Image Credit: SEOPlanter on Flickr
Are you ready to boost your website with a powerful SEO campaign? Then listen up. You’re going to have to focus on on-page optimization as well as off-page optimization.
In this post, we’ll cover the main points of on-page optimization. This will give you some ideas about what you need to focus on if you want to rank well with Google and the other search engines.
First, a Little About Off-Page Optimization
This post focuses mainly on on-page optimization, but let’s touch first on off-page optimization. Off-page optimization includes building backlinks and branding your website online. It’s an essential piece of your SEO campaign. You’ll need it to bring in traffic.
Getting your off-page optimization right will allow your site to rank for some long-tailed keywords. But this will happen only after you have managed to place a few backlinks on high authority websites. Moreover, off-page optimization alone most likely won’t get your site up to the number-one spot.
What Is On-Page Optimization?
On-page optimization refers to those things about your site that you have some control over. For instance, it includes the actual content on your site, as well as coding, meta tags, keyword density, and so on. A good SEO campaign starts with exceptional on-page optimization.
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Meta titles and meta descriptions show Google and other search engines (as well as the human beings who are looking for what your site offers) what your page is all about. For example, think about some of the titles you have come across while searching for something online. The meta titles and the meta descriptions are what show up in your search results. You’ll notice that the titles that rank near the top in your search results have a keyword in them. The descriptions likely have two or three keywords in them.
Optimize your meta titles and meta descriptions so that the search bots don’t have to crawl through all of your content to catch your drift. Then the search engines will rank your site for a few long-tailed keywords that have low competition.
Moreover, keep your titles and descriptions readable. No one wants to stumble upon a title that is obviously written only to appease the search engines.
Alt Tags for Images
Google needs your help with images to know how to classify them. So don’t be guilty of uploading images and placing them where you want them without giving each image an alt tag.
An alt tag, or an image tag, is a snippet of code that tells the search engine spiders what they’re looking at. You have to remember that they don’t have human eyes with which to view the images. But if you optimize your images with alt tags, the search bots will index your images properly.
Getting keyword density right is critical for on-page optimization. If you add too many keywords to your content, you could end up with a swift penalty for keyword stuffing. That’s because too many keywords make your content spammy and difficult to read. On the other hand, if your content has too few keywords, your site won’t rank at all. A good rule of thumb is to keep keyword density at around three to five percent.
If hindsight tells you that your keyword density is off one way or the other, it’s not the end of the world. Just go through your content and rewrite it slightly. Take out some keywords—or add some in, if that’s what your content needs. However, remember always to keep your posts readable.
These days, more than half of online searches come from people’s smartphones. Therefore, responsive design is absolutely essential to on-page optimization. That’s because when your website has responsive design, it’s mobile-friendly.
Some site owners seem to think their websites are responsive just because they can view them on a mobile device. However, if you have to pinch and pull a web page, turn your phone this way and that, or squint to read some of the text, it’s not truly responsive. Make it easy on your site’s visitors by giving your website responsive design. And besides, Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites in search results.
What to Do if Your Website Needs a Face Lift
If you don’t know how to code your website so as to be mobile-friendly, don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Likewise, if your website’s content could use some sprucing up, call in an SEO-savvy copywriter. Freelancers are easy to find and eager to provide you with whatever it is your website needs in the way of on-page optimization.
And if you’re planning to start a website, take the time to learn all you can beforehand so you don’t have to go back and fix things later.
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Put Your Best Content Forward
In order to have the best SEO campaign possible, polish all of your on-site content to a high shine. Keep keyword density within acceptable ranges. Make sure that meta tags, titles, and descriptions are readable. Moreover, offer human beings well written content that’s either interesting and informative or entertaining.
If you do all of that, then the search engines are going to love your site. And your rankings will gradually rise over time.