One of the best ways to increase your Google ranking is to work on your on-page SEO. Your on-page SEO is an important component of your overall SEO strategy and it should be one of the first areas that you focus on when creating your website.
The 3 elements of an SEO strategy
There are 3 main components used to increase your Google ranking with SEO. On-page SEO for your website includes all of the content of your site as well as the site structure. Off-page SEO concerns the number and relevance of backlinks that direct people to your site. And Local SEO ensures that your site consistently ranks in local searches.
Why is on-page SEO so important?
On-page SEO is all about the user experience. Search engines want people to be happy with the results they provide. Ultimately, they want to direct you to the most relevant and useful sites for your query. So the search engines reward companies who put in a lot of effort to provide their visitors with an optimal experience.
For example, sites that are mobile friendly and load fast will likely end up higher in the search results. Likewise, sites that provide visitors with high quality, relevant content will also end up with a higher Google ranking.
There are no shortcuts or quick fixes with on-page SEO. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. If you put the effort into developing your on-page SEO for your website, you’ll be providing your visitors with a great, easy-to-use website that provides them with the solutions they need.
Are you ready to optimize?
Here is a checklist of 15 ways you can optimize your on-page SEO.
1 Optimize your URL
When you are adding a new page or post to your website, make sure to include your target keywords. Not only will this help to increase your Google ranking, but it will also give your visitors an idea of what the page is about.
2 Use keywords in your H1 tags
H1 tags are extremely important as it helps the search engines figure out how to categorize your post. Make sure to include a keyword or keyword phrase.
3 H2 and H3 tags
These are subheaders that help to make your post easy-to-scan and easy-to-read. They are helpful for both your visitors as well as the search engines. Here you can include variations of your keyword (synonyms or similar phrases).
4 Optimize the first sentence of your post
The search engines assume that your opening sentence will tell readers what the post will be about. Make sure to include your keyword in this first sentence.
5 Use variations of your keyword
Using the same keyword excessively throughout your post is known as keyword stuffing, a practice frowned upon by the search engines. However, if you use synonyms or alternate phrases, the post will perform better.
6 Create internal links to guide users to more information
If you already have posts that provide more detailed information on your topic, make sure to create a link directing visitors back to it. Not only does this practice keep users browsing your site, but it keeps the search engine bots on your site longer as well, further increasing your chances of improving your Google ranking.
7 Create outbound links to good quality sites
As long as the links are directed to trusted and reputable companies, it will help increase your Google ranking. Outbound links make it easier for site visitors to find what they are looking for. Make sure not to add too many links (1 or 2 is fine).
8 Make your content easy-to-read
Long stretches of continuous text can make just about anyone’s eyes glaze over. Make sure to add breaks (white space) to give your reader’s eyes a rest.
9 Use fonts that are easy-to-read and big enough
Again, don’t make your visitors work hard. They are looking for information and they’d like to find it as quickly as possible. They won’t enjoy having to decipher a complicated font or squint to see the writing.
10 Create long-form content
Studies consistently show that posts over 1000 words long, rank better in Google searches. Long-form content also allows the writer to incorporate more keywords and keyword phrases while still sounding natural. This can help increase your Google ranking in long tail keyword searches (very specific phrases that include your keyword). This is an important part of on-page SEO for your website. When you consistently create this type of high-quality content, you increase the likelihood of your posts being shared and you build trust by helping to solve people’s problems.
The next 5 tips cover some of the more technical aspects of on-page SEO.
11 Add keywords to your title tags
Your title tag is the title of your webpage or document. It is the clickable headline in search engine results. Make sure that the use of your keyword is natural and title tag is 40-70 characters long.
12 Optimize meta descriptions
The meta description is the summary of your page that shows in the search engine results. The meta description is crucial for on-page SEO for your website. According to a study by Survey Monkey, 43.2% of people will click on a result based solely on the meta description. Include keyword synonyms here and make sure to keep it under 160 characters.
13 Remember to optimize your images
Use your keywords in the file name, title, and alt-tags.
14 Make sure your site is fast
Studies show that people expect websites to load in under 2 seconds. Slightly more than half of site visitors won’t purchase from a slow site. So it makes sense that Google also considers page speed in their metrics. Hint: A quick way to increase the speed is to get rid of duplicate content and delete unused plugins.
15 Your site needs to be mobile friendly
As of 2016, 60% of searches are performed on mobile devices and this trend is likely to continue to increase. A good way to increase your Google ranking is to make sure your site is mobile friendly.
This list may seem overwhelming at first, but if you keep using this checklist as you add posts, I think you’ll find that improving your on-page SEO, will soon reap rewards. All of these tips not only help with SEO, but are essential to providing your visitors with an optimal user experience. Just remember to be patient and if you need help creating an optimized website, make sure to contact us.