on page seo template guide

A Must Read for Marketers

Here is an easy-to-read synopsis of how to plan for and implement On-Page SEO to optimize a website.

The HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing blog has published a Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless On-Page SEO  with free Excel SEO templateRebecca Churt‘s article shows you how to optimize your site to ensure that each page meets both a user’s and search engine’s demands. Hubspot’s free Excel template that will walk you through the process of optimizing your site content to make it more clear for users and search engines.

Step-by-step SEO includes:

  • Formulizing a plan to coordinate pages and keywords.
  • Implementing it step-by-step, or passing it off to someone else to easily execute.
  • Tracking changes and results all in one place.

Here’s an overview of how to implement an SEO template:

12 Steps To Plan An On-Page SEO Template

  • Step 1: Crawl Your Site for Audit

The way to get an overview of all of your content is to download all indexed pages of your site.  You can use the Xenu’s link crawler, a free tool to  export of all of your pages. This will show you all the pages you’ll need to optimize.

xenu site index export

The spreadsheet you use should have 3 columns: The address (URL), title, and the description.

  • Step 2: Define Site Architecture

Next you need to organize and prioritize your content by recording whether a page is your home page or an internal page — and if so, what kind of internal page.

seo template defining site architecture

  • Step 3: Update URLs, Page Titles, and Descriptions

You can then easily review your current URLs, Page Titles and Descriptions to see if they need updating.

calculating page title and description length

  • The recommended length for page titles is 70 characters. A quick optimization project is to update all page titles that are longer than 70 characters or use keywords repetitively.
  • The recommended length for page descriptions is 150 characters, and shouldn’t use keywords repetitively. Use a sentence that you would use to describe that page to a person in conversation.
  • Step 4: Establish a Value Proposition

Define the purpose of a page  and ultimately, your website.

describe the image

  • Step 5: Define Your Target Audience

Define who you are targeting: one, or multiple, buyer personas? Since you are optimizing for humans as well as search engines, all content you create should be for this person or group of people.

content must have a target audience


  • Step 6: Plan Page Titles

Plan what you want your new page title to be for a particular page. The goal is to lay out the purpose of the page without being redundant or over-optimizing this space. Best practice for page titles would be “Keyword Phrase | Context.”

plan for new page titles in seo template

  • Step 7: Add Your Page Description

Use a short, declarative sentence that incorporates your keyword, as you laid it out in your page title.

plan for new page descriptions in seo template

  • Step 8: Track Keywords and Topics for Each Page

Your target keyword is the designated topic for a particular page -just one topic per page. That not only lets you to go more in-depth and provide more valuable information, but simplifies your task by letting you optimize for one keyword per page.

Exceptions in which you’ll need a few keywords are:

  • Your home page, in which you explain generally what the website is about.
  • Overview pages like services and product pages, which outline what all of your products and services may be.

keep track of target keywords as you optimize

  • Step 9: Review and Edit Page Content

The job of creating good content means being compelling and helpful for your target audience, and checking spelling and grammar. Recommendations are to have least 500 words per page, formatted to make it easier to read and digest – use headers, subheaders, bullets, etc. Use 3 or 4 columns to keep track of changes that you’ve made or note changes to be implemented.

content is the most important part of seo

  • Step 10: Incorporate Visual Content

Note to the template the visual content that will provide value. and what media elements need to be added.

visual content like images are important too

  • Step 11: Create, Add and Manage Links

Use additional columns to plan for these elements you don’t already have or note what you’d like to add. Include here  sharing networks like Pinterest and Google+, which are valuable in search and can improve overall click-through rates on your search results.

Hubspot recommends that you make anchor text less keyword-centric (not an exact match, and including more than just your keywords) since this is part of an important change that has evolved with recent Google Algorithm updates. So incorporate relevant text surrounding that keyword as part of that anchor text.

social and linking are also important in seo

  • Step 12: Optimize for Conversions

The main point of SEO is to increase the amount of leads, subscribers, or fans. The last columns can be used to plan for conversions. Every page of your website should include at least 1 call-to-action (CTA). When possible, include a CTA at each stage of the buying funnel — top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. As you add, edit, or update CTAs, measure conversion rate changes.

seo optimize for leads and conversions

Implement and Measure

Hubspot recommends that you aim to work on 5-10 pages a week, since the tasks are time consuming. You can delegate the task, but the important first step is to finalize your SEO plans to implement by using a template. The template also lets you track all of your changes, so you can better measure effectiveness against conversions.
Good luck!