Do you know the biggest mistake, digital marketers do while Optimizing their website? They start Off-page without fixing On-page issues on their website. They forget that by doing so, they are harming their website as all the link building done by them has – little or no impact.
Most of the time, the basic On-page is not rocket science. Some of the On-page mistakes are visible to the naked eyes. Yet – they are ignored by us. My basic On-page fixes start with simple 5 steps, and then I do the advance level On-page fixes with more steps.
However, for anyone starting with SEO – 5 steps is all you need to have a Google-friendly website. Now before I list the 5 steps, let me explain you few basics around On-page, Off-page, and why On-page is important.
The difference between On-Page and Off-Page in SEO:
The path to Digital Marketing starts with SEO, and the first fundamental that you learn in SEO is on-page optimization.
- On-page optimization comprises of a set of simple steps/guidelines to help your page turn Search Engine friendly.
- Off-page is a technique to build backlinks where you rely on other websites to link back to your website.
The more the quality backlinks, the better are the chances of the web page ranking high in Google. Both the steps are equally necessary for SEO, where the Off-page starts when On-page SEO optimization is completed.
If you want your SEO strategy to succeed, always fix your website before you start making backlinks. Do not put the cart in front of the horse. You will fail in SEO, and all your blacklining effort will go futile.
Why is On-Page SEO Optimization Important?
On-page is the first step to SEO. It is essential because, for Google or any search engine, your website is ready – if and only if it meets a set of guidelines. Trust me, every single guideline missed by you gets the website penalized and makes all the off-page effort done by you “futile.”
Although the extent of the penalty is not clearly defined – it’s not a good practice to ignore the guidelines given by search engines.
The starting point to the guidelines is the steps to On-page optimization, which brings us to our topic – the 8 simple On-page steps to make your website google friendly.
Here are the Simple Steps:
It all starts with the Meta Title:
The first step to getting On-page right is to put your target keyword in the Meta title of the website page. As soon as Google reads the Meta title, the crawlers understand the keywords; you intend to rank for. Moreover, once you complete the next activities on the list, Google gets an idea of the right meaning of the blog/article.
To update the keyword in Meta, you can use one of the plugins like all in one SEO or Yoast in WordPress. Their easy to use interface helps you quickly update the Meta title.
Install All in On-SEO Plugin. At the end of every blog and page, you will find Meta tags with Blank title and empty Meta Description.
After adding the title in the box, you can check the preview of the title in the preview snippet. Here is a screenshot demonstrating how to update the Meta title using WordPress from one of our existing blogs that rank for keyword “EDP is associated with” :
Insert the Target Keyword in H1 Tag:
This SEO Optimization technique is the oldest activity in the book of SEO.
How do you update the H1 Tag on the page?
Here is a little help to help you update the same using WordPress:
In WordPress CMS, H1 Tag is automatically added to the blog Title.
Once you have updated the primary keyword in H1 Tag, you have the option to update the rest of the keywords in H2, H3 tags.
Use the Target keyword in the first paragraph of the article
Once you are all set to write a blog, focus on using the target keyword in the first paragraph of the blog.
Though the keyword is required in the first paragraph from an on-page optimization perspective – it should not look unnaturally placed there just from an SEO Perspective.
The first paragraph is where you set the tone of the blog. The pitch should be perfectly written and must be able to engage the reader to read the blog further.
Here is how I started my last blog with the keyword “entrepreneurship development program” used in the first paragraph:
All images should have an “Alt text.”
Think of an image without an alt-text as someone without a name. You leave a nameless image on the internet, and search engines (despite all their smartness) get confused in mapping the image to any relevant keyword. Google will never understand the keyword for which this image should be associated with. Why is it essential to have the image linked to a keyword?
First and foremost, Google images search is a powerful tool. There are good chances your keywords will be read by Google and will rank in Google images search. Secondly, it’s a good SEO practice to stick to the guidelines provided by Google. Here are a few simple steps to demonstrate how you can set up alt text for images using WordPress:
Go To Dashboard and Click Media Tab. Then, go to Library Tab.
