On-Page SEO Template
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Using This SEO Template
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This SEO Template will let you organize your website's on-page SEO (search engine optimization). It will help you formulate a plan, make it easier to coordinate pages and keywords, and allow you to track both changes and results all in one place. To make this template easy to use, this cover sheet will break down how to use each section within the template, highlighting the nuances of the layout and while providing tips for to help you maximize your productivity using this template.
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Column A: Content Type
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The content type denotes the type of page you are working on. Is it your home page or an internal page? Is it a landing page or a blog post? A product page or a thank-you page? It's important to note which page you are editing to keep track of how the edits relate to the overall mission of that page.
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Column B: Current URL
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The current URL is something that can be entered manually or exported from a site crawler report. HubSpot's Page Performance tool (under Reports) allows you to export all indexed pages on your site. From that exported document, you can simply copy and paste the URLs. If you are not using HubSpot you can try using a free tool like Xenu's link crawler (http://xenus-link-sleuth.en.softonic.com).
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NOTE: You will inevitably have to do some sort of file clean up on this file import. In addition to the pages you want to review, most tools will export pages from your webiste that you may not want to optimize. Organize your template/spreadsheet by order of importance and focus on optimizing 5-10 pages a week based on the URL. This will allow you to pace yourself and use your time wisely on the road to optimization.
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Column C: Current Page Title
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The current page title is as simple as it sounds -- the current title of the page you have selected to optimize. Page titles can be exported with either tool mentioned above (in the "current URL" section).
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Column E: Current Page Description
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The current page description is a simple the description of your page. It is also commonly referred to as the page's meta description. Page descriptions can be exported with either tool mentioned above (in the "current URL" section).
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Column G: What's the purpose of the page?
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Define the overall goal of this page. This is something you will want to manually define (perhaps for each page or for a group of pages). Is it to provide product information, define a solution, serve as FAQ, promote an event? What's the end goal? Has the content on this page delivered that purpose?
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Column H: Who is the target audience?
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On-page SEO starts with this key concept. Your target audience, or buyer persona, is the market for whom you are writing your content. If you don't know who you are writing for, or who you are trying to attract through your SEO tactics, your content will be aimless. Clearly define which persona type each page targets.
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Column J: Edit Date
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Make a manual note of the date each time you edit a particular page. In the end you cannot edit all pages at once, so it is important to note when changes occurred -- especially if you have to report progress back to someone else, such as a boss or a client.
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Column K: New Page Title
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This is where the planning for your new SEO strategy begins. Manually note/plan new page titles for a particular page. The goal here is to lay out the purpose of the page without being redundant. Best practice for page titles is "Keyword | Keyword Variation." See an example on the optimization template.
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Column L: Page Title Length
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The length columns will make sure that you adhere to certain character limits. The recommended length for page titles is 70 characters. This temlate automatically calculates page length for you.
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TIP: A quick and easy way to kick off your optimization project is to update all page titles longer than 70 characters.
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Column L: New Page Description
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Enter your new page description. Descriptions should be one short, declarative sentence that incorporates your keyword -- which you laid it out in your page title -- in some form. The page content should not just repeat verbatim the content you have it on the page itself.
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Column N: Page Description Length
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The length columns will make sure that you adhere to certain character limits. This will automatically be calculated for you. The recommended length for page titles is 150 characters.
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Column O: Target Keyword
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Think of your target keyword as the designated topic for a particular page. Define only one topic per page. This allows you to go more in depth and provide detailed information. This means that you are also only optimizing for one keyword per page.
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NOTE: There a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, your home page would be a potential candidate for multiple target keywords. The goal of your home page is to explain what your entire website/business, and you may need a few keywords (four typically) to do that.
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Column P: Content
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Aim to have at least 500 words per page. Your content needs to be thorough, clear and provide solutions. Again, write for your target audience. How can you help them? Compelling content is also error free - check spelling and grammar. Format content to make it easier to read and digest.
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Column Q: Header
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Define what you will use as a header to introduce your content. Formatting your headers helps make content easier to read and digest. It also provides visual cues to your readers and search engines. Typically the very first header is an H1, or header one, on a page. However, if you have clearly defined the purpose of the page somewhere at the top, you may not need to strictly follow this design rule.
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Column R: Subheaders
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Subheaders serve the same purpose as headers, but to introduce sub-sections of your content. Use sub-headers to visually break up your content into smaller bite size chunks.
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Columns S-T: Images
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Another great visual cue to offer your readers is an image. An image on your page is a great anchor and draw to your content, particularly for blog posts. Ensure the image is relevant, related to your content and large enough to draw interest. Aditionally, name the image file appropriately. Includea keyword and context with your image name. For instance, opt for a descriptive "keyword_and_how_it_relates.jpg" rather than "image123.jpg". Provide an alt text description whenever possible.
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Columns U-V: Internal links
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Anytime you include references to other sources or pages in your content, you need to provide a link to that referring source - whether it is your own content or an external source. When you link to outside sources you have the option of passing SEO credit or not. If you decide not to pass credit, that link becomes "no-follow" link. A "no-follow" link means a search engine crawler will not follow that URL/link. However, as long as the site is reputable, the best practice is to provide SEO credit to that source as you link to it. Linking to other pages is used to cite sources and to provides more in-depth information. For instance, if you have an overview page where the goal is just to highlight and briefly touch upon a subject, and you have a deeper internal page that goes into more detail, it makes sense to link to that internal page from your overview. The text you use to create the hyperlink is called the anchor text. Often, you'll see the words "click here" or "read more" as anchor text. That works when appropriate, however, whenever possible naturally incorporate a few words (ideally including a keyword) to the referring page.
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Column W: Social Media Sharing
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How people use your content is a critical factor of a page's performance, and social media sharing is a big component of your site SEO. Make it easy for people to share your content by including share links in a visible place.
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Column AA: Calls-to-action
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Every page of your website is a conversion opportunity. To make this possible, include at least one call-to-action on every page. Many pages may have multiple calls-to-action. When possible include a call-to-action at each stage of the buying funnel - top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). As you add or edit/update calls-to-action (perhaps making them more relevant), be sure to also note conversion rate changes.
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Column AG: Notes
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Make notes if needed. You may want to note if a page needs to be updated entirely because the content is out of date. Or perhaps a topic needs to be explained further and thus you want to blog more about it. Note if a page needs to be movedm if the URL changes, or if a 301 redirect needs to be set up. It's a good place to track to-dos.
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How To Use This Template
Optimization Template
Keyword Research
 
 
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