What is on-page SEO? It is optimizing your content and tags on a web page so Google can index the page according to your preferred keywords. In short, you’re telling Google what the page is about so it can return it to people searching for your kind of content.
When Google algorithms decide what web pages to return to their users for a specific search term, they crawl the entire universe of indexed pages looking for relevant content. They do this by looking at the different elements of page, i.e. the text, images, titles, headings, meta title, and the keywords associated with them.
If Google crawls a particular page and sees they all relate to a search term, you’re allowing yourself to rank for it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will rank highly, because there are other factors Google uses and you must beat your competitors in these other factors. But you’ll (probably) at least rank somewhere for that search term, and that’s a great start.
Before You Start On-page SEO, Do Your Keyword Research
Most of these tips depend on using the right keywords. That means you need to do keyword research, using a tool like www.keywordkeg.com or Google Keyword Planner. Figure out which word is most relevant to the topic of your page or article, and plug into these keyword research tools, and see which result has the best combination of relevancy and high volume.
Top tip: look at keyword difficulty as well to identify the ‘low hanging fruit’ and avoid keywords that are highly competitive. The one with highest relevancy and decent volume that are not too difficult to rank for will be your main keyword. Then, look at some secondary results which may not be quite so relevant, or have lower volume, but are still worth including. These will be your secondary keywords.
1. Put The Main Keyword In Your Titles and Headings
This is pretty straightforward. Take Your main keyword and put it in your title (this is your h1). Then put the main keyword in some of the paragraphs headings (h2). Then put the secondary keywords in some of the h2s. If it’s a long article, you have tertiary keywords in your h3s, but this may not be relevant.
2. Save Your Images With Your keyword
First, have at least one image on your page or article, preferably two. Now, instead of just uploading them with whatever name it is saved as, rename it on your computer with a description of the image that contains the keyword. If you’re unsure how to do this, go into the file location where the image is saved, right click and select rename image.
When you upload the image, use the same keyword or phrase for the image and alt text. For the caption, which appears under the image, write a compelling sentence containing the keyword. People will see this so make sure it is a coherent sentence that makes sense.
3. Put Your Keywords In The Body Text
Google scans the text on your page for relevant keywords. So make sure in they’re in the body text, in each article. Definitely include the keyword in the first paragraph, ideally in the first line. For optimal on page SEO try to get it in every paragraph too, but don’t just stick it in for the sake of it – it should make sense given the context.
Google algorithms can figure out if you’re including keywords that aren’t relevant, so don’t stuff your content with keywords. Keyword stuffing will work against you and you’ll get a Google penalty – if in doubt, stick to 2-4% keyword density. Generally speaking if you just write normal and naturally about your topic, the keywords will be there with an appropriate frequency.
4. Meta Title & Meta Description
The meta title is what appears in Google search results, and the meta description is what appears below it. The meta title will also appear in the tab on your browser. It’s name of your page and is very important in telling Google what the page is about, not to mention important for actual users who see it in search results – make it relevant and compelling.
Most CMS’s will limit the character count for titles and descriptions, but if yours doesn’t, stick to 55 or less for meta titles and 160 or less for meta descriptions.
5. Put Keyword In The Page URL
The URL needs your keyword or phrase. If you don’t create new slug with your keyword, it’ll just use the title of the article or page which isn’t a problem, but by putting the keyword in there you’re ticking another box, telling Google hat your page is all about.
6. Internal & External Linking
Whilst the previous tips are about indexing your page, i.e. outing your keywords in particular places so you’re telling Google what your page is about, this one is more about the user experience. Bear in mind that Google decides where your page sits in search rankings according to various metrics, one of them time the number of pages visited.
If you want them to do that, you need links in your article to other related content on your site, just like this! This is simply linking to your own other pages in your body text. Alternatively, list the relevant pages underneath an article or at the bottom of a page.
Google also likes to see external links to other relevant, authoritative sites so if you reference something, link the text to a relevant article or resource, just like this!
Ultimately, It’s Just About Indexing Your Page
And that’s it folks. It’s pretty simple, and is the easiest bit of SEO to understand and implement. Best of all, it doesn’t require much time and is completely free to do, unlike backlinking, outreach and content marketing which are all either costly or time consuming. Ultimately this is indexing, telling Google what your page is about, so it can return relevant pages to Google users. And that is the backbone of SEO.