On Page SEO For Ranking Results
Almost everyone knows about how important backlinks, press releases and local citations are for getting your website ranked in the search engines. However, without proper on page optimization, all of the backlinks in the world won’t help get your website ranked.
On page optimization for SEO is where it all starts. In fact, it should be taken into account when first building your website. There has to be balance though between what you are doing for the search engines as well as content for your website visitors.
Yes, it can be very time consuming, but the good news is that once it’s done – It’s Done! Once the site starts ranking and you are seeing results, you can go back and make just some little tweaks. We usually look at what is showing for the description in Google search (as this will vary, Google sometimes just takes content from within your page or post), and then sometimes adjust our content to add more LSI keywords.
If you are looking for a quick general explanation of what your onpage SEO should look like, here is an infographic from Brian Dean at Backlinko:
Image Credit (Also Click To Enlarge)
Brian makes some good points in his article. One point that he makes is to use out bound links to other sites and articles. We would add to that though that you shouldn’t use anchor text that you are trying to rank for. For instance if you are trying to rank for “plumbing repair”, you wouldn’t want to use that as your anchor text to go to somebody else’s site. We also recommend making the links “no follow” so that you don’t lose any of your link juice coming into your site.
Keywords, Long Tail Keywords And LSI Keywords
One of the most important things to consider for your on page SEO is your keywords, LSI keywords, keyword phrases and long tail keyword phrases.
Back in the day you use to be able to just stuff the same keyword in one page and BAM, it was done. It wasn’t so good for users, and Google quickly caught on to this and quickly implemented Algorithms to deter this practice. Now it’s better to have your keyword sprinkled throughout your page, along with longer phrases as well as LSI, which is kind of similar to synonyms.
A tool that is available to everyone is Google’s Keyword Planner. One thing to keep in mind with this tool though is that it is really designed for people that are using Adwords, it’s really not designed for SEO work. It will give you a good head start in planning your pages and posts though.
Here is a quick video that explains how to use Google’s Keyword Planner, if you have never used it before:
There are also lots of paid tools that you can use for your keyword research. It just depends on your budget and how far you intend on taking ranking a website on your own.
On Page Technical Issues That Effect Rankings
Then you also have some more technical issues that must be addressed on your site for proper on page SEO.
There are a lot that need to be looked at, but we found an article by Kevin Cotch on TopRankBlog.com that gives you the top 5 that you need to address:
5 Common Technical SEO Issues
There are multiple issues that you should check for while running an audit. Checking for all technical SEO issues will take quite some time depending on the size of the website. For the sake of highlighting some of the most important issues, we will focus on 5 issues which include:
- Response codes
- Duplicate content
- URL structure
- XML sitemaps
- Site speed
#1 – Response Codes – 404: Header not found!
Let’s start with the basics – response codes. You need to have a website that can be easily used by people and crawled by search engines. If search engines are having a hard time crawling your site then it will suffer in organic performance. One area to help a search engines crawl your website is by reducing the amount of 4xx and 3xx response codes within your site. More common 4xx and 3xx response codes that we see are 404, 301, and 302 codes.
The best way to fix these response codes is to update any pages that contain the link that either responds with a 404, 301, or 302 code to a live destination page on the website. By having a direct link to a live destination page, the authority will not be lost and it will provide a better user experience. Also, updating the internal redirects will help mitigate any potential redirect chains if a page happens to be changed again, and then is redirected to a different page. Redirect chains can cause a major headache for search engines when crawling and indexing a website.
#2 – Duplicate Content – Stop seeing double or you’re in trouble
After resolving the response codes, it’s important to look at the on-page optimization of the website. Some of these issues can be related to general SEO tactics, but they are still important when conducting an audit. One area of on-page optimization that is often prevalent is duplicate content. I’m a pretty big stickler when it comes to duplicate content. An ultimate goal of a website is to offer a solution for users, and the best way to offer a solution is to provide unique content.
To fix duplicate content is to make sure that each page as a solid amount of unique content tailored to whatever the page is about. For eCommerce sites, make sure each product has a unique description or user generated reviews to differentiate the content. For other sites, make sure to write unique content for the topic of the page. Also, make sure that your CMS isn’t creating duplicate content by correctly configuring the settings.
Eliminating duplicate content will help a website and individual pages perform better for the targeted keywords/topics. By targeting a specific topic on individual pages content marketers can provide unique content that enhances the user experience. Continue Reading Kevin’s Article Here…
One thing that Kevin touches on and we believe is becoming more relevant not only for search engines, but user engagement as well, is Site speed. A slow loading site means people will leave your site in a hurry!
Advanced On Page SEO
Finally, you may know all of this and looking for some more advanced on page optimization “tricks”.
SEOMoz has a great video that explains some more things to consider.
Before we go, just remember, when performing your on page SEO, always keep in mind your user AND the search engines, giving more weight to your site visitors. As search engines become more intelligent this will prove to be beneficial to you in the end!