COS-General

How can I optimize my pages for SEO?

Last updated: May 4, 2016

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Product: HubSpot Marketing
Subscription: Basic, Professional, & Enterprise
 
This on-page Search Engine Optimization guide will help you to optimize your website pages and give you the best chance of being found by your target market.
 
Remember that completing all of these steps and creating new optimized content on a weekly basis is critical to achieving long-term success with SEO.


Step 1: Choose Keywords

Read the pages content and identify two keywords that are most relevant to the overall page content. Choose one primary keyword relevant to the page’s content and one variation of that keyword (e.g. plural variation or two closely related keywords) per page. If you can’t identify one primary keyword for a page, you should create new website pages to separate the content. If it’s not clear to you what the page is about, it likely won't be clear to visitors and search engines either.
 

Step 2: Page Title

The page title appears as the blue, bolded, underlined text on a Google search results page and is also displayed on the tab in your browser. Your page title should follow these guidelines: 
  • The title should be under 70 characters with no more than two long-tail keywords.
  • The primary keyword should appear first.
  • Each keyword phrase should be separated by a vertical line or pipe (e.g. Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword).
  • Each page title on your website should be unique.
  • Except for your homepage and contact us page, your page title should NOT include your business name.

Step 3: Meta Description

The meta description appears on a Google search results page under the Page Title. This description helps people decide to click on your result, as opposed to a result above or below you. Think of it as a call-to-action. The meta description should follow these guidelines:

  • Optimally, should be between 150 and 160 characters.
  • Include the primary keyword and at least one secondary keyword
  • Provide a valuable, compelling reason for why someone should visit the page
  • Include keywords in a conversational format; don’t just cram in keywords for the sake of listing them

Step 4: URL

The website pages URL should include the primary keyword. Each word in the URL should be separated using dashes (-). e.g. www.examplesite.com/inbound-marketing-software.

Step 5: Heading Tags

The page should have one H1 heading tag that incorporates the primary keyword, and should align with the page title and the URL of the page. This H1 tag should appear at the top of the page and should be the first thing people see when they arrive on a page.

Step 6: Page Content

Use your primary keyword a few times throughout the pages content. Don’t overthink keyword density or placement; you should mention them naturally. Try to bold or underline the keyword at least once. This has an effect on how relevant the keyword is to the page. Also mention the secondary keywords when you can.

Step 7: Add a Call-to-Action

Every website page, including your blog, should have at least one call-to-action above the page’s fold (don’t make your website visitor scroll down to see the call to action). Calls-to-action can help SEO by creating an internal link on your website to a specific landing page. Most calls-to-action are images; therefore you can optimize the image file name and alt text for the primary keyword youre targeting on the page (see step 9).

Step 8: Internal Links

If you mention the primary keyword of this page on other pages within your site, then link to this page using the primary keyword as the anchor text. For example, you should link to a page about inbound marketing software using the anchor text “inbound marketing software.” It's recommended that you create one or two links on pages with related content that link back to the page you’re optimizing.

Step 9: Images

Any images used on the page should be optimized so that search engines can “read” the image. Optimize the most prominent image on the page using the primary keyword and then use the primary and secondary keywords for any other images. Images can be optimized in two ways:

  • File name: Each word should be separated by dashes (-), e.g. inbound-marketing-software.jpg
  • ALT text: The alt text should match the file name, without dashes, e.g. Inbound Marketing Software.