On-Page SEO can look difficult…
But if you know the keyword you want to rank for it becomes a simple step by step process to optimize your page or post.
In this article, I am going to walk you through the on-page items to optimize (so you don't overthink it).
Why You Need On-Page SEO
When we do on-page SEO of a post or page, we follow a certain set of proven methods to rank it higher on a search engine.
Google doesn’t only consider an on-page SEO score when ranking an article.
Our goal with on-page SEO is to optimize an article in a natural, smart way so search engines can easily pick out the target keyword and bring our website targeted visitors.
Let's start with an on-page SEO infographic from Backlinko and then I'll discuss 10 optimization factors you must keep in mind:
Let's jump into the detailed explanations of 10 on-page optimizations we believe you must have.
1. Blog Post Title
You should try to use the targeted keyword or phrase toward the beginning of the title (H1) tag, but if that’s not possible, make sure it’s at least somewhere in the title.
And keep the title length to under 70 characters.
2. Post Permalink Structure
Making sure your URL is displayed correctly is an important on-page metric. Again, you should use your target keyword in the URL and avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, and commas within the actual URL.
Use dashes to differentiate the strings in your URL structure. These are called “pretty” permalinks and are supported by most web browsers.
Example of a good permalink:
3. Heading Tags
You should use heading tags to highlight various headings, sub-headings, and important points. In WordPress, the title tag is set at H1.
You don’t really need to use any more H1 tags anywhere in the article. One is enough.
For section breaks, stick to H2 and H3 tags.
4. Keyword Density
You should keep the keyword density around 1.5% percent with a mix of LSI keywords.
Use your main keyword once in the first paragraph and again in the last paragraph. And use it in the content where it makes sense.
5. Meta Tags
You should add a unique and relevant meta-description with each blog post or page. Again, you should use your targeted keyword in the meta-description, but don’t keyword spam your description.
While search engines pick up on keywords, it’s also important for users to click on the post.
You need to write user-friendly meta-descriptions which make sense, include your keyword, and are related to your post.
Image optimization does help a lot in driving traffic from image searches.
Keywords in the “image title” and the “alt text” help to make your blog post more focused and targeted.
But there’s one very important point to note.
Large images will slow down your site and having a slow loading site can decrease your Google rankings.
So it’s very important to:
- Compress images (EWWW Image Optimizer plugin)
- Use a cache plugin (WP Fastest Cache)
- Use a CDN (ex. Cloudflare)
7. Word Count Per Post
Blog posts which don’t have a lot of words typically don’t perform well on search engines. This is because they’re usually seen as being “less informative”.
Of course, there are exceptions, but for a general information-based blog, creating posts with at least 500 words is pretty standard per Absolute Summit.
It’s always better to be well-researched and overly informative than it is to not provide enough information. This is especially true if you’re targeting highly competitive keywords.
Suggestion: Analyze other posts for your target keyword and see how many words they have.
At least 1200 words is a great length to stick with.
8. Internal Linking
Place links to related posts from your blog inside of your blog posts.
Interlinking of blog posts will help your blog readers spend more time on your website and it will also help pass link juice to other pages of your site.
When interlinking, try to use a keyword as the anchor text, but be very careful not to overdo it.
9. External Linking
When linking out to external websites you should link to trusted websites only.
If you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use a no-follow tag to avoid passing your link juice to potentially bad sites.
You should use do-follow links for trusted websites and no-follow links for those that are less trustworthy.
Using authoritative sites like Wikipedia, CNN, or a major player in your niche will not only be trustworthy they’ll likely have relevant content your readers will love.
This will make your site appear and be more credible.
10. Write Engaging Content
If you’re trying to get by with low-quality content and “trick” search engines, you will surely fail.
Your posts should be a complete manual for that keyword.
You should learn how to engage your audience in a way which works for them. Try asking your reader’s questions and then answering them.
Understand what they want to read and then write it.
Don't overthink On-Page SEO too much.
At the very least include your keyword in the title, description, 1st and last paragraph, and you will be ahead of most your competition.