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A “Perfect” On-Page SEO Template for Blogs

A step-by-step guide to on-page SEO that will boost rankings and site traffic

Publishers are no strangers to search engine optimization, although it’s important to know that there are several dimensions of optimization, and they’re all necessary to get the most residual traffic from your most popular posts. For example, on-page SEO refers to the copy elements of the page – the words that are read by Google’s spiders. However, there’s also the website architecture portion – the code, plugins and other elements that make sure that all your great, optimized copy is getting read in the right places.

Once your architecture is in place, your day-to-day focus will be on-page SEO. So many editors get confused by the whats and the wheres of this process, but it’s actually much more simple than you’d expect.

Let’s say we’re targeting the keyword “best apple pie recipes”. Whenever we optimize on-page SEO for article or landing page, our clients get a document that looks a little something like this:

Targeted Keyword: best apple pie recipes

Title: 10 Best Apple Pie Recipes in Massachusetts

Meta Title: 10 Best Apple Pie Recipes in Massachusetts

These two titles are your on-page title and also your meta title. They’re typically the same, but it’s important to always define your Meta Title using an SEO plugin like All-in-One SEO, Yoast, or Headspace. Keep your keyword to the front of your title so that it doesn’t get cut off when Google truncates it to their preferred character count of 65 characters or less.

URL: http://www.yoursite.com/category/best-apple-pie-recipes

Always include your keyword in your URL, preferably in the beginning, just like your title. Blogging platforms like WordPress allow you to easily optimize your URL within the post page.

Subhead: To discover the 10 best apple pie recipes, we’ve driven from North Adams to Provincetown

Meta Description: To discover the 10 best apple pie recipes, we’ve driven from North Adams to Provincetown.

If your subhead is well optimized for on-page SEO, it can double as your meta description. Like your title, your subhead and meta description should include the keyword phrase close to the beginning. Try to keep both under 150 characters. Google has already said that they don’t use your meta description for ranking, but they do use your subhead (especially when it’s an H1, H2 or H3 tag) and an optimized meta description is especially important for click-through rates from the readers who are reading it in search engines.

Body Copy:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec varius best apple pie recipes leo molestie vel. Nulla commodo accumsan orci at commodo. Etiam ut massa in augue tincidunt ultricies a vel elit. Phasellus convallis nulla ut augue hendrerit vitae cursus odio volutpat. Sed ut enim lacus. Curabitur in eros posuere metus auctor tempor. Donec ut dolor vitae ligula ullamcorper accumsan vel pie recipes. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, apple pie elit. Quisque vitae fermentum sem. Nam facilisis sagittis odio et tincidunt. Nulla in lobortis est. Aenean vel elit erat, at dictum ligula. Cras vitae est est. Vivamus varius iaculis ornare. Maecenas commodo pellentesque augue, vitae congue eros adipiscing a. Aliquam vitae augue nisl.

Curabitur ullamcorper pellentesque erat sit amet posuere. Morbi eu augue sed libero blandit mattis nec id urna. Pellentesque sem nulla, vehicula id facilisis ac, ultrices ac augue. Sed id odio best apple pie recipes ultricies at non elit. Nullam lacinia adipiscing mattis. Vestibulum apple pie recipes leo elit, aliquet a consequat in, venenatis in quam. Pellentesque ligula mauris, bibendum tincidunt pharetra et, mollis sed dui. Nullam lacus leo, bibendum ac aliquam eu, tempor ut lacus. Maecenas consectetur diam vel turpis tincidunt aliquet.

Sed risus velit, suscipit id egestas eu, consectetur et enim. In aliquet fringilla rutrum. Aliquam nec sapien quis sapien vulputate varius. Curabitur id lacus a enim varius ultrices ac ac lectus. Ut semper magna nec risus molestie lobortis. Duis sit amet apple pie, eget facilisis quam. Vivamus mollis, orci a commodo euismod, est dui lobortis leo, id best apple pie lectus dui nec quam. Maecenas vehicula ornare magna, ut accumsan nisi lacinia sit amet. Ut eget arcu dolor, ut varius augue. Maecenas auctor velit nec est rutrum consectetur. Donec pharetra congue velit ac convallis. Cras apple pie at neque luctus imperdiet. Nunc dignissim pulvinar augue eget ullamcorper. Quisque nec tellus nisi, in porttitor libero. Pellentesque justo ligula, malesuada quis commodo et, bibendum eget ligula.

Vivamus interdum lacus eu nibh condimentum aliquam. Phasellus sollicitudin tincidunt orci ut lobortis. Aenean eget elit justo, nec ornare elit. Sed vel sem non tellus hendrerit aliquam nec ac felis. Donec id sapien non nunc laoreet best apple pie recipes. Proin quis feugiat odio. Aliquam ac velit magna, eget pie recipes ante. Mauris ut sapien a quam fermentum sodales non id purus. Mauris cursus, lacus in egestas ultricies, quam est fermentum ipsum, vel imperdiet mi magna non nulla. Integer et elit libero. Aliquam ultrices augue quis mauris volutpat vel pulvinar purus molestie. Sed mollis molestie dui vel dapibus. Fusce aliquet laoreet sapien, a porttitor magna accumsan sed. Maecenas bibendum ullamcorper posuere. Vivamus tincidunt adipiscing augue a lobortis. Morbi pharetra, dolor eget consequat dignissim, massa lorem imperdiet nibh, sed interdum neque lorem vel velit.

