I’ll be sharing with you 11 magic tips, about what you can do with on-page SEO, to improve the way your site ranks on all the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you’re not already doing some of these things you might consider implementing them as soon as possible. You can even use them straight away when you get back to your offices today.
So what Exactly is On-Page SEO?
The term on-page SEO refers to set of practices you can take directly on a page to improve its search engine rankings. Working on on-page SEO ensures that your content and code follow Google’s best practices. It also helps you include the most important ranking factors which search engines use to rank content. In other words, on-page factors will make or break your rankings.
1. Include keyword in the title tag
The title meta tag is by far the most important on-page ranking factor. It sends Google a strong relevancy signal. It helps the search engine to understand the topic of the page and assess its relevancy relative to the search query. Search engines also use the title tag to display your search listing’s title.Including the main keyword in the title tag will help Google establish the topic of a page and what queries to display it for. When optimizing the title tag, make sure that you include the keyword at the start. According to research Google weighs keywords from left to right, meaning that the search engine gives more value to words on the left of the title.
2. Include keywords in the meta description
The description meta tag sends Google another relevancy signal. Although not as strong as the title tag, description still carries some importance as a ranking factor. Plus, Google uses it to display the search listing’s description. And thus, including the main keyword could help achieve higher rankings. Adding your product’s benefits or USP could help increase your listing’s click-through rate.
3. Wrap the page title with the < h1 > headlineg
Just like the title tag, the < h1 > headline sends a strong relevancy signal to Google. It helps the search engine determine what the page is about and what search queries it relates to. Most content management systems would automatically wrap page title in a H1 headline. However, check if your theme / platform doesn’t override this setting. If so, correct it to ensure every page’s title gets wrapped in the < h1 > headline tag.
4. Include the Keywords in the URL
Many SEOs believe that including keyword in the URL helps send another relevancy signal to Google and improve a page’s rankings. When constructing the URL, add the most important words at the start of the slug (the part after .com/ Google weighs the first couple of words in the URL and puts less focus on the others. So make sure that your URL is short and starts with the keyword.
5. Include the keywords at the start of the copy
You could also send another relevancy signal to the search engine by including keyword in the first paragraph. But of course, when you do, make sure that it reads naturally. If including it in the first paragraph makes the copy sound artificial, skip this step and concentrate writing better quality copy.
6. Include related keywords in the copy
You shouldn’t focus on more than 1-2 keywords per page. That said, you could increase the number of queries a page could rank for by including the main keyword’s synonyms and variations. Also, to make the most of semantic search, add companion words that would help Google define the context of your keywords. For instance, using the word computer or laptop in connection with “Apple” will help the search engine understand that you refer to the technology firm and not a fruit.
7. Include keyword in image ALT tags
ALT tag is a little text that appears when a cursor hovers over an image. It resides within the image’s HTML code and is used to describe the image to users. But it also sends Google a relevancy signal. And thus, including the keyword in ALT tag is said to help improve your page’s optimization. Most CMS's do not automatically add ALT tag to images so be sure to add them yourself.
8. Link to other relevant pages on the site
Interlinking pages passes Page Rank between them. But apart from that, it also provides a good user experience and keeps readers engaged longer. Google uses time people spend on site as a quality signal. And thus increasing the length of stay on a page may have a positive effect on your rankings.
9. Reference and link to authoritative resources
Referencing and linking to other resources on a topic indicates to Google your interest in helping a visitor to learn more on the subject. It sends the search engine strong trust and quality signals. Plus, Google might also use the content of pages you link to, to establish what your page is about (i.e. linking to pages about Apple’s computers might tell the search engine that your page about Yosemite is in fact related to the operating system and not a National Park).
10. Write lengthy content
The length of your content could affect its rankings. Longer content indicates a more in-depth take on the topic and thus, better quality information. Given the search engines strive to serve the highest quality results, it makes sense that it puts greater emphasis on longer content.
11. Improve page loading time
The speed at which your page loads is an important ranking factor, too. If a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you should investigate the issue and try to reduce the load time. Speak to your web developer and hosting service provider and get recommendations for how to improve it.
In doing SEO we must remember that we need to do what the search engines want us to do. If we look at it from their perspective, they want to provide their users with a great experience in searching for and finding what they’re looking for with minimum effort and time. The search engines want their results to timely, relevant and current.