Due to the growing importance of proper on-page SEO, you may have heard a lot about the meta tags and keywords as the building blocks of optimization. However, if you are looking for some practical and actionable strategies that you can apply on your site now, this piece will help you to have a first-hand understanding of it.
This article is written as a simple checklist, which will help you bring in more traffic through search engines and get returns from each piece of content you publish on the internet.
1. URL is still vital
After releasing their most advanced algorithm, Google stated that the first three to five words in a web page URL is always given more value. So, the focus of a website admin should be on making your site URL as short and sweet as possible. If you can logically include your top target keyword in the URL, it can get you instant results.
Avoid irrelevant and ugly URLs: abdcompany.com/p=123
Avoid long URLs: abdcomany.com/8/6/16/cat=SEO/off-page-seo-seems-so-wonderful-its-the-best
2. Starting with a keyword
Your page titles are also the most important element in SEO. Experts say that the closer you put the keyword at the beginning of your title tag in the HTML file, the better are the chances for search engines to take it seriously.
However, you do not always have to start title tag with the target keyword. If there is a particular keyword that you are aiming at, try to put it at the beginning of the titles in a meaningful way.
3. Adding modifiers
It is always suggested to add modifiers that are relevant to the titles like 2017 (current year), guide, review and so on. It will help to get your page ranked against the long-tail versions of the keyword.
4. Wrap blog article titles in H1 Tag
H1 is your primary 'headline tag.' In most of the CMS platforms like WordPress, your header gets added automatically to the H1 tag upon making blog posts. It is not the case in a custom website, and some themes may override this default setting. So, check your site's code and make sure that your title gets into the H1 it deserves.
Sometimes H1 tags are used by some WordPress themes to increase the text size. You have to check to identify whether it so manually. Also, make sure that you have only a single H1 tag per page. It is also ideal to ensure that the H1 tag contains the target keyword.
5. Leverage the power of multimedia
Quality copy will surely take your site up, but engaging videos, images, and infographics will help you reduce the bounce rate and increase the average user time spent on your site. Doing it efficiently can ensure two crucial SEO engagement ranking factors: reduced bounce rate and increased time on site.
Using visual content will take a webpage straight up the rankings and make it better for the users. Multimedia also helps you to boost the user-interaction signals, which Google pays more attention to nowadays. As per Kotton Saint Louis experts, this in turn also helps increase the perceived value of your content on the page to get people linked to it.
6. Wrapping subheads in relevant H2 tags
Try to include the target keywords in at least one subheading, which will help to get more SEO value. Doing this will not actually make or break the on-page SEO results. However, as per expert advice, wrapping target keywords in the H2 tag will surely make a dent.
7. Try to drop the keyword in the first 100 words
There are several expert versions available in terms of where to put the keyword. Some say the ideal place is on top, some say in the middle, and some prefer the end of the content. However, many studies have shown that it is best to put the keyword in the first 100 to 150 words of an article.
However, you need to make sure that the keyword fits into the context most naturally. A lot of people tend to start their articles with a very long and meandering intro, and introduce their keyword much later, which seems to create an adverse effect. Dropping the keyword in the first 100 words also helps Google to understand what your page is all about.
8. No more ignoring responsive design
Since 2015, Google has started penalizing all the sites that are not mobile-friendly. It means, your site does not exist at all if it is not responsive. If your website does not load on mobile devices or looks odd in smaller screens of smartphones or tablets, it is time to get a responsive design.
With a high-end and mobile-friendly design, your website will receive visitors naturally. Responsive design is not just for search engine optimization, but is essential for your site to be user-friendly. Almost 60% of total web traffic now comes from smartphones and portable devices.
9. Usage of outbound links
This is a standard white hat SEO strategy to gain more traffic. The outbound links to related pages will help Google to figure out the exact topic of your page. It also reassures Google that your particular web page is a quality info hub.
Not having quality linking is a big SEO mistake that many marketers make. You should try and plan for two to four outbound links for every 1000 words to ensure the SEO benefits. It is a standard rule of thumb for almost all types of sites. Always make sure that you link out to sites of authority whenever possible.
10. Using internal links
You should ideally use two to three internal links in every post to enjoy the SEO benefits. Wikipedia is one of the excellent examples you can find. Similarly, you can also add keyword-rich links internally to various entries.
While planning it, the safest approach is to link to at least two to five older posts when you publish any new content. It will not only help search engines to do effective mapping, but also the users get relevant information.
If you follow this particular anatomy for your website, there is a high chance that you will be naturally getting more traffic and optimum SEO results. However, achieving this is not an overnight job, but you need to work steadily on this to reap the best results over time.