On-page SEO techniques and checklists to rank on first page of Google SERP in 2020
On-page SEO techniques and checklists are critical for the success of any business online, so it is important that as an entrepreneur or business owner you make it a must-have if your business is going to survive online in this digital age.
When it comes to Content Marketing, on-page SEO is a major page that guarantees its success. There are various techniques and checklists that just cannot be left behind if success is the end goal. In this article, the goal is to do justice to the topic: on-page SEO.
If it is more consistent traffic that you are looking for or you want to increase your ranking on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) or Alexa traffic and page rank, then on-page SEO is the way to go.
There is a difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO. You can do something about both of them. The things you do on your post page in order to rank on Google is what we refer to as on-page SEO, things like meta description, meta tags, page title, hyperlinks, image alt texts, focus keyword, etc are the things that would help you improve your rank in Google and Alexa.
What is On-page SEO?
Onpage SEO or On-page optimization as it is also called refers to the efforts you put into making every individual page in your site stand out and get traffic from search engines which boosts your rank.
According to Moz, On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. SEONick says that On-page SEO is the optimization of the elements that exist on your own website, including content, the code behind every page, visual elements, and user experience.
Shoutmeloud is of the opinion that On-page SEO optimizes content for a target keyword within a single blog post. This includes using proper headings, proper keyword placement, ensuring content quality, and paying attention to many other factors. Matthew Woodward has also outlined his checklists which are phenomenal. He talks about 27 On-page SEO ranking factors that would give your ranking game a boost. You can also check Dothacks for some more tips on these on-page SEO techniques.
What is the difference between Onsite SEO and Onpage SEO?
There is a thin line between onsite SEO and on-page SEO. Some think they are the same, but there’s some difference between them. Onsite SEO uses on-page SEO to achieve its success among other things. When I first started out blogging, I had to read countless blog posts to understand how to succeed at it. It was then that I learned that it is individual pages that rank and not the website,
Most people don’t see it this way, but that’s what it is, so on-page SEO helps each of your individual pages to rank on Google SERPs. There are however some things that you do for the entire site to make it rank and give you better headway when it comes to things like Domain Authority (DA) and website ranking.
On-site SEO has to do with the ranking of your entire website. Shoutmeloud insists that Onsite SEO refers to the optimization of the entire website with things like sitemapping and setting permalink structures.
Why do you need onpage SEO (Optimization)?
Is onpage SEO or optimization important? Is it worth your time? These are important questions to ask. If you are new to blogging or content marketing, chances are that you are still trying to find your foot like I did when I started too.
Before I answer if it is important, let me ask you this question: Would you write content that nobody will read? Definitely not, here’s the main reason why you need to optimize your content for search. Apart from being found on search, on-page optimization also helps you to rank higher on the first page of search engines like google, bing, yahoo, etc which increases your domain authority and page authority.
Although on-page SEO is not the only thing that Google uses as ranking criteria, it helps you to optimize your content in a natural, but smart way for search engines to bring you consistent traffic. Google also uses things like social signals (likes, shares, tweets, follows, etc), backlinks, domain authority and many other off-page metrics to rank a page.
Check out This Video on How To Rank Without Backlinks by Julian Goldie
10 On-Page SEO Techniques
Now let’s look at on-page optimization techniques that help you get the best out of your SEO efforts. If you are on WordPress, I advise you to install any of this software: Yoast, SEOpress or Squirlly. I use both of them and they are amazing. They help you get at least 80% of your on-page optimization right. You can also check out these tools to help you. Now let’s get to it, here are 10 on-page optimization techniques that would help you rank better.
Number 1 – Your Focus Keyword
Before you even write a single letter, you have to first determine the focus keyword you want to rank for. This would help in guiding every other thing you do. You should, first of all, do your keyword research. You can use tools like keywords everywhere, semrush, or even google trends to help you know the right keyword to use.
When I first started, I would just think of a topic without thinking of a keyword, and most of the time I rank for nothing. Keyword research shows you what’s possible, what people are already searching for, this way, you are sure that you can get some free traffic.
When it comes to keywords, we have long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords. As a beginner, it is advisable to use long-tail keywords because there is very still competition out there.
