At times, we come across bloggers who know On Page SEO, but don’t get much traffic. They work hard and are dedicated towards their goals. But things don’t work well for them. Are you one such blogger or webmaster or are you looking for ways on how start a blog? In both cases, we can surely can lend our help.
Welcome to the world of On Page SEO.
The nitty gritty world of Marketers and SEOs who work hard day and night to rank their websites. We will break down the basics for you. Be sure to keep up with us. 😀
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO (also known as “on-site SEO”) is the practice of optimizing web page or website post’ content for search engines and users. Common on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, content, internal links and URLs.
It is different than Off Page SEO, which deals with optimizing for signals that happen off your websites. e.g. backlinks, press releases etc.
While on-page optimization is less straightforward than it once was, it’s still arguably the easiest part of SEO.
Why is on-page SEO important?
Google, as you by now, has a shrewd algorithm. It is smart at looking at your page’s content and determining whether it’s relevant to a search query. Part of this process involves looking for keywords.
Google doesn’t only look for “keywords” in your articles. It stresses on relevancy. Google is ultimately looking for the most relevant search result for a query, so their algorithms also look for other relevant content on the page.
So, if your article is about coffee and your don’t share various information about it like types of beans, ways to make a coffee etc., Google would probably look elsewhere.
Relevancy plays a bit part in On Page SEO. Either your crack it and win or don’t rank at all.
How to create SEO rich content
Now that you’ve seen why on-page SEO still matters, it’s time to start optimizing your content. To rank in Google, you need a keyword or topic that you will write your article on. Read our keyword research guide if that’s not the case.
Now let’s get on with the guide.
Use Target Keyword in first 100 words.
Old school SEO tactic that still makes a difference. All you need to do is use your main keyword once in the first 100-150 words of your article. Since Google puts more weight on terms that show up early in your page, you don’t want to miss out on such a good strategy.
Be Clear, Unique, Thorough & Relevant
Creating a post with a main keyword in mind is one thing, keeping variations of the keyword in the post and maintaining the flow is another.
Relevancy is arguably the most crucial part of on-page SEO, which means aligning your content with search intent. Fail to give searchers what they want, and your chances of ranking are slim to none.
If your competitor’s post is about iPad review and has a list of pros and cons, you should go for a similar format. Creating a post with a different flow other than the ranked sites is like swimming against the tide. You’ll falter, big time.
Same goes for being Thorough. You won’t like reading an article which doesn’t spike your interest. Your readers feel the same.
Use Headings and Sub-headings to create a flow. H1 heading tags are mostly your post or page titles. Be sure to include your keyword in it.
H2 sub-headings should be used as main talking points in the article. While H3, H4 and so on, can be used to expand the talking points. Take a look at our article. I am sure you get my point now. 🙂
Use subtopics if you can. Subtopics should mostly be around your main keyword. For example, if your main keyword is golf clubs, you can use subtopics or broad key phrases like, best golf clubs in California, Golf clubs for Beginners etc.
Unique contents rule. It’s important to give your visitors what they want, but you also need to bring something new and inspiring to the table. Fail to do this, and your content will be like everyone else’s.
At times you’ll get stuck with putting something new into your post. You may want to explore other sites and use their content. This normally happens with images, videos and at times, with textual content as well.
While you may want to use them, rewriting the stuff is what you should do. Write it in your own words, take references, create something amazing and let your readers enjoy.
Be Clear with your content. No matter how well you write a post and put all the fancy stuffs in it. If it’s not aligned properly or the font size is too small to read, nobody will want to read it.
Plain and simple, isn’t it?
Follow these simple tips to create clear content that people will want to read:
- Lists are your savior. Use bullets to help skimmers.
- Use descriptive subheadings (H2-H6) for hierarchy.
- Experiment with images to break up the text.
- Use simple words that everyone can understand.
- Write as you speak to make things more entertaining and conversational.
Include Keyword in Title
Page titles usually get wrapped in an H1 tag. That’s why including your keyword in the title of the page or post is regarded as one of the most important SEO Tactics.
Now that you know adding keyword in Titles are important. That doesn’t mean you should use the exact keyword. Use Keyword variations to look more generic.
For example, if my target keyword is “Best Headphones”, I would probably use “10 Best Headphones” or “Best Headphones in under $20” for my Title tags.
Use Short URLS
Short & descriptive URLs serve the purpose of being to the point. They help your visitors or searchers to understand what a page is about before clicking.
