Why should you care about on page SEO techniques?
The reason is simple; because your business is not the only one on the internet trying to rank on search engines.
For instance, WordPress users produce more than 1 million posts per day, which means that over 1000 blog posts were published one minute ago just before you finished reading this sentence.
You should be surprised by these statistics because WordPress only powers about 25% websites on the web. Thus, the amount of content published on the internet daily is higher because the rest 75% websites hosted on other platforms are also producing more content daily.
In this sea of competition, a new website or online business will look like a small fish surrounded by sharks and whales who have mastered all on page SEO techniques.
So the question is, how do you manage to start and grow a successful online business in such a competitive environment? The answer is simple, be a pro at on-site SEO best practices.
Why on page SEO techniques?
Therefore, if people are still searching for information daily, there is a chance of you rising above the competition as long as you get better at on page SEO optimization techniques.
All you have to do is figure out how to rank on the first five search engine results page (SERP), which get 70% clicks through rates (CTRs) and open rates, and this will result in free unpaid website traffic.
The good news is that any website can rank high on search engines as long as it meets Google 200 ranking factors. We can generalize these ranking factors to other search engines because Google takes about 90% of the total search engines market share.
The only way to rank high on search engines is through mastering the art of carrying out on page SEO techniques like a Jedi warrior even if you are a complete newbie.
Therefore, this post aims to give you a detailed guide to what is on page SEO and give you an on-page SEO checklist, which you can use to prepare your site for search engine ranking.
Important Note: You will need a website before you can actualize all these on page SEO techniques. In case you do not have a website yet, follow this link how to create a site the right way, and build one right now.
Want books that will teach you how to carry out SEO best practices better? Use the three suggested below.
BUILD YOUR BLOG TODAY
Subscribe to get the ultimate step by step guide to building your own blog today even in you are a complete beginner. You do not need any prior experience or technical coding skills at all!
What is SEO and Why is it Important?
SEO is the process of making a website more visible in search engine results and creating user-friendly websites where search engine users can locate information quickly.
Wikipedia defines SEO as, “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
Therefore, SEO is all about making a website to meet search engine search algorithm and ranking factors.
Below are five reasons why SEO is still relevant in 2018, and why it will never die anytime soon.
- A source of free organic traffic: If you can get your content to rank high on search engines, your website will get free targeted organic traffic from the right people looking for the information on your site.
- Improves website usability: Creating a website, which complies with all on page SEO techniques best practices discussed in this article is also a way of making more user-friendly websites. If users enjoy your site, then this will increase your profits and sales too.
- Competitive advantage: Some websites perform better than others in the same niche all because others are good in SEO and other digital marketing activities than others. Take advantage of SEO best practices to outdo your competitors. Moreover, your competitors are doing it, why not do it too?
- Search engines market share: 75% of all searches and buying decisions in the marketing world begin in search engines. There is no reason why you should ignore the importance of SEO in this case.
- Builds customer insight and brand loyalty: Remember that SEO is not a one-time activity but an ongoing process. In this case, staying consistent will build brand loyalty from customers and also help your business to understand them better.
Types of SEO
b) On page vs. Off page SEO
On-page SEO ranking factors involve everything that is related to individual web pages, such as their content, URL, links, loading time, images, keywords, sitemaps and architecture among others as explained in this post.
10 Of The Best On-page SEO techniques For Newbies
‘Content is king,’ I know you have already heard this common phrase.
At the top of on-page SEO checklist, content is one of the most important on-page SEO technique you should care about.
Good content affects three ranking factors: bounce rate, dwell time on page and click-through rates.
Providing long-form content that is well-researched and error-free increases dwell time on a page because readers spend more time reading the content and other related articles.
Additionally, providing content with attention-grabbing headlines on a consistency basis increases the click-through rates of the content.
Therefore, good content which provides an excellent user experience ranks higher in Google SERP results.
Below are 9 characteristics of good SEO content
a) Long form
Best on-site SEO practice requires that the content you write should not be too short.
Instead, it should be long and detailed. Several studies have proofed that long content ranks better in search engines than short content.
