There are many people who are just starting to blog and many more that have run their own site for a while, that don’t know what SEO is and how to implement it!
SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is where you construct your web pages and implement certain techniques to help you rank as high as possible on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher your pages can rank on Google/Bing/Yahoo/etc. results pages, the more traffic your site is likely to get.
Now, SEO can be split up into two separate categories; On-Page SEO & Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do ON your website to help you rank higher, such as page titles, internal linking, meta tags & descriptions, etc.
Off-Page SEO refers to all the things that you can do directly OFF your website to help you rank higher, such as social networking, article submission, forum & blog marketing, etc.
In today’s post we will be looking specifically at On-Page SEO and some of the most effective ways to increase your page rankings on search engines.
On-Page Search Engine Optimisation
1. Page Titles
Your page titles are one of the most important SEO factors on your site. Each of your pages & posts should have its own unique title, which includes the main keywords for that page.
For example, you could write a blog post about a new chocolate cake recipe that you have tried. It is therefore vitally important that you include ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ within your post title, perhaps “Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe” or “ Chocolate Cake Recipe for kids”, etc.
This way, whenever someone searches for Chocolate Cake Recipes in a search engine, your post has a better chance of showing up because you have included those keywords.
2. Meta Descriptions
Many people forget to include meta descriptions for their pages. These descriptions are an important place to include relevant keywords for your content, as these are used within the search results when your page is listed.
For instance, if we continue to use the ‘Chocolate Cake Recipe’ example, then a good meta description for that page would include those keywords and related ones. So, “This easy chocolate cake recipe is possibly the most delicious, mouth watering, chocolatey cake ever made.” would be a great meta description to use, as it is relatively short, whilst containing a number of specific keywords.
3. Meta Tags
For each of your pages, you can include a set of keywords in the form of meta tags. These should be all the relevant keywords of your content, which you will have researched previously.
I use a WordPress plug-in on my sites called ‘All In One SEO Pack’. This allows me to enter all of my meta tag keywords, meta description and page title at the bottom of each of my posts before publishing. This simply inserts all of the information into your page HTML format for you, making your life a little easier.
4. URL Structure
Including search engine friendly URLs for each of your pages is highly recommended, as these bring better crawling. Shorter URLs seem to perform better in search engine results, however that is not the only factor.
URLs that include targeted keywords, also perform better. The location of these keywords can also be a major influence. For example site.com/keyword would perform better than site.com/365/738/subfolder/keyword etc.
5. Body Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.)
When writing your articles, you should break up your content into smaller sections & paragraphs to make it easier for people to read. These sections can be given heading, which is where H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. tags are used.
Generally H1 tags are reserved for your main page title, with subsequent headings (just like the ones I have used throughout this post) being issued H2, H3, etc. Search engines use these to determine what is important within your content. This is why keyword rich headines are more useful than generic ones. Make sure you write keyword rich headings in the order of priority in H1, H2 and H3 title tags. They are used by many crawlers to differentiate important content.
6. Keyword Density
Including relevant keywords throughout your content is very important, as it helps search engines work out what your content is about. However, try not to excessively repeat and overuse keywords just for search engine robots. This can lead to your site being banned from search engines.
To avoid this, try to keep your keyword density to roughly 2-5%. If you find this hard, get out a thesaurus and broaden your writing vocabulary. This way, you are still writing about the same thing, without risk of being banned.
7. Image SEO
Using images within your content is a great way to make your site more visually appealing and break up boring chunks of text. You can utilise these images to help improve your site SEO.
All your uploaded images have titles, so treat them just the same as your page titles. Including relevant keywords can help people find your site when searching on Google Images.
You can also include Alt Text and Descriptions for your images, making them even more useful with SEO.
8. Internal Linking
People often think that the only links that count are those from other websites. While these links are important, these are not the only important links!
Placing links to your other website pages, is a great way of improving your site and used properly, internal links can be a useful weapon in your SEO arsenal. Not only does it make it much easier for your visitors to navigate around your site and find all of your content, but it also ensures that your site gets properly crawled allowing the search engines to find all of your pages. It also helps to build the relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases, whilst also helping to increase the Google PageRank of your pages.
There are a number of different methods that you can use to improve your internal linking structure. The main being; content links and permanent navigation links.
For bloggers, content links are very useful when used properly. These are links that are placed within your article posts, which redirect people to other relevant pages on your site. For example, this post is focused on increasing traffic to your site, so readers may also find a post on ‘How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog‘ useful. Perhaps other people are just starting out blogging and want to learn more.
These 8 techniques are just some of the ways that you can improve your on-page SEO. Any one used independently of the others won’t make much difference to your site ranking, however when used together, they can help to improve your site traffic.
They will help to get your pages working better, they will help to get your entire site crawled by search engine spiders, they will help increase the value of internal pages and they will build the relevancy of internal pages to specific keyword phrases.
So, it pays to spend some time implementing these to improve your site! Please leave your comments below & feel free to ask any questions.