On-page search engine optimization is well-known as the base of any project with SEO. No matter how well you’re performing your Off-page search engine optimization for your website, if your website’s On-page SEO isn’t properly done you won’t get the desired result. Besides Google has begun to close all of the doors of building links and providing more value to the design and content. As both design and content are aspects of on-page search engine optimization you have to provide more value to all elements which are directly related to your blog or website.
Inside this chapter I’ll discuss the most important aspects of on-page SEO which impact search engine ranking and a few typical on-page SEO mistakes which might ruin all of your efforts and hopes.
What Are On-page Optimization and its Usage?
On-page SEO comprises of all the things you can do to optimize a page for search engine results, on that particular page. The On-page factors of a webpage or website include the technical set-up details such as the user-friendliness of your site, which is achieved through making proper adjustments to the textual and visual content.
Note that On-Page SEO does not include all the links that redirect visitors to other websites and social media platforms. It also does not include all the marketing activities that the site owner conducts outside the website.
Some of the most prominent On-page SEO techniques include:
- Optimizing all the titles and headings in the site
- Creating a website with a responsive design
- Following the rules that will enable your keywords to rank higher
- Creating fast loading pages
- Having a proper URL and minimize broken links
The Usage of On-Page SEO
To begin with, the creators of a website usually control the quality of the site to improve the ranking of the website. If you, as the owner of the site, address all the technical issues that influence the quality of what they search engines can understand, then you are in a better position to rank higher in the results.
Another thing is that if you are successful with having proper On-Page strategies, you stand a better chance with your off-page SEO strategy.
Off-page SEO comprises of the links to other websites and social media sites. If visitors can relate to your On-Page optimization, then they can relate to the content available in the sites for which you have provided links for in your site.
Difference Between On-page SEO and Onsite SEO
On-page SEO refers to the optimization done on a single page in your blog or website, while onsite SEO refers to the optimization done on your whole website or blog. Both work hand in hand, though it is possible for you to optimize a single page and not optimize the rest of the site.
However, if you target the whole site, then each page is an element that you will have to optimize.
On-page Optimization Techniques For Better Ranking
There are some tried and tested methods of On-page SEO techniques which are bound to enable a person who owns a site to get better ranking. The most effective ones include the following:
#1 Quality Content
As much as SEO is meant to make search engines understand your site and give you better rankings, it is only quality content that will keep the visitors to your site engaged and willing to, for instance, purchase your products and services.
Not everything in your site will qualify as quality content, but below are some of the things that will cut for quality and give you an edge over those you might competing with:
- Quality content is content that offers real answers to people’s questions. Most people search for content that will enable them to solve real-life problems on a day-to-day basis. If your content does not meet this requirement, then the visitors to your site will avoid your site and possibly give negative reviews. Negative reviews have the potential to lag the performance of your site, hence you might not want to affect your growth by posting content that is not quality.
- It is content that people want to share with their circles for them to get entertained or educated. If your content does not get even a single share on social media platforms, then you are probably doing it wrong. Quality content is content that people will aspire to pass around since it is perceived as being valuable.
How to Create Quality Content?
There are a few steps that you can follow to come up with content that will not only get the attention of those visiting your site but also sustain it. The most crucial ones include:
- Understand your readers: What are your readers looking for when they visit your site? Do you connect with what they need to see or read? It is not always about what you solely want to publish and post for people to view. If it is not content that is deeply intertwined with the lives of those who visit your site, then you may end up losing out on regular visitors.
- Focus on the visitors, not selling: If you intend to thrive in your business, you should aim at building a stable relationship with your customers. On the same note, if you want to rely on your site to attract customers, you should focus on them and how you interact, as opposed to merely stuffing the products down their throats. Show them that you are interested in them by providing solutions to their problems and they will get involved in anything else you have to offer.
- Present your content in a simple manner: Again, it is not about expressing yourself in a way that only yourself understands. It is about talking in the language that the visitors to your site will understand. Everything should be in a direct and simplified format.
- Original content: Make sure the content you publish is not copied or rewrite of your existing blog post
- Add text description to non text contents: When you add images or videos, try to give text description to those items.
