On-page SEO in 8 steps

You’ve heard it plenty of times, “go and improve your SEO” or “go and improve your on-page SEO”.

And all you hear is “rocket-science proof your website”.

Let me help break it down for you. First off, it’s not rocket science!

SEO or search engine optimization refers to strategies and tactics to make your site findable on Google or any other search engine

On-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO – wth?

On-page SEO usually refers to search engine optimization strategies that can be done “on site”, meaning on your blog post directly.

Off-page SEO are search engine tactics that are used “off site”. Mostly this consists of link-building activities from highly reputable websites to your website. Very often social media link building strategies are also included.

Technical SEO is focused on ensuring your site is crawlable and indexed correctly.

Let’s talk about on-page SEO

If you use WordPress, I recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin guides you for every blog post or page you are creating and helps you create an SEO-friendly blog post.

1. Focus keyword – identify what your blog post is about. Ensure that you use this keyword in your headline, in sub-headlines (where it makes sense only), in your meta description and in your content. It’s important that the use of the keyword is natural, meaning you are not just stuffing your content with it, but it naturally flows in your writing.

2. Meta description – Yoast SEO plugin calls it snippet. The meta description is not really relevant for SEO anymore, but it is. The meta description is what will show as a Google search result and Google highlights in the search result the search query that a user types. 

Hang on. What’s a search query?

Search query is the wrord(s) you type into the search box, “netflix” in the screenshot below. The meta description is what is showing below the green Netflix URL. Do you see how netflix is bolded? This is why having keywords in your meta descriptions is still important.

 

3. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) – these provide a hierarchy of the content. You should only have one H1 tag on any web page. If you use WordPress that is usually the title of your page or blog post. Use H2, H3, etc. to further structure your content with sub-headings. H2, H3, etc. can be used multiple times, but should follow a hierarchy. Think of a book. The book title is an H1 tag. Your chapters are H2 headings. And sub-chapters or subheadings are H3 and H4. 

4. URL / Permalink structure – ensure your keyword is in your URL. Also shorten your URL by taking out stop words (a, the, and, etc.).

5. Image optimization – your images should be high quality but small file sizes. The higher the file size, the longer it takes your page to load. Page load time is an important factor in Google’s search engine ranking. Make sure your images have relevant file names and alt tags. Try to use keywords where it makes sense.

6. Page load speed – an increasingly important factor for search engine ranking. Check with your website hosts what you can do to improve page speed. You can check your page load speed here: Google PageSpeed Insights.

7. Mobile-friendly – if your site is not mobile friendly, which means readable on a mobile device like a smartphone this will negatively impact your search engine ranking. If you use a WordPress or other theme, look for mobile optimized themes. Check what your website looks like on a laptop, tablet, and a smartphone.

8. Internal linking – add links to relevant older content that provides additional context or additional information.

 I’d say you’ll fill up your cup o’ joe’s and start SEOing the heck out of your website.

Read more: SEO Tips you can follow right now