On-site SEO is extremely important and without putting some time and effort into this, you may never be able to rank your site – regardless of how many links you build.
Making sure that your on-page SEO factors are perfect gives you the best chance of ranking for your target keywords. It isn’t about mentioning your one target keyword a thousand times, but rather it is about making sure you cover the topic comprehensively and also making sure that you are mentioning the right keywords and phrases in the right places.
The key areas of your page in terms of SEO
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Primary heading (H1)
- Secondary heading (H2)
- Tertiary heading (H3)
- List items
- Bold, underlined and italic text
- Image ALT tags
- Internal links
- Body content
All of the above areas are important when it comes to on-page SEO. They are areas of your page that google are going to check, and pay attention to. Lets take an extreme case – imagine that you are writing a page about cars, but you don’t mention the word “cars” in any of your page headings, or in any of your images, would Google consider that page to be an authority on the topic of cars? It is doubtful.
So first and for-most, it is important to consider carefully the text that you use in all of those prominent areas of your page. You don’t want to over-optimize those areas though, so don’t use your target keyword (for example “cars”) in every one of those areas. Instead, think about using your close variations, related terms and secondary keywords throughout the page.
Lets take another look at the cars example – if you are targeting cars (Lets just assume you are targeting that extremely broad niche in your article and as such, you are writing an authoritative piece on cars as a whole) then you would be wise to have sub-headings for the popular car manufacturers – Ford, Toyota and Nissan for example. If you didn’t mention those makes, or you mentioned them only within a paragraph and not as a main heading, then Google would likely assume that your article did not cover the topic of cars comprehensively.
Keep that in mind when optimizing your page for your chosen keyword or topic – make sure that you are covering all of the relevant information relating to that topic or keyword, and make sure that you have keywords and phrases pertaining to the most relevant points mentioned within the important areas of your page.
Optimizing your images
Image optimization is very important as it provides further information to the search engines about the topics covered within your content. In addition, if you optimize your images then you will also benefit from Google image search and the traffic that is generated from that.
When adding images to your page you should make sure that you have relevant keywords mentioned in the file name, image title, image alt tags, image description and the caption if you include one. Again, don’t spam the same keyword in all of these locations but instead use close variations and related keywords.
Optimizing the speed and performance of your website
Website performance is a ranking factor and as such it is something that you should not avoid when optimizing your website for SEO purposes.
The faster you have your page loading, the better chance you have of ranking it in the search engines.
On-page SEO: Summary
Think of your on-page SEO in a similar way that you think of your link building strategy and your anchor text ratios. You have many places within your content that can be optimized for your keywords. When everything is combined, think of it like your anchor text ratio – you want to have a diverse set of anchors (or on-page keyword mentions) and one that covers your primary keyword, related keywords, long-tail keywords and broader related terms.