#2 Blog Post Title
A blog post title can be more potent than you perceive it to be. If well-crafted, it can drive your blog into receiving better traffic and ranking higher in search engine results.
A poorly-chosen blog post title will work oppositely, you may end up receiving less traffic, and your blog will rank lower in search engine results. Optimizing the title of your blog is therefore essential in determining the performance of your site.
To rank higher in search engine results, you should try to add the focus keyword or phrase towards the starting of the title (H1) tag. But if that’s not possible, ensure it goes to least someplace in the title. And make sure to maintain your title length to below 65 characters
Check the below image, the target phrase is “Add ALT tag to images”. So that I kept that specific phrase at the beginning of my title.
To make precise keyword research, I highly recommend you to use SEMrush to get keywords and its search volume. All you have to do is just enter the keywords in the below box.
Listed are some of the things that you can do to optimize your post title:
#3 Post Permalink Structure
A permalink or slug URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a permanent link to the posts in your blog or website. Google considers the keywords in the URL as a very small ranking aspect. Since search engines usually rely on the blog post title and your defined permalink to rank your page, you should need to optimize your permalink.
If you want to optimize your permalink, below are some of the tips that you should follow:
- Ensure your permalink is short: Your permalink should be as short as possible, so long as it brings out the idea of what is in the post. Avoid using stop words such as to, is, and for in your permalink. For instance, the automatic permalink generated upon publishing your post could be https://mytravelblog.com//how-to-travel-around-the-world-on-a-budget. You can shorten your permalink to https://mytravelblog.com//how-travel-world-budget
- Include your intended keywords in your permalink: Since the permalink is meant to determine how the search engine indexes your page in the search results, you should not forget to include your keywords in the permalink. If anything, they should take up the most significant percentage in your permalink.
- Add hyphens: You should use hyphens in between your words instead of underscores in your permalinks. Hyphens are interpreted as spaces and underscores as additional words by search engines. For instance, you should type in “how-travel-world-budget” (know as pretty permalinks) and not “how_travel_world_budget.”
- Avoid editing your permalink after publishing your post: Editing your permalink after publishing it only causes loss of traffic. You should, therefore, avoid editing the permalink unless you have no options but to do so. Avoid adding special characters, commas, symbols, brackets etc in the permalink.
#4 Heading Tags
Heading tags are the HTML markups used to differentiate headings from subheadings, and from the rest of the text in your content. They are used to structure the page and create a visual impression to the users of the page. There are six sizes of heading tags, from H1 to h6.
Here are some of the things you should do as far as the use of heading tags is concerned:
#5 Keyword Density
Keyword density is the number of all searchable keywords and phrases on your websites or webpages. If you do not have keywords on your pages that search engines can find and index, then your post will not appear in your search engine results.
Only submitting the keywords of your site will not make your page ranked amongst the search results, you need to include the keywords in the content you present. Search engines pick the keywords which are the densest in your site.
To optimize your keyword density, you should:
- Know what the target traffic is looking for by analyzing the keywords they frequently search for.
- Use more of the keywords you discover in your text. However, there is no specific limit but try to place about 1.5% along with LSI keywords of the entire page content.
- Ensure to keep focus keyword once in the initial paragraph and in the last paragraph. Add keywords in your content sensibly.
#6 Meta Description
A Meta description refers to a short text paragraph that is placed in the site’s HTML to describe the content in that site. It usually appears right below the URL of your webpage in the search results of a webpage. It is popularly known as a snippet.
A Meta description is relevant because it influences the decision made by the person searching the web. An attractive and relevant Meta description is likely to receive more clicks than one that is not.
Below are some of the tips to write killer Meta description :
Keep your Meta description short: Your Meta description should be less than 160 Characters. As you look forward to providing all the information about your post in a short paragraph, you are forced to be very precise. You only think about what is essential, and you end up presenting that information.
- Ensure you present the value proposition to the person you want to visit your site. Most people only look for value in your site, and this should come up clearly in the Meta description you provide.
- It should be flawless and attractive. Making grammatical errors in your Meta description will significantly reduce traffic to your page. You should aim for perfection when writing the content in the Meta description. The searcher should feel attracted and welcome to visit your site
- Add target keywords in the meta description. Make sure to use unique and relevant description for each blog post.
