This article is part of our series of articles on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
On-page SEO basically refers to the optimization of various parameters ON your website pages to make it more interactive and user-friendly not just to the search engines but to people browsing it as well.
There are 4 factors that comes under the scope of On-page SEO:
# 1 Keyword Optimisation
Come up with a list of keywords that have high search volume less competition and are relevant to client’s business using a keyword planner.
Once you insert those keywords at pages of the website that you want to get ranked, build backlinks on these keywords from other sites to yours. You may also get infographics and submit in directories and blogs with your backlink.
Your site’s content needs to be optimized in such a way that it can suit both search engines & your readers. Important elements of Keyword Optimization:
Research: Do a proper research before you decide on your keywords. There are plenty of free tools out there that can help you to do keyword research. Some of my personal favorites are: SEObook Keyword Suggestion tool, Google Adwords Keyword planner Tool & Overture Keyword Tool.
Keyword Density: Try to have a moderate keyword density so that it can help the search engine to determine that your page is indeed related & relevant to the keyword that you are targeting.
Synonyms & Related Keywords: You should use synonyms instead of having a high keyword density. This helps to make my content sound natural but still helps in SEO.
Long Tail Keywords: It’s often good to target some long tail keywords as they are comparatively easier to rank for.
During your keyword research you should be able to gather some good long tail keywords that you can optimize your site for.
But you can also come up with your own long tail keywords; for example try adding some common words like – ‘best’, ‘free’, ‘cheap’, ‘top’ etc. along with your actual keyword and you might eventually get some good long tail keywords.
#2 Usability, User experience and Content enhancement
Factors like Ease of using a site; providing direct, actionable information relevant to the query; accessibility to modern browsers and delivering high content can make or break the game of your site while ranking. Make sure you have the best of them.
#3 Engagement Metrics
Search engine measure the success of the rankings of result by observing how you engage with them. If you click the first link, then immediately hit the back button to try the second link, this indicates that you were not satisfied with the first result. Search engines seek the “long click” – where users click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again.
Now coming to Off-page SEO focus on Growing popularity and links from Trustworthy sites
Through links, search engines can not only analyze the popularity of websites but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources. You could use your content in the form of infographics, guest posts, social bookmarks. etc for getting link back to your site.
#4 META Titles and Descriptions:
I cannot stress the importance of having relevant META titles and META descriptions as this is what allows Google bots to link your content to any relevant search.
If the META title and description is missing Google will take some content randomly from your website and populate the fields. This is obviously bad as the content is taken at random and will without a doubt be irrelevant to the keyword(s) you are trying to rank for.
#5 Content Tags:
On page SEO also involves making the correct use of H1, H2, H3 tags etc, most people just use H1 tags for all sub topics, this is wrong and is akin to keyword stuffing albeit with the tags.
A correctly formatted sitemap is vitally important as it allows Google crawlers to “place” your content and for your website to be found for relevant searches.
If you are using WordPress you can use the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin or my preferred choice which is Yoast SEO.
#7 Internal Linking:
Again another often overlooked aspect of on page SEO is internal linking, not only is this very beneficial is passing “link juice” to less visited pages but it also allows your visitors to find relevant content easier, so it’s basically a win win situation as the more relevant content that is placed in front of visitor eyes the more time they will spend on your website.
Gone are the days where you could write or get a 500 word article written with questionable spelling and grammar and just stuff keywords into it. This worked back then but now it’s just a quick way to get your website penalized by Google and even de-indexed if this happens on a regular basis.
Write better, longer and more engaging content than your competitors, something like an ultimate 3000+ word guide formatted and interlinked using Wikipedia’s playbook.
This is the new age of content, where content length and quality is more important than keyword density. With a 2000+ word article you will naturally target “short”, “medium” and “long tail” keywords within your niche without even trying.
#9 Speed and Mobile Friendly:
Google’s bias towards website speed is no secret, this means in the modern era a fast website is critical to survival, slow websites will simply become extint.
A whopping 75% stated that they would not re-visit a website if it didn’t load in under 4 seconds!!, that is 4 seconds to a fully rendered and usable website.
Also from an SEO perspective we are seeing more and more website being penalized and demoted for not being mobile friendly and slow.
#10 Important HTML Tags
There are several tags in html which allows you to do so. For instance – the header tags [h1] [h2] [h3], Bold [strong], Italic [em] etc. The text inside your header tags.
Header 1: Header 1 should be used to define the most important section of your page. Usually Header 1 is used for Site’s title or header text.
Header 2 & 3: Header 2 and 3 can be used for Page/Post titles or important sections of your pages. Separating your content with headers is a good practice as it makes your site more readable and easy to navigate.
Bold: You can bold (e.g. [strong]) certain words which are of high importance. Sometimes it’s good to bold your keywords where appropriate. However overdoing this may get you penalized.
Italic: You can use the [em] tag to emphasize certain words which will appear in italic.
Quote: This is very useful when you are quoting from someone.