Hey, welcome back.
In the first installment of our chat on SEO, we talked about the SERPS. That is, what they are & why they should matter to you. Pretty fundamental stuff.
This time around we’re gonna talk a bit about Search Engine Optimization itself. And more specifically, exactly how on page SEO will help you to rank in the search engines. Personally, SEO topics don’t turn me on the way it does some people. But there’s no denying its importance in the website game. And it is critical that you have at least a basic understanding of how it works.
As you will undoubtedly learn, optimizing your posts, pages, and site for search is best described as a journey – not a destination.
Why do I say this?
Simple. Because when it comes to ranking in the search engines (Google), this is an activity that is pursued in a constantly changing environment. I would caution you from experience, when studying anything dealing with SEO, stay away from any information that is more than two years old, because it could be obsolete. I’m not kidding! That’s how fast things can change in the search environment while trying to rank your site.
This isn’t an easy game to play holmes. That’s why there’s so much money in it!
What Is On Page SEO?
Here it is, straight up:
In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density. –Webopedia
Yes, that definition is for you lazy bastards that didn’t bother following the link (see? I gotcha).
There you have it. Pretty simple, right? Sure.
That is, until you set your site up – then it turns into the checklist from HELL!! It can feel like you are liable to ruin everything if you leave one tiny detail out. And to make sure that doesn’t happen, let’s review those factors.
On Page Ranking Factors
Yeah, we’re partyin’ now! (Sheesh. I told ya that this wasn’t my cup of tea)
Alright. Sarcasm aside, Let’s go over the ranking factors. Word is that you can see an uptick in visitors if you are diligent in optimizing your site or page for SEO alone. Now I don’t know how true that is (since it’s never happened in my experience), but this is important nonetheless.
So…after you’ve got your site is up and running, what needs to happen next to rank in Google?
- Optimize your site for speed. The simple explanation here is that the time it takes for your site to load, once a user clicks a link to your site or types in your URL in the address bar. It is essential that your site loads in under 3 seconds, or you’ve just cost yourself a visitor. Plain and simple. There’s more to it of course. Read more…
- Stay on top of your Meta tags. Meta what? Meta tags! They are the behind the scenes descriptions of your site (and posts) that tell the search engines what information you are relaying to users through your content. If you’re familiar with HTML, then you probably already know this stuff. If not, then suffice it to say that this is the code portion of your content that is meant to communicate with the search engines. Click here for more…
- Get that body lookin right. Of course I’m talking about the body of your post (you dirty mind!). I know I sound like a broken record, but it is also important that you take care to optimize your actual content! Yes, that’s obvious. But this can easily be overlooked when you’re foolin’ with the meta tags & your canonical links (hey, I’ve done it). Bottom line, make sure to use your keyword in the body of your content, and supplement that with LSI keywords. For more detail, click here..
- Interlink your site. Another important factor for any content that you publish is to deep link or interlink your pages and posts. All that means is that you put a link to other content on your site embedded in a link on the page that a given visitor is viewing. Doing this accomplishes two things; for one, it will help to keep the user on your site longer if they follow your deep links, reducing your bounce rate. Two, it can improve your SEO, since linking all of your pages will spread the link juice around throughout your site. This will improve each page’s positioning in the SERPs.
- Improve your site’s mobile responsiveness. This one has become a biggie. It may be last on the list, but it sure ain’t least. These days, Google has made the mobile friendliness of your site one of it’s newest ranking factors. That means that if your users find you on a mobile device & have to play the swipe-and-enlarge game to consume your content clearly, then the Big G’s gonna penalize you for it. Don’t get caught out there like that. Make absolutely sure that your site is friendly to cellphones and tablets. Click here for more…
This Is Only The Beginning
That’s right. This post represents an overview of the subject of on page SEO. Because the truth is, I’m no expert on this stuff. However as webmasters/site owners/bloggers et cetera, we as a community should have a basket of basic digital skills. And whether we like it or not, SEO is clearly one of them.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should be able to fully develop an optimize a site AND rank it in google all on your own (that sure would be impressive though). No. What I am saying is that the foundations of ranking in search should be a part of your understanding if you intend to be active with websites going forward. Again, it is important to understand the rules of the game.
But as I said, this post represents only the beginning. My goal here was to help you understand what you need to know to competently structure your web properties. Having said that, I encourage you to further enrich your understanding of this field by committing to some further study.
And in that regard, check out these resources:
I sincerely hope that helps you out. Next time, we’ll get off site with a talk on how to perform off site SEO.
Till next time, be cool.