Blog posts with quality images are indisputably captivating and able to drive huge traffic from Google Image Search. The images, when placed and formatted appropriately, help to get a reader’s attention. If the image on your site attracts a reader, they are likely to visit another time, hence generating more traffic.
Advantages of using images in your posts
- It helps you bring out the ideas in your text. A picture is worth a thousand words, hence a lot of information can be relayed using an image.
- It elicits emotion in the readers. If a picture can bring up a particular feeling in those visiting your site, then you can make them do some things based on the emotion. If an image is funny, the visitor is likely to be drawn into knowing the relationship the picture has with your content. You can, through this approach, relay as much information as possible.
- It enables you to increase the visibility of your content. When people are searching for images in various search engines, they are likely to visit your site if the image from the search results captivates them.
- Images help you break the monotony of long texts. If you are presenting long texts to your readers through a blog post, using an image will help you break the monotony and keep your readers captivated.
#7 Image Optimization Tips
Optimizing your images will help you reap many benefits. With the tips listed below, you can optimize your images to ensure that your blog posts achieve their desired purpose:
Including keywords in the image title and Alt text enable your blog post to perform well in search engine results.
#8 Word Count Per Post
As a blog manager, you should ensure that your posts are of the right length. The average number of words in most blogs is 2416 words, research has established. Going far beyond these words will only lead to visitors losing interest in your content. Your content should also not go below 300 words. Anything between 300 and 2000 words will do, so long as you use other SEO optimization techniques.
The average concentration span of a human being is less than 10 seconds, hence your content needs to be summarized in the least words possible, so long as it falls within the limit of the maximum and minimum words.
If you have more content to present, you can break it into several pages with a sufficient number of words in each.
#9 Internal Linking
Internal linking refers to links in one page on a specific domain that lead to another page in the same domain. Internal linking enables readers of a given post to have further reading options when they visit the other page within the same domain.
Internal linking also helps in improving the ranking of some keywords. The keywords are usually anchored on the other page in the same domain, and this contributes to better ranking of the page in search engines.
If you are looking forward to deriving the benefits of internal linking, here are some things that you should do:
- Ensure that once you come up with new content that you include links to it in the relevant landing pages. This ensures that all your links build to the content that you have in your site.
- Use appropriate contextual words to surround your internal links. With appropriate contextual words, you are in a better position to attract the readers and to ensure they visit the other page.
- Do not overdo it, some people would be tempted to add many internal links. This, however, is wrong because it ends up minimizing the value of the links entirely. Links should only be added in places they deserve to be at.
- Ensure that the links are natural, do not fix the link anywhere just for the sake of it. This will end up making the visitors to your web-page doubt your quality.
#10 External Linking
External linking involves placing a link to another website on your site. It is a very beneficial SEO strategy since it ends up building the necessary traffic to sites you want visitors to view. Those with already high ranking sites can externally link sites that rank very low in search engine results, thus making the low-ranking sites increase their authority rankings.
Some of the best external linking optimization tips include:
#11 Writing Engagement Content
Creating visual impressions and driving traffic to your site is only half the job. If the content in your site is not something that readers can relate to and enjoy reading, then you are likely to lose out on potential repeat visitors.
Writing engaging content calls for you to put all your creativity on the line, as you seek to educate, entertain or sell products to the site visitors. Your content should simple to understand and should not provide a false account of the things you are discussing. Having the right font size and styles will also contribute to the readability of your content. You can ask a few of your friends to help with this.
Beyond that, your content should have the most appropriate tone. If it a professional website, then you should keep it professional. Most of the blogs nowadays seek to address people’s real-life problems, hence use an informal and friendly tone that readers can relate to.
#12 Content SEO
Keywords, Meta descriptions, permalinks and other On-Page SEO tools keep your page visible to the audience, but you can also bank on the content you create to increase your visibility.
If you want to outdo your competition, it is crucial to use every tool at your disposal. This includes content SEO optimization.
