Onpage SEO is the foundation of your website. With a strong and ethical on-page SEO, you website or blog may rank on the top positions on Google and other search engines for relevant and qualified keyword searches. Proper on page Search Engine Optimization not only helps your site to rank higher but also converts your organic traffic into loyal readers and customers.
Remember, it’s not only about on page SEO but offpage SEO (link building) and some technical SEO techniques are equally important and must be done properly to get the best organic ranking results. One website’s organic ranking depends on around 200 different factors with different priority levels. But onpage Search Engine Optimization is something which you must do properly before you start building or earning back-links and implementing technical optimizations.
Here, we are going to discuss on 11 different onpage SEO topics which are very important and give the maximum ranking boost to your website or blog.
- Page title optimization.
- Meta description optimization.
- H1 Primary header optimization.
- Paragraph headers optimization.
- URL optimization.
- Domain optimization.
- Image optimization.
- Content Optimization.
- Structured data optimization.
- Internal link optimization.
- Social optimization.
Page Title Optimization
Page title is one very important factor for ranking. Page title is something which will be visible even outside of your website (Search Engine Results Page & social sites). A well optimized and well written page title helps to get the top SERP ranking and more traffic to the website or blog. A catchy page title with proper use of keywords attracts more visitors to click on your website’s link on SERP and as well as from social networking sites.
There are couple of things which you must remember and implement to create an optimized page title.
- Page title must be maximum 70 characters long including all spaces, alphabets, numeric values and all special characters. After Google removed its AdWords ads from the right side of SERP, most of the time we are seeing a 70 characters long page title is fully visible on SERP organic results.
- Page title must be unique on all the pages of a website. Don’t use the same or very similar page titles on multiple web pages of a website.
- We must use the main focus keyword on the page title and the keyword should be mentioned at the beginning of it.
Meta Description Optimization
Meta Description does not directly help in ranking in general, but this helps a lot to get more clicks from SERP. A well written Meta description with keyword/s will get more clicks to the site.
Three things to do to optimize the Meta description.
- Maximum character length of Meta description is to be 160 characters including all spaces, alphabets, digits and other special characters.
- Same like page title, Meta description must be unique on all web pages of a website.
- Use the main focus keyword on Meta description as early as possible.
H1 Primary Header Optimization
H1 or primary header is the main content header of a webpage. H1 is the first thing a visitor will see after he or she lands on the page. It is one of the most important things for onpage optimization.
- H1 must be unique on all the pages of a website. Same or very similar H1 on multiple pages will make the ranking difficult.
- H1 must have the main focus keyword and it should be used at the beginning of the H1.
- Do not use multiple H1 on one webpage. Rule is; one page, one H1.
- Do not just put the keyword on H1 but make the H1 descriptive and human friendly.
Paragraph Headers Optimization
- Use different other keywords on paragraph headers (H2 to H6).
- H2 must contain the second best keyword.
- Do not use the same keyword on two or more headers.
- Paragraph header must be descriptive and relevant with the respective paragraph it heads.
Uniform Resource Locator or in short URL is very crucial for higher ranking. Same like page title and Meta description, page URLs are also visible outside a webpage. So a well optimized and fully qualified page URL not only helps in getting good and faster ranking, but also gets more clicks than an un-optimized URL of a webpage.
- Use the main focus keyword on page URL and separate words with hyphen (-). Do not use underscores or spaces.
- Remove all the stop words from page URL.
- Numbers do not work well on URLs.
- In general a short URL works better than a long URL.
- URLs should be descriptive. URLs should tell the page topic clearly so that, the visitor and the search engine both can understand the intent of the page even before they visit it.
- URL silo structure is effective for faster and logical indexing.
- Try to us absolute URLs instead of relative URLs.
- Set your website’s preferred domain before launching the site. Websites must open either with www or without www, and should be redirected permanently (301) to any of these two.
- Keywords on domain work good. Exact Match Domains (EMD) rank faster and higher on SERP in general, but are risky.
- Domains without exact match keywords are easily brand-able.
- Try not to use hyphens (-) on website’s domain.
