When it comes about optimizing a website or blog posts, there are two factors that plays a big role. These two factors are Onpage optimization and Offpage optimization. Today’s article, remain focused around On page optimization and I will be sharing some good on page SEO techniques you should implement while working on onpage aspects of your blog posts.
Now, lets not confuse onpage SEO optimization with Onsite SEO optimization. Talking about, onpage SEO, we optimise our content for our target keyword. This includes use of proper heading, keyword placement, content quality and many other factors. We will look into them one by one in this detailed post.
- Read: Importance of Keywords
Why do you need OnPage Optimization:
So what’s the target of this post: This post will help you to write more search engine optimized article. Now, when I say SEO optimized article, many blogger think it’s a bad practice.
But, again here is a takeaway from Harsh last post on Recover from Google panda:
Search engine is nothing but a set of algorithms, it look into various factor to rank your page for certain Keyword. Now, here we will help search engine to pick the target Keyword from the post and make it more target able.
Here is a food of thought: When you publish a post, have you ever thought why you have not got 1st page ranking. ?
So when we do SEO optimization of post, it means we follow certain set of proven method to rank higher in search engine. Now ranking in Google, doesn’t only consider On page SEO score, but it also take care of many factors like Social media votes, back links, domain authority and many other offpage factor. Our goal here is to optimise our article in natural but smart way, so that search engine can easily pick the target keyword (Focus keyword) and thus, instead of raking for irrelevant long tail keyword, we will get more targeted visitors. Here is an interesting article which shows how on page optimization is not dead.
Before, you read more, I assume you know about Keyword research and you have found a Keyword for next post, which is going to be a perfect example of onpage SEO optimized post. Here are latest 2015 On-page search engine factors :
As you can see from the above list, a lot has changed in 2015 and most important factors are relevant keywords, internal links. Above chart is prepared by search metrics team after analysing top pages from Google search. One thing which I highly recommend you to do from now on is to take advantage of adding videos in your blog post. Adding videos will not only increase the rich media on your post, it will also make users stay more on your blog post.
10 Onpage Optimization Techniques for Better ranking
So here is the ultimate list of 10 Onpage Optimization factors you should keep in mind while optimizing your blog posts:
Blog Post Title
Most important Onpage factor which really plays a big role in deciding whether our blog posts will be doing well on search engines front is its title. We should make sure we are using targeted keywords or phrase towards the beginning of Title tag. We should not repeat the same keyword in title tag with the intension to get better rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing. And we should keep limit Title Characters length to 65 Characters only with spaces.
Post Permalink Structure
Then it’s about going ahead with a search engine optimized URL structure. Again, you should aim at using targeted keywords towards the beginning of blog post URL. You should avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, comma’s etc as part of your post URL. Most of the times you should be using alphabets and numeric from 0-9 in your URL structure and use dashes to differentiate two strings in URL structure. Make sure to follow a pretty permalink instead of random strings in your permalink.
You should use heading tags like h2, h3 and h4 etc to highlight various headings, sub-headings and important points. Our Title tag is used as h1 tag at single post level in WordPress. So we don’t need to use any h1 tag in our blog post body section. Also, don’t repeat H2 or H3 tags too many times, as it is considered as negative SEO practice. Here is what Matt Cutts has to say about repetition of H1 or any other heading tags.
You should keep the keyword density to up to 2 percent only. You should be using your main keyword once in first paragraph and then in the last paragraph apart from regular use in blog post content. You should use bold, italic and underline to highlight important keywords and phrases in your blog post. Here are list of online tools to analyze Keyword density. WordPress bloggers can use Keyword density checker WP plugin for the same purpose. Here is official Matt Cutts comment on what’s the idle Keyword density:
You should add unique and relevant meta keyword and meta description with each of your blog post. Again, you should use your use targeted keyword in the meta description and meta keyword section. You should create a meta description tag which work as a summary for your blog post. You should limit meta description length to 160 characters including spaces. You should write user friendly meta description tags for better Click Through Rate (CTR) in search engines. Though, many search engine like Bing still prefer meta keywords but Google already made it clear that they don’t give any weight-age to Meta keywords. Here is official statement from Google regarding use of Meta Keywords:
Addition of Images
We have already talked about Image optimization for SEO and it helps a lot in driving traffic from image search. Though, according to many case studies, Keyword in alt text in image and image title helps a lot to make your blog post more focus and targeted. Now add one or multiple images to your blog post. You should include targeted keyword as part of image name, image alt text etc. Availability of images makes our blog contents more interesting and attractive. While adding images, you should look out for small size images only. Addition of big size images will slow down your blog speed and will ultimately lower down your blog rankings as these days Google Started considering website speedas one of rankings factor on Google organic search.
