On Page SEO Matters More Than Ever
If you have a Website, you want traffic. It doesn’t matter if you blog for fun or build a site to make money. Whatever you’re doing, you want people to see it. To get traffic, you either need to pay money for advertising, or make sure that you have both compelling content and other sites linking to you. You also need to make sure that your “on page SEO” is properly set up so that the search engines will know what your site is about.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and “on page SEO” refers to making sure that your site’s individual pages and posts are properly tweaked so that Bing and Google know exactly what each page and post on your site is about. If you have a blog on dog training, you want your on page SEO to make it perfectly clear to Google that your site is about exactly that, and nothing else.
Of course, the things that the search engines are looking for change from time to time, so I thought it might be time for a refresher regarding what the search engines are looking for right now when it comes to on page SEO.
On Page SEO Isn’t Difficult
A lot of people, including experienced marketers, thing that on page SEO is hard to set up. It really isn’t, and the basic things that the search engines want to see on a site are really pretty obvious when you get right down to it. They want to be able to skim your page and know what that page is about, and there are a number of ways to indicate that without going overboard.
Back in the late 1990s, a lot of sites would simply repeat a keyword, over and over, sometimes hundreds of times on a page. They’d often put those keywords at the bottom of the page and make the font color the same color as the page background so that visitors to the site couldn’t see it. It would still be visible to the search engines, though. This used to work, but soon became known as “keyword spamming.” It’s a good way to get your site dropped from the index completely these days.
The best advice is to not worry too much about your keywords. Create your content and use the keywords normally throughout your text. If you do it right, the search engines will pick up what your page is about without you having to be too blatant about it.
Here are some simple and straightforward tips regarding on page SEO that just about anyone ought to be able to do. If you get in the habit of doing these things every time you create a page or blog post, it will soon become second nature and you’ll do it automatically.
Put your keyword in your title tag – In WordPress, this is the first field on the page, right below the words “Add New Post.” Put your keyword there, and put it first. This post is about on page SEO, and that’s what I put first in the title tag. Search engines regard the title of the page as the key indicator as to what the page is about.
Add modifiers to your title. Modifiers are terms that expand your title keyword, such as “review,” “best,” “tips,” and so on. These help you create what are known as “long tail” keywords that may help your site see better rankings in the search results.
Heading tags – Within the content of your post, be sure to wrap your keyword or phrase in <H1>, <H2>, and <H3> tags, one time each. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll be accused of …overdoing it, and you don’t want to overdo your on page SEO. Once is fine. On this page, you’ll see the keyword at the beginning of the text, once after the “more” tag, and once at the conclusion. That works well. Get in the habit of doing it.
Add images and/or videos – multimedia is good; it helps break up the monotony of reading lots and lots of text. I like to throw at least three images into every post, and I try to move them about the page to give readers’ eyes some relief. Be sure to include your keyword or phrase in the ALT tag of at least one image. You can do it with all of them if you like, but doing it at least once is vital for on page SEO.
Place your keyword appropriately – Be sure to include your keyword in both the first 100 words of your text as well as the last 100 words of your text. You want to basically start by talking about that keyword and wrap up your post by doing the same.
Have a mobile-friendly layout or site theme – Google penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly, and these days, a lot of people use phones and tablets to surf the Web. Good on page SEO involves making sure that your site can accommodate them.
Linking in and out – It’s important that your page have your keyword or phrase in links that point to other pages on your site as well as other sites that are external to yours. These external sites can be “authority” sites, such as Wikipedia, or social media sites, such as Pinterest, or any other site that has something to do with the topic.
Include social sharing buttons – This aspect of on page SEO may or may not help your rankings, but it will definitely help you get more visitors. Make it easy for your visitors to share your site’s content with others.
Use LSI keywords in your text – LSI stands for “latent semantic indexing.” What it means is that in addition to using your keyword in your text, you should also use related terms in your text. This helps the search engines get a better idea of what your page is about.
Long content – A really important part of on page SEO is to have long content. How long is long? I try to make each post at least 1000 words, but studies show that for many topics, the #1 site on Google for those terms often have close to 2000 words of content. Longer is better, so practice up on your typing skills.
On Page SEO Conclusion
Many of these on page SEO tips should be obvious, though some are a bit more obscure. Still, none of them are particularly difficult, aside from finding 1000 or more words to write about your topic. If you want the search engines to rank your pages about whatever topic you’re writing about, you need to gently give them a nudge so they’ll know. Don’t over do it, but by following the steps above, you should see your pages ranking in the search engines soon enough.