SEO Content Optimisation Checklist | Varn


13 July 2023

SEO Content Optimisation Checklist

Optimising individual pages on your website can be an impactful tactic to bring targeted organic search traffic to your site. However, this does need to be aligned with a wider strategy of data-led keyword research, technical improvements and offsite SEO support. Once you have a solid foundation of technical optimisations and a robust keyword strategy in place, you can select individual important landing pages to optimise for highly relevant search queries.

But how do you go about optimising a page for search engines? Follow our checklist below to transform a lagging landing page into one of your top-performing pages for SEO.

Step One: Make Sure You have Solid Technical SEO in Place

If there is a coding or technical issue on your landing page which is preventing it from being indexed by Google, there is little point in optimising the content. We recommend a thorough technical review of your website before you begin optimising specific content pages – but at the very least, have a look at Google Search Console and check that the page you are looking at is being indexed by Google and receiving some impressions and clicks. 

Step Two: Apply a Sensible Keyword Strategy

Each SEO landing page on your website should be targeting a single relevant primary keyword – this is a phrase or search query that people will be looking for via Google or other search engines. You may also want to target two or three secondary keywords, as well as variants or modified versions of your main keywords. Don’t try to hit every single possible keyword on every page; you will find it more effective to focus on a small number of search terms which are extremely relevant to the topic of the individual page. 

Step Three: Optimise Key Areas on the Page

The basic principle for optimising your page is to add the keywords you are targeting in a natural and easy-to-read way. Avoid “keyword-stuffing” where you repeat the same words and phrases over and over; not only will this put people off, it is frowned upon by Google and other search engines. Instead, look out for opportunities to naturally include variants of your relevant keywords here and there, while creating content that is helpful to your target audience.

Here is a checklist of places to include keywords on your page:

  • H1 Title: This is the main title of the page, and informs search engines about the topic for the page. This should naturally contain the primary keyword for the content. Make sure you only have one element on the page which is tagged as H1, to avoid confusion. 
  • H2 Subheadings: These can be used to break up the copy on the page and add structure. We recommend using between one and ten H2 subheadings per page. Include secondary keywords within subheadings where relevant, but prioritise subheadings which are useful to visitors rather than keyword stuffing.
  • Body Copy: Each page that you want to bring organic search traffic to your website should have a minimum of 200 words of body copy. Sometimes this can be hard on ecommerce sites, as it can push your products down the page. So try interspersing body content amongst your product lists to avoid large unsightly chunks of text. Writing useful, good-quality content on the topic of the page will naturally allow you to intersperse relevant keywords and provide search engines with further context as to the topic you are writing about. 
  • URLs: The page URL should be concise, readable and reflective of the H1 title of the page. Always use hyphens rather than underscores within URLs.
  • Images: Utilising keywords within the title and alt text of images is another way to provide Google with more context on your page’s topic. 
  • Meta data: The meta title and meta description of a page are the information that normally displays when your content pops up within a Google search – this is the listing that people will see within the search engine before clicking through to your website. This is therefore a really important opportunity to grab the attention of prospective visitors and future customers, and encourage them to click through. It is important to keep meta titles and descriptions within set character limits, as if these are too long or too short the search engine may select something entirely different to display here!
    • The meta title should be 50–60 characters and should contain your brand name 
    • The meta description should be 150–160 characters and should feature relevant keywords as well as a compelling call-to-action encouraging people to click through to the page

Remember, the main aim of any piece of content on your website is to provide helpful information to your readers; always prioritise useful and reliable information above keyword-stuffing!

Step Four: Make Sure Content is EEAT

Google’s EEAT guidelines lay out the kind of website content that the search engine considers to be good-quality. This boils down to content that demonstrates Expertise, Experience, Authority and Trustworthiness – so bear these items in mind when creating or updating pages on your website. Beyond checking whether you are including keywords in your content, ask yourself questions like:

  • Was this page written by someone who is an expert in their field? Can I feature this person and demonstrate their credentials?
  • Is there anything on this page that shows a customer or client’s experience of our products or services? Can I add relevant user reviews or testimonials? 
  • Do we demonstrate our company or businesses’ authority on the topic at hand?
  • Can a visitor trust the information on this page and the website as a whole? Are reviews honest and clear? Do we as an organisation offer reliable customer service? Is our online checkout secure? 

Step Five: Add Tactical Internal Links

Now that your page is beautifully optimised with compelling content that contains your keywords, you can indicate to search engines that this is an important item by pointing to it from other pages on your website. Identify a handful of other pages on the website that relate to the topic and add hyperlinks to your optimised landing page from these pages. When adding internal links, use descriptive anchor text that contains relevant keywords to give search engines further contextual information. 

Step Six: Resubmit your Optimised Landing Page to Google

An important final step of the SEO content optimisation process is to let Google know that you have updated a page. Your new content should be found eventually anyway, but to speed things up and begin moving up through the rankings more quickly, you can use Google Search Console to request that the search engine re-indexes your page straight away. 

Need help with optimising content on your website? Or perhaps you are stuck at steps one and two – and need to put your technical SEO foundation and keyword strategy in place? Varn can help. We are a friendly team of SEO specialists with many years of experience – get in touch with the SEO experts to find out more about how we can support your website. 

Article by: Helen, Senior Technical SEO Manager More articles by Helen

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