On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic on search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. SEO techniques for better rankings dictate that content comes first. A website with brilliant content can do great with or without SEO, a website with bad content will not survive with or without SEO, and a website with good content can become even better with SEO.
Good content is original content, i.e., articles, text, images, videos, presentations, infographics, comments etc., and not copies or re-writes of existing articles. Content already published on your website, even if it is your own content, is not good for your site. Good content includes non-text content too. For example, if you post videos on your website, try to add a text description as well. If you add images, try to describe in words what the image is about. Do not publish content for the sake of publishing. The content must be useful. Before hitting the publish button make sure that what goes live adds value to your website.
Content needs to be well researched. Users do not want to read quickly prepared posts and neither do search engines. If you are writing about a certain topic or answering a question make sure that what you write is justified and covers both sides of a story. Long articles are proven to rank better than short articles.
When search engines are reading your pages, among the things they check includes the page title, the description of the page, the major headings and images. They do so because they need to understand what the page is all about and then based on other factors as well (off page SEO, domain authority, competition etc.), they will place your page in a position in their index. Each page must have a unique title that will help both search engines and users understand what the page is about. A page with title “On Page SEO Tips” is better than a page with title index.html.
The page description is what the searcher will see in the search engine results page. So it has to be descriptive, up to 150 characters and unique for each page. It’s your opportunity to advertise your page and convince the searcher to click your link and visit your website rather than selecting one of the other links. Pages need to be properly formatted. Think of them like a report which needs to have a heading (h1) and sub headings (h2). Important parts of the report are highlighted with bold, underline or italics.
The URL structure is an important part of on-page SEO. Permanent links are the URLs of each page. Good URLs should be less than 255 characters and use hyphens (-) to separate the different parts. For example, a good URL is https://www.website.com/easy-navigation-to-our-product-example/ and a bad URL is https://www.website.com/p?165
A breadcrumb is also important for all your pages because it allows users to navigate your website in a structured way since they always know where they are and how deep below the home page. One of your options in the main menu should be the User Sitemap. This is an html file that represents the structure of your website. Visit my sitemap for an example.
Internal linking, or linking to pages within your website is very important for SEO. It is like building your own web. If you watch the nice tutorial by Google on how search works, you will see that the first step a search engine spider will do is follow the links they find. So when they arrive at your page, if you do not have any other links within the text they will read your page and go but if you have links pointing to other pages within your website they will take those into account as well. It is a way to let search engines know about your other pages. As explained above when search engines find a page with links, they will go and read those pages as well so you can use this technique to tell search engines about pages of your website they have not yet discovered.
Internal linking is a way to tell search engines which are your most important pages. Every website has some pages that are more important than others. Internal linking is one of the ways to pin-point the most important pages by sending them more internal links. It’s a way to increase time on site. A user reading your post is more likely to click on a link to read more about a certain subject and thus increase both the time spend on your website and the number of pages per visit.
Do not use keywords only for your internal links. Add internal links when they are useful for your reader but there should be no more than 7-8 internal links per page. If applicable you can also use ‘related posts’ at the end of each post for internal linking.
Speed and authorship are two SEO techniques that are becoming more and more important especially after the release of penguin 2.0 (or 4.0 as some people like to say it): Speed and authorship.
Google has invested a huge amount of money to make the web faster. In every Google I/O someone talks about the importance of speed and their desire to include the fastest websites to their index. In order to ‘force’ web site owners to take speed into account they have officially added speed as one of the ranking factors. So, we know for sure that web site speed does matter when it comes to SEO and ranking. As a webmaster, your job is to make sure that your website loads as fast as possible by taking into account Google’s recommendations.
Google is preparing for the next generation of search and their effort is to rank higher webpages written by people who have authority on the particular subject. One of the ways to establish authority is by correlating the content you publish on the web with your Google+ profile. Then depending on how many followers you have and who follows you, your ranking may change. Google authorship is still at its early stages but it’s gaining ground fast so you have to create a Google+ profile and bind the profile with your content.