When adding new content to a website there are often questions around how to best optimize the new page or blog post. That's where we come in! We've compiled this simple and easy-to-follow SEO Checklist for New Pages or Posts so that you can spend more time creating awesome and engaging content and less time worrying about character-minimums or link usage.
Before You Begin: Do Your SEO Research
[Optional] Install an SEO plug-in
Have no idea what you're doing? That's okay! That's why there are plug-ins. Think of plug-ins as an app on your phone. SEO plug-ins help guide your optimization practices and let you know when your site or page is ready to go.
NOTE: Listen to your gut. These tools are great for suggestions, but you do not need to have an "all green" score from Yoast to acheive great search results!
Make sure that ranking for the keyword/phrase you choose is actually achievable! (i.e. what is the value to rank #1 for this term?) If not, consider using a long-tail keyword variation or thinking of another way in which someone might search for the same information.
TIP: Don't use the same keyword/phrase that you've already used for another page on your site.
Building Your New Page: Put Your SEO Into Action
Title Tag, Meta Description, and H1 Tag
Give your potential website visitor the urge to click with a catchy title tag and meta description that include your keyword. Title tags should be 10 - 60 characters and it is recommended to have the keyword in the beginning of the title. Aim to create a meta description that is 120 - 156 characters. If you choose not to create your own meta description, search engines will display copy from the page.
You'll also need an H1 tag designated on your post or page (if your site doesn't include the title tag as such), 20 - 70 characters and using the keyword.
An SEO plug-in (listed above) will help guide your efforts and count your characters.
Content built for Optimization
- Page content should be a minimum of 300 words per page.
- Make this content readable and scannable using subheadings, images, bullet points, quotes, short sentences and paragraphs. Tip: Write for an 8th grade reading level.
- Utilize synonyms and long-tail variations of your keyword/phrase throughout your content. Use your chosen keyword at least once in the first 100 - 150 words per page and in H1, H2, H3 tags. This way you let your readers get to the information searched for right away. Use this keyword/keyphrase 2-3 times per 100 words.
- Finally, write original content (not copied from other sources or already published on your site).
An SEO plug-in (listed above) will help guide your efforts and count your characters and keyword usage.
Linking - Internal and External
External links to high DR (domain rating) websites show that your content is well-researched and trustworthy. Set your external links to open in a new page or tab to keep visitors on your site once they are done with the external information.
Ex) Sites selling or promoting a product by a brand other than their own, should have a link to view that information.
Internal links help to keep visitors on your site and quality anchor text will help boost SEO across your site. To find good opportunities for internal links, Google site:yourdomain.com + “topic”.
TIP: Add social sharing links to make it easy for your viewers to share and generate new traffic for you.
Including images in your page helps engage the viewer and images have the option to use alt text. Alt text offers context to visitors if an image fails to load, or if the visitor is using screen assistance. It also makes it easier for things like Google Image Search to understand your images. Alt text should be short, descriptive, and accurate (and include your keyword, if it can).
Test your page speed and ensure your site loads quickly! If your page lags, you run the risk of losing visitors and adversely affecting your ranking with search engines.
Tags and Categories
If you are adding a new blog post, add tags and categories so that readers can easily find the information they want.
Categories are for broard grouping of posts, while tags are meant to describe more specific details. For example, this blog post might fall under the category of "SEO," but we'd also tag things like "internal links," "alt text," and "plug-in."
FOr a 1-page, printable pdf of the SEO checklist for new pages and posts