You can view all your uploaded media files. Select one media, and you can see the alt text box on the right side.
Update it according to the keyword.
Write long Blogs posts
I cannot emphasize enough on the value of writing a long, meaningful blog post. For a blog to have some value in SEO, the blog should be of a minimum of 1500+ words.
Writing a long-in depth blog is an on-page optimization technique which helps you two ways:
- You can quickly put LSI keywords in the blog without having to worry about keyword stuffing.
- You write content which provides value to website readers by writing an in-depth blog on the topic.
- Do not forget Internal Link Building:
We – the digital marketing spend sleepless nights waiting to get that one “valuable backlink” from an external website, which is ironic because while we go around hunting for new backlinks, we forget to get backlinks from our web pages in the same website.
The technique is “Internal Blacklining.”
The idea is to give a reference from the new blog to one of the existing blogs.
Here is an example of how we have implemented internal backlinking:
Why is responsive Website design so important?
Today, Google wants every website that shows in its search results to give the end-user a fantastic experience. When I write a fantastic user experience, the first thought to come to my mind is the look of a website.
Google being the market leader in search engines, would not want websites with unresponsive designs to show up in its listings.
Hence, Google, in pursuance of the better user experience policy, has started giving preferences to responsive websites.
As per Google’s rules – your website should resize or adjust on any device, including tablets, pcs, and mobile phones. Moreover, the website must work glitch-free on all browsers.
Google Website Speed is an essential factor
Google’s better user experience policy does not stop at responsive designs. The policy also includes fast websites. You must never ignore the website speed.
Google hates slow websites, as slow websites contribute negatively to user experiences. To check the speed of your web page, go and enter the web link on the next website “pingdom.com.”
Here is our website’s current speed.
I know there is a scope for improvement, and we are working on the same, but to have reached here, we have used Image optimization and speed optimization plugins in WordPress. In addition to the above, we will soon move to a dedicated server. (We are at present hosted on a shared server).
What I wrote above, more or less covers the simple steps to On-page optimization. However, if you want to take it a step further. Here a few more advanced steps for you.
SEO tips advanced steps:
- Have URL structures that are easily read by Google crawlers.
An excellent example of an SEO Friendly URL structure is: https://www.lessonsatstartup.com/resources/
A bad example is: https://www.lessonsatstartup.com/2019/12/10/the_entrepreneurship-guide-steps-to-becoming-an-entrepreneur/
- Show Social Media share icons by the side of the article and at the end of the article. The icons allow website readers to share the content written by you.
- Write a Meta description for the website page. The Meta description is the small text which Google usually displays with your web link in the rankings.
- Use a user-friendly layout.
I typically prefer a design where the content written by me takes 2/3 rd of pages width. I have nothing against blogs/articles that are written in ½ page, but website visitors have issues with these pages. They are not easy to read, and the ads next to them are a big turn off.
Always remember, Google keeps a check on how well end users receive your web page. The more they share your page on social media, the less is the bounce rate, and the more Google is going to give it preferential treatment in rankings.
A quick checklist to help you cover all steps to on-page optimization:
- Does the title of your website have the base keyword you are targeting for the page?
- Does the H1 Tag contain the main keyword you are targeting?
- Is the main keyword available in the first paragraph of your article?
- Is alt text written for the image used on the web page?
- Is your blog at least 1500 words long?
- Have you given a backlink to any of your existing pages from the new blog? If yes, does it have the right keyword as the anchor text?
- Is your website design responsive?
- Is your website fast?
- Does your website link have an SEO Friendly URL Structure?
- Are social media share icons there in the blog post?
Always put a tick in front of the above points before you get down to building backlinks. On-page SEO is not rocket science. It’s an implementation of good practices that make your website Google Friendly.
Jasmeet is a founder of Lessons at Startup – A blog where he shares entrepreneurial stories. He specializes in Digital Marketing and Content Writing. He is addicted to Google News, Netflix, Good Coffee, and Quora J.
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