For example, look at the URLs below:
https://blog.decathlon.in › articles › top-25-ways-to-lose-weig…
www.nhs.uk › Live Well › Healthy weight
Both the URLs serve same purpose but URL structure is different. One if too long for search results and hence is truncated while the one is short and simple. Long URLs or URLs with random alphabets or numbers have low CTRs as they fail to convey the message.
While short URLs are to the point. Keeping things short is important because Google truncates lengthy ones in the SERPs.
Write an interesting meta description
Meta descriptions play a vital role in CTR (Click through rate). Google often shows a page’s meta description as the descriptive snippet in the SERP.
So, if you fail to write an interesting meta description, you are losing traffic.
Although Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, they add value to your post in SERPs.
Use these tips to write a compelling description fast:
- Add creative titles.
- Match a searcher’s intent
- Write as your speak. You are a human being, not a robot. 😀
- Be concise. Keep it around 120 characters or less.
- Include your keyword in the description as Google bolds words and phrases closely related to the query.
Images can rank and generate traffic in Google Images, if optimized properly. Optimizing images should be a basic routine when publishing an article as it helps Google understand what the image is about and also helps vision impaired readers.
Here’s a quick three-step checklist for optimizing your images.
Use ALT Tags for Images – Alt tags are Alternative / Alternate Names given to an image. Suppose you uploaded a photo of your dog. In most cases the name of the image would be photo1212.jpeg or screenshot2481.png.
This doesn’t tell Google what the Image is about. Rather naming them, or adding an Alt text, would remove that confusion.
So your photo1212.jpeg can have Alt text as Black Labrador Puppy and so on.
It’s advisable to use your main keyword or variations in Alt tags, but one avoid overstuffing.
Compress Images – Compressing images make file sizes smaller, leading to faster page load experience. It’s important because page speed is a ranking factor on both desktop and mobile. If you are running a blog on WordPress, you can download plugins like Smush etc., to help you do the work.
Add internal and external links
Linking to relevant Internal and external website pages help searches navigate your website and gather more information.
Some might say, Linking to other websites might hurt your SEO rankings. That’s not true at all.
In fact, Google’s John Mueller says:
Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Often times, links help users to find out more, to check out your sources and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have.
While it’s a good practice to link to other sites. That does not mean link to any site. Find a site in your niche and link to an article that’s relevant to your topic. This will add more value to your content and keep your searchers happy.
Advance On-Page Optimizations
What we have covered so far is well and good. If you follow everything, you will successfully optimize your pages for ranking purposes, but there are other things you can do.
So, if you are already ranking well for a keyword or topic and want to push higher, here are a few ‘advanced’ optimizations.
Optimize for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are a type of SERP feature that often show near the top of the search results. They try to answer the searcher’s query in short excepts pulled from top ranking websites.
Since Snippets’ answers come from ranking websites, it’s an effective shortcut to winning the top position in rankings.
Doing this is often easier said than done, but the basic process is:
- Rank in the top 10. Google normally pulls the snippet from one of these pages.
- Make sure Google already shows a featured snippet.
- Put answers and information on your page. Google can’t pull from your page if it’s not there.
- Use the right format. Paragraph, list, or table etc.
Get rich snippets with schema markup
Rich snippets are search results with additional information like star ratings or accordions below the title, description, and URL. For example Google shows ratings, calories and cooking times for these recipe pages.
There are some other Markup types which Google prefers showing in Search results. Some of them are-
- How-to markup
- Product markup
- Review markup
- Software markup
- FAQ markup
For example, see a FAQ markup in SERP.
Although rich snippets directly don’t help in rankings, many believe they can generate good CTR.
There’s no generic ranking boost for SD usage. That’s the same as far as I remember. However, SD can make it easier to understand what the page is about, which can make it easier to show where it’s relevant (improves targeting, maybe ranking for the right terms). (not new, imo)
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) April 2, 2018
If you use WordPress, you can add schema markup to posts and pages with popular plugins like Yoast or Rank Math.
Make use of On-Page SEO Tools
If you are running a WordPress Blog, you can download some good SEO plugins from WordPress Archive. Be sure to check our guide on Free seo tools for WordPress to boost your Google Rankings. Yoast & Rank Math are some of the best.
Wrapping it up!
If you follow the advice shared in this post and try to get everything sorted out, chances are that your pages will start ranking sooner than expected. Although ‘Technical aspects’ of SEO are important for rankings, a Searcher’s Intent is what you should concentrate on and should also adhere to latest Google updates.