6 On Page SEO Techniques That Will Increase Your Rankings
Are you following proper on page SEO techniques in 2016? As more and more businesses rely on their websites as a primary way to generate leads and spread brand awareness, it should come as no surprise that competition for ranking on industry specific keywords is now at an all-time high. Your page rank on search engines like Google and Yahoo can either make or break your business.
SEO is not a new technique by any means. Ever since search engines started incorporating algorithms that help sort the immense amount of data on the internet, marketers have been searching for ways to manipulate the results. Not too long ago, it was very easy to use spammy techniques to push your website to the front page of Google, but the search engine giant has made using these “black hat” techniques nearly impossible these days. The absolute best way to rank high on your industry keywords is through “white hat” search engine optimization techniques. Here are the most powerful methodologies that you should be following.
SEO can be split up into two major categories: on page techniques and off page techniques. In this blog post, we will be covering the top On Page SEO techniques that you should be following in 2016 while you can find information about Off Page SEO in our previous post – Top 3 Off Page SEO Techniques That Will Boost Your Online Presence.
What is SEO:
According to webopedia.com, Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
Following proper SEO techniques will result in an increase of organic traffic; while using advertising services like Google Adwords will results in an increase of paid traffic. SEO is quite similar to the old tortoise and the hare idiom – slow and steady wins the race because SEO (the hare), if utilized properly, can bring in an immense amount of free traffic in the long run, but it will take time to get there.
On Page SEO Techniques
On page SEO refers to the techniques that are used for important on-site elements of your website pages. These will allow search engine bots called “spiders” to easily crawl and index your page. Basically, they tell the search engine what the content of the page is about so that users that are searching for the same type of information can easily find it on the web.
When it comes to on page SEO techniques, your primary focus will be on the keyword that you are trying to rank higher in search engines for. Think of your primary keyword as the main focus of your page and this keyword, along with secondary keywords related to the first as the backbone of a highly optimized webpage.
Here are the on page factors that you should be focusing on, and techniques of how to properly utilize your primary keyword in them.
It has been said that when it comes to SEO – content is king, and this is equally true for both on page and off optimization. You should be writing your content around your primary keyword, and not the other way around. This will help with the optimization of the keyword in the webpage which will in turn help perform better in search rankings.
A major concern for a lot of people who are writing articles is the number of times to use your primary keyword throughout your content. Obviously, if you are writing content based upon your primary keyword, it is bound to show up all over your article, right? But remember, when it comes to keyword density, more is not always better.
Experts suggest that you only use your primary keyword between 2-3 times in your entire article, the first of which should be found in the very first paragraph. That’s it! There is no need to stuff your content with keywords as it just looks spammy and can actually hurt your rankings.
One last thing to consider about your content is word count. Google prefers that you have at least 300 words on a page, but we highly suggest that you write at least 800 or more. Numerous studies have shown that articles that are longer than 800 words rank higher that articles 500 words or below.
URL/ Permalink Structure
Think of URLs as your content’s address on the web. Every page of your website and every blog article that you write each have their own unique URL. While this is common knowledge for almost every internet user, what you might not realize is that your URL structure can help in both ranking higher in SEO and with user navigation across your site.
The default WordPress URL structure is “https://www.socialmedia-solutions.com/?p=123” which doesn’t really tell you anything about the content itself. At Social Media Solutions, we like to keep our URLs short and straight to the point so we follow the “https://www.socialmedia-solutions.com/%postname%/” format. For the slug, the section of the URL after .com, we will incorporate our primary keyword. As an example, our primary keyword for this article is “On page SEO Techniques” which is used as our slug for the article. Also, it is importation not to add any stop word to your permalink like “is” and “are”.
Okay, so some of you might argue that meta descriptions are not important for SEO, but this does not mean that it should be ignored completely. Having a properly optimized and descriptive meta description will greatly increase the click through rates from SERPs. It is important to write a short, descriptive paragraph about the content of your webpage that includes your primary keyword as it will show up in bold, making it stand out more.
It is best to keep meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters long as most search engines will cut off text beyond that. So yes, meta descriptions don’t actually help your SEO, but they increase the number of clicks that drive traffic to your website which is the whole reason you are trying rank higher, right?
The title tag is found in the <head> of your page and it tells the search engine bots what the content is about, just like the title of this blog post. According to Moz, a leader in SEO strategies, the optimal format for your title tag is: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
The reason for putting the primary and secondary keywords before your brand is because search engines put more emphasis on the beginning of the title tag, rather than the latter. You also want to make sure that your title tag is usually kept under 55 characters so that a majority of the title will be shown across all devices, including mobile.
HTML Heading Tags
Another place that you need to add your primary keyword, or a modified version of it, is in one of your HTML heading tags. These types of tags allow you to properly structure your article in a way that not only search engine bots are able to properly crawl and index your site, but for the benefit of the people reading your articles as it makes skimming for important information much easier. More about these kind of tags, and the SEO benefits of using them can be found in this article by Yoast.
Image Alt Text
One last element that you should also optimize is your images, more specifically their titles and descriptions. The HTML image tag looks something like this: <img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image description” title=”On Page SEO”/>. The “img src” identifies the URL in which the image is found, the “alt” identifies the image description, and the “title” identifies the title of the image.
While both the alt tag and the title tag are meant for the reader, Google has stated that they place high value on the alt tag as this is the tag that the spider reads. The title tag should include a basic description of the image while the alt tag should incorporate keywords.
A general rule that we follow is to use the primary keyword in at least one image while using secondary keywords in the remaining. Don’t forget that you can also rank in Google images using properly optimized image tags.
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully you have learned a thing or two about properly utilizing the on page elements of your webpage for search engine optimization. The most important thing to remember is that you should write your content around your primary keyword and to include it in your page content, meta description, and URL while also incorporating it in your title, heading, and image tags. By following these on page techniques, you will be on your way to ranking higher in search engines and driving more traffic to your website.