Objective: Our main kuleana (responsibility) is to make every webpage and blog post on your website shine bright like a diamond 💎 in the vast ocean of search engines.
Desired Outcome: If we do our job right, every nook and cranny of your website will be optimized to the max. This means when someone’s surfing the web 🏄♂️ looking for a business like yours, they’ll catch your wave first!
Prerequisites or Requirements: Heads up, braddah! The steps in this SOP are tailored for self-hosted WordPress sites. Other CMSs don’t jam with the Rankmath plugin. The aloha spirit might be the same, but the dance moves for on-page optimization can differ.
Significance of this endeavor: On-page optimization is like the backbone of SEO, with its two siblings: off-page and technical optimization. When they hula together, they make sure your business stands out in the search engine luau, bringing more guests (organic site visits) and, of course, more celebrations (conversions)!
Location of Implementation: Ready to get your hands dirty? Dive into your self-hosted WordPress Admin panel. That’s where the magic happens for each page and blog post set to make its debut.
Timing of Implementation: Best to bless the stage before the big show (before publishing). But if the party has already started (your site’s live) and you realize you forgot the leis (optimization), no worries! You can still add them later.
Responsibility: Who’s the captain of this canoe? It could be you, your SEO navigator, your trusty virtual assistant, your content manager, your storyteller (content writer), or even a whole digital marketing hālau (agency) you’ve teamed up with.
- Make sure your WordPress site is setup and ready to go and then install the Rankmath plugin.
- Make sure you have performed your keyword research and mapping following.
Before starting: Pre-optimization steps
- Dive into your keyword research and layout chart, and pick the keyword and searcher’s vibe you’re aiming for on the page or blog post you’re sprucing up. Quick heads up: try to keep each page vibing with just one searcher’s groove (or a “category” in that keyword chart you’ve been jamming on). For this SOP, imagine we’re crafting a blog post all about the magic of “nature’s soundscapes.”
- When you’re laying down the content for your page or blog post, just let the words flow without getting caught up in that target keyword. Trust me, it’s cooler to let your content roll naturally, focusing on the readers’ rhythm, rather than just trying to impress the search engine crowd.
Optimize the meta data
The keywords sprinkled throughout your blog posts act like a beacon for search engines, helping them catch the vibe of your page or post. So, before diving deep into content optimization, ensure your keywords are on point.
Kick things off by jazzing up the page title with your selected keyword.
While you’re hanging ten in the “Edit Post” zone of your WordPress site, start by tapping on the Rankmath icon, chilling at the top right corner of your screen:
Optimize the content in the body of the page.
The keywords sprinkled in your blog posts guide search engines to grasp the essence of your page or post. So, before you surf into content tweaks, ensure those keywords are in harmony.
1. Start by optimizing the page title with your chosen keyword.
- While in the “Edit Post” section of WordPress, start by clicking to the Rankmath icon in the right topmost portion of your screen:
- Below is the screenshot of the Rankmath panel, click Edit Snippet button to edit the meta data:
- When in ‘Preview Snippet Editor’ panel, you can now edit the meta data:
- Remember that the title should both:
- Be under 60 characters or 580 pixels.
- Include your main target keyword.
Otherwise, Google will truncate it when displaying it in SERPs. This will consequently lower your CTR.
- Rankmath will only help you determine if the SEO title is too short. Above the Title Box you will read: 385/568 pixels – 41/60 (character) (bolded figures as recommended limit).
- Run your title through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to check its attractiveness.
- Rankings are not just influenced by keywords. The CTR on your search result is an important ranking factor, so this step will help you write engaging and compelling titles.
- Aim for a score above 60 on CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, but don’t stress or obsess over it—it’s an automated tool and you should only use it as a guide.
- As you can see in the example above, our initial title was “Sound Effects Audio in Field Recording Guide.” After adding the keyword and checking it with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer (described below), we changed it to “Sound Effect Impact: A Guide to Audio Field Recording.”
2. Optimize the meta description.
- Include the target keyword in this description.
- Remember, the meta description should be under 920 pixels and 160 characters – anything longer might be truncated by Google in the SERPs.
