21 Aug On-Page Search Engine Optimization in 9 Simple Steps
There are hundreds of on-page optimization factors that different search engines take into consideration. Before we go any further, let us first define what on-page optimization is. On-page optimization refers to the factors that have an effect on your website or web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by the coding on your page. Examples of important on-page optimization techniques include content optimization, Meta tags, keyword research and selection, keyword density, and title tag.
STEP 1: Keyword Research and Selection. You must think like you’re the customer when selecting keywords or phrases for your website. Do not base your keyword research or your page optimization for keywords that you like or think should be associated with the topic you are writing about. Instead, you should optimize for keywords your potential customers associate with the information you are offering.
A tool you can use for keyword research is the Google keyword suggestion tool. It’s free and easy to use. All you have to do is to type in a word or phrase associated with the topic of your content. Google keyword suggestion will then provide you with a list of associated words or phrases similar to your searched word/s.
STEP 2: Page Title. This is the blue, bolded, underlined text on a Google search engine results page, and can also be found on the top left of the browser bar. Remember that your page title must adhere to the following guidelines:
- It must be under 70 characters with no more than two long-tail keywords per page title.
- The primary keyword should appear first.
- Each keyword phrases must be separated by pipes (|).
- Each page title on your website must be unique.
- Except for the homepage and contact us page, the page title should not include your business name.
STEP 3: META DESCRIPTION. Where can you find the Meta description? This appears on a Google search results page under the page title. This is an important factor in on-page optimization because this helps online users to decide whether to click on your result or not. You may think of this as a call to action thus, it should follow these rules:
- It must be under 150 characters but not under 100 characters.
- Do not forget to incorporate the primary keyword and at least one secondary keyword on your Meta description.
- Always provide a compelling reason as to why people should click on your page.
- Put your keywords in a way that it creates a conversation. Avoid cramming in keywords just for the sake of putting them.
STEP 4: OPTIMIZE KEYWORDS IN URL. Your URL must include a primary keyword and each word should be separated using dashes (-).
STEP 5: HEADING TAGS. Your page must have at least one H1 heading tag that incorporates your primary keyword. This must also be aligned with your page title and website URL. Also, the H1 tag should appear at the top of your page, the first thing that people will see when they open your page.
STEP 6: PAGE CONTENT. It is important to mention your keywords when writing your website content. Don’t over think keyword density or placement. Instead, you must use your keywords naturally. Also, you can try to bold or underline your keywords at least once for emphasis.
STEP 7: ADD A CALL TO ACTION. Don’t forget to add at least one call to action to every website page. The call to action must be above the fold so that your website visitors don’t have to scroll down just to see it.
STEP 8: INTERNAL LINKS. Cross-linking and anchor texts are important elements of SEO. What is anchor text? It is the linkable wording included in your navigation to outside sources and internal linking structure within your site. For example, if you are writing a blog entry and have mentioned something that you have previously written or discussed about, then link to it. It is important that the links work correctly because anchor texts’ goal is to provide an easy direction to connecting pages from every page of your website thus, reducing your bounce rates and help in user experience.
STEP 9: IMAGES. All images used on your website must be optimized so that search engines will be able to read them. You can optimize your images either by file name (separated with dashes) or by ALT text.