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SEO for Builders: 5 Steps for On-Page Optimization for Beginners

SEO for home builders representing on-page optimization
5-min and 30 sec read
Learn the five steps and five tips associated with on-page optimization for WordPress sites only.

If you are like most home builders and developers, then you have a website and you integrate SEO as a major part of your digital marketing strategy. In this article, you’ll learn the five steps needed to perform on each page of your website for on-page optimization. Before we begin, let’s define what SEO is and what on-page optimization means for you. Continue reading about SEO for Builders and optimization for beginners.


SEO for Builders

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and through numerous techniques, it helps you organically reach the top of the search engine results page (SERP). The SERP is a page on Google, Yahoo! or Bing which shows the results which appear after you perform a search query.

The difference between SEO and other top performing pages on the SERP is organic versus paid. Don’t get SEO confused with PPC, pay-per click advertising, because they’re two completely  different animals in the eyes of Google. SEO is organic search results while PPC is pay-per-click strategy.

You can tell the difference between SEO and PPC because a PPC ad would have a small green or black indicator to inform the user that it is an ad and not an organic listing. Here is an example of a PPC ad with the indicator:

paid ad example for on-page optimization article

And here is an example of the same home builder company appearing organically on the SERP:

SEO example for on-page optimization article

Notice the difference between the two search results. When searching for these, the PPC ad appeared first on the SERP while the organic listing appeared below it.


What SEO for Builders Means for You:

Many times, I manage on-site optimization for my clients and contribute to their SEO efforts accordingly. However, even these on-site optimization steps can be complete by anyone if they have access to their WordPress login information and a well-informed understanding of SEO.

I like my clients to understand how to navigate their WordPress sites for them to learn how to manage their online digital presence. After all, each one of my clients personally owns their website so creating this step by step guide for on-page optimization benefits them greatly. Let me share it with you…


On-Page Optimization for Beginners Definition:  

On-Page SEO is the continual practice of optimizing individual web pages both to the content and HTML source code. The opposite of this is off-site SEO which relies on link building, gaining quality backlinks and other external signals. Think of on-page SEO as what you can do now, internally, to improve your website’s SEO value while off-site is external and takes more time.


5 Steps for On-Page Optimization for Beginners:


1. Login to your WordPress site

Having your website built on WordPress comes with many benefits. For example, WordPress is available in 196 languages and is by far the most used CMS, content management system. The WordPress network is home to 41.7 million new posts and 60.5 million new comments each month worldwide.


2. Download Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast SEO is a tool for optimizing the content on your website which can be performed by anyone. In fact, it is the #1 WordPress SEO plugin in the world and provides you with free tools, descriptions, and techniques to optimize content.


Here’s how to download Yoast SEO:
  • First, you look for Plugins in the left hand column within WordPress.

plugin example

  • Second, you click on the Add New, blue text, small box at the top of the page near the words ‘Plugins’.
  • Next, you search for ‘Yoast SEO’ plugin in the search box in the upper right corner.
  • Once you download Yoast, then you need to activate the plugin by heading back to the Plugin category in the left hand column.
  • The activation process will ask you a series of questions about your business so Yoast can serve you the best possible results and suggestions.


3. Find a page or post you would like to optimize

On WordPress’s left-hand column, you can find your blog posts, pages, and much more:

posts and page example

  • These posts and pages contain the majority of the editable content found on your website.
  • Posts, for example, are your news updates, blog articles or any other miscellaneous articles you have on your website.
  • Pages are your home page, available homes page, contact us page, etc. These will show on your navigation bar on your header and possibly footer.
  • Pages can hold your posts. For instance, if you have a blog landing page then each blog on the page is a post.
  • Once you find a piece of content that needs optimization, then you begin your edits.


4. Edit and optimization for beginners 

For each post and page, Yoast SEO helps you optimize content by giving you recommendations on what to fix and edit on your website. In order to access this, you must scroll down the very bottom of the selected page or post.

From there, Yoast essentially gives you a chance to write about a keyword or phrase, adjust the snippet preview, and gives you a brief SEO analysis of the piece of content. Each blog post or page should contain one focus keyword or phrase which encompasses the main subject matter of the content.

Let’s take Homes by Artisan as an example. Homes by Artisan is trying to rank this blog post for the focus keyword of “luxury home builder”. Notice how this example has no meta description (part of the snippet preview) and how one of the faces is red. This means the post hasn’t been optimized yet:

Yoast SEO example for on-page optimization article


5. Yoast SEO Optimization for Beginners 

Editing for optimization via Yoast includes adding a meta-description, keyword or phrase, including a featured image, and improving readability. Optimizing each post or page can be quick or take a while depending on how many edits need to be complete. For example, if Yoast recommends adding more content, you need to be prepared to develop more information.

I recommend applying each one of Yoast’s suggestions when it comes to on-page optimization. If you get confused or lost in this process, you can always learn from Yoast’s explanations by clicking the hyperlinks in the analysis. While you can learn a lot from the plugin itself, they’re some techniques Yoast doesn’t explain.


Here is a list of 5 tips for you to understand on-page optimization better:
  • Heading tags: H1 represents the most important information found on the page. It’s suggested to not use H1 tags as subheadings as H1 tags are more title oriented. H2 tags represent the second most important information, H3 for third, H4 for forth and so on.
  • Featured image: Each featured image size is ideally 1200 x 628 pixels, but this specific size can vary depending on blog designs. Featured images tend to show up above your blog’s content and are used in sharing the post via social media.
  • Categories: Each blog post gives you an option to categorize the blog. By doing so, it will allow you to add a categories column which can be visible to your website visitors. For example, categories for my blog include SEO, PPC, AI, and social media, to name a few.
  • Preview: WordPress gives you the option to preview a blog post or page before publishing it. I recommend previewing each page before publishing to ensure it looks and functions how you like.
  • Comments: You have the ability to allow for comments or not, depending on your preference. You also have the option of commenting for approval which ensures the comment is relevant and not spam before you allow it to go live.

After applying these five steps to the Homes by Artisan article, notice how the faces are green and the article has been optimized:

Yoast example for on-page optimization article


Hopefully, these five steps and tips give you a chance to rank your pages higher on the SERP. I understand this information might be a lot to digest at first, so partnering up with an experienced SEO agency or expert can be a big advantage.

Do you have any questions about on page optimization for beginners? Want to learn more about SEO for builders?


Head over to the following articles for more SEO resources or to learn more about SEO for builders:

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Terry Zelen

About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.


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