TOP 10 On Page Optimization Factors to Increase Your Website’s Search Engine Results – [Cheat Sheet]!
There are literally hundreds of on page optimization factors that the search engine takes into consideration when it determines the ranking for your site, or a page on your site.
On-Page Optimizing can be defined as: “measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search engine rankings.”
Examples of on page optimization include the actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement along with performing certain tasks to create a search-engine friendly site.
Mastering these 10 SEO On Page Optimizing Factors = Higher Rankings!
In this article I will cover 10 of the On-Page elements that should never be forgotten, that will help you move to the top positions of Google and other major search engines for your topic.
Plain and Simple… receiving higher rankings will drive MORE traffic to your web site.
Let’s start with the number one strategy to increase your chances of ranking above your competition… a successful organic search engine optimization campaign which is based on keywords.
The first order of business will be to locate searchable keywords and keyword phrases to place within your article. If you master this first task, ‘Keyword Research and Selection’, the rest of the on page optimizing will come easy to you.
1. Keyword Research and Selection
To begin the process of proper keyword research and analysis, you will need to think like your visitors – Keep this in mind… do not base your keyword research or the optimizing of your page for keywords that you like or think should be associated with the topic you are writing about.
You are optimizing for the keywords potential visitors associate with the information you are offering.
If you are a newly established web site with little authority in the eyes of search engines, you need to focus your efforts on long-tail keyword search terms and Semantically Related Keyword Research [(LSI) Latent Semantic Indexing] as part of your keyword search routine.
A favorite and Free to use keyword research tool is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner (You will need to create an account). This allows you to type in a word or phrase associated with the topic of your article, it will then give you a list of associated words or phrases similar to your searched word(s).
2. Optimize Keywords in URL
Prior to publishing your page for readers, make sure your URL is optimized for search engines. Just as it makes sense to fill your web page with keywords relevant to the topic you are writing about, you should name the file after your main keyword phrase. Notice the URL file name for this article ‘on-page-optimization-factors’?
Making your file names relevant to the content contained with-in the page is not only an important organization factor, but both search engines and your visitors associate the name of the page with the content that it contains.
If you have a WordPress based site, and your URL structure shows numbers directly after your domain name as apposed to words for the address, then visit your WordPress dashboard, then click on Settings, then Permalinks, then tick the Post Name and click on Save Changes. This will now show your keyword structure as apposed to numbers.
3. Optimize Keywords in Title Tag
The Title Tag is possibly your most important consideration when you try to raise your search-engine rankings for a particular keyword or keyword phrase. Search engines use the text contained within the title tag as a primary factor to determine what the content of a certain web page is about.
Search-engines will display the title tag at the top of each item in the search engine results page (SERPs). The words you use for the title tag is also the text that is displayed at the top left corner of the browser window.
Because you have less than 10 seconds to attract the user’s attention, a well written title tag might increase the odds that a searcher will click your listing. Your title tag should be a concise statement summarizing the main point of your content, and should be compelling enough to encourage search-engine users to click the link and visit your site.
Limit your title tags to 65 characters or less because most search engines do not display any more than that. If you balance the need for SEO with the need for an impactful title tag, you will generally get more clicks and a higher ranking.
If you have a WordPress based website, there is HELP for the Title Tag and Meta Description Tag… the Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin. There are other plug-ins available, but this is the one that I use for my blog, and that I would recommend.
This plug-in allows you to create your own title and description, and it also counts the characters as you type showing you if you need to shorten your title or description wording.
4. Optimize Keywords in Description Meta Tag
You should optimize each and every meta description tag on your web site because the meta description tags are part of the display information that visitors see when your site is listed in the search engine results pages.
Even though the meta description tags are not important to search engine rankings, they are extremely important in gaining user click-through from search engine result pages (SERPs).
These short paragraphs are the author’s opportunity to create a few compelling sentences describing to searchers exactly what the given page has with regard to what they’re looking for.
The topic of your post should not to exceed 160 characters (most search-engines use the maximum of 160 characters in their search results pages), yet it should interest the potential visitor and tempt that person to click your search-engine results link.
5. Optimize Keywords in Heading Tags
h1, h2, h3 tags – The headlines to the articles you write are crucial… as I mentioned in the Title Tags portion, you have less than 10 seconds to attract the user’s attention.
