On-Page SEO

Optimize Your Pages to Rank

Home » On-Page SEO: Optimize Your Pages to Rank

On-Page SEO focuses on these three main goals:

  • Is your site visible to Google?
  • Are the correct pages getting pulled into their search engine?
  • Are you showing up for the keywords related to your products and services?

Now I’ll warn you; on-page SEO can get technical and a bit heavy, so if there are parts here that you don’t understand, that’s fine.

Talk to a WordPress web developer or SEO professional and they will be able to take care of this stuff for you on your website.

Chapters

CHAPTER 1

SEO BASICS

CHAPTER 2

KEYWORD RESEARCH

CHAPTER 3

ON-PAGE SEO

CHAPTER 4

OFF-PAGE SEO

The Most Important On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Are:

SEO Writing Assistant
Using a tool like SEMrush's writing assistant helps to create optimized content.

At an overview here is a list of the most important on-page elements to getting your page(s) to rank higher on Google.

We will break down each into greater detail next.

  • A Mobile Friendly Website
  • SEO friendly URLs
  • Navigation and site architecture
  • 1 main focus keyword theme per page
  • Use keyword synonyms
  • Keyword repetitions
  • Write for the reader not robots
  • Meta descriptions
  • Meta robots
  • Canonical url tag
  • Rich snippets and structured data markup
  • Title tags
  • Scannable, readable content
  • Proper use of headings
  • Image and video alt text descriptions
  • Canonical tags
  • Internal linking
  • External linking
  • Index and no-index pages
  • Follow and no-follow pages
  • Site loading speed and performance
  • No pop-ups
  • No ads

Keyword Specific and SEO Friendly Page URLs

Keyword optimized title and url
You can customize your page titles and URLs in WordPress.

Include your main keyword in the URL for your page or post and make sure it's readable.

You need to have readable URLs (called page slugs in WordPress).

WordPress does a great job of this with a little help.

Warning:

If you've got a brand new site and aren't getting a lot of traffic or visibility yet, you can safely update your permalink structure. 

If you've been operating for awhile and have traffic already, it will break all of your current links changing this structure. 

To ensure you have nice, readable and Google friendly URLs follow these steps:

  • Login to your WordPress dashboard
  • Go to settings
  • Permalinks
  • Ensure post title is selected
  • Save your changes

Having https://www.monsteronlinebiz.com/keyword-research/ is a much better URL for SEO than https://www.monsteronlinebiz.com/2019-12-17-keyword-research/

The two biggest advantages of this structure is:

  • Easier to read and understand by your visitors
  • Easier for Google to read and understand for search

Navigation and Site Structure

Your website should be organized and easy for your visitors to find information.

Keep these in mind as you organize your website:

  • Your main services or products should each have their own separate page
  • They should be easily accessible right from the main navigation of your site
  • Both service pages and their main navigation links should be named based on keyword research
  • They should be one click away from the homepage
  • All of your website content (pages and posts) should be no more than 3 clicks from your homepage.
  • Use breadcrumbs to leave a trail back to previous pages.

Focus On One Main Keyword Phrase Per Page

One of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make is keyword cannibalization.

What this means is you have multiple pages on your website that are ranking (and competing for) the same keyword phrase.

Your homepage is naturally going to rank for a lot of keywords.

It receives a lot of links, traffic and features all of your main products and services.

But it's a disorganized, disjointed mess.

There are too many things to look at and too many things to click.

Because of this your content pages (posts and products and service pages) need to be optimized to rank for a specific keyword phrase and their related synonyms.

Let's say you sell animal feed for horses:

  • You need to build a page that's focus on animal feed for horses.
  • You would ensure that the page url matches your keyword choice.
  • You need to feature animal feed for horses prominently in your page title.
  • You need to write content that focuses on animal feed for horses and its related synonyms on your page.
  • Write for the reader and not the search engine robots. All of your content should sound natural and be educational.
  • Use alt text on your images and videos with info related to your chosen keyword
  • Ensure that other pages use a canonical link attribute to link back to your main page for the keyword (geeky developer stuff)
  • Do not stuff your keyword in everywhere and make your writing sound un-natural and forced.

