Onpage optimization is a slightly tougher part for SEO. Search engines have hundreds of “best practices” lists on how to optimize your page. Search engines also now look at other traffic sources such as social networks, referring links, emails, blogs, etc. to determine if your page deserves to be ranked. Overall there is no absolute right way to optimize a page, but here are some good tips to get you started. Think of this a guide to building a house. You want to make sure that you lay out the framework and structure of your page. This framework will overall enhance the chances that your page will have some impact on your search rankings.
Once you have and understand the keywords you need for your business, and then you can start to implement them into your pages. If you are looking at your overall site, you want to make sure that each page targets a core term. Essentially, don’t try to shove a several terms into one page, it really doesn’t do any good. Search engines are pretty good on finding synonyms, etc. So, feel free to use them throughout the page as well.
Most importantly of all, make sure your page is user-friendly. It won’t make a difference if you rank #1 for a term and when visitors come to your site and it looks and feels like a nightmare to navigate and read through. You want to have a page that users are more likely to stay on, rather than just leave because of how it looks and feels. Keeping the design and layout in mind could potentially earn you links and shares from various sources.
In order to save some time and really give you the best on the web, I got this image from Moz.com. So, if you’re reading this Rand Fishkin, thank you for the graphic!
Just as a note: If you are using WordPress, then make sure you use SEO by Yoast. It’s a great plugin that will really help you get this done quickly and efficiently. Here is where you would enter the information into Yoast. Link to Yoast’s plugin, yes it is free!
Google and other search engines are still working to better understand the actual meanings of a page and truly off its users what they are searching for, you want to include a title tag. Yes, there is a lot of stuff out on the web about the de-emphasis of title tags, but including it doesn’t really hurt. Just as a note, the title tag is NOT your page’s primary headline. The headline is something you see on your page. You want to make sure you use the primary keyword in the Title Tag at least once and as close to the start of the page of the tag. When we’re talking about title tag you will see this:
The page’s meta description is like the story of the page. According to the search engines it doesn’t play a role, but I seriously beg to differ. Make sure that you include the keyword in the meta description. You really want to make sure that your meta description is informative and really tries to lure searchers to come to your page. If you’re fishing you’re essentially baiting searchers to come to you. I’ve seen it where there were some really bad meta descriptions on the first page and the site on rank# 2 or #3 were getting more traffic because of their meta descriptions. Don’t stuff your keyword a hundred times into the meta description, it will not work!
A really good URL structure has a several elements involved in it. The first element is using the keyword in the URL. This helps with search relevancy and makes sure that your page really is relevant to what the searchers could be searching for. You want to try to really think on what your persona visitor would be searching for here. Why? Because if you have laid out your personas really well, then you will be able to figure out what they will search for and provide a URL that is extremely close to their thoughts. Now how is that for targeting?!
Headlines are your H1 tags, H2 tags. Okay, I know you’re not a coder and if you’re reading my blog, then you’re here for the real basics of this stuff. Think of it this way, when you write a paper, not everything is a main title. In your paper, you have sub-topics and even further breakdowns of that topic into tertiary topics. That is exactly how H1, H2, H3…H6 tags work in your website. If you’re using WordPress, then there is a place where you can change the title tags.
The best tip I can give you here is that in your H1 tags you want to include your keyword. Make sure it’s a real title, don’t just say <Keyword> and walk away. Make something that visitors really want to read. Come on you have to entice someone to read! If you’ve invested the time to really chum the water to get someone to come to the site, then make them stay by giving a really good title. Target your personas here as well! It will pay off.
This is the text of your document…duh, Alex! You want to make sure that you use your keywords here, but not just the same keyword. You’ve compiled a list of relevant keywords and keyphrases which you could sprinkle through the site. Most importantly of all you really want to make sure that you have good relevant information for the keywords. Do NOT try to trick the system, Google, and other search engines have far more knowledge and the ability to invest in more Ph.D.’s than you might. These days, your content has to be so engaging that readers will want to continue to keep reading and go onto more and more links. I always try to get readers to at least 3 to 4+ pages. So, keep in mind relevant, quality and user-friendly content will win out in the end.
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