On Page SEO refers to steps you can take directly on your page to give it the best chance to rank on Google. This article will help you navigate each step in mastering your on-page SEO needs.
The trickiest aspect of on-page SEO is writing content that meets the various criteria:
- Representing accurately, your brand and purpose
- Providing your visitors with the information they came looking for
- Meeting the (known) SEO requirements
And on top of all that, Google keeps changing its algorithm.
1.1 Keyphrase in the Title
If you have thought carefully about which Keyphrase to use, it is most likely the title of the page (or post) by default.
The exact match of the focus keyphrase should appear at the beginning of the SEO title (or as close as practicable)
1.2 Keyphrase Length
The length of your chose keyphrase is essential. One way to demonstrate why is this.
Suppose I were to choose SEO as the keyword. The single keyword gets about 135,000 monthly searches, but experience tells me that the people searching that topic haven’t yet realised they need to be more specific to find the answers they want.
The term is way too broad and covers too many aspects of SEO. The result will most likely be a high bounce rate.
The Keyphrase On Page SEO has around 2,400 monthly searches. Being specific to the subject I want to write about (and rank for) means I will attract readers looking for this particular topic resulting (most likely) a low bounce rate.
1.3 Keyphrase in Meta Description
The Keyphrase (or a synonym) must appear in the meta description. For those who are not clear on the term, the meta description is the snippet of text that shows in the search results.
Without it, searchers and Google won’t know what your page subject is.
1.4 Meta Description Length
Meta descriptions longer than 155 characters tend to get cut off in the search results. Of course, that does depend (sometimes) on the device used. The meta description looks different on mobile devices than to that of desktops.
Search engines say there is no direct ranking benefit from the meta description and they don’t use it in their ranking algorithm. But there is an indirect benefit: Google uses click-through-rate (CTR) as a way of working out whether your content is a good result.
1.5 Keyphrase in the Slug
The Slug is a term given to the URL (Hypertext / Link to the page). The Slug tells Google where to locate your page.
If you have thought carefully about which Keyphrase to use, and you have successfully achieved the previous step, then the Keyphrase should automatically show in the Slug
1.6 SEO Title Width
Google has decided to to use 600 pixels as the measurement, as opposed to a character count. 600 pixels is a challenge at times, but it does suit the broader aim of working across a multitude of devices and platforms.
In many ways, the SEO title width is very similar, if not the same, as the Keyphrase Length mentioned earlier. But as you can see from the image, just how vital the overall title width is.
1.7 Text Length
Text Length refers to the overall word count on the page you have created. The text (also known as the copy) should be a minimum of 600 words. Anything less is considered thin content.
You need to remember, Google is trying to offer the searcher the best possible result. With this in mind, you need to make sure your copy meets the criteria.
Furthermore, Google recognises pages considered as Cornerstone Content. Cornerstone content is the core of your website. It consists of the most important articles on your site, but the content must be at least 900 words.
Of course, to be considered cornerstone content, other factors need to be met. More on these shortly.
1.8 Keyphrase Density
In the old days of SEO, jamming your chosen keyphrase into the page content as many times as possible was acceptable. This tactic was known as keyword stuffing.
But Google has grown up, and as a result, their algorithm can detect such tactics. It is now considered Blackhat SEO, and ranking penalties are sure to follow.
As a rule, between 0.5 and 3% of your copy should contain the keyphrase, related keyphrase or synonym. Related keyphrase and synonyms are perfectly fine because Goole now understands intent. Google can now read and make sense of your content, but more on that later.
1.9 Keyphrase in Introduction
Having the keyphrase in the first paragraph is essential. And it makes sense. After all, you are offering your reader the information they were looking for, right?
It stands to reason then, having the keyphrase at the beginning of the content tells everyone that they have come to the right place.
1.10 Image alt Attribute
Every page (and post) needs at least one image. Obviously, the image must be relevant to the content, but more importantly, it must have an alt attribute. Furthermore, the alt attribute (or alt text) must contain your keyphrase.
The purpose (and the reason why it is so important) is that its purpose is to give those who can not see well the context on what the image represents.
Imagine that you require a screen reader to access content on the World Wide Web and you come across an image. The screen reader needs content (not an image) to read.
If you have an image on your page of, say an elephant, a screen reader can’t see the elephant. So you would have alt text saying something like image of an elephant.
In the case of this article, the image showing what Google and readers see has an appropriate alt text – and containing the keyphrase.
1.11 Internal Links
The entire World Wide Web framework is constructed on the idea of links. Hence the name. Internal Links refers to links connecting various pages and posts within your site.
An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Both your users and search engines use links to find content on your website.
Your users use links to navigate through your site and to find the content they are looking for. Search engines also use links to navigate your site.
1.12 Outbound Links
Outbound Links (sometimes referred to as outbound links) are links from your website to another website. If you are linking to another website (perhaps to reference your article, for example), it shows the depth of your content.
1.13 Previously Used Keyphrase
It is prudent, at this point, to clarify a core concept of SEO. You must only optimise for a keyword, keyphrase, related keyphrase and its synonyms once per page.
Each page (including posts) is supposed to be the authority of a given subject. Accordingly, you would put your best content forward on that page.
For example, on my site, I have a page dedicated to explaining my SEO Services. As such, I have a specific keyphrase associated with that page.
But then, this post is explaining the same subject. The thing is, however, the keyword for this page is entirely different. That way, I can write about content to help those looking for it while optimising for varients id the keyphrase genre.
Using the same keyphrase on different pages means you are competing with yourself. SEO is challenging enough without unnecessary competition.