What is On-page optimization?
On-page optimization SEO refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings. Examples of this include measures to optimize the content or improve the meta description and title tags.
What are the main elements involved in on-page SEO?
There are six main elements of on-page SEO that you can focus on to improve your website’s visibility in search engines:
1) Keyword usage: Do you use enough keywords you want to rank for consistently?
2) Content: Do you publish relevant, valuable, unique, and well-written content that people want to read?
3) Meta tags: Are your meta tags optimized to describe your content as precisely as possible?
4) URL structure: Do you have short and easy to remember URLs?
5) Inbound & Outbound links: Do you have links that point to your content from other webpages on your website? Do you have links pointing towards other websites?
6) Website structure and design: How easy is it for search engines to crawl your website?
7) User experience: What do your users really want to see?
Now that we have settled on those 7 most important aspects of On-page optimization, let me share with you how to make your on-page SEO really effective:
On-page optimization: Keyword usage
Do you use the keywords you want to rank for consistently, correctly, and in a way that makes sense?
This is the most important element of on-page search engine optimization. If you do not use the keywords you want to rank for throughout your content, it’s unlikely that all other aspects of your on-page optimization will make any difference when it comes to SEO. Keywords are the only aspect of your on-page SEO that you can control directly. If you want to rank well in search engines, you need to consistently use a specific keyword throughout your content.
What is keyword density?
Keyword density refers to the proportion of times a keyword appears in relation to the total number of words on your page (including the article title, headers, and body copy). The optimum keyword density is heavily dependent on your topic, but generally, you want your keyword to appear between 2% and 4% of the total number of words on your page. If possible, aim for around 3%. This will make sure that your content is optimized for search engines, but not overly optimized.
What is keyword relevancy?
Keyword relevance refers to whether or not a keyword correctly describes the content that it appears in. Keywords should appear throughout your content naturally and be relevant to the topic you are writing about.
Do not use a keyword where it makes no sense. If you want to rank for a specific term, make sure that you use it in a way that makes sense in the context of your content. If you do not, search engines may consider your content spammy and this could affect your rankings negatively.
What is keyword proximity?
Keyword proximity refers to how close together two keywords are in your content. There is no set formula as to what constitutes good keyword proximity, but generally speaking the closer together two keywords are, the more likely it is that those keywords are related and appear in context with each other naturally.
On-page optimization: Content
Do you publish relevant, valuable, unique, and well-written content?
It doesn’t make sense just to stuff keywords into your content without actually providing any information! Search engines are getting better at detecting when web pages are providing no real value and using keywords simply for the sake of it. The key here is “relevant” and “well written”. That is what users will come back for time after time. Search Engines want people to find what they need quickly and easily on the first page of results they see. If your content doesn’t achieve that, they will not rank it very highly.
How to create high-quality content and content strategy?
Before you start writing your content, have a plan. It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of just writing whatever idea you have in your head at that moment and hoping that search engines will be able to figure out what that is. In fact, if you do it this way and do not plan carefully enough, it’s likely that your content will not rank well in search engines because search engine spiders will have difficulty finding the keywords they need to index your page. Create a plan and stick to it.
How to create a good SEO content strategy?
It is really hard to pinpoint an exact plan on how to create a good content strategy for each niche that you might be in, but I think the most useful thing to share would be the principles of a good content strategy:
- Define your target audience by using SEO tools;
- Identify your keyword phrases and clusters;
- Create a keyword research & mapping plan for each cluster;
- Plan out your content structure and how the reader will find that content (e.g., navigation, sub-categories, headings, internal links, and call to actions);
- Write your content, check it for uniqueness, and publish it;
- Create a new piece of content for every planned topic that you have keywords you wish to target (if possible);
- Track your progress (i.e. how much time you’re spending on each keyword and how much progress you’re making towards each until you run out of time and budget) It might be confusing how you can “spend” when we talk about SEO but time and money for links is something to consider;
- Measure the success of your content by keeping track of the number of pages views your content gets in Google Analytics and the average position of the keywords you mapped to rank for that piece of content.
- Improve your content based on the results of your tracking;
- Repeat until you become the best on the web 😉
Are your meta tags optimized to describe your content as precisely as possible?
Meta tags are not used by search engines directly but they do provide information about the content of the page. This information is stored by search engines and used by other websites (such as Google) to provide a summary page for users looking for information about a certain topic. Make sure that there is no overlap of meta information between multiple pages on your website (such as title and description) and avoid using too many keywords in the description area – stick to one or two.
Make your meta tags as relevant and precise as possible. Use specific and accurate keywords, including the page’s title. If you try to target too many words with your meta tags you will dilute their effectiveness and make it harder for users to find what they are looking for quickly.
The best place to put your main keywords is at the beginning of the meta tags. The further back you place an important keyword the less power you give it. So when you write your meta tags, try to put the keywords you find important (or you have mapped to rank for) in the beginning.
On-page optimization: URL structure
Is your URL structure as user friendly and easy to remember as possible?
The URL of a webpage is often the first reference to that page, not only for search engine users but for other websites linking to it. The easier the URL is to remember, the more likely it is that people will return to your website again and again. This is a crucial element of on-page SEO!
What is the best URL for SEO?
A short but easy-to-remember URL is the best URL for SEO. Make sure your URLs contain keywords relevant to the page content and try to keep URLs under 80 characters. An overly long URL will look messy, is harder to remember, and takes more time to write out or type in.
Internal links are links that point to another page on your own site. They help to make your content more accessible (i.e. indexable) by search engines by making it easier for them to crawl and understand your site. An internal link is a great way to direct traffic to related content on your website.
Outbound links are links that point to another website, rather than pointing back at your own. These links can take many forms, including embedded links in your own content, social media links, and properly used nofollow / canonical tags.
Outbound links can pass Page Rank to other sites, improving their search engine ranking. The reason why you want to have outbound links is simple. Internet is made of links and in order to rank better, you have to be part of the web. If you share relevant and valuable links for your users to use and to follow, search engines will reward you for that with higher rankings.
On-page optimization: Website structure and design
Is it easy for search engines to crawl your website and understand how all pages are connected?
The way a website is built and designed has a huge impact on the way search engines crawl the site. The more easily a site can be crawled by search engines, the more likely it is that it will appear higher in search engine results. This is why it’s important to optimize elements such as page titles and descriptions, internal links, and so on. These are all elements that you can control directly and therefore have an impact on your ranking.
The idea here is quite simple: If search engines can find out information about your web pages easily and quickly, they are more likely to consider your website as a top candidate in their search results.
On-page optimization: User Experience
It’s not just about what we think! It’s about what users want.
User experience (or UX) is an increasingly important aspect of search engine optimization and one that businesses are consistently failing to take into account. As previously discussed, the goal of any business should be to create outstanding user experiences for each and every person who comes into contact with your products or services. This becomes even more crucial in the world of search engine optimization where you need to provide information in a way that is simple and intuitive for real people.
User experience is also quite a new concept in the world of SEO, though by no means a complicated one. In order to provide the best user experience possible, it is important to consider what real people searching for your products or services are going to want and need from your website. This requires you to think about your user’s needs and desires first and then cater to those needs through your website design, content creation calls to action, navigation, and so on.
It is important to consider not just what you want from your website, but what users want as well.
On-page optimization is a crucial part of the SEO process because it is the only part of the process that you can control directly. Make sure that you make the best On-page SEO optimization that you can do and you will be rewarded with great results.