Images are important parts of a website and web pages, and must be taken care of individually to get the best results.
- Image file name must contain keywords and words on image file name must be separated with hyphen (-).
- Always use image ALT (alternative text) for each image, and ALT must contain keyword. Missing or empty ALT is semantic HTML error and bad for SEO as well.
- Image title can be used with keyword and should be descriptive, as it is going to be visible to the visitors when they move their cursor on the image.
- Adding a relevant phrase or keyword on an image, boosts image ranking in general.
- Compress image file size before you upload it on your website.
- Remove image EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data before using the image.
- A separate image sitemap file can also be used.
Content is the most important part of optimization. A well researched, well written, well formatted, and well optimized content makes the entire optimization process effective.
- Long-form contents rank better in general. Write minimum 1000 words for landing pages and article pages.
- Use the main focus keyword on the first and last sentence and repeat across the content meaningfully.
- Use other variation, long-tail and LSI (latent Semantic Indexing) keywords on content.
- Keyword density should be around 2% to 4%. Never overuse or stuff keywords.
- Write fresh and unique content always. Never get involved in coping or spinning contents.
- Break content in multiple paragraphs and use relevant paragraph headers.
- Lists are very powerful. Try to use list at the beginning of the content. It is not only a good content optimization technique but it also helps to rank the content on Google Answer Box.
- Write well researched, well formatted, human friendly and error (grammar, spelling and punctuation) free contents.
- Use bold (strong) and italic (em) to highlight keywords for optimization.
- Use online tools to check the content freshness.
Structured Data Optimization
Structured data is one of the most advanced and comparatively newer SEO techniques. It doesn’t directly help sites to improve ranking but indirectly does. According to John Muller of Google, structured data is going to be a strong ranking signal in coming years. So it’s always better to start using structured data on websites or blogs.
- Use Schema, the universal structured data.
- If you consider doing local SEO then business’s name, address and phone number (in short NAP citation) is crucial factor. Start marking up the NAP citation with structured data on your website.
- Use reviews and events with Schema structured data to get rich snippets on SERP.
- Rich snippets directly increase the CTR (Click Through Rate) and traffic to the site.
- Test structured data using Google Search Console’s structured data testing tool.
Internal Link Optimization
Internal linking from content (contextual internal link) is very effective to increase the crawling rate, crawling frequency and crawling amount. Not only this, but logical and well placed internal links can increase the number of page views and site dwelling time which indirectly help to improve the overall site’s ranking as well.
- Create contextual internal links from each landing pages and article pages.
- Use contextual and relevant keywords or phrases as the internal link’s anchor texts.
- Internal links pointing to another landing page or article page should be dofollow.
- Make sure you are linking to the right page URL (broken links can cause problems).
In modern SEO, social optimization is an important integral part. It not only helps site visitors to use the site and its social channels easily but social optimization increases the brand’s visibility across different social channels. The more organic engagements we generate on our social channels the stronger and continuous social signal we can build, and eventually that indirectly helps in SEO and ranking.
- Link to your Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and YouTube pages from your website.
- Use third-party online tools to create share and follow widgets to use on your site.
- Use Facebook Open Graph and twitter Cards.
- Use Google rel publisher mark-up.
These are the 11 different points and techniques which you must use to build a strong onpage SEO foundation for your website and pages. There are many other ranking factors other than these like relevant back-link building (or earning) from authoritative websites or blogs, proper technical SEO (canonicalization, robots file, sitemap file, redirection, custom error pages etc.), Google My Business & NAP citation submission (Local SEO) are crucial for better search engine ranking.
Today a mobile friendly website is must. Maximum percentage of site visitors are using or going to use mobile devices to browse a website. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is recommended by major search engines
Be regular to check the Google Webmaster and Google Analytics account to know all the different important data about your website’s technical aspects and traffic
Updating website’s existing page’s contents periodically helps in rank improvements, and try to create new contents consistently on your site to make the overall optimization work better. Onpage SEO is very important and must be taken care of properly. And if you are not very much sure about how to implement these or the other SEO techniques on your website or blog, then you should invest some quality time to learn SEO