Some of the tips you can follow to achieve this include:
- Create a captivating opening paragraph and title: Research has established while 80% of people visiting sites read the title, only 20% proceed to read the rest of the content. If your headline is not captivating enough, you may end up with less than the 20% reading the entire content. It is up to you to get as creative as can be to ensure that more people read your content. Capitalizing on a well-crafted first paragraph will also boost the readership of your content.
- Seek to address a specific audience: You are only capable of optimizing your content if you address a particular audience. Your content should be geared towards addressing their specific problems.
- Use the keywords appropriately: Using keywords within your content in the right frequency will give your ranking a boost and drive traffic to your site. Ensure that you have your most relevant keyword in the first and last paragraphs. To get LSI keywords, you can rely on Google suggest, People also ask for and Google related searches.
On-Page SEO Checklist
Having a checklist is crucial in ensuring that you are always on your toes when it comes to managing your page to ensure your rank higher in search engine results. Apart from knowing where to place your keywords, you should also determine the dos and don’ts for your site. Combining such strategies will almost seamlessly spearhead your site into being popular not only in search engine results but also amongst the site visitors.
Keyword placement is one on-page optimization factor that you should look into with care. If you place your keywords naturally and in the right places then you are bound to reap numerous benefits. If you fail to do this, then your website will barely be visible.
Below are the main areas you should naturally insert your keywords:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions and Meta tags
- Headers and sub-headers
- In your content by keeping a keyword density around 1.5%
- The link text when you are internally or externally linking your page.
- In embedded file names such as web images
Things to do
- Design your webpage in such a way that the content in it can be viewed easily, even with gadgets such as cell phones.
- Create infographics: These are very popular in the current day world and are effective at driving traffic to your site.
- Write longer articles: This allows you to include more keywords within your text.
- Remove all bad links: You should continually analyze your site to ensure that all your backlinks are okay. If any link is suspicious, you should remove it.
- Post content regularly: This will help update your users and search engine. Failure to do this will lead to your site becoming irrelevant and being overtaken by your competitors.
- Improve the speed of your website: Use every tool at your disposal to increase the speed of your site. Visitors to your site will benefit from this, and you will enjoy higher traffic.
Things not to do
- Do not include non-friendly apps on your site that prevent cell phone users from maximally navigating and viewing all your content
- Do not use overly general keywords, if you do not optimize your keywords for relevance you will not end up ranking as high as you intend to do.
- Do not stuff your keywords in image descriptions and Meta tags. Your goal is to ensure that your website is as natural as possible. Overusing keywords will end making your site look unattractive.
- Do not use the same title formats and elements in every page you have, look for variety to avoid duplicate content issues.
Design User-Friendly Navigation
Making it simple for users to navigate your site is as critical as any additional element of your site, because if users can’t locate the data they want, they simply will exit and go to your competition. Therefore, you must consider your target audience, the audience’s age, technical capability and additional demographics, and then work out a structure of navigation which is appropriate for this circle of people.
Consistently updated content (blogs)
All websites need user centric, keyword rich content to be added upon a continual basis, it’s why I tell each business owner I come across that they have to have a blog. It must be updated with fresh content, 2 – 4 times per month (or more) in order to encourage the search engines to frequently index your site. As an extra bonus it additionally encourages users to revisit your site because of the fresh, new content they’ll discover there.
Have a sitemap
Sitemaps help search engines index a site; therefore, be certain to have an XML sitemap, as it’ll assist the search engines in knowing which pages are most critical in your site and with technology today this may be automatically created and updated; thereby aiding the search engines in continually indexing your site.
The domain isn’t just the identification, yet additionally the first impression of all websites or domains. Thus, you have to be very wise and serious about selecting a domain name. Domain names aren’t just your website’s URL, yet additionally your brand. A few tips to choose SEO-friendly domains are provided below:
- Keep domain name brief
- Select a name which is simple to recall
- Domain names ought to reflect the subjects of your website
- Don’t use any sign or number in the domain name
- .COM.AU is better, yet if your website is suited to any specific project, use a domain extension according to that
- It is good that you keep your high targeted keyword within the domain yet, in this case, do not be overly aggressive
In 2015, loading time has become among the most vital search engine ranking factors that is an important part of on-page search engine optimization. Slow loading speed will mean you’ll get left behind. For this reason hundreds, perhaps thousands of website’s were hampered and lost a large amount of possible traffic. Thus, you have to use fast and reliable web hosting services for better ranking and performance.
