How is on-page SEO done effectively?
In a previous post I explained What Is Seo About and tackled the types of SEO techniques being practiced today. A powerful SEO campaign is key to boosting your online presence and driving traffic to your site. While of-page SEO practices like social sharing really do wonders for your rankings, we cannot discount the fact that on-page SEO techniques still matter and can still help optimize your site.
The updates that Google has released have significantly changed the way website owners should structure and manage their sites. These updates have changed the online landscape and have created new standards in website management and optimization.
On-Page SEO is optimizing your site posts and pages with the objective of making those posts and pages rank in search engines. This includes all aspects of a post or page that influence their ranking. Following are 15 powerful ways to do on-page SEO effectively.
1. Make sure you always post great quality content.
I would like to put this at the top of the list as this, I believe, is the most important on-page SEO factor today.
In line with Google’s objective today, your aim is to give your site visitors a great user experience and you can do this by giving them posts that are informative and will respond to their needs.
Search engines may have no way of knowing what your content is all about or how it is structured but they base their evaluation of your site on how long your site visitors stay on your site, whether you visitors come back to your site (repeat visitors) and how many searches your site gets on Google.
And you can influence how a user behaves on your site by giving your readers a site that is full of awesome content that they will want to read and will want to come back to again and again. This only translates to more traffic and better rankings for your site.
Always remember that user is king and your content is key in giving the king the overall user experience. When the user gets benefits from your site and gets the answer to his questions from your content then that makes for a great experience for him or her. This translates to more traffic which in turn, translates to better ranking.
2. Post regularly.
Besides posting great quality content, you should also post regularly. Google loves content and what better way to get in its good graces that to regularly update your site with fresh content. Consistent with its algorithms that aim to provide users with a great online experience, posting regularly will help your site get more chances to be ranked by Google and to be found online by your much needed users.
3. Include your keyword in the first 150 words of your post.
Including your keywords in the first 150 characters of your post will help Google easily see what your page is all about. It then becomes easier for Google to categorize your site and know to which search results to include it.
Before Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates came into place, SEO practitioners used to stuff their content with keywords to optimize keyword usage. This used to work but not anymore. Make sure that when you use keywords on your post they come out as natural and relevant to your content to make for great content.
4. As much as possible start your post title with the keyword you are targeting for.
The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO elements. The title tag represents a preview of your page’s content, thus this should be as accurate and descriptive as possible as this element is crucial for both the user and in terms of SEO. Thus, it is important to place your keywords as close to the start of your post title as possible.
Google displays only the first 60 characters of your title tag, therefore, try to fit your title into this 60 character limit.
5. Use images, illustration and videos.
Using images and illustrations contribute to user engagement on your page. When users stay longer on your page you reduce bounce rate. Posting videos also contribute greatly to making your site more user friendly and helps boost the user engagement process.
Always remember that Google’s emphasis today is on user satisfaction and rewards sites which create a great user experience. When you maximize the use of images you also increase the value of your posts.
6. Use Alt Text on your images
Make sure you optimize your images by using Alt Text. And include your target keyword in the Alt Text of at least one image file.
Alt Text are mainly used to provide a description of the contents of an image file and this is specially useful for the visually impaired and those that do no have the ability to display the image.
Just like the visually impaired, Google also no way of seeing images on your pages. Thus, having Alt Text on your images will allow search engines to crawl those images and have an idea of what the image is all about. The alt text contained within an image is what the search engines use to determine if your image should be included in a search query.
To use alt text you can edit your image on the post editor and just specify your Alt Text in the space provided for.
7. Write a good Meta Description
A meta description is the phrase or sentence that can be found below the title of a search result that describes or summarizes the web page’s content.
Although search engines do not use this for ranking purposes, meta descriptions still serve a purpose in your on-page SEO efforts. Since the meta description is displayed in the search results, this gives users a brief summary of what your post is all about.
And if the user likes what he sees in this description then it is more likely that he will click on your link. And when search engines see that your links garner many clicks from the search results, this translates to better ranking.
Therefore to give users a preview of what your post is all about, you should write a meta description that will aptly give a brief picture of what the user can expect from your page.
Remember that the meta description display by search engines is limited to only 160 characters so make sure you write a concise description that will accurately reflect the contents of your page.
8. Use H1 tags.
Although I agree with the opinion of many SEO experts today that the importance of H1 tags has lessened since Google’s algorithms have evolved to what they are today, I cannot discount the fact that H1 tags are still an important factor for ranking.
While I agree that this may not have a direct effect on SEO, the use of H1 tags still contribute greatly to the user experience which is one of the main thrusts of Google today. User engagement is one of the main bases of Google ranking and since and H1 tag is the first element that a user sees on a page, it is still essential that you optimize your H1 tags.
The H1 tag <h1> is not to be confused with the title tag <title>. These two basically have the same function, that is to contain the title of your post or page. But the main difference lies in where they appear.