In case you are wondering how long is right, the image below shows that articles that are 1000+ words rank higher on search engines.
Quality on-site SEO content is one that is relevant, timely and useful to meet all on page SEO techniques.
This is content that offers value to readers, one with high open rates and one that solves problems.
The material must be informative and persuasive enough to get high open rates.
This on page SEO techniques has everything to do with grammar, font, and organization of the content.
Use a font type and size which is easy to read and avoid writing content with mistakes or one that does not flow naturally.
The good thing about Grammarly is that they have a Chrome extension, which you can use from anywhere on the web.
Characteristics of readable content
Example of readable content
To meet this on page SEO technique, the content you write about should be plagiarism free and initially published on your website.
Use software like Copyscape to check plagiarism score and make any edits where necessary.
e) Frequently Updated
To meet this on page SEO technique, you must keep your website content fresh.
Both Google and readers want a website with content that is updated consistently and regularly.
The SEO landscape changes from time to time, and this explains why some evergreen content needs to be regularly updated to match the new changes for on page and off page SEO landscape.
Many on-page SEO ranking factors studies show that website with content that is regularly updated have a higher chance of ranking on search engines.
According to this on-page SEO technique, well-researched content is unique and detailed. It does not only tell or mention the problem but also goes further to state the cause and the solution.
Thus, this is content that analyzes an issue from all angles and answers all questions without leaving a room for any content gap or questions.
Follow this link to discover ten market research and content curation tools that can help you get ideas for writing better content.
g) Uses different formats
To meet this on page SEO technique, you should provide content in various formats, such as text, video, image, infographics, and audio among others.
This will increase audience engagement and click-through rates because readers and customers have different preference needs.
h) Keyword rich content
In this on page SEO technique, good content must have the focus keyword placed throughout the content in a natural flow without spamming.
Every good content begins with keyword research.
This article on how to use keywords in your content will give you all the tricks you need to know about keywords, such as dropping a keyword in the first 100 words of your post and also adding it in heading tags.
i) Uses attention grabbing headlines
If you want your content to have high open rates, CTRs and social media shares, practice the habit of writing great headlines.
This on page SEO technique proofs that it is also true that content with great headlines gets shared more, and this increases the possibility of being seen as an authority by search engines.
You cause several tools, such CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to test your headlines. Also, you can use this article to find out more tips and hacks on how to write better headlines to boost your on-page SEO metrics.
On page SEO success begins with using the right keywords because it is all about writing relevant content, which will be noticed by Google and your readers.
A keyword is a phrase, word or query that users enter on the search box of search engines and other websites, such as e-commerce stores to find information.
In this regard, in on-site SEO, keywords act as a compass in your SEO and content marketing strategy because they will help you understand what content performs well among your audience and search engines ranking algorithm.
There are three types of keywords: head, body and long tail as shown in the summary table below.
|Keyword Category||Words||Search Volume||Competition||CTR|
|Body||2-3||Medium||Medium||Low to Medium|
3 quick tips to on page SEO keyword research technique
a) Use Long Tail Keywords
From the table above you can tell that the best keywords to use in on-site SEO are long tail keywords because they have low completion and high CTR.
Yes, these keywords have low search volume, but they are the most profitable because they reflect the intent of customers at the buying stage.
b) Match keywords with your audience needs
The purpose of most on page SEO techniques is to give users the best content, and this is always the primary aim of search engines.
To succeed in this on page SEO technique, you must carry out keyword research because every niche has different keywords and audience needs.
c) Use the right tools for better results
To win the game of on-page SEO techniques, you must use the right SEO tools.
On the other hand, you can use paid tools, such as SemRush, KwFinder, LongTailPro, Jaaxy, and Keyword Tool. The good thing about a paid tool is that they give robust results than free tools and you can do all keyword research from a single dashboard.
Recommended guides on keyword research: How to research keywords that will get you on Page 1 of Google and Keyword research for SEO: The Definitive Guide
Why are images important in on page SEO techniques?
Remember the common saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”?
Our brains retain 80 % of the content we see and 20% content we read. This means that our minds process visuals six times faster than text as shown in the image below.
