On Page Thoughts

SEO content guide for LM.com Blog Posts

Note: The following SEO content guide is meant to be considered as recommendations only – it is not required to complete each item in the guide for each piece of content.

Step 1 – Determine Focus Keyword

Your topic, phrase, “search query” or question asked on a search engine page.

  • The focus keyword should be present in the following locations (when possible):
    • Page Title (Meta Title)
      • Should be 70 characters or less in length
        • Can be longer but Google will only display the first 70 characters
        • Include the page’s target keyword along with co-occurrence terms. For pages such as a CDC profile, or others that target a geo, use the city in the title. Not important for H1, but does not hurt.
        • The keyword should be near the beginning when logically possible – Position is not important.
      • Should be unique for each page – Not important. But each page of content should only have one target keyword.
      • Also known as the SEO title as it shows on the Search Results Page
    • Page Heading (h1 tag) The keyword from the meta title should occur in the H1. Only one H1 per page. Exact match H1 and Meta Title are nice.
    • Page Subheadings (h2, h3, h4) – Latest testing shows that adding the primary keyword or synonym to the H4 helps. The H2 and H3 are of little value. As within the H1, I like to add a co-occurrence term to the H4 headers. No limit to the number of times an H4 can be used.
    • URL (URL is modifiable in WordPress)
      • Don’t change URL of existing articles, only new articles.
        • Changing the URL of existing articles will lead to 404 errors for all links that are already using the existing URL unless a 301or 302 redirect is put into place. The 302 redirect should never be used.
      • Meta Description
        • The description tag is not used by search engines to rank pages anymore. I believe the meta description carries that same rank value as on-page content. However, it is still beneficial for pages to have a unique description tag.
          • The primary value of the meta description is improving CTR from SERPs. Regardless of the web position, Google has an idea of what the CTR should be. If a page does not meet that baseline, the page is demoted. If it does, the page is given the opportunity to move up the page. Remember, the meta title is the title of your meta description. Having the two elements align is always a good strategy.
          • Summarize the page content
          • Keep within 160 characters
          • Have a unique description tag for each page
          • Include keywords where possible – No value beyond relevance. Use the overarching terms that will align with searcher intent.
          • Include important calls to actions – Meta data that matches the search query or it’s synonym will bold. This increases the CTR.
        • Alt tag of images
          • clear, descriptive, concise and not stuffed with keywords – the shorter the better

Step 2 – Keyword Density

  • Keyword Density Tool: http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword-density/
    • The article content should be viewed as 3 distinct parts (intro, main and summary/conclusion)
    • Each of these 3 parts should have a keyword density no greater than 2%
      • A keyword density of 2% means that you should have the presence of your focus keyword (no more than) two times within every 100 words of text. Co-occurrence terms should be at least 1% of the words. Keyword density should be a minimum of 2%, pushing to 4% for competitive terms. The use of synonyms is a great way to keep the page reading naturally.

 

Step 3 – Article Length & Structure

  • 600 words minimum to be indexed – Main content should be 1300 words, supported by 4 elements of secondary content. The secondary content should provide depth to the Primary. Using co-occurrence terms from primary as the subject of the secondary is a good strategy.
  • The content of the article should be organized in a logical way. This is not only good for SEO; it also helps visitors find content easier.
    • A paragraph should contain one core sentence and an elaboration of this core sentence.
    • Use heading tags to show the structure of the page (when/where possible)
      • related topics and semantically connected keywords should be considered

Other helpful links & resources