Alt tags are important in an SEO template

SEO Template: Best Practices for Organic Search

Alt tags are important in an SEO template

Please check the settings on this image from the back-end to see how the focus keyword is applied.

When creating your blog post, it’s often helpful to follow an SEO template. If you’ll notice the bolded keyword in the previous sentence, you’ll see that it includes our focus keyword- a researched group of words to help users locate your content in a search of the open web. Because we’re appealing to logically structured search engines, it helps if we format our content as if it were a person climbing down a ladder. Each wrung is defined by our heading tags (e.g. H1, H2, etc) and generally follows a traditional outline structure. You’ll also notice that our focus keyword appears in the post title (which also serves as your H1 Title) and post permalink.

H2: Applying Your SEO Template Keyword in a Subheading

As you move into the body of your article, it’s often smart to include your keyword in an H2 title somewhere in the body of the post. Making the intention of your article clear is the #1 element that Google is looking for in order to serve your content to its intended audience. Though it’s not essential to use the exact phrase, this is a great place to clarify the intention of your post. You can also begin applying supporting, ancillary, or contextual keywords into these sections. This is also a great place to embed an on-site link to another page on your site.

H3: Here is Where Supporting Keywords are Best Applied

Structuring your content to include sub-sections is a great way to make meaningful lists within your post. Generally speaking, it’s good to have 3-5 of these within an article to dig into the nuance of your subject and provide Google an organized way of cataloging a given topic.

H3: Can You Apply Any Supporting Keywords as Self-Contained Search Queries?

Posing supporting keywords as headlines that read as questions or answers can be a very natural way to apply long-tail keywords or ancillary search terms into the structure of your post. This can also be a great place to include off-site links to reputable websites that you’d like a more organic connection to. Don’t forget to set the link to ‘open link in a new tab’!

H3: One More Good Subheading Will Round Out Your SEO Template

Rounding out your post structure with H3’s is great and if your topics is dense enough, you can even go to deeper H4 through H6 tiers. This could look like the following:

H4: High-Level Post Score Checklist:

  • Is your keyword used in your post title, exactly as it needs to appear for organic search?
  • Does your keyword appear in your url/slug?
  • Does the keyword appear in the meta description of the post?
  • Is the phrase included in at least one other subheading on the page (preferably an H2)?
  • Does the keyword appear close to the top of the article in the regular body copy?
  • Is the post copy at least 600 words?
  • Does the post include at least one off-site link?
  • Does the post include at least one on-site link?
  • Is the keyword included in all of your images’ alt-tags?
  • Have you added your feature image to the social tab in your meta settings?
  • Any post score that triggers at least a yellow rating is considered acceptable, but pushing it into the green is really the goal.

H2: Closing Paragraph

Closing out your post with a final paragraph is not only a vital way to summarize your article for readability but also a great spot to reprise all of the primary points of intention for Google and include your focus keyword from your SEO template one more time. By sticking as close as possible to this type of post structure, you supercharge all of your blog content and make it highly indexable for organic search. Remember the metaphor of climbing down a ladder and make sure the steps are smooth all the way to the bottom.