8 characteristics of SEO friendly image
a) Find and use the right images
Every image you use on your website and content must serve the right on-site SEO purpose.
Thus, to meet this on page SEO technique, images should be related to the text message, and act as a reinforcement, not a replacement.
Additionally, you should strive to use copyright free pictures. I know there are many free stock photo websites out there where you can get many images for free, but where possible use original and high-quality images to take your SEO further to the next level.
Look into these ten tips for finding the right pictures to make the game for your image on page SEO best practices more fruitful.
b) Use the correct image file format
There are many image file formats you can use to win this on page SEO technique.
JPEG, PNG, and GIFs are the most common image formats out there. Each is best suited for different functions.
c) Use the right name
To meet this on-page SEO technique, every image you upload to your website must be clearly named in the following areas.
Firstly, add an image title, which identifies the name of the image.
Secondly, add an alt text and caption where possible for SEO purposes.
This will help in the case where the image cannot load fully, the alt text will tell your readers what the image is about.
It is a recommended on-site SEO practice to include the focus keyword in the image alt text where possible. Read this article to understand how to name your images in WordPress.
d) Scale images for SEO
In on page SEO, scaling images is simply reducing their file size.
Most high-quality photos have a file size of over 5 MB, which is too large to put if your website.
Large image sizes will slow down your site, which you do not want to happen because slow websites have high bounce rates, low dwell time and low CTRs which is terrible for SEO.
Follow this link detailed guide to find more information on reducing images for the web to improve your site SEO.
e) Improve images with tools
The good thing is that most of these tools are free.
This article will give you five tools you can use to improve your images for the web, and this will boost your image SEO.
Therefore, you can use this on page SEO technique to outdo your competitors and attract the attention of search engines for being unique.
f) Create an image sitemap
In on page SEO, a sitemap is a method that search engines use to organize pages and resources with similar information.
For example, you can use a plugin, such as Yoast SEO to create a sitemap for all your images.
Thus, a sitemap will improve the indexing of your images. See example below from Yoast SEO plugin.
g) Use Open Graph and Twitter cards
This on page SEO technique will help your pictures to be more shareable on social media.
Social media networks signals are an essential factor in off page SEO.
The more content from your website is shared, your discoverability goes higher leading to higher rankings.
In WordPress, you can use a plugin, such as Yoast SEO to configure these settings easily.
Links are essential on-page SEO factor because search engines use links to find information on the web.
The only way content from your website and anywhere on the web can rank in Google, is if it has a link that the search engines can use to direct users to the content.
When it comes to links on page SEO technique, there are two types: internal and external, which you must use.
a) Internal links
Internal links are hyperlinks that refer readers back to content within the same website or domain.
For example, if you are writing a new blog post and refer your readers to a previous post that is an inter-link.
These types of links are necessary for on-page SEO techniques because of the following reasons;
- They help users and search engines to navigate through a website content
- They help you to spread SEO and marketing benefits to all articles on your site.
- They establish site architecture and structure, which is an important ranking signal and factor.
- Internal linking gives priority to evergreen content and any other relevant information on the website. See the image below to understand how to carry out internal linking in WordPress.
b) External links
On the other hand, external links are hyperlinks, which refer back to content in other websites and domains where the links exist.
For instance, if you are writing an article on SEO optimization and then you add a link referring to a great post on off page SEO found on your competitor’s website, that is external linking.
External linking is essential to on page SEO because of the following reasons;
- Linking back to content from other authority sites makes your website more valuable to your readers.
- You will be favored by search engines ranking algorithm because links from authority sites will be found on your website.
- It encourages engagement and participation in your content by people who are already audiences of those external sites.
5. Uniform Resource Locator (URLs)
A URL is the web address that identifies a web content or resource.
This is a crucial on page SEO technique because good URLs have high click-through rates since they have high readability.
Below are 4 characteristics of SEO friendly URLs
a) Make it readable
To meet this on-site SEO factor, avoid special characters and confusing word at all cost.