In ultricies elit ut enim molestie adipiscing. In porta felis ut eros condimentum aliquam. Praesent apple pie recipes tincidunt iaculis sapien sed porttitor. Fusce dictum erat rutrum leo feugiat feugiat. Pellentesque non sem elit, ut ultricies quam. Sed at dui ac ligula consectetur mattis ac eu metus. Donec id leo elit, et commodo ligula. Nulla nec urna.

If you want to learn how to do keyword research and discover statistics on your competition, download our FREE Google Keyword Tool Basics white paper.

In our body copy, we like to use something called the Keyword Density Index (KDI) to measure how much we should use a keyword on a page for on-page SEO. We used to try and get this percentage between 2 and 5 percent, but since the Penguin update, we’ve reduced this number to between 2 and 3.

To find your KDI, use the search and replace function of your word processing software to highlight the keyword phrases, and to count and block off the first 500 words of the article. The Microsoft Word search and replace, highlight, and word count functions make this easy.

Then divide the number of times the keyword phrase (“best apple pie recipes” appears 3 times) by 500, and multiply the dividend by the number of words in the keyword phrase (4 words), to compute the keyword density index (KDI).

Example: 3/500 x 4 = 2.4% KDI. Your goal should be a keyword density of 2-3% in the first 500 words of the article. A hint: The more words in your keyword phrase, the less number of times you’ll need to use it.

Body Tags: best apple pie recipes, apple pie recipes, apple pie, best apple pie, pie recipes

Most blogging platforms allow you to add “tags” to your articles for on-page SEO. These supplement the old “meta keywords”, which Google doesn’t read anymore. In fact, if you tried to use meta keywords these days and stuffed them with keywords, it would do a lot more harm than good. Search engines (not just Google) only use the keyword field to search for spammers these days.

Image Alt Tags & File name: best-apple-pie-recipes.jpg & “best apple pie recipes

Better safe than sorry, you might as well optimize your images too. When an image doesn’t load, it shows the alt tag instead. If you add a keyword as your alt tag, Google will read that and associate the keyword with your image and your page. Additionally, if you use your keywords to name your image file names, that’s just one extra spot to put it. There’s a plugin called SEO Friendly Images that can automatically take your page tags and turn them into image tags.

Do you know which keywords to start with?

This “perfect” on-page SEO template is great as long as you have keywords to work with. Mequoda clients are armed with keyword research in the form of a “Keyword Universe” spreadsheet that we develop for them. Here’s how to use it:

Open up your Google Visibility Report (GVR). Sort the Keyword Competitive Index (KCI) of all the keywords listed within your keyword universe so that the keyword phrases with the highest KCIs are at the top.

Hopefully you have some with a KCI over 1. If so, you may be in luck. Look at those keyword phrases first; are any of them relevant keyword phrases that relate to your content? Are the people searching for these terms likely your core audience members? If so, select one of those keyword phrases.

If you do not have any keyword phrases with a KCI of 1 or higher, that’s okay. Since Google’s Panda update, more content is being housed by the Google search engine. This means that you might have some more competition. That too is alright; simply look for the most relevant keyword phrases that have a KCI of at least 0.1.

Now, start from the beginning of this article to optimize your own from beginning to end.

Do you need help building a Keyword Universe or tracking analytics? We may be able to help. Contact Ann-Marie to schedule a no-obligation needs analysis call with Don Nicholas, our CEO and lead consultant. Ann-Marie by can reached via email or by phone at 617-886-5177.

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6 thoughts on “A “Perfect” On-Page SEO Template for Blogs

  1. Keith says:

    Great post, Norann!

  2. Shekar says:

    Norann,

    You made my day!
    Thanks a Zillion.

    I am always on the look out for blog posts that give me a ‘hands on’ guidance on what I wish to do but am unable to get myself to do. I had been struggling. I was on the look for someone who could actually walk me through the ‘How and Why’ of optimising one’s efforts at SEO. Until I understand the ‘method behind the magic’ it is difficult for me to apply myself to it with confidence.

    You just cracked that code of the method behind the magic for me!
    I am encourage to try your recipe now.

    By the way , kindly help me understand the meaning of H1, H2 or H3 under the subhead fo Meta Tag.

    It is very rarely that I come across gems like these that are template-able, transferable and scalable.

    If you have a similar On Page SEO template for Video’s, Home page and landing page, do let me know, it will be highly useful to me.

    If you can guide me through an ON PAGE SEO template that can help me identify, connect and profile the PERSONA who may benefit most from my offerings, that would be like opening me to a goldmine. You can charge people for it . The ones who know how invaluable it is, would not mind paying for that premium edge you will be delivering to them

    Thanks once again.
    Shekarsan, Chennai, India

  3. Norann says:

    Hi Shekarsan,

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you find the article helpful.

    H1, H2, and H3 tags allow you to format your text into headings. H1 is the most prominent and carries the most SEO value, then H2, and so on.

    I don’t have an on page SEO template for video to share with you, but our Web Video 101 for Publishers webinar might provide the information you’re looking for. Here’s the URL of the webinar: http://www.mequoda.com/webinars/web-video-101-for-publishers/.

  4. Chris says:

    We do get some spam responses, but many are blocked by the Akismet plugin we use.

  5. Firnandus says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking something like this. I don’t know before how to optimize my content. I usually put my keywords to all paragraph. Maybe that makes me looks like spam. Thank you for your tutorial.

  6. Norann says:

    I’m glad that you found this post helpful. On-page SEO is simple, especially if you’re working with a well researched keyword universe.

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