The amount of mobile users is quickly rising in this age of high technology. Thus, your website has to have the ability to satisfy mobile users alongside desktop users. Besides Google additionally likes responsive sites as they offer better service to all types of users. Therefore, use a responsive design for better ranking as a portion of on-page search engine optimization. WordPress users easily can use responsive themes for improved results.
The title is well-known as the face of any blog or website as the title largely appears in the SERP’s. It is a vital aspect of on-page search engine optimization. Therefore, make certain that you place your keyword inside the title. Keywords will work a lot better within the title’s front part.
The description includes the 2nd most important aspect of any website that appears directly after a title. It provides a brief description about a page or site that greatly can impact search engine optimization ranking and CTR (click through rate). Therefore, set the keyword within your description zone tactfully both for attracting visitors and SEO ranking.
These days Google is focusing more on content length. Google believes that long content may offer detailed information in regard to any subject which may satisfy its readers. Thus Google prefers long content to be ranked on page one. Attempt to write a minimum of 500 word articles for better ranking. But, I’ll strongly recommend that you decorate your website (blog) with posts that are over 800 words.
Without any knowledge about search engine optimization and without delving deep into keyword research you can’t create SEO-friendly posts. So you must target your primary keyword in the content. It is best to keep the density of the primary keyword between 1.5 – 2.5 percent to remain safe from Google.
Google’s crawler can’t yet read pictures or any additional graphical objects. So you must set ALT tag for all images and place keywords for better ranking and crawling. It is a vital aspect of on-page SEO that can’t be denied. Besides utilizing the keyword, the title of the image also will work just fine.
In order to make the process of link building natural you have to build up the links in a regular way. Inbound links will mean linking a single page of your website with an additional page. These days such a process of link building works well.
In order to make your post more authentic, occasionally you must create links to an additional relevant site or webpage inside your content.
- Setup URLs to be SEO-friendly
- Main content ‘above the fold’
- Add text near top of the page
- Include an About Us and Contact Us page
- Link to Social sites
Spammy domain & hosting
If you have a desire to remain safe in the eye of Google and other major search engines, you have to avoid all types of spammy hosting servers and domains. Do not make any type of link association with spammy blogs and websites. Basically the majority of free hosting services which permit hosting of webpages for free are chock-full of spammy contents and sites. Also, a handful of free domain extensions such as ml, .co.cc, .tk, etc also are well-known as spammy websites. Therefore, it is better that you avoid those types of free extensions, too.
As with all other things in the world, optimization possesses both pros and cons. If your website isn’t optimized properly it might not appear upon page one of Google. On the other hand, over-optimizing is going to kick your website out of the search engine. Therefore, be careful when optimizing your website. To remain safe you aren’t permitted to perform some actions like:
- Do not exceed title over 70 characters (68 characters are best)
- Do not repeat keyword in description and title
- Do not randomly input keyword within content
Using the same description
Using the same description for multiple pages of one website surely will bring disaster. This action is well-known as spamming to Google. Therefore, do not use the same old boring descriptions for all of your pages to remain safe from the search engine.
Using the same ATL tag in an image
It’s the same case as a description. Many people do not care about this truth, yet ALT tags actually impact search engine rankings. I know the torture of punishment by Google as I suffered when I created the same ALT tags for multiple photos in one of my niche websites. So never use the same ATL tag for every image.
High keyword density
It is good for you to keep keyword density from 1.5 – 2.5 percent depending upon the length of the content for better on-page search engine optimization. A smart suggestion isn’t to exceed the keyword density restriction to more than 5 percent. If you go beyond this keyword density limit your website might get penalized by the search engine.
Duplicate and low quality content
These days, low quality content is the main reason for being penalized by Google. As Google rolled out Panda 4.1, an extremely smart algorithm as far as identifying low quality and copied contents goes, you have to be careful in the instance of publishing fresh content. So, it is good to publish just a single high quality piece of content rather than publishing hundreds of low quality and duplicate content.
- Have too many coding errors
- Block Google’s robots
- Add flash or large photos
- Have large photos or a slider at top of page