For instance, http://www.example.com/product.aspx?ID=11526&IT=5f7d3d and http://www.example.com/sitegroundsharedhosting/ are two URLs all linking to the same web resource.
You can notice that unlike the second URL, the first URL is ugly and not readable to humans in the product section, and as such should be avoided at all cost.
To have cute URLs in WordPress, always use the “Post Name” permalink structure as shown in the image below.
b) Keep it Short
According to this on page SEO technique, an SEO friendly URL should be short enough at about 15 to 60 characters not to be cut off in the search engine space.
The shorter the URL, the better because this improves readability and CTRs.
c) Add keywords
Where possible, it is a good SEO practice to add your target keyword in the URL to practice this on page SEO technique.
You need to carry out keyword research to choose the right keywords that will boost your CTR and dwell time on your website.
But do not get caught up in the mistake of stuffing too many keywords in the URL.
d) Match URL with the title tag
To further develop consistency in the content, which is one of the signals that search engines rely on for ranking, it is important to match the title with the URL as shown in the image below.
6. HTML Tags
In this on page SEO technique, there are four types of HTML tags that you should not forget at all cost in your on-site SEO strategy: title tags, Meta description tags, header tags and alt tags.
This is not to mean that these are the only HTML tags, no there are many others, such as the ones described in this article.
Below are 4 types of HTML tags
a) Title Tags
Title tags remain the most critical HTML tag signal to search engines because it describes what the page, post, and any other web content/resource is about.
They are essential on-page SEO factors because they help your content to be identified in search engine results, web browser addresses, and social media networks.
b) Meta description tags
In this on page SEO technique, these are brief descriptions that tell search engines and readers what the page, site or content is about.
They improve CTRs, which will enhance rankings in return.
Here is a list of 5 on page SEO factors you should put into consideration when writing title tags and meta descriptions:
- Use keywords: Include target keyword in title and meta description tags. Where possible let the keyword phrase come first before other words and phrases.
- Length: Title tags should be 50 to 60 characters including spaces while meta descriptions are 135 to 160 characters. Using the right range prevents the description from being cut off or looking ugly.
- Do not duplicate: Every page, post or content on the web should have a unique title and meta description. Avoid writing similar descriptions for web resources for better SEO.
- Use active voice and call to action: To increase CTRs for your title tags and meta descriptions write in active voice and add CTA to motivate the readers to take action, such as opening your article.
- Use rich snippets: Adding rich snippets to your meta descriptions improves CTR. Read this article for further details.
To meet this on page SEO technique in WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO plugin to create title tags and meta descriptions as shown in the image below.
c) Header tags
In this on page SEO technique, <H1>, <H2> and <H3> among others are title tags that help to structure content in website pages and posts.
You must adequately use these header tags in your website to boost search engine rankings.
For example, in a blog post, the title should have <H1> tags, its subheadings are <H2> tags, while the subtitles of h2 are <H3> tags and the process continues.
Header Tags Examples
d) Alt tags
Alt tags are used in images to serve three primary on page SEO purposes.
Firstly, they act as alternative descriptions for the image for people who are visually impaired.
Secondly, they help users to recognize the image in the case where the image fails to load fully.
Finally, they help search engines to identify pictures, which increases indexing and crawlability.
7. Page Speed
Is there a connection between SEO and your website loading time?
It turns out that there is a connection between the two, which makes this one of the on-page SEO techniques you should care about.
In 2010, Google announced that speed would be one of the factors in its ranking algorithm.
Below is the relationship between speed and SEO
a) How page speed affects SEO
The bounce rates for websites with load times more than 5 seconds increase by more than 100%.
High bounce rate is a signal, which tells search engines that the site has a problem, so not suitable for SEO.
b) Causes and solutions of low page speed
Page speed is affected by several factors, such as server response time, caching and CSS among others.
Your host, use of bloated themes, too large images and use of too many ads are some of the factors that can lead to slower page speed.
Therefore, to meet the right on page load SEO standards for this factor, you must solve all problems related to the causes of low page speed above.
c) Tools for measuring page speed
Use the two readings below to learn how to improve your website load times to boost SEO, A Beginners Guide to website speed Optimization and The Ultimate Guide to Boosting WordPress speed and performance.
