Google analyzes over 200 factors to rank your site. What if you knew them all?
In the following perfectly SEO’ed article, you will learn how to craft a blog post that will be loved by search engines and readers alike.
If you follow the tips I give, your onsite SEO will be perfect in no time. You will generate traffic effortlessly and also generate leads while you sleep.
Ready to learn the secret of onsite optimization?
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO refers to the enhancements that you can make to your site. These can be either to the content (i.e. text) or to the design (i.e. look) of your site.
This is in contrast to off-page SEO, which includes things done outside of your site such as creating backlinks and social shares.
Here are 11 different white-hat on-page seo factors you can optimize to rank higher on Google. I listed them in terms of difficulty vs. payout, so that if you work your way from the top you will find the best results with the least amount of effort.
1. Optimize your Meta Title and Meta Description
Meta titles and meta descriptions are still super relevant when it comes to ranking.
A pro tip is to always include your keyword towards the start of the title. As you can see in this post, I started with “On-Page SEO”, the keywords I am targeting.
On the meta description, aim to use LSI keywords (i.e. variations of your keyword). To continue the example of this blog post, I would include the following on my meta description: “on page seo basics”, “search engine optimization cheat sheet”, etc.
You can find keyword variations using HitTail.
A pro SEO tip for meta descriptions is to use emojis. As you can see, this attention-grabbing yellow icons will drive your CTR through the roof. Higher CTR = higher Google rankings.
Another tip is to use Rich Schemas so that your site looks like this on the SERPs. If you install that WordPress plugin, you will be able to add fields like ratings, images, author name, calories, reviews and more.
You can test your structured data with this tool by Google.
2. Have short and descriptive urls
Which url do you prefer?
I certainly hope you picked b).
Search engines have the same preference: Matt Cutts from the Google Algorithms team stated that the first 3-5 words in your url are given more weight.
When it comes to choosing the slug, try to make it as short as possible while still fitting your keyword in.
3. Target long-tail keywords using modifiers
Modifiers are the following words: Best, 2018, 2019, Guide, Complete, For Beginners, Review, Checklist, Step-by-Step, How to.
When you add these modifiers, you open up a whole new world of organic traffic opportunities (which will increase your Alexa rank).
Adding modifiers will help Google’s Rankbrain algorithm understand what your site is all about.
You can find some of the potential modifiers by looking at the “Searches Related to X” at the bottom of each Google Search.
4. Take advantage of the H1, H2, H3 hierarchy
H1 should be reserved exclusively for the title of your post. It is important that you check that your website structure (or WordPress theme) respects this. Please take a second to check that NOW.
You can use H2 tags for subheadings if you are writing a “6 steps” guide for instance. You can sprinkle your keyword in one or two H2 subheadings for an added SEO boost.
And finally H3 for any additional sub-steps that your guide has.
5. Have an ideal keyword density of 1-2% and drop your keyword in the first paragraph
While the density percentage should just come naturally and you should never over-stuff your post with keywords, it is good to have a solid amount of keywords in your post.
Also, instead of opening with a long and unrelated introduction, try to just dive into the topic and put your keyword in that first paragraph.
Related: Here’s how to do keyword research
Additionally, instead of just repeating your ideal keyword over and over, try to use different synonyms or alternative versions, that way you won’t bore your reader and at the same time will pick up more keywords to rank for.
For instance, if you are writing about “how to host an event”, you can include keywords like “how to throw a party/conference”, “event hosting guidelines” and such.
6. Use images, videos, and audio
Not everyone learns purely by reading. When you write content, target also the auditory and visual learners. Not only will this get you more readers but will also increase the time on site, a very important metric for Google when it comes to deciding if your site is worth showing on the SERPs.
Moreover, adding multimedia to your post will also make your post seem more complete and therefore will get you a higher chance of bringing in those organic backlinks.
I usually like to embed videos into my posts, because my readers love them.
Since I don’t generally have the time to do videos about SEO, I will often just go on Youtube and find a really good video to embed.
Here’s a solid On-Page SEO walkthrough by Brian Dean from Backlinko.
7. Link to previous posts and other sites
Outbound and inbound linking is critical to a healthy SEO article.
A great example of internal linking is Wikipedia. Notice that every link is keyword-rich and links to a very authoritative and extensive post about that topic.
For outbound links, you should link to 4-6 external sites per post. Since I manage other sites (like Future Sharks, Flux Ventures and Young Slacker), I like to link to some of them and also to a few sites that I don’t own to mix the outbound linking DA, DR of the post.
If you link to someone, make sure to drop them an email telling them so! They might shout you out on their social media profiles, getting you more social traffic.
8. Use relevant alt-text on all your images
Alt-text helps crawlers understand what the images are all about. Make sure you include some keywords when naming your images.
9. Optimize Your Site (Technical Changes)
Two very important things you need to have on your site
- Mobile responsiveness (If your site is still not optimized for mobile, what the heck are you doing? Google has explicitly stated that it will penalize sites that are not mobile-ready) Pro tip: Install the AMP plugin for WordPress to rank even higher.
Talk to your developer about making these important changes to your website.
10. Make sharing super easy and encourage blog comments
Social signals now make a dent when it comes to rankings. You can add social buttons with this easy WordPress plugin. Take a look at your my social shares look at the left of this pic.
The added benefit of social sharing is that you will get more traffic from social networks and make more revenue through ads. Moreover, that extra exposure will probably also land you some juicy backlinks.
Additionally, encourage people to comment on your post. Google notices this interaction and rewards you for creating this buzz-worthy content.
11. Write amazingly-valuable long blog posts
I know that writing 300-500 word blog posts is easy, but trust me, the extra effort that it takes to write a longer blog post will be well worth it.
Several studies done show that posts that are 1500-2000 words long will rank better than shorter posts.
Make sure your content is amazing and thorough. If you are struggling to find content to write about in your post, I recommend looking at the Skyscraper Technique.
This technique essentially teaches you to search for your desired keyword and then summarize the top 5-10 results into a more comprehensive article.
Writing long content and spacing it out will increase the time that people spend on your site. This “dwell time” will work wonders on your site rankings.
Bonus: Keep your content fresh by regularly updating old posts
You can push the freshness score of your post up by taking a look at trends, updating posts with new information and also looking at seasonal things like Holidays.
A hack that also works is to update the published date of your posts whenever you make substantial changes to them. I have experienced a bump in rankings whenever my posts seem recently published.
These are the top on-page SEO factors that I pay special attention to. If you follow these 11-step checklist, you will start seeing more traffic and higher SERP positions.
Remember to write great content, sprinkle a natural amount of keywords and get inbound and outbound links.
Hope you found this post valuable. If you did, drop a comment telling me which factor you didn’t know about and share this article with your marketing friend. (Commenting will also earn you a free backlink!)