Follow all of these guidelines and your content on this page will outrank the same keyword on your homepage.

You need to specifically tell Google what each page on your website is about and you do this with these guidelines.

Write Meta Descriptions That Get Clicked

Optimize your meta descriptions
Optimize your meta descriptions to boost your click-through rate (CTR).

Meta descriptions are the text that appears under the link on the search results pages.

They are written to describe what the page is about and more importantly, to entice the user to click your link and not your competitors.

Meta descriptions by themselves have no bearing on site rankings directly.

But with Google's rank-brain algorithm, search results that get clicked a lot rank higher than ones that do not. So there is that.

You want to get the click at all costs. 

Write Scannable, Readable Content

Not scannable content
Blocks of text like this will drive your visitors out the door.

Users do not read content online.

They skim.

Attention is a scarce commodity on the web.

There are many distractions competing for your readers attention everywhere.

If you hit your audience with a wall of text, they are gone.

Make your content easier to consume:

  • Break up content chunks with headings
  • Make your headings interesting
  • Space out your content
  • Avoid large text blocks
  • Use lots of lists
  • Use images
  • Use white space to allow your content room to breathe

Link Back to Your Most Important Pages A Lot.

Remember that amazing animal feed for horses page we spent so much time building and optimizing in the last section?

We want to make sure every page and piece of content on our website that mentions any animal feed for horses links back to that main page.

The more internal links (links from other pages on your website) you have going into a page, the more important and higher authority that page becomes.

Google thinks that if a page gets a lot of internal and external (links from other websites) links it must be really important, so it gets ranked higher.

Make sure you reference your most important pages on your website a lot by constantly linking back to them.

You can also link to external content out from your site.

Links to high authority pages give you a boost also. Popularity by association in SEO.

Pick and Choose What You Want Google to Grab.

When Google goes through a website (crawls) they index pages into their search engine.

Because this takes up computation power and resources, Google doesn't index every page on your website.

They have a limited crawl budget per site.

You want to ensure that your most relevant and best content is getting indexed.

Pages like author archives, tags and category pages are a nightmare to manage from an SEO perspective.

These eat up crawl budget and wreck havoc on your SEO if not managed properly.

Your webmaster or SEO specialist should de-index and no-follow these pages so they don't get picked up by Google.

Is Your Site The Tortoise or The Hare?

Pingdom has a great free site speed testing tool
Pingdom has a great free site speed testing tool

You know time is a scarce commodity online.

Are your users going to wait for your site to load?

Nope.

If your site takes longer than 3-seconds to load, they are gone.

If you're the tortoise you are going to be hearing crickets online.

If you're the hare, you will be getting a lot of action on your website.

Your website needs to be optimized to load as quickly as possible on desktops, phones and tablets.

Talk to your Web Developer about getting that baby tuned up and running like a Ferrari.

Nobody wants to do business with a Pinto.

Roll Out the Welcome Mat and Don't Be A Sleazy Salesbot.

Going to a website and getting blasted with an annoying pop-up sucks.

It's a frustrating experience and will likely send your visitors out the door.

You want to make your site as welcoming and helpful as possible.

Blasting visitors with pop-ups and ads pasted down the side of your website make for a terrible experience.

They distract from the core, helpful content of your site and just look sleazy and salesy.

Nuke your pop-ups and advertisements and your visitors will stick around longer.

Google will reward you with a rankings boost, based on a higher on-page dwell time.

Conversions are great and are essential to growing a business online, but they need to be done tastefully.

An exit intent pop-up is not overly intrusive as it only appears as a final call-to-action as your visitor is heading out anyway.

Continue Reading

CHAPTER 2

KEYWORD RESEARCH

Previous Chapter

CHAPTER 4

OFF-PAGE SEO

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