No matter what kind of site you have, in order to rank high in Google and other search engines, your content needs proper on-page search engine optimization. With that in mind, in this article, you will find the most important on-page SEO factors that should be applied to your content to take off sky high…
With that being said, let’s have some fun!
What is On-Page Search Engine Optimization?
Before I dig into “on-page” SEO, let’s discuss what SEO is.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is split into two parts: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-Page SEO refers to all the factors that can be applied to each page of your site to help your pages rank better in the search engines. When you rank well in the search engines, it leads to more people visiting your site.
For every content piece that you want to rank, you need to understand the top on-page factors that are the most important. Imagine having good content and it just sits there, unloved by the search engines…..
…the Affiliate Phoenix finds that intolerable!
Before we discuss those specific on-page SEO elements, let’s discuss something super important:
Helpful, amazing content is of the utmost importance! Every visitor that lands on your site is seeking the answer to whatever search query they typed into a search engine.
There is a reason that The Phoenix spends a lot of time on this site, refining and updating content, and making sure it is truly helpful to you and anyone else who wants to learn how to make money from their site or blog.
When you’re creating and publishing content, make sure it’s amazing. I discuss what constitutes as amazing content right here. If you accomplish that, visitors to your site will love your content, share it, or make purchases from it (if you’re selling anything).
Google considers content itself to be the #1 ranking factor. With their announcement of the Helpful Content Update, it is more important than ever to create helpful content. Sub par, duplicate, or poor content that has been manipulated using SEO won’t work.
For more information about how to create awesome, well-rounded content, you will want to read our content guide here.
But now is the exciting part: the top 8 on-page search engine optimization factors!
Once you have created content around a keyphrase, you will want to make sure you have optimized the following on-page factors.
8 On-Page SEO Factors That Will Make Your Content Fly Sky High in the Search Engines!
#1. Meta Title
See the tab in the browser? The text displayed there is known as the meta title. Here is an example of one:
Look at the top of any website/page that you open up in your browser; that is the meta title of the page. The meta title is a super important on-page SEO factor that you want to pay attention to.
If your keyphrase is, “what is on-page SEO”, then you would want to insert that in the beginning of the meta title as such: “What is On-Page SEO? Beginner’s Guide”.
You want your meta title to have your keyphrase in the beginning so that Google bots can see what your optimizing for and what the page is about.
This is another on-page SEO factor that brings tears to The Phoenix’s eyes… because it’s that strong and beautiful!
Before you publish your piece of content for the world to admire, make sure to optimize the URL of the page by adding your keyphrase in it.
For instance, if your keyphrase is “easiest succulents to propagate”, here is the URL of the top search result in Google:
aYou will also see variations of the keyphrase or synonyms in the URL rank high as well. The whole point is to make sure you’re doing the optimization here. If you are not 100% sure of what your URL should be, do a quick Google search on that keyphrase and look at sites that are similar to yours. Check how their page URLs are optimized.
#3. H1-H6 Header Tags
Header tags are the name of the optimization game! The H1 header tag is an html tag and is one of the most important tags for SEO. You want to make sure it is being used once on every piece of content on your site and that it includes your keyword in the beginning of it or an extremely close variation of it. There are a total of six header tags and the rest are covered below.
You can use the title that you used for your “meta title” or an extremely close variation of it as your H1.
As for the rest of h2-6 header tags, you should use keyword variations as well as synonyms. There is such a thing as optimizing to the point where Google may consider it as over-optimization.
You can look for sites similar to yours that are ranking for the key phrase you want your page to rank for and see how many times they use the main key phrase in their h2-h6 header tags, but there are tools out there that make this easier for you.
Also, h5 and h6 are very uncommon to see.
The word “entities” in SEO sounds sort of strange or confusing when you initially read Google’s definition: “an entity is a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable. For example, an entity may be a person, place, item, idea, abstract concept, concrete element, other suitable thing, or any combination thereof. Generally, entities include things or concepts represented linguistically by nouns. For example, the color “Blue,” the city “San Francisco,” and the imaginary animal “Unicorn” may each be entities. “
Okay, so let me explain further. Over the years, Google’s search engine has become much more sophisticated.
It no longer only relies on the usage of keywords within content to rank data. It now also understands entities and how they relate to each other.
For example, if you have an awesome site on camping and decide to review a particular tent, you could discuss the details of the tent: the material, how easy or difficult it is to setup, how it stands up to the weather, how it compares to another tent, etc.
So, words like “material”, “rain”, setup”, “quality”, “easy” are theoretically all entities. Google knows what words or entities are connected to the entity ‘tent’.
That’s why it is important to do justice to the content you are crafting for your audience. Google is able to recognize how these words or concepts connect and in what relation.
This is why you might see pieces of content that barely mention the keyphrase once or twice or sometimes, never mentioned at all. Google’s search engine is “smart enough” to understand keyphrase variations, as well as what content pieces are the best to return for a search query.
#5. Keyword Frequency / Density
When you are optimizing a particular keyphrase, it is natural to use it a few times within an article. The factor that determines how many times a keyword should appear in an article is known as keyword density or frequency.
Use what is natural, but also refer to the top results in Google for your keyphrase. How many times are those pages using the exact keyphrase?
Take an average number. Keep in mind to discard huge directory sites or sites like Wikipedia or that are a complete outlier. An outlier would be something like if page 1 is using the keyphrase 3 times, page 2 is using the keyphrase 7 times, and page 3 is using the keyphrase 28 times. Do not take page 3’s keyword usage into consideration.
Discard the one using it 28 times because of the concept of “overoptimization”. Google may consider that page as overoptimized or practicing “keyword stuffing” which is a super old, spammy tactic that will get your site in trouble. When Google isn’t happy with your website, it lets you know in a harsh way.
#6. Add Images and Other Multimedia
Adding images to your content is a great idea. The first benefit of doing this is that it breaks up the content with something visual. If ALL a reader sees is text, it may become overwhelming for them. Also, some people are visual learners and want to see images of the subject matter/topic.
Google views images as something that adds to the value of content.
Name the image files as true to what they are (don’t keep naming them your keyphrase!)
Make sure to fill out “description”, “alt text”, and even the “caption” field, if possible.
Use unique images and make sure to compress them; also, consider how big the file size of the image is, since it can add to the delay time of loading your page.
Could your article benefit from adding a video about the subject matter? If so, create engaging video that you can upload to YouTube (under your own channel) and embed it on your pages or posts where appropriate.
Adding multimedia like videos, images, or PDFs can enhance your content and add more than one dimension to it. Google loves to reward sites that are helpful for their search users. Create resources if they go well with your content.
#7. Meta Description
Here is what a meta description looks like and where it appears:
Meta descriptions don’t necessarily help rankings (according to Google), but they can help in another way: conversions!
Write a really good meta description and you will have visitors clicking on your page instead of another page.
#8. Internal Linking
Internal linking can play a huge role in signaling Google which pages or posts on your blog are the most important when you create internal links to them. Not only that, but the text you use to link to other pages and posts can play a key role in telling Google what those pages/posts are about and rank them in its search engine.
For every piece of content you publish on your site, you have an opportunity to apply these on-page SEO factors. Imagine the compounding effect that will have if you do that for each piece of content on your site.
With that being said, if you need a practical checklist that you can print or provide to your team, click here to get it.