There are many people who are just starting to blog and many more that have run their own site for a while, that don’t know what SEO is and how to implement it! SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is where you construct your web pages and implement certain techniques to help you rank as high as possible on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher your pages can rank on Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc. results pages, the more traffic your site is likely to get.
Now, SEO can be split up into two separate categories; On-Page SEO & Off-Page SEO. On-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do ON your website to help you rank higher, such as page titles, internal linking, meta tags & descriptions, etc. Off-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do directly OFF your website to help you rank higher, such as social networking, article submission, forum & blog marketing, etc.
There is always a lot of talk about getting off page SEO taken care of but sometimes the on page optimization is ignored. Yes, on page SEO just isn’t sexy. However, it is important to realize that if proper on page SEO is done, it takes much less effort to get the desired results by adding some off page SEO.
So what exactly does on page SEO consist of? I’m glad you asked. On page SEO is taking care of the things on your site that make it properly optimized for search engines to crawl. If a site is properly optimized it should not contain broken links or missing code. It should, however, contain the correct meta information.
Another part of on page SEO, which should considered before a site is built, is the domain name. A domain name should include the keywords which you want to rank for. An exact match domain name is the best option if possible. However, this is not always possible. In the case that you can’t get an exact match domain, you should still try to get the keyword in the domain. There are several different ways to do this but an expert in SEO would be able to find the best way to include a keyword in a domain that is not an exact match.
Keyword density is a big part of on page SEO. Your keyword density should be from one to three percent. You don’t want to have too many keywords on your page as that can be a turn off for readers. And even if you are able to get readers to go to your site once because of stuffing in keywords, you can’t expect to get them to go back to your site if it is poorly written. Quality, unique content is another big part of on page SEO. And another thing that is important with on page SEO for is to use bold, underlining, and italics on your keywords.
Page Titles :
Your page titles are one of the most important SEO factors on your site. Each of your pages & posts should have its own unique title, which includes the main keywords for that page.
For example, you could write a blog post about a new chocolate cake recipe that you have tried. It is therefore vitally important that you include ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ within your post title, perhaps “Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe” or ” Chocolate Cake Recipe for kids”, etc.
This way, whenever someone searches for Chocolate Cake Recipes in a search engine, your post has a better chance of showing up because you have included those keywords.
Meta Descriptions :
Many people forget to include meta descriptions for their pages. These descriptions are an important place to include relevant keywords for your content, as these are used within the search results when your page is listed.
For instance, if we continue to use the ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ example, then a good meta description for that page would include those keywords and related ones. So, “This easy chocolate cake recipe is possibly the most delicious, mouth watering, chocolatey cake ever made.” would be a great meta description to use, as it is relatively short, whilst containing a number of specific keywords.
Meta Tags :
For each of your pages, you can include a set of keywords in the form of meta tags. These should be all the relevant keywords of your content, which you will have researched previously.
I use a WordPress plug-in on my sites called ‘All In One SEO Pack’. This allows me to enter all of my meta tag keywords, meta description and page title at the bottom of each of my posts before publishing. This simply inserts all of the information into your page HTML format for you, making your life a little easier.
Think of a search engine like a person doing a search for information. A search engine wants to give users the most relevant information possible. When a site is properly optimized, it makes it easy for the site to get traffic from the search engines. Targeted traffic is important to a website. When sites are properly optimized, they can receive the traffic that is relevant and targeted.
URL Structure :
Including search engine friendly URLs for each of your pages is highly recommended, as these bring better crawling. Shorter URLs seem to perform better in search engine results, however that is not the only factor.
URLs that include targeted keywords, also perform better. The location of these keywords can also be a major influence. For example site.com/keyword would perform better than site.com/365/738/subfolder/keyword etc.
Body Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.) :
When writing your articles, you should break up your content into smaller sections & paragraphs to make it easier for people to read. These sections can be given heading, which is where H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. tags are used.
Generally H1 tags are reserved for your main page title, with subsequent headings (just like the ones I have used throughout this post) being issued H2, H3, etc. Search engines use these to determine what is important within your content. This is why keyword rich headines are more useful than generic ones. Make sure you write keyword rich headings in the order of priority in H1, H2 and H3 title tags. They are used by many crawlers to differentiate important content.
Bold, Italic, Underline
Bold tags, Italic tags, Underline tags – are not only great to let search engines know that your content is relevant but they are great to encourage people to keep reading – as they stand out from the rest of the copy on a page. I use them to highlight the keyword I’m targeting on the page.
NOTE: just an aside, people only read 15-20% of the copy that is on a web page so keep it as punchy as possible and if you have to have ‘more copy’ on a page – then use the bold, italics, or underline to grab the readers attention…
Image SEO :
Using images within your content is a great way to make your site more visually appealing and break up boring chunks of text. You can utilise these images to help improve your site SEO.
All your uploaded images have titles, so treat them just the same as your page titles. Including relevant keywords can help people find your site when searching on Google Images.
You can also include Alt Text and Descriptions for your images, making them even more useful with SEO.
Internal Linking :
People often think that the only links that count are those from other websites. While these links are important, these are not the only important links!
Placing links to your other website pages, is a great way of improving your site and used properly, internal links can be a useful weapon in your SEO arsenal. Not only does it make it much easier for your visitors to navigate around your site and find all of your content, but it also ensures that your site gets properly crawled allowing the search engines to find all of your pages. It also helps to build the relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases, whilst also helping to increase the Google PageRank of your pages.