Number 2 -Your Title
The next most important thing to your focus keyword is your title. Your title should contain your focus keyword which should not exceed the first 2-5 words of the title. Your title, to a very large extent, determines if people would read your blog post at all, so you must ensure that it is attractive and has your focused keyword in it. Make sure your title does not exceed 75 letter, its best at 65. See this sample title.
Number 3 – Post URL Permalink Structure
When it comes to optimizing your content, take note of your structure of URL. What old blogs might get away with easily, new blogs might not. What old blogs like in permalink structure, their domain authority covers for it. Your focus keyword should be displayed in your URL. You should use a permalist structure such as https://theinspireddream.com.ng/category/startup-entrepreneurship or https://theinspireddream.com.ng/startup-entrepreneurship instead of https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/321465 or https://www.entrepreneur.com/p-123
Number 4 – Heading Tags
Your title heading is H1 which is fine. Your sub-headings should be H2 or H3 while further sub-heading can be H4. The whole idea is to make your headings stand out, a few of your heading should also have the focus keyword.
Number 5 – Keyword Density
Keyword density has to do with the number of times a keyword appears on a page in relation to the total number of other words on the content. If the focus keyword appears to many times, it becomes spammy and it is not good.
Apart from your focus keyword, there are other words that are similar to it which also convey the same meaning and are equally searched for. These are called LSI keywords, you can find them at the bottom of google search. You can use these in your content in to replace your focus keyword in a few places. For good ranking, your keyword density should be around 1.5%.
Number 6 – User-friendly Authoritative Content
You most likely have heard it before that content is king. With great content that is authoritative and answers the questions of readers, you stand a better chance of getting shares, tweets and follows.
You should make use of longer relevant content. Google sees long relevant content as good to the readers so they take note of it. Brian Dean of Backlinko says length is strenth. He advises that we should aim for at least 1900 words of industry-relevant content. Long content makes people stay longer on your page. This is called “dwell time”. When people hit the back button too soon, it tells Google that the content is of low quality. Check out these posts which are examples of great content: Post on Content marketing, Post on Online Colleges.
Number 7 – Internal Linking
It is a great disservice to your blog if you do not use links that go to other parts of your site. It is important because when people click on them, they tend to go to other pages of your site which increases your traffic and ranking.
You should use links that are related to the blog post. For instance, you can check out my post on Content Marketing which is related to SEO.
Number 8 – Outbound Links
When I first read this, I was wondering why I need to link to other sites when I have not finished linking to my own site, then I realized that Wikipedia that we all search is a great source because it shows us where to get more information. It is important when linking to others to use High Domain Authority sites because where you link to tells a lot about you.
Number 9 – Optimise Your Images
You know, if you don’t think about it very well, you would think that when you search for an image on Google, Google would use its brilliant knowledge to send you the image you want. That’s true, but think again, images are not found just because they are images or because they look like what you describe them to be. It’s all about keywords. If you describe a white dog as a red dog in your alt text and description, when people search for red dog, that white dog would come out.
The way it works is that you have to optimise your image with the right keywords that you want to be found for. You should put these keywords in the image title as well as the alt text and description.
Number 10 – Boost Your Site Speed
This is a very important part of SEO that many of us ignore. Most people would not visit a site that loads slowly again. Site speed is an important ranking factor according to Google. They recently emphasised this fact here. This tells us that we cannot joke with the speed of our website.
To increase the speed of your site, you can use a CDN or page caching plugins. To check the speed of your site, use GTMetrix.
On-page SEO Checklist to rank higher in Google
There are certain things that you must do to rank higher in Google and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc. These are called on-page SEO checklists. They are more like things you need to do lists which you must tick as done to get higher rankings. Let’s get into them right away.
- Do your keyword research right.
- Use long-tail keywords.
- Put your keyword in your title, make it short.
- Put your keyword in your URL, short is good.
- Use LSI Keywords
- Maintain keyword density of about 1.5%.
- Don’t stuff keywords
- Optimize your images with the focus keyword in your alt text and description.
- Use meta tags and meta description
- Write long authoritative content
- Use internal links and outbound link
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