On page SEO is an integral part of the whole website SEO or search engine optimization process. You need to follow certain SEO techniques to help optimize your blog/website so that search engines can decipher it better and probably rank it higher up in the SERPs.
Every blogger wants to rank on the first page of the Google. It may feel complex and mind-boggling task. Although, Google regularly updates their policies and algorithms to decide the order that websites are displayed in search results.
Many bloggers are there in the market, who wants to know how to get on the first page of Google. But no one completely knows how to get top ranking on a search results page.
Google is one of the best search engines in 2018 with a market share of over 78%. You can get a lot of exposure, traffic and ultimately leads & sales by ranking on the top of the first page in Google’s SERPs.
To increase your Google rankings you have to have the right ratio of natural backlinks, perfectly content with optimized for your target topic, a great website that is Google friendly and nice social signals that show your authority and so on. The whole search engine optimization process can be broadly divided into On page SEO & off page SEO.
Now, let’s not confuse On page SEO-optimization with onsite SEO-optimization.
- Onsite SEO refers to the optimization of the entire website with things like site mapping and setting permalink structures.
- On page SEO optimizes content for a target keyword within a single blog post. This includes using proper headings, proper keyword placement, ensuring content quality, and paying attention to many other factors.
So when we do SEO-optimization of a post, we follow a certain set of proven methods to rank it higher on a search engine.
Now, Google doesn’t only consider on page SEO score when ranking an article. It also takes into account many other factors like social media signals (shares, likes, tweets, follows, etc.), backlinks, domain authority, and many other off-page metrics.
Our goal with on page SEO is to optimize an article in a natural, but smart way, so that search engines can easily pick out the target keyword and bring our website targeted visitors.
What is On Page SEO?
On page SEO is the process of making your blog post (individual web pages) optimized for search engines so they rank higher and get more clicks (traffic) from the SERPs.
These On Page SEO techniques include optimizing the text content (meta tags, permalinks, web copy, images etc) and optimizing the HTML (includes removing unwanted codes, mobile friendly site, no iframes, loading time etc.) of the web page.
Here are some techniques to get better ranking on Google page:
First, let me tell you some non-technical things that you can incorporate:
- Improve user experience.
- Create good and quality content.
- Make users come from search engine and like to spend a lot of time on your site.
Now, let’s go for technical things you should keep in mind while optimizing your blog posts.
1. Blog Post Title
This is the most important on page SEO factor. The reason for this is because the more attractive and optimized your title is, the more people will click. And in general, the more clicks your post gets, the higher it will rank.
You should try to use the targeted keyword or phrase toward the beginning of the title (H1) tag, but if that’s not possible, make sure it’s at least somewhere in the title.
You should also not repeat the same keyword more than once in the title tag because you think it will help the article rank higher. It won’t. It could actually hurt your ranking. Don’t do it.
And keep the title length to under 65 characters.
2. Post Permalink Structure
Making sure your URL is displayed correctly is important on page metric. Again, you should use your target keyword in the URL, and avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, commas, etc. within the actual URL.
Use dashes to differentiate the strings in your URL structure. These are called “pretty” permalinks and are supported by most web browsers.
Example of a good permalink:
3. Heading Tags
You should use heading tags to highlight various headings, sub-headings, and important points.
In WordPress, the title tag is set at H1. You don’t really need to use any more H1 tags anywhere in the article. One is enough. For section breaks, stick to H2 and H3 tags.
Also, don’t use too many H2 or H3 tags as Google’s algorithms won’t like that.
4. Keyword Density
You should keep the keyword density around 1.5% percent with a mix of LSI keywords. But as Matt Cutts explains in the video below, there is no real magic formula.
Use your main keyword once in the first paragraph and again in the last paragraph. And use it in the content where it makes sense.
5. Meta Tags
You should add a unique and relevant meta description with each blog post.
Again, you should use your use targeted keyword in the meta description, but don’t keyword spam your description. While search engines pick up on keywords, it’s also important for users to click on the post. You need to write user-friendly meta descriptions that make sense and are related to your post.
