Driving quality traffic to your websites and landing pages can be achieved with a multitude of tactics, but establishing a strong foundation of on page SEO is always a good place to start. Proper on page SEO practices enable your pages to rank higher on search engines and ultimately drive more traffic to your targeted keywords.
What is On Page SEO?
On Page SEO is the process of optimizing SEO factors of your website that are in your direct control such as HTML tags, link structure, keyword placement, and similar factors which we’ll discuss below. Off Page SEO is generally regarded as more difficult (since these factors are out of your control) so On Page SEO optimization is a great place to start your website’s SEO foundation.
Guide to On Page SEO
Most marketers will agree that the title tag is the most crucial part to a page’s SEO. The title tag should be just as appealing to human readers as search engine bots, so short, clear, and keyword targeted is the way to go. While most search engines only display up to 70 characters of the title tag on search results, it is believed that search engines use up to 95 characters to judge a page’s relevance to the user’s search terms.
Using heading tags can make topics easier to understand for your readers while also feeding search engines exactly what they crave: keyword rich heading tags. Be sure to use at least a few heading tags from the H1, H2, H3, or H4 tags throughout your page and fill them with your targeted keywords. Search engines place a greater emphasis on text in heading tags.
Bold, Underline, and Italic Text
In addition to placing a higher value on heading text, search engines also place a strong emphasis on bolded, underlined, or italicized text. It is never a bad idea to style keywords to any of these 3 styles, particularly more towards the top of the page.
Keywords in your domain name and URL structure can greatly affect search engine rankings. While we do not always have the convenience of a domain name which matches our keywords, we can always make keyword-friendly URLs. For example, if our keywords were “making money online”, then an optimized page URL would be “http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/making-money-online” or variations such as “http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/guide-to-making-money-online”.
Internal Linking and Anchor Text
Search engines love to see webmasters link to their own pages, which is why we strongly recommend including 1-3 internal links per page to other pages/posts of your site. This sends link juice to your older posts and can help boost their exposure over time. Each of these internal links should have optimized anchor text related to the respective link’s keywords.
Image Alt Tags
ALT tags are used by search engines to connect a description to each image on your page. It’s best to include a keyword-rich description of each image on your page. Your optimized ALT tags will also attract Google Image search traffic.
Example ALT tag use:
<img src="IMAGE_PATH" alt="Keyword Rich Description" width="125" height="125" />
Each time your page links to another URL, some of your page’s link juice is transferred to that page. While you may want to pass link juice onto certain links, you can avoid wasting link juice to pages like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc, by placing a NoFollow tag on your links. So don’t waste your Google PageRank and NoFollow your unimportant links!
Example NoFollow use:
<a href="https://www.twitter.com/adworkmedia" rel="nofollow">Follow Us</a>
On Page SEO is an ongoing process that can be improved as you learn techniques and test your existing methods.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with it!