Your headline, which will be the description of the post on your blog, is around 90 percent of the reason anyone will read your article, so make sure your headline title will interest the reader enough to pull them in immediately, while clearly explaining the content.
Use the header tags to apply significance to topics on your page… be sure to include keywords or phrases within all the heading tags if possible. Placing a selection of text within a header tag tells the search-engine spiders that the text is of a certain level of importance. Search-engine ranking algorithms place emphasis on text enclosed within header tags when determining where pages should be ranked for those terms.
The Header Tags help structure the content on your page semantically, and are useful for targeting the key topic of the page. The h1 tag should be similar to the title tag with some variation, and should serve as the overview of the content written. The h2 tags and subsequent tags can narrow the focus… make sure you use only one h1 tag for your article, however repeated h2 and lower tags are acceptable.
6. Optimize Keywords in Anchor Text
Another element of organic SEO that can be classified as important as your web site content is cross-linking, anchor text on your page. Anchor text is linkable wording that would be included in your navigation to outside sources, and internal linking structure within your site.
Links can be incoming, outgoing, or internal, and where those links lead or come from is as important as the context in which the links are provided. While you are writing your article, if you mention something that you have previously written about, link to it.
While creating these anchor links, double check to make sure they are linked correctly. Visitors should have easy direction to connecting pages from every page of your website… this will help reduce your bounce rate and aid in user experience.
7. Optimize Your Keyword Placement
We’ve covered placing your keyword or keyword phrase in the title tag, the description tag and the heading tags, now let’s cover your content. While strategically placing your keywords or phrases in the beginning and end of your article, avoid keyword stuffing and make sure you sprinkle a few variations of your keyword or phrase throughout your site where it looks natural and makes sense.
It will also help your SEO efforts to include Keyword Prominence and Proximity which you can read about in my Keyword Density article using the link above… these two steps will help you set yourself apart from your competition.
If you are like me, and you would like to automate your On-Page SEO, then follow the link to the ‘CRUSH the COMPETITION’ for just $9.00 per month, plug-in that will intelligently guide you through the time-tested and proven tweaks that you can do with your content to outrank 90% of web pages on the internet.
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8. Text Modifiers to Emphasize Your Keywords
Use the BOLD (STRONG) tags to emphasize your keyword or keyword phrase. It is a good practice to bold the targeted term or keyword phrase at least once.
You can also italicize your targeted term or phrase… this tag appears to carry slightly more weight with rankings than the Bold tag, so I suggest you use it in your text for your targeted keyword or keyword phrase at least once also.
9. Optimize Image ALT tag
Optimize the image file names and Alt attributes (ALT Tags) for all images. Image optimizations are included in SEO best practices and aid in determining relevancy as spiders crawl the site. Name the images with dash-separated keywords, and fill out the Alt attribute with a short descriptive phrase about the image to include your keyword or keyword phrase.
Do not repeat the same words for the Alt Image tag description more than once unless the image itself is repeated.
10. Last but Not Least – Proof Read
Avoid poor: grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure! The search-engine spiders are aware that clumsy sentences and poor grammar are displeasing to human readers; therefore, your grammar should be of the highest caliber.
Search engines tend to devalue any content containing awkward sentences, clichés, erroneous grammar, or writing considered aesthetically abrasive to a reader.
By keeping your story elegant and distinctive, you increase your web site’s chance of attaining high search-engine rankings. It is also important to keep your content accessible to the average reader.
BONUS – Ping Your Blog when you have added new content or updated your blog. Pinging services allow you to automatically notify blog directories and search engines that your blog has been updated.
Closing Comments About the On Page Optimization (SEO) Checklist!
These on-page optimizing factors are the most important elements to master if you want to rank above your competition for the keyword or keyword phrase you are targeting.
“SEO is a comprehensive approach to improving your search engine rankings. As such, it requires attention to your whole site. It does little good to optimize portions of your site and leave other areas lacking the same attention to detail. If you feel that your site is in need of optimizing, do it right and make sure you hit all of the elements as you go.”
Mastering on-page optimization along with whole site and off page optimization and you will find yourself ruling the Internet.