On-page SEO is not rocket science. When it comes to SEO of your website or blog, there are practical strategies that are best practices. By following them, your chances will increase for not only showing up in Google’s search results and other search engines but to rank well.
Image opening your front door and your best friend has sent you a brand new 55 inch TV with 1080p, 3D, LED, HDTV and a built-in Wi-Fi. As you start to set it up, you discover that you don’t know how to put it together. You do your best to put all the cables in the right places and plug it in.
Then you realize that you can’t even find the remote to turn it on. You search frantically for the instructions to guide you through the setup. They are nowhere to be found. That would be frustrating, wouldn’t it?
Learning how to optimize each page of your website for the best possible results in the search engines without basic instructions can be frustrating, too. Let’s review the basic on-page SEO techniques to help get you started.
13 On-Page SEO Actionable Strategies
Here are 13 on-page SEO tips to use a guide to help you achieve the goal of effective organic search engine optimization.
- Focus on a Main Topic
Each web page and post should have a theme or main topic. For example, if your website is about social media marketing, you may have a page dedicated to the social media network, Google Plus. The focus keyword or keyword phrase on that page would be Google Plus.
- Exclusive Meta Title Tag
Each and every web page should have an exclusive Meta title tag. The Meta title tag is different from your page’s headline. It is a powerful ranking factor that influences search engine results.
The title tag is the “single most important “on page” element telling the search engines what your page is all about,” according to Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting.
Google advises that “page titles should be descriptive and concise.” How long should your title be? Google generally includes the first 55-60 characters of a title tag or as many characters as will fit into a 600-pixel wide display.
If logical, put your important main topic keywords or keyword phrases at the beginning of your title.
For example, the focus of this post is on-page SEO and the exclusive Meta title tag is: On-Page SEO Techniques: Practical Strategies to Boost Results
- Keyword URL Optimization
Ultimately, you will want to use the focus keyword phrase in the file name or URL. Google advises to “keep a simple URL structure,” and to use hyphens to separate words instead of underscores. This practice will help search engines and your readers understand what your page is all about.
For example, the main focus or theme of this post is on-page SEO. The simple URL includes the focus keyword:
This URL structure is less complicated than the alternative with the entire post title:
- Distinctive Meta Description
The Meta description of your page may be included in the rich snippets in search engine results. Again, using logic, include your main focus keywords at the beginning of the Meta description.
You have approximately 155 characters for the Meta description. This description is not visible on the page. Search engines may use this description in the rich snippet in search results.
Writing a compelling and concise description with keyword focus at the beginning of your description Meta tag may enhance your chances of capturing users’ attention and entice them to click your link in the search engine results.
This is an example of what the Meta title, optimized URL, and Meta description might look like in Google’s organic search results:
- Forget Meta Keywords
Meta keywords are not longer a ranking consideration by Google.
- Use your Hs
The page title of the page should be enclosed in h1 tags. Use “h tags” for an important subtitle within the content to give valued weight.
For example, an important subtitle in the HTML would look like this:
<h2>13 On-Page SEO Actionable Strategies</h2>
You not only tell your readers that this subtitle is important information, you are also letting the search engines know.
First and foremost, make it a point of writing your website’s content for people and not merely to place higher in search engines results.
Have you ever visited a web page that is so stuffed with keywords that it doesn’t make sense?
Writing unique and logical content for your website is your first goal. You will want to include focus keywords in your copy logically, but do not overdo it. Including your focus keyword in the first 100-150 words of text will help Google and other search engines know what your page is about.
- Minimum word count
When writing content for each page, plan on writing content with a substantial amount of words. This will help to provide your visitors with amazing information about your product or service. It will also help you ensure that your website is not dinged by Google for shallow content.
How many words should you include on a page?
- In a post on Yoast.com, the author advises to, “Make sure your articles have a minimum of 300 words.”
- Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko states, “As a rule, I make sure all of my articles have at least 1000-words of meaty, useful content.”
- Neil Patel of Quick Sprout, LLC writes, “If you’re looking for numbers, a post that is above 1,500 words seems to be in the zone of ideal length. I’d shoot for that if I were you.”
There is no “magic number” for word count. While a study by SerpIQ indicated that longer posts will perform better, it is important to remember that Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine how web pages are ranked.
- Optimize Images – When you include an image on a web page, optimize if by giving it a descriptive file name and alt tag. For example, for a photo of barbecue ribs:
- Instead of: DSC03790.JPG, name the file, barbecue-ribs.jpg
- The alt tag in this example would be, alt=”Barbecue ribs”
- Make it Easy for Others to Share
Include social sharing icons on each page of your website to make it easy for others to share your posts.
One way to accomplish this is to use a mobile-friendly social sharing program like Social Warfare if you are using WordPress. To learn more, please see Social Warfare Plugin Review: Supercharged Social Sharing.
- Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
A mobile website is a basic fundamental requirement today. As of April 21, 2015, Google now includes mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile searches.
To test your website to be sure it is mobile-friendly:
- Speed Matters
The download speed of your website is also an important ranking factor. The use of site speed as a ranking factor is one of the few indicators that Google has announced.
To test your website’s page speed, use Google’s:
- Resist Quick SEO Tricks
The last tip is more of a common sense SEO tip: resist and avoid from tricks to try to improve search engine rankings.
Purposely trying to manipulate rankings can actually end up considerably harming your site’s rankings. Examples of what not to do include participating in link schemes with the sole purpose of artificially passing Page Rank (PR) to your page, buying links to boost page rank, and keyword stuffing.
With these 13 practical on-page SEO tips, you have a solid guide and approach to ensuring your chances of your website showing up and ranking in Google and other to search engines.
While there are other factors including the quality and relevance of other sites linking to your site, making the most of these fundamental best practices will help you reach your goals.
Over to You
What on-page SEO techniques are you using on your website? Are there any mentioned in this post that you would like to try? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.