10 ON PAGE SEO TECHNIQUES THAT RANK BETTER IN 2017
Before I share some specific tricks, here are a few non-technical things that you can incorporate today:
- Improve user experience.
- Make sure your website is responsive and broken links are kept to a minimum.
- Ensure that readers coming from search engines spend a lot of time on your site. If they hit the back button quickly, your ranking will drop quickly too.
- Create good content.
So now I’ll share with you the 10 on-page optimization factors you should keep in mind while optimizing your blog posts.
1. Blog Post Title
This is the most important on-page SEO factor. The reason for this is because the more attractive and optimized your title is, the more people will click. And in general, the more clicks your post gets, the higher it will rank.
You should try to use the targeted keyword or phrase toward the beginning of title (H1) tag, but if that’s not possible, make sure it’s at least somewhere in the title.
You should also not repeat the same keyword more than once in the title tag because you think it will help the article rank higher. It won’t. It could actually hurt your ranking. Don’t do it.
And keep the title length to under 65 characters.
For more on how to write a great title, check out:
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, commas, etc. 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.
Also, don’t use too many H2 or H3 tags as Google’s algorithms won’t like that.
Here is what Google’s Matt Cutts has to say about repeating heading tags:
4. Keyword Density
You should keep the keyword density around 1.5% percent with a mix of LSI keywords. But as Matt Cutts explains in the video below, there is no real magic formula.
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.
Again, you should use your use 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 that make sense and are related to your post.
With regards to meta keywords, Google has made it clear that they don’t care about them. But some search engines, like Bing, may still care a little.
Here is the official statement from Google regarding meta keywords:
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 more important than that:
Images create engagement.
And the more engaged a user is, the more likely they’ll stick around, thus increasing your overall rank.
But there’s one very important point to note. Large images will slow down your site, and having a slow
7. Word Count Per Post
Blog posts that don’t have a lot of words typically don’t perform well on search engines. That’s because they’re usually seen as being “less informative”.
Ofcourse there are exceptions, but for a general information-based blog, creating posts with at least 500 words is pretty standard.
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.
While there is no “official” count, longer posts tend to rank better because there is typically more information there. For instance, this post is over 2,000 words.
But be careful not to over do it.
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 blog, and it will also help pass page rank 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.
Internal links that are relevant to the original post show search engines that you are providing extra information beyond what is being displayed in the content.
But make sure your interlinking is relevant and necessary.
For more on interlinking, check out:
9. External Linking
Apart from linking to your own blog posts, it is a great idea to link out to external websites as well. Again, only do this if the information on the external website is relevant to the information in your post.
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 a nofollow tag to avoid passing your link juice to potentially bad sites.
You should use dofollow links for trusted websites and nofollow links for those that are less trustworthy.
But somewhere authoritative like Wikipedia, or CNN, or a major player in your niche, will not only be trustworthy, they’ll likely have relevant content that your readers will love.
This will make your site appear more credible.
10. Write Engaging Content
You should write engaging content. Period.
If you’re trying to get by with low-quality content and “trick” search engines, you will surely fail.
Your post should be a complete manual for that keyword. You should learn how to engage your audience in a way that works for them. Try asking your readers questions and answering them. Understand what they want to read, and then write that.
If you are unable to write engaging content, people will not spend much time on your blog, your bounce rate will increase, and your rankings will plummet.