SEO 101: The Keywords and the On-Page (iii)

June 25, 2023

SEO is a complex beast. It involves many moving parts that aren’t simple to navigate without specialized certifications or years of on-the-job training. If you’re a growing brand or one whose SEO just hasn’t yet been fruitful, this simple checklist can get you off to a good start!

SEO is ever-changing and so are the algorithms that determine how we do our jobs. This guide gives you the basics and the technical work that you’ll need to complete to get your site where you want it to be. The pressure might be on to create content constantly, but the site that hosts that content must be high quality so your amazing content can be effective. Before you can create the content, the site must be optimized and ready to roll. In order to ensure your site is getting the sort of convertible clicks that you want; you’ve got to first make sure you’re covered in the SEO department.

The Keywords

Keywords are crucial to ensuring your site ranks. These are the sort of things that will appear throughout your content and let site crawlers know what to look for and how to rank you.

Consider keyword research tools

There are a lot of fantastic keyword research tools out there.
[list them here]
They each offer the basics, but choosing one depends on what sorts of “extras” you may need.

Determine your user’s intent

There are three kinds of user intent:
1. Informational
2. Navigational
3. Transactional
These three different user intents allow you to determine what it is your users need when they’re on your site, and on individual pages on your site, so you can better target your content to match their intent.

Find your main keywords

This will take some research. You’ll need to understand what it is you’re intending to do, what it is your user’s intent in searching is, and who your competitors are.

Find keyword variations and longtail variations

Longtail keywords are phrases of keywords strung together instead of single keywords, and they’re also important for your content and ranking as are variations of keywords. The more variations you include, the more likely you are to rank with them.

Find keyword questions

Keyword questions are a great way to meet the needs of your site users. Having their questions in mind means you’re able to use those questions in your content and adjust your content to properly align with them.

Understand your chances of ranking

Ranking isn’t easy, but one of the easiest ways to understand ranking is to understand the likelihood that you’ll rank on any given keyword. That’s where research and research tools come in.

Research your competitors

Researching your competitors isn’t something that can be underestimated. When you understand them and what they’re doing, you can better understand what steps you can take and what might be successful with your site.

The On-Page

This section refers mostly to the sort of essential “housekeeping” you should be doing regularly. They may seem like small things, but they make big changes to your site and its ability to rank.

Ensure your keyword is in your URL

This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook it. If your keyword is in your URL, the content is more likely to rank.

Ensure your URL is short and simple

You don’t want something that’ll overpower the user. It should be simple, making it easy to write and navigate to.

Ensure your keyword is in your title tag

Your title tags should have your keyword, or variations, in them for the best chance of ranking.

Add relevant internal links

Wherever you have the opportunity – link back to your own pages. This helps you to drive traffic to other parts of your site and relevant internal links help you to rank higher.

Add relevant external links

You don’t want to rank to external links with no plan, but when it’s appropriate and relevant to the content, it’s a good idea to link out to other sites and sources. This helps you to rank because of the connection to other sites.

Ensure your photos are optimized

There are a few things that can be changed to optimize your photos. The first is making sure they’re downloaded and saved correctly, ideally with one of your keywords in the name. The second is having alt-text on your images; this allows visitors using site readers to understand what images are there and it also gives search engines another way to better rank you.

Write a compelling and keyword-rich meta description

Your meta-description is what comes up under your title on search engine results, and it should be keyword rich and the sort of thing that makes people want to click on it.

Update any outdated content

If you have content that’s more than a year old, it’s not a bad idea to look back through it and see what you can update. This includes references to current events, external and internal links, and even your keywords as they sometimes fall out of the rankings.


If this seems like a lot of work; it is!

SEO isn’t simple, even though we all wish it could be, and at some point, it could become more than you can handle alone. One of our clients came to us after getting through “The Keywords” and the “The On-Page” was a little more than they could do on their own. Overwhelming SEO is part of the business, and no one is more aware of that than us!

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