On-Page SEO Guide: 10 Best Practices to Get Higher Rankings
On-page SEO involves all the processes that can be done within the site in order to optimize it for search engine spiders to be able to crawl and index the pages within the site.
In this blog post, you will learn what on-page SEO is and how to optimize your site for search engines and, of course, users.
To clearly understand the meaning of on-page SEO, you must first understand the meaning of SEO, aspects of SEO and purpose of SEO.
What is SEO? – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your site for the best possible visibility in the search engines. That is, ensuring that when a user performs a search query on a topic related to what your site is offering, your content appears in the first pages of search results.
SEO involves various steps that have been grouped into three aspects:
- Technical SEO,
- On-Page SEO and
- Off-Page SEO.
Technical SEO covers everything that you do to your website as instructed by the search engines in order to make the site more visible to search engine crawlers. It involve processes like adding your site to webmasters tools, optimizing XML Sitemap and updating robots.txt.
Off page SEO refers to processes that can be used to improve the position of a web site in the search engine results page. Many people relate off-page SEO with link building but it is more than that. Generally, off Page SEO involves promotion methods for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search results.
On-page SEO therefore, is the aspect of SEO that involves the processes that can be done within the site to make it more visible to search engines. The whole point of performing on-page SEO is to help search engines and users understand your content.
On-Page SEO Best Practices.
1. Optimize your site’s logo
Your site’s logo should have the right size. A size that looks great on mobile devices.
Ensure that the logo has both the title and alt tags. The title tag and the alt text should contain the keywords you want your site to rank for.
One last thing about the logo, make sure it is linked to the homepage. Website users have this habit of clicking on the site logo hoping that it takes them back to the homepage. Do not disappoint them.
2. Use the heading tags in hierarchical order
Heading tags run from h1 to h6 with h1 giving the largest and h6 the smallest heading. Usually, most WordPress themes by default, make the Post Title to take h1 tag. It therefore means the preceding subheadings should take h2, h3, h4 and so on in that order.
3. Optimize Page Titles
Page title is written using tags and placed in header section of a page.
Search engine spiders crawl through page titles. Website users also see page titles. Writing SEO friendly titles will help your website perform better on search engines.
You should write keyword focused title tags, and even as you do that, make sure your page titles make sense to your website readers. People will not click on your page titles in search engines if they don’t understand your page titles properly. So, craft titles that are good for both the search engines and your website visitors.
4. Optimize Meta Description Tag for All Web Pages
Write friendly search engine meta descriptions. Know that users also read the meta descriptions of your pages that appear on search engine results together with the titles before clicking on the titles.
A Meta description is what comes under the page title on search results. Using primary keywords on meta description will drive you lots of organic traffic. So, don’t forget to optimize your meta description.
5. Focus Keyword on the Opening Paragraph
Every time you are writing a blog post or a web page, make sure your targeted keyword is included in the opening paragraph. This way, you will be clear to both the search engine crawlers and humans about the content.
Using the keyword in the opening paragraph informs search engine crawlers what the content of the post is about. They then get to index and rank the web page for the particular targeted keyword.
6. Create Sharable Content
Creating SEO friendly blog posts is a good thing. But creating content that gets shared is great. A sharable content is one that has the information your users are looking for and believe can be useful to other users, and so they share.
Make your posts long, beautify your content (formatting and styling) and make it easy to read. Also, include social media sharing buttons to make it easy for your content to be shared.
7. Internal Linking Strategy
Revise your internal linking strategy. Make sure you don’t use link texts like ‘click here‘ or ‘read more‘ in your content. Use descriptive link texts.
For example, if I were to refer you to a blog post on Local SEO within my site, I would write something like,
‘in the previous blog post, Local SEO, I have explained what Local SEO is and how to optimize your site for local SEO’
‘if you want to learn more about local SEO, click here‘.
See the difference between the two cases?
8. Keyword Research
Before sitting down to craft a blog post, conduct a proper keyword research first. Get to know what people are looking for on the web. And then craft content that will satisfy their needs.
Use keyword research tools like Buzzsumo, SEMRush and ubersuggest to give you the idea of what to write about.
9. Optimize your Images
The images you use on your site should be optimized for size, title and caption.
It is important that you upload images with optimized sizes because images with large file sizes take long to load or sometimes just don’t load. They also take large disk spaces of your hosting package.
Include image titles and alt texts. Search engine spiders only get to understand what the image is about is through image title and alt text. Including them gives search engine crawlers easy time to crawl and index your images.
Adding caption/description helps users to understand what’s in the image. Well, of course they can be able to see the image, but giving a little description of the image makes it easier for them to understand the image.
10. Optimize Your Categories
Shane of Thrive Themes says in his Masterclass: How to Use Categories & Tags on Your WordPress Website, that in order to optimize your blog categories, you need to have in mind both the search engine and users.
Shane says you should not have dozens of categories, unless it’s a news or magazine blog. He considers categories with less than 5 blog posts as orphaned categories.
To optimize your Categories pages for SEO, you will need to optimize page titles and and meta descriptions.
It is a good idea to start your SEO approach with On-Page because you have more control of your website’s issues, giving you the opportunity to start a successful link-building campaign on a website that is well structured and provides useful information to its users.