There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours writing a piece of content that nobody will ever read. You could be producing the most amazing, life-changing content in the world, but it won’t have an impact if you’re ignoring SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Getting ranked highly in search engine results is key to gaining visibility for your brand, especially since 95% of search traffic goes to websites on the first page of search engine results.

If you’re using HubSpot to host your website or blog, there are several ways you can boost your SEO power.

Before we jump in, hop into a blog draft, landing page draft, or a website page draft so that you can apply these steps as you go.  

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1. Add an H1 header

Make sure the title of your page or blog post is in the form of an H1 header. This signals to search engines that this is the main topic your content covers. You should also avoid having multiple H1 headers in your content, since this will confuse search engines and users who browse the web with screen readers. Instead, use H2 and H3 headers throughout your content to separate sections. 


2. Write a meta description

A meta description is a short summary of your page or blog post that will show up in search engine results. It should include the primary search term you’re trying to rank for and be engaging enough to entice viewers to click through.  

In your HubSpot blog post, add a meta description under the Settings tab of the post.

3. Add links to your content

Add links strategically throughout your content to helpful external resources and other relevant content you’ve published. This helps establish you as a trustworthy source and drives traffic to your other content — a win-win.

4. Set image alt text

When optimizing images, make sure to include descriptive alt text for all images on your page or blog. This will help search engines effectively crawl and index your content. Also, adding alt text makes your content accessible for people using screen readers.

5. Integrate Google Search Console

With the Google Search Console integration in HubSpot, you can see the position, clickthrough rate, and number of impressions and clicks your site receives for different search queries related to your page’s topic.

Use the insight you gain from these metrics to better address your audience’s needs by catering your content to what they’re searching for. At the end of the day, this is what search engines value most.

6. Enable Google AMP

Google AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a mobile-specific page format that loads almost instantly on mobile devices by disabling JavaScript files, stylesheets, HubSpot forms, and header and footer HTML.

You can enable it for your entire blog from your blog settings or on a post-by-post basis.

7. Set canonical URLs

A canonical URL is an HTML element used by search engines to handle duplicate content. For example, if you have the same content published in multiple places, a canonical URL signals to search engines which version is preferred. This is important because search engines prefer websites with unique, valuable content — not content taken from other sources or repeated across multiple pages.

HubSpot is by default already set up with the recommended configuration for self-referencing canonical URLs, but you can change this globally from your website settings or for an individual page or blog post from the settings tab in the editor. 

8. Customize your sitemap

A sitemap is a file that lists the pages on a website to manage the content that’s shown to search engines. It helps search engine crawlers determine the structure of your site so that they can crawl it more intelligently. HubSpot automatically adds all your live website pages and blog posts to your sitemap.

Landing pages are not added automatically, so if you want them on your sitemap you can add them manually from the Domains & URLs page in your account.

9. Edit robots.txt

If you want to decide what pages search engine crawlers can and cannot index, you can do so by customizing your robots.txt file. A robots.txt file is a text file used to instruct search engine bots on how to crawl the pages on a website.

You can customize it from the website settings in your account.

10. Create topic clusters

Building topic clusters is the best way to signal to search engines that your website is an authority on your chosen topic. Topic clusters are groupings of content that each cover a specific piece of a broader core topic. For example, if your core topic is “workout routines,” then your topic cluster content could include “workout routines for weight loss,” “workout routines to increase strength,” “workout routines for beginners,” “at home workout routines,” and more. Learn more about creating a content strategy using topic clusters in this lesson from HubSpot Academy.

These are just a few of the many ways you can level-up your SEO using HubSpot. If you want to learn more, check out this lesson from HubSpot Academy on improving your SEO in the HubSpot CMS.

Want to connect with others on HubSpot tips, tricks, and updates? Head over to the HubSpot Community to join a conversation or start one of your own.

Sign up for your free HubSpot Academy account.

Originally published Mar 22, 2019 10:00:00 AM, updated March 22 2019