Word Count Per Post
I don’t see blog posts doing well specially on search engine front page having very few words. So as standard, you should try to draft blog posts carrying minimum 700 words. If possible write long and well researched blog posts while targeting highly competitive keywords in your niche. More over, if you writing naturally and covering everything related to the topic, your topic would be of great length. Suggestion: Analyze other posts on the target keyword and see what you are missing and if your post is better than post ranking on first page in Google or not. Though, there is no limit or exact number for minimum word count for SEO optimized posts, but ideally I keep it more than 700 words. This post is over 1900 words plus.
You should link out to related blog posts from your blog to send additional page rank and traffic to them. Interlinking of blog posts naturally will help your blog readers spend more time on your blog. But you should not overdo it. While linking out to your own blog pages, you should use keyword rich anchor text as that will help the linking posts perform better on Google and other search engines for their targeted anchor texts. Also, keep variation while internal linking but don’t confuse Google with two similar post for same target Keyword.
Linking out to External Websites
Apart from linking to your own blog posts, it is a great idea to link out to external websites if you feel addition of links for them will help your blog readers find more and relevant information about the topic you are currently blogging about. While linking out to external websites, you should link to trusted websites only. And if you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use nofollow tag to avoid passing page rank and search engine rankings to bad neighbors. So you should use dofollow link for trusted websites and nofollow link for those about whom you are doubtful about their trust rank on Google. If not, try to link with Wiki article, which is considered as one of the most authoritative source of information. Even if not from onpage optimization point of view, linking to useful resource helps readers and make your content more creditable and informative. Zemanta is one of the best source to find and add relevant and useful links. You can also look into Insights WordPress plugin.
Write Engaging Content
You should write engaging content in your post and should work as a complete manual for the targeted keywords for that post. You should look at various ways so that people get engaged with your blog contents. You can do this by asking some kind of questions or asking for their opinion on topics related to your blog and etc. If you are unable to write engaging contents on your blog, people will not spend much time on your blog and will immediately leave your blog. This will result in higher bounce rate for your blog and which will work as a negative factor when Google calculates your blog rankings for targeted terms.
On page SEO Checklist:
Here is the final checklist which you need to follow in 2015 to make sure your content rank higher in search engine.
- Keyword in Title
- Keyword in Permalink
- Keyword in first paragraph
- Keyword in Image Alt tag
- Tweaked Keyword in H2 or H3
- Bold Important Keywords and related keywords
- Italics 1-2 important Keywords
- Outbound Link to relevant high-quality sites
- Internal links to related articles
- Remove all stop words from Permalink
- Add multi-media (Video, Slides, Inforgraphic)
- Longer the content length, better it is. Minimum: 700 words
- Optimize image before uploading (Compress and resize)
- Page loading time
- Use LSI Keywords (Use Google search to find related Keywords)
- Use Meta title in less than 65 character
- Use Meta description in less than 150 characters.
- If using any Social SEO plugin, make sure to add image for Facebook, Twitter. (Take advantage of social graph)
- Make sure to have social sharing buttons at the end of post or floating social sharing buttons.
- Have related posts after blog posts to lower down bounce rate.
Things not to do:
- Not more than 1 H1 tag (Your Post title is H1 tag)
- Don’t repeat H2 and H3 Tag
- Don’t increase Keyword density by more than 1.25%
Things to focus on:
- Try to use Keyword in Post Title at beginning
- Use Long tail keywords (You can use up to 65 Character in Post title)
- If writing in evergreen niche, remove dates from the posts. (Use Date Exclusion SEO plugin)
- Content length: The longer the length of the content, better it is. Though don’t try to uselessly increase the content size.
- At the end of blog post, ask users to take action.
With this, you have covered all the factors that you need to have to make your articles on page SEO full-proof. If you have any queries or want to add your tip, let me know via comments.