With regards to meta keywords, Google has made it clear that they don’t care about them. But some search engines, like Bing, may still care a little.
Image optimization does help a lot in driving traffic from image searches.
Keywords in the “image title” and the “alt text” help to make your blog post more focused and targeted.
But more important than that:
Images create engagement.
And the more engaged a user is, the more likely they’ll stick around, thus increasing your overall rank.
But there’s one very important point to note. Large images will slow down your site, and having a slow loading site will decrease your Google rank. So it’s very important to:
- Compress images.
- Use a caching plugin.
7. Word Count Per Post
Blog posts that don’t have a lot of words typically don’t perform well on search engines. That’s because they’re usually seen as being “less informative”.
Ofcourse there are exceptions, but for a general information-based blog, creating posts with at least 500 words is pretty standard.
It’s always better to be well-researched and overly informative than it is to not provide enough information. This is especially true if you’re targeting highly competitive keywords.
Suggestion: Analyse other posts for your target keyword and see how many words they have.
While there is no “official” count, longer posts tend to rank better because there is typically more information there. For instance, this post is over 2,000 words.
But be careful not to overdo it.
8. Internal Linking
Place links to related posts from your blog inside of your blog posts.
Interlinking of blog posts will help your blog readers spend more time on your blog, and it will also help pass page rank to other pages of your site.
When interlinking, try to use a keyword as the anchor text, but be very careful not to overdo it.
Internal links that are relevant to the original post show search engines that you are providing extra information beyond what is being displayed in the content.
But make sure your interlinking is relevant and necessary.
9. External Linking
Apart from linking to your own blog posts, it is a great idea to link out to external websites as well. Again, only do this if the information on the external website is relevant to the information in your post.
While linking out to external websites, you should link to trusted websites only. And if you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use a nofollow tag to avoid passing your link juice to potentially bad sites.
You should use dofollow links for trusted websites and nofollow links for those that are less trustworthy.
But somewhere authoritative like Wikipedia, or CNN, or a major player in your niche, will not only be trustworthy, they’ll likely have relevant content that your readers will love.
This will make your site appear more credible.
10. Write Engaging Content
If you are writing copied or low-quality content, you will fail down. As using the long-tail keyword, it is also necessary to write long content.
Writing long content enable users to spend more time on your site and thus drastically reduces your high bounce rate.
On Page SEO Checklist
Here is a checklist you can use to make sure you are doing everything possible to rank higher in search engines.
- Keyword in the title
- Keyword in the permalink
- Keyword in the first paragraph
- Keyword in image alt tag.
- Use LSI keywords in the body
- Use LSI keyword in H2 or H3
- Shoot for around a 1.5% keyword density
- Remove all stop words from the permalink
- Add multimedia (video, slides, infographics)
- Minimum 500 words
- Optimize images before uploading (compress and resize)
- Optimize page load speed
- Create a meta title less than 65 characters
- Create a meta description less than 320 characters (This is a new meta description limit for 2018)
- Internal links to related articles
- Outbound links to relevant high-quality sites
Other things not mentioned here
- Make sure to add an image to Facebook, Twitter, etc
- Make sure to have social sharing buttons either at the end or floating on the site of your post
- Have related posts after each post to lower down bounce rate
Things not to do
- Don’t put more than one H1 tag (your post title is H1)
- Don’t repeat the same H2 and H3 tag. Read about heading tags for SEO
- Don’t stuff keywords
Things to focus on
- Use your keyword in the post title
- Use long tail keywords
- If writing in an evergreen niche, remove dates from the posts. (Use Date Exclusion SEO plugin)
- Content length: The longer the content, the better it probably is. But don’t try to needlessly increase the content length.
- At the end of blog post, ask users to take action
How To Do Proper On Page SEO Of Blog Articles
So these are 10 tips that will help make yours on page SEO much better and more likely to rank on search engines.
But it’s important to remember:
You can’t trick a search engine.
The things that rank the highest are the things that are the most informative, the most engaging, and the most useful. So strive to create content that readers love, and search engines will love you too.
So these are the factors that will help make yours on page SEO better and more likely to rank on search engines. Any questions? Ask me in the comment section below.