The title tag is what the search engines display when your page comes up in the search results page. When a user visits your page this is what is displayed as your page title and becomes the title when a user bookmarks your page.
On the other hand the H1 tag is not displayed by the search engines but just within your web page and is usually the largest text in your webpage.
Although these two can contain different titles, they should both reflect the main message of your page. I also recommend that these two contain the keywords that you are targeting.
Most Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress automatically add the H1 tag to your blog post title so you do not have to worry about that.
9. Use H2 and H3 Tags.
Just like the h1 tag, h2 and h3 tags (or h4, h5 and h6 tags for that matter) do not directly contribute to the ranking of your site. These heading tags are used to sub-divide the contents of your post, thus, h2 and h3 tags are sub-headings which make your post look better and more well-organized.
Using h2 and h3 tags makes it easier for users to navigate your post and gives them the ease of finding what they are looking for, thus, encouraging them to stay longer on your site. As a result this lowers your bounce rate.
Creating a great user environment on your site contributes to the overall user experience, something that Google today really loves. Although this does not produce a direct effect, using h2 and h3 tags greatly improves the readability of your posts, thus, giving the user more reasons to stay longer and visit your other posts.
These will all reflect on your site statistics which Google will surely pick up on.
How do I use h2 and h3 tags?
If you are using WordPress, you can easily set up h2 and h3 tags by selecting the line that you want to set up as h2 or h3 and clicking on the “Paragraph” element in your post editor. This will display a drop down menu where from which you can choose your tag.
10. Install social media sharing buttons on your site
We all know the power of social networking. Including social media sharing buttons on your site increases the engagement of your users as this will allow them to share your posts with others. When your posts are shared your site gains popularity which in turn results to an increase in site traffic.
Social sharing buttons are a very powerful tool that should be leveraged by online marketers. Whether your posts are shared on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, your page is bound to get the attention that it needs and subsequently the traffic and ranking that you are aiming for.
11. Make your site mobile friendly.
Current technology dictates that you make your site mobile friendly. People today are not confined to their PCs or laptops but are more often than not using their mobile devices to do research and find solutions to their problems.
When your site is mobile friendly you are able to open your business to a larger market and avoid the limitations that a non-mobile friendly site. There are several themes available that will help you get your site mobile-friendly.
12. Make sure your site loads fast.
There is nothing like a slow loading site to turn off and turn away a user. Loading speed is also one of the factors that Google uses to determine the ranking of a website and if your site loading is not up to standards, then you may get penalized by Google.
One good way to speed up your site is to invest in good premium hosting services. Be wary of low quality hosting plans that won’t cut it out for you. These will just slow you down and hold back your progress. In most cases switching to a premium hosting service cuts down your loading time by more than half. Get your high quality premium hosting plan for FREE here.
Minimizing your plugins will also help boost your speed. Too much installed plugins will cause your site to slow down.
13. Encourage your readers to submit comments.
Comments create discussion which in turn create user engagement. The more comments you get the more your site looks great, not only to users, but to Google as well. Having comments on your page means that your post is interesting enough to generate reactions from your audience.
The discussion that results from these comments create community within your site and helps sustain your site readership. Not only does this contribute to the overall user experience that you should be aiming for, but this also builds up search engine optimization.
14. Do internal linking.
Internal links are links that made from one page of a domain to another page of the same domain.
Internal linking provides several advantages to any website. For one, linking to from one page helps spread the link juice to other pages in the same site. This helps pass on the authority from pages that receive a lot of external links to pages that may not receive as many external links. Internal linking also helps search engines crawl pages that are not visited by users very often.
When the “weak” pages get a boost from internal links to it, then their rankings also get a boost.
15. Include outbound links in your post
Outbound links or external links are links that point to another domain outside of your domain.
When you link to another site you are in effect associating your site with that other domain.
When you link out to other domains, it not only helps the search engine to understand your niche, but also helps to increase the trust and quality of your site which plays a vital role in your blog’s SEO.
Since linking to other sites gives search engines a good idea of what your niche is, make sure to link to domains that are related to your own domain.
Linking out results to a lot of positives for your blog. For one it gives your site more value. When you link out, specially to sites that can provide more reference materials for your readers, you add more to those readers’ experience, and thus, contribute to your being a dependable resource in your own niche. It establishes your own authority.
Also when you link out you send out traffic that can be tracked, thus, when those site tracking webmasters notice your link and they visit your site, you get the chance to attract a relevant audience.
How is on-page SEO done effectively?
On-page SEO is one of the most important aspects of website optimization that will greatly help in your online marketing campaigns. Rankings, traffic and conversions – these are the 3 main objectives of a successful website. Employing these on-page SEO strategies will enable you to effectively optimize your site and contribute to your achieving these objectives.
I would be glad to know your thoughts about this. Just leave a comment below and let’s exchange ideas about this.