8. Verify property Ownership
Remember that SEO is all about making your site more search friendly for search engines and their users.
In this case, I believe that the most basic on-page SEO task should begin with notifying these search engines that your website exists.
This will not be such a significant SEO ranking factor, but that should not make you ignore it.
Below are 2 methods of Notifying search engines
a) Submit property to webmaster tools.
In on page SEO factors, a sitemap is a file that groups related pages into one file, such as posts, pictures, and video sitemaps.
These files help search engine crawlers, such as Googlebot to read all content in a given website.
Sitemaps are essential because it helps search engines to find your website content, which makes indexing easier.
It helps to tell search engines that your website has a clear and consistent architecture, which boosts your ranking in search engines.
b) Submitting sitemaps to search engines
Follow the guidelines provided in this link, and if you prefer video use this link.
For more information on Sitemap, SEO read the two guides: How to Optimize XML sitemaps: 13 SEO best practices and The definitive guide to XML sitemaps.
See the image below to see an example of how you can submit a sitemap in Bing search engine.
10. Site Architecture
Site architecture SEO is all about developing websites that provide a secure and efficient user experience.
Thus, to meet this on page SEO technique, your readers must be able to find content and other resources efficiently on your website to improve their search engine experience.
Below are some on-page SEO factors you should put into consideration to meet this on-site SEO requirement on your website.
Responsive: A good site must be responsive to take the shape of different devices, such as desktop, smartphones, and tablets among others. There are several Chrome Extensions, such as User Agent Switcher that you can use to test if your site is responsive. Moreover, you can use free online tools, such as Responsinator to measure if your website is responsive or not.
Consistency: The ability to remain consistent with the original site design will help search engines to crawl your website better in the long-term.
Internal linking: Internal links help to establish site architecture because they help users and search engines to find related content on your website.
Easy navigation: Use menus, widgets, tags, buttons and any other navigation shortcuts to direct users to different sections of your website efficiently.
Use SSL certificates for secure browsing: Search engines hate websites with spam and other insecure connection problems. Installing SSL certificates and HTTP protocols will help to give search engines a signal that your site is secure for users.
Mobile friendly: 50% of your users will access your website through mobile devices. Google is even rewarding and first indexing sites that are mobile friendly. For this reason, any person building a website in 2018 should strive to sites that comply with rules of mobile SEO.
WWW or no-WWW: You can decide if you want your website address to have WWW or not to have it, such as sproutmentor.com and www.sproutmentor.com. All this depends on your preference, but some SEO experts believe that a website address with WWW is more SEO friendly as explained in these two articles here and here.
For more information on creating a good site architecture for SEO refer to this Site Architecture & Search Success Factors detailed guide.
Which Tools can you use to analyze SEO of your site?
There are many tools you can use to analyze all the above on page SEO factors for your website and those of your competitors.
These tools will help you discover some SEO mistakes on your site that need to be removed or weak on-site factors that need to be strengthened.
Follow this link to find the complete list of SEO Tools
I hope that this guide was informative and of help to you. I gave it numerous hours of research just for you.
Now it’s over to you to implement these on-page SEO best practices on your content, website architecture, content, URLs, links, page speed, keyword research and HTML tags.
It is possible that you have made some past mistakes in these factors. Don’t be discouraged correct them slowly until you set your SEO strategy right.
Remember that SEO is an ongoing activity and not a one-time activity
If you are starting an online business, there is no reason why you should ignore SEO no matter how small or irrelevant your business is because every company with an online presence must care about SEO.
So what is next?
- Put the recommendations in this guide into action
- Visit this link to read a similar guide on off-page SEO best practices.
- Remember that you will need a website before you can actualize all these steps. If you have not created a website yet use this detailed step by step guide on how to create a website the right way to build one right now.
Feel free to leave a comment below asking a question, sharing the on-page SEO techniques you enforce in your online business or even better provide a suggestion of a post you would like me to write about.
Did you like the post? Kindly pin it or share it.