TUTORIAL: How to search engine optimize (SEO) a page on your website
You know how to use the Keywords tool to identify which keywords are good for optimization. Now what do you do with them to start ranking?
1. Understand how website optimization works
Google and other search engines look at specific elements of your website pages to determine what that page is all about. Your job is to tell them by incorporating your target long-tail keyword into each of these elements. Remember; don't tell Google that a page is about a general, difficult keyword. Tell them each page is about a long-tail, easy to rank for keyword.
2. Choose a website page to optimize
First, choose one of your website pages to optimize while going through this tutorial. Log into HubSpot and navigate to that page.
3. Choose primary target keywords for each page
Read the page’s content and identify two (2) or three (3) keywords that are most relevant to the overall page topic. Then use the Keywords tool to determine which long-tail keyword variations to target based on a balance between high monthly search and low difficulty. Don’t be afraid of lower monthly searches though, especially when you’re first starting out. The key is targeting keywords that have little competition, yet as high a search volume as possible.
Choose one (1) primary target keyword based on the primary focus of the page. If you can’t identify one primary keyword for a page, then you’ll need to create new website pages to separate the concepts. For example, if you have one page that talks about both Twitter and Facebook, then take out the Facebook content and create a new page just about Facebook.
4. Optimize the page title
The page title appears as the blue, bolded, underlined text on a Google search results page, as well as on the top of a user’s browser bar. The page title should follow these guidelines:
- Be under 70 characters with no more than 3 long-tail keywords per page title
- The primary target keyword should appear first
- Each keyword phrase should be separated by pipes (|)
- Each page title on your website should be unique
- Except for your homepage, each page title does NOT need to incorporate your company name
To optimize the page title of a HubSpot-hosted page, click Page Properties at the top of the page.
5. Optimize the page URL
The website page’s URL should include the primary target keyword. Use as few levels as possible. Each word in the URL should be separated using dashes (-). e.g. www.examplesite.com/inbound-marketing-software.
6. Optimize the meta description
The meta description appears on a Google search results page under the Page Title. The meta description should follow these guidelines:
- Be under 150 characters (but not under 100 characters; take advantage of the space you have)
- Incorporate the primary target 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
7. Optimize meta keywords
They aren’t part of Google’s or Bing’s search algorithm, so they aren’t as important as steps 1-6. However, still add three (3) to five (5) meta keywords to the page that are related to the page title and content. Smaller search engines still might use them in their algorithm.
8. Optimize heading tags
The page should have one H1 heading tag that incorporates the primary target keyword, and should align with the page title. This H1 tag should live near the top of the page. In addition to an H1 tag, the page should include a couple of H2 headings underneath the H1 tag that incorporate the primary target keyword.
On your webpage, the H1 heading tag will be the large bolded font above your primary content module. Modify this header to include your target primary keyword for this page.
9. Optimize page content
Use your primary target keyword a few times throughout the page’s content. Don’t overthink keyword density or placement; 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.
10. Create internal links
If you mention the primary target keyword of this page on other pages within your site, link to this page using the primary target keyword as the anchor text. For example, you should link to a page about inbound marketing software using the anchor text “inbound marketing software.” To make sure this is completed, take a moment to create one (1) or two (2) links on related pages linking back to the page you’re working on.
To create a link from one page on your website to another page, highlight the anchor text you'd like to use and then click on the link icon in the toolbar.
Then in the window that appears, select the website page on which you're targeting the keyword being used as anchor text. You can select the page from the Internal Links dropdown...
11. Optimize your 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 target keyword. Images can be optimized in two ways:
- File name: Each word should be separated with dashes (-), e.g. inbound-marketing-software.jpg
- ALT text: The alt text should match the file name, without dashes, e.g. Inbound Marketing Software
To optimize your image file name, find the image on your hard drive and modify the file name. Then re-upload the image to your website. If you are unable to change the image file name or it’s a very time consuming process, then only change the most prominent image’s alt text using the primary target keyword.
To optimize an image's alt text, edit the module that image lives in, click on that image, and then click on the image "tree" icon in the toolbar.
12. Track your progress with the Page Performance tool
You can track your optimization progress using the Page Performance tool. To learn how to use the Page Performance tool, click here.