While you may be familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), on page SEO is a different beast altogether. On page SEO refers to the optimization of internal pages of a website to provide additional context to readers as well as assisting web crawlers with website navigation. On page SEO typically consists of optimizing the content and HTML source code on a page, while off-page SEO consists of placing backlinks on external websites among other external techniques. By optimizing these areas of your website, you can better target visitors and achieve maximum results for a successful SEO campaign.
Performing On Page SEO
In order to receive the highest amount of leads possible through your website, it is important that you employ on page SEO strategies that will position your site at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are the basics of on-page SEO that every successful SEO campaign involves.
Create Easily Readable and Informative Content
No one wants to struggle to read your content. Creating content that can be read by the average person is key to great on-page SEO. In addition, you want the content to be informative to keep people on the page. This means keeping filler to a minimum and providing value. When writing content, it is best to use short sentences and small paragraphs. As Google looks for signals like the amount of time a person spends on a page when determining rankings, it is important to create engaging copy people actually want to read.
Make Sure the Content is Keyword Driven
Keyword placement can be tricky when learning on-page SEO. Using the keyword too much may result in punishments by the search engines, but too little and you will not gain the full effects of optimization. Your title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Ideally, you want the keyword close to the beginning of the title tag. You will also want to strategically place your target keyword(s) in your meta description and title (H1) tags. You do not want to rank for just one keyword. Sprinkle keywords organically throughout the content to help lure in a steady stream of traffic.
Provide a Percentage of Keyword Use
While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to keyword density, there can be too much of a good thing. A good keyword percentage is an amount that makes the keyword appear natural in the content. Most SEO experts suggest an optimal keyword density of 1 to 3 percent (1-3 keyword(s) per 100-300 words of copy). A keyword density of over 5 percent is getting into ‘keyword stuffing’ territory and should be avoided.
Create a URL that Displays Content Hierarchy
The right URL can make a big difference in your on-page SEO efforts. Focus on creating short, descriptive URLs that include the keywords that you are targeting. In addition, you will want to ensure that the category hierarchy is reflected in the URL. Avoid URLs that are simply a string of letters or numbers that have no meaning. Instead, use words that tell what type of content is on the page as this helps search engines learn what your page is about and may recommend it to your target audience.
Add Images with Alt Text Throughout the Content
While text is important, multimedia can really pull your content together. When adding images to your content, be sure to always use descriptive alt tags and optimize your image file names. If your visitor is using a screen reader or the image simply fails to load, this text will appear on the screen. Additionally, alt text is required for compliance as blind or colorblind individuals can read it through text to speech programs. While adding your target keyword to your images can be useful, do not force it. Keep it simple and optimize the best you can but keep it natural.
Interlink Back to Relevant Content
Internal linking is easy to do and can make a huge difference in your on-page SEO. Ideally, you want to have at least two to three internal links in every post. However, you can have as many internal links as you would like as long as they make sense. Interlinking means creating links in your content that direct back to other web pages or posts. This not only provides the reader with related content and increases your visitor on-site time, but it also encourages web crawlers to search the entirety of your website.
Properly Use Header Tags
Many people overlook the importance of proper header tag use. The H1 title tag refers to your “headline tag” which in most cases is the title of your blog, article, or web page. You should only have one H1 tag per page and it should contain your target keyword. In addition, you want to use header tags in the correct order. H2 header tags come before H3 subheader tags, h3 subheader tags come before h4 tags and so on.
In order to get a better understanding of how header tags work, think of how we classify countries, states and cities. In the United States, there are 50 individual states and within those 50 states are numerous cities. So in this example, the United States would be tagged with an H1 tag. Any of the 50 states in the US would be tagged with h2 tags, as they are all related to the h1 tag. For instance, Virginia would be labeled with an H2 tag and cities within Virginia would be labeled with H3 tags.
Importance of On Page SEO for Your Campaign
While on-page SEO is critical for the success of your SEO campaign, it can also hurt your SEO efforts if performed improperly. When it comes down to it, digital marketing is all about efficiently communicating with your audience. This means creating quality content that is relevant, well-structured, and has proper meta tags and internal links. For more answers to the common question “What is on page SEO?” or to schedule a free SEO consultation, contact 321 Web Marketing today.