There is a lot of information out there about on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it can be difficult to figure out what is valuable and what is bunk. While SEO may seem like an area constantly changing with no room for “guidelines,” there are time-tested rules and a “right way” to do on-page SEO that yields the greatest results. These simple SEO tips are easy to understand and implement.
SEO Tip #1: Start with Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are very specific queries like “red leather pumps” instead of simply “red shoes.” Start with five or six long-tail keywords related to your product or service, then choose a related secondary keyword for each. You should have a primary and a secondary keyword phrase for every page on your website.
Research keywords that have a good number of monthly searches and have low competition (they should be less difficult to get to the front page of search results). We use HubSpot’s Keywords tool to help determine the “difficulty” of keywords. Google’s Keyword Tool is a free tool that can also help with this research.
If you’re just starting out, it is best to just find overall high-yield keywords with low competition, rather than focusing on high monthly searches. However, if you’re already ranking quite well and just need new keywords to expand to, going for those higher difficulty longtail keywords is an option.
SEO Tip #2: Keywords in Your Content
Make sure your keywords are naturally placed a few times in your on page copy, without any “keyword stuffing” to boost your search rank. Bolding or underlining keywords is important, and so is mentioning your secondary keywords. Google is stringent regarding keyword stuffing, so focus on playing nice and creating great content!
SEO Tip #3: Optimize Your URL and Page Title
You page title should be:
- Unique on every page on our site
- Under 70 characters
- Contain no more than 3 keyword phrases, primary keyword first
- Each phrase should be pipe (|) separated
- Should not contain your company name (except for your home page)
Your URL should include your primary target keyword, each word separated by dashes. The page you are currently on, for example, focuses on “SEO tips” and “simple SEO“; its URL is http://www.shebangdesign.com/seo-tips-the-right-way-to-do-on-page-seo and it’s page title is, “Simple On-Page SEO Tips | SEO Companies USA | SEO Workshop.”
SEO Tip #4: Link Internally
Create one or two links on related pages on your site back to the page you are optimizing, using your target keyword as anchor text. If your primary keyword is professional creative email, link to a page using the anchor text, “professional creative email.” (By the way, we use the on-page SEO strategy described here to promote our email marketing services. Try searching Google for “professional creative email” to see how we rank for this keyword phrase. You should see my picture at the top of the list:
SEO Tip #5: Optimize your Heading Tags
Your optimized page should contain an <h1> heading that incorporates your primary keyword and some <h2> headings that incorporates your secondary phrases. This page’s heading is, “SEO Tips: The Right Way to Do On-Page SEO.”
SEO Tip #6: Optimize All Multimedia
“Professional Email Design” is the ALT text for this image named “professional-creative-email.png” on my “mail-design-professional” page.
There is a huge focus on making sure written online content is optimized and with obvious reasons. However, lots of professionals forget (or neglect) to optimize other forms of media found on web pages (images and video). Online images and videos can, and must, be optimized by placing keywords in their file name (separated by dashes), and with ALT text that matches the file name (no dashes).
On-page SEO needs to incorporate all of the media you are utilizing, because all of it is working to help get your website higher traffic. Sure, the written content is pretty important, but some people prefer pictures or video over reading–make sure to optimize 100% to get the best results–and precise analytics.
SEO Tip #7: Link Building
Keywords and optimizing all forms of media is well and good, but on-page SEO also relies heavily on a well-balanced inbound and outbound link diet. This means using backlinks of the highest quality, otherwise you might feel the burn from Google and it’s algorithm changes (Google Penguin to be exact). One of the biggest don’ts when it comes to link building is buying a package of links, which will absolutely penalize your entire website by Google.
SEO Tip #8: Create Related Blog Posts
Once you have followed the steps above to optimize your pages, create two or three blog posts that are related to your keywords to boost your rank even further.
Download our SEO and Blogging Worksheet
to keep your track of the steps above. I’ve filled in the first row of the spreadsheet with example information from this site, but feel free to delete it and start fresh. Let me know how it works for you – and if you have any questions or feedback!
Contrary to popular belief, SEO isn’t as instant as everyone says it is. Sure, there may be immediate results, but the biggest and most important ones will come in the months after you’ve properly done on-page SEO. It is a long term investment that needs to be maintained and reviewed regularly, although the optimization above tips will generally stay the same. So … how is your SEO doing?