Posting on your website regularly and updating existing content are two keys to making sure that your website is healthy and ranks well on search engines. And it’s hard enough to just keep up with being consistent, but then when you add all of the SEO that needs to be done it can be a little overwhelming.
We’ve created this basic SEO webpage (or blog post) checklist for those individuals that want to make sure they’re checking all of the most important boxes when posting or updating content.
These are simple quick tips and the top things to look for, but check out our in-depth Beginner’s Guide to SEO for more!
In no specific order, here are our top 10 SEO tips for blog articles and webpages!
1. Do Your Keyword Research
It’s important to make sure you’re putting out high-quality, well-written content on your website, but one of the most important things for SEO is to do your keyword research.
Think about what you want your webpage to be found for on search engines and then make sure to use a tool such as the Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush. With their free version, you’re able to complete 10 queries each day and get a bunch of awesome data.
You want to make sure to find a balance between the number of searches being completed for your keyword (volume) and how realistic it might be for you to actually rank for the keyword (KD %; or keyword difficulty).
If you want to learn more about keyword research, check out the second chapter of our SEO Guide.
2. Keyword Optimization
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply do keyword research, but you need to make sure to optimize your content around your keywords too!
Make sure your content is satisfying the intent of the keyword you want to rank for, make sure the keyword you’re optimizing for actually makes sense for the piece of content and make sure that it is done naturally!
You don’t want to cram this keyword over and over in your content. Google will actually hurt your ranking potential for cramming content, but instead, you should be writing naturally about this keyword!
Our recommendation is to always do a Google search for the keyword you want to optimize for, and look at the other web pages ranking in the top positions. See what they have in common and make sure your content is even better!
3. Double Check Spelling & Grammar
Nothing is going to discredit your authority than your content being riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. Download Grammarly and use it often!
We also wrote a blog about common grammar mistakes and how to avoid them!
4. Over 300 Words
There is no golden rule for the number of words for your content. It can really vary depending on the purpose of the content, but as a best practice, we typically recommend making sure your pages have at the very least 300 words.
Again, do a quick Google search to see what others you’ll compete against are doing and what is working for them. 300 words might end up being only a fraction of what you actually need!
5. Use Proper Heading Tags
Make sure to use heading tags on your website to break up sections, make your content easier to digest and bring attention to what’s important. It has typically been best practice to make sure that each page you have has only one “<title>” and “<h1>” tag each that aren’t exactly the same.
From there, using “<h2>” tags, “<h3>” tags, bolded text and bullet points can go a long way for your content. It helps with readability and helps show search engines what’s important.
6. Optimize & Compress Images
This is almost always the most overlooked tip from this list. We’ll see images that are literally ten times larger than needed and they aren’t compressed either.
There isn’t an exact science for what dimension or size images need to be, but a quick Google search will typically point you in the right direction for what dimensions your images should be.
Use a tool like Canva to resize your images and export them in the format you need!
Something to think about would be that a large image at the top of your webpage is probably not going to need to be the same size as an in-text image in a blog. You’ll also get smaller images if you use a .jpg instead of a .png when you don’t need a transparent background.
Always remember to compress your images before uploading them to your website, or make sure that your website has a built-in image compression tool. We typically just compress them beforehand.
Compressing this image took a few seconds and reduced the image size by 77%!!
7. Link to Your Content
You’ll notice that we link to other blogs, guides and general pages on our website throughout this blog (and most other blogs we write too). We do this for a variety of reasons, but to quickly summarize… Linking to your other pages is going to help website visitors and search engines find the content on your website that is most relevant to them.
Don’t feel like you need to overdo it with these internal links, but it’s typically a good idea to link to a blog when you go more in-depth than what you talk about on the piece of content you’re linking from.
For example, if you want to learn more about link building on your website, we have an entire chapter from our Beginner’s Guide to SEO on it!
8. Link to Other Content
You can also link to websites that aren’t your own. Why would you want to do this? Well, links leading to other sites can also add insight to search crawlers to help understand your content.
The most common use for linking to other sites is when you’re mentioning a statistic, resource or quote from another source to cite where it came from!
It’s typically best to make sure the links leaving away from your site are opened in a new tab too. That way you can make sure your website is still up while they visit the link you provided.
9. Optimize Your Meta Titles
The title of your webpage will be a search engine’s and potential website visitor’s first step in deciding whether or not your content is what they’re looking for.
Including a keyword here is necessary, but like everything else with SEO, don’t cram here. For example, don’t use the same keyword 3 times in the title alone. Be authentic and provide any valuable information you think is needed.
10. Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
Your meta description is the area shown on a search engine results page that gives searchers a quick summary of what the web page is about.
Optimizing this area isn’t as important as it once was, since Google will sometimes put what they believe to be most relevant from your content here instead, we still make sure that this is an area that is optimized and completed.
It isn’t guaranteed that the description will change, and overall, you’ll still be able to let search engines know what you think you should be ranking for.
Something to keep in mind! If you notice a dip in your web page’s rankings right after you try and optimize them, this is normal. There are sometimes fluctuations that happen when you’re making changes to your website, but if the lower rankings stay after an extended time (we usually recommend a couple of weeks), then there may be a negative impact that you made that you should address.