- Same as with the page titles, keywords are not everything. Your meta description should be compelling and tell readers exactly what information will be provided on the page. While meta descriptions don’t directly impact rankings, they will increase the CTR – and that is a ranking factor. The Rankmath meter will only be ‘red’ if it is too short. You must adjust it according to the recommended 160 characters and 920-pixel recommended length.
3. Optimize the permalink or URL slug.
- Keep it as short as possible (up to 75 characters at the most – making it easier to remember).
- Also, try to include the keyword in the URL as well – it will definitely help with the on-page optimization.
- To minimize URL characters, you can remove stop words (e.g., a, the, for, an, and) — here is a list of the most common stop words you can remove from a permalink.
- If your page has already been published for a while, do not change the URL, especially if it’s already ranking in the SERPs or if other pages already link to it. Changing the slug or permalink after publishing means it has ‘migrated to a new location’ – and it’s best to avoid it in most cases.
Optimize the content in the body of the page.
Now that you have optimized the meta data and target keywords supporting your page or blog post, it is now time to optimize the actual content. Here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Try to include your keyword in the h1 heading, but do not force this. Again, it is far better to publish natural, rather than keyword-stuffed content.
- Make sure your page or blog post has an h1, but remember that there should be only one h1, and it should be above the fold. Typically, your h1 will be the actual title of the blog post or page.
- Same as with the metadata optimization, focus on creating an attractive, compelling h1, rather than something that feels built exclusively for Google’s crawlers.You can use the CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to analyze your headline.
2. Optimize the content in the body of the page.
- Try to include some of your target keywords in the first 100 words of the page or blog post.
- It will also be beneficial to have H2 and/or H3 subheadings in your page or blog posts for easier reading.
- In general, avoid including the exact target keyword more than 3-4 times/page.
- Add other keywords from the same keyword bucket in the body of your content. This will help Google contextualize your page or blog article, so that it shows your target keywords to users searching for the information you provide.
- Try to add synonyms to your target keyword as well. Varying keywords to synonyms can be an excellent move, not only because it will help Google contextualize your content, but also because it will help you avoid using the exact target keyword too many times. Include LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords tool. These keywords are semantically related to your target keyword, and they will help improve your SEO. To find more LSI keywords, go to https://lsigraph.com, enter your target keyword, and pick the most relevant suggestions to include in the body of your page content.
3. Optimize the images in your post or page.
A) Rename the image you want to upload into your page or blog title with a descriptive name. For example, “img17348.png” is not a descriptive name, but “microphone-used-in-sound-recording,jpg” is a descriptive name.
- Always use the “-” symbol to split the words in the image names.
- To rename a file, right-click it, choose “Rename” from the drop-down menu, write the new name, then press “Enter”.
- DON’T include keywords in the file name unless they are actually relevant to your content.
B) Include descriptive ALT text for each of the images you upload into your page or blog post.
- Within the media selection view in WordPress, select the image you want to edit, you will see a series of fields on the right side of the window. Scroll to the “Alt text” field and enter it.
- Make sure your ALT text is relevant and descriptive. For instance, “image 17348” is not a descriptive ALT text, but “microphone used in sound recording session” is.
- Again, do not try to include keywords in the ALT text if they are not relevant.
- Adding ALT text to your images not only optimizes for Google Images but will also improve accessibility. For instance, this feature can be used by screen-reading software applications for the blind or visually impaired.
5. Include external links to other domains.
- Our advice is to always link to authoritative sources of information or pages already ranking very well on the search results for your target keyword.
- For our example, we chose to link to a page from https://fairuse.stanford.edu/ (one of the top 10 results on Google when searching for “digital audio recording”).
- To add an external link, follow the same steps as described above for internal links.
6. Try to include rich content.
- Rich content does not only mean different media formats (sound, video, and images) used in web pages or posts. If applicable, you can add data tables, pie charts, and other graphical elements to increase readers’ engagement.
Doing on-page optimization consistently for all your posts and pages might require more effort than usual. However, completing each step and following the recommended suggestions will reap better keyword rankings for your site that would convert to more organic traffic in the long term.