them. You can define the location of an existing page in your site structure.
Please note whether the page is your home page (preferably only one), the main (or secondary) navigation menu, or the internal page.
Step 3: Update the URL, page title, and meta description
Check your current URL, page title, and page description to see if you need an update. This is the beauty of using templates to organize your SEO: you can learn more about your content type on the site.
Notice how columns D and F automatically calculate the length of each element. The suggested length of the page title is not more than 70 characters. (Actually, a quick and easy optimization project is to update all page titles with more than 70 characters.)
The suggested length of the page description is 150 characters. Make sure your keywords in this space are not overly repetitive. Ideally, your description will be a sentence that you can use to describe a person’s page in the conversation.
(Note: For some sites, you may also need to update your URLs, but this is not always the case and will not be included in this optimization template.)
Step 4: Build a value proposition
A very important next step, often overlooked, is the establishment of a value proposition. In column G, define the purpose of the page – and ultimately your website. The page itself should have a goal, not just a specific term.
Step 5: Define your target audience
Target_audience.png In column H, you have the opportunity to define the target audience for your pages. Is it a single buyer role or multiple roles? Keep this person in mind as you optimize your site’s pages. (Remember, you’re also optimizing for humans – not just robots.)
Step 6: Schedule a new page title
Now that you’ve recorded your existing page title and created a value proposition and target audience for each page, write a new page title (if necessary) to reflect your findings. People usually follow the “keyword phrase | context” formula. The goal of the page title is to show the purpose of the page, not superfluous.
Step 7: Add a new meta description
Your meta description should be a short, declarative statement that contains the same keywords as your page title. It should not have literal content as it appears on the page itself.
Step 8: Track the keywords and topics for each page
Target_keyword.png Sets the target keyword to the specified topic for a specific page. Define only one topic per page – This allows you to provide more in-depth details about the topic. This also means that you are only optimizing one keyword for each page.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule. Your home page is a classic example. The goal of your homepage is to explain what the entire site is, so you need a few keywords. Another exception is the overview page for services and product pages that outlines all of your products and services.
Step 9: View and edit the page content as needed
Good content needs to be thorough, clear, and provide a solution. So to attract people’s attention! Write for your target audience. Write down how you can help them. Attractive content is also error-free, so please double-check your spelling and grammar.
The goal is to have at least 500 words per page, and to format the content to make it easier to read and use titles and subtitles. Columns P through R can be used to track changes you make to the content or to record what changes need to be made.
Step 10: Merge the visual content
Content can be more than just text, so think about what visual content can be incorporated into the page (if it adds value and serves the purpose, of course). Columns S and T allow you to notice which visual elements need to be added. When adding pictures to a page, be sure to add a descriptive file name and alternate text.
Step 11: Link it
Adding links to your pages is a must, but it’s easy to overlook. If you do not already have these elements, use the U to W columns to plan these elements, or record how to improve them.
Make sure your anchor text contains more than just keywords. The goal is not to fill in as many keywords as possible, but to make it easier for users to navigate your site.
Step 12: Optimize the transformation
If you have not optimized your site to increase the number of potential customers, subscribers and / or fans, you’re attracted to … you’re doing wrong.
Columns X to AF allow you to plan conversions. Keep in mind that every page on your site leads to conversions. This means that every page on your site should contain at least one call-to-action, but many pages may have multiple calls to action. Make sure your site mixes the CTA for the different stages of the purchase funnel (the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel). (If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can even use smart content to show these specific CTAs only to people in specific sections of the funnel.)
In addition, be sure to note the conversion rate when you add, edit, or update your CTA.
Once you have completed the SEO program, implement these changes on your website or pass it on to someone for you to implement. This will take time to complete, so the goal is to work 5 to 10 pages a week.
Remember: SEO is not a complete transaction, but something you can constantly improve on. You should take this SEO template as a living, breathing document that will help guide your SEO strategy for months (or years).