Why is On Page Optimization so important?
There are many different ways to implement an SEO strategy on your website; quite a few methods you could choose from. One of the best ways to make sure that your webpage or blog post is found via search engines is to make sure that you are using the best practices for SEO on page optimization.
While lots of factors contribute to the overall ranking of your page, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your page is properly optimized, ready to become a valuable piece of content that is worthy of sharing with your audience. I came up with a short list of some of the most important things to think about when optimizing a page – 4 of the best practices for SEO on page optimization…
1. Create Uniquely Valuable Content
If you content is stale, uninteresting, or uninformative, it’s not going to keep your readers engaged. Also, if the topic you’re covering has been written about over and over again, practically beaten to death, you’re not going to make much headway with the search engines. They’ve already got a lot of content on your topic of choice – why should they consider yours for the front page?
That’s the question you have to answer within your content. I don’t say this to discourage you from writing about certain topics – if I meant that, there really would be nothing left to write about! However, just because someone else has already written about something doesn’t mean you can’t write on the same topic, just with your own creative, unique twist.
If your topic has been covered before, try to come up with a unique angle to use when writing about it. Or, if you have a certain audience who’s tuning in to hear specifically from YOU, write for them. Write in a way that they will understand. It might be similar to some other stuff that’s out there, but it will be unique, informative and helpful to your own audience, so write about it anyways.
Just try your best to be unique, put your own personal touches on the content wherever you can, and look for different angles to use when possible. Put your own spin on it. You might even find that it’s better than anything else out there.
2. Be Shareable
Social media is everything these days – non only do people use it to connect with their friends and acquaintances, but they also use it to share interesting articles and comment on things happening within their particular fields of work. I’m sure you’ve seen articles that have been shared on Facebook before, and also the comments that accumulate underneath. Your aim is to make those articles your articles.
How do you do this? How do you make sure that your content is shareable? Well for one, it has to be interesting. And it helps if it’s a bit shocking. Or funny. Or something that makes people think. I mean, how many viral articles have you read that actually turned out to be dull? Probably none. They’re interesting, insightful, amusing, shocking – something. So make sure your content fits at least one of these attributes.
Also, you will want to have social sharing buttons readily available and visible so people can share your article at a moment’s notice. Don’t make them search for the buttons. They might not end up finding them, or they may decide the search isn’t worth the effort. Make sure you’ve got a few buttons available at the top and bottom of the article, possibly even the ones that float off to the side, so that there’s no guesswork involved – people can share if they like what you wrote! And I also recommend finding social sharing buttons that count the number of times the article has already been shared. It encourages people to keep sharing, especially if you have a rather high number. If other people found your article share-worthy and took the time to do so, it must be worth sharing again!
3. Target those Keywords
You’ve probably heard of keywords, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick rundown. Keywords are specific and unique to individual niches and markets, and incorporate the most common words/searched terms that people tend to type into search engines like Google. For example, when you type, “What is SEO?” into Google, you get a LOT of results. LOTS. It’s a pretty popular topic, and there are some really fantastic articles out there about it. The term “What is SEO?” is a keyword. Websites that would like to rank for that term need to create some pretty awesome content centered around that keyword if they want to have a fighting chance of ranking in the search engines for it.
But how do you know which keywords to target within your niche? Keyword research I tell you! It sounds boring, but it’s really actually interesting. You can use tools like Google Ad Words’ Keyword Planner to search and find which keywords people are searching for the most, and then you can choose to write articles about those topics. Here’s a great article on Keyword Research from Moz.com – it’s really great. You should read it and then come back here. I’ll wait for ya.
Back? Ok, great! So to continue on, once you have a keyword to target, you can begin to craft your content/article/blog post around it. You want to make sure that the keyword is prevalent and included often throughout the course of the article, but you also don’t want to go overboard. This is called keyword stuffing – when you just go crazy and jam that little keyword anywhere and everywhere within the text – and Google doesn’t like it. Just listen to Google and don’t do it. It makes your content sound terrible and is annoying to read. And that’s not going to make your readers very happy is it? While it’s important to please Google, it’s equally important to appeal to your audience, so make sure that they are happy.
Ok, so here are a few places that you should definitely try to work in that keyword or phrase:
– In the page title, preferably within the first 3-5 words. It’s been said that those words bear more ranking weight than the middle or ending words. This is what will appear in the Search Engine results, so make sure that it sounds interesting and is something that readers/searchers would be likely to click on and read.
– Also, use modifiers in your title. For example, it’s better to say “What is SEO?” or “The Best SEO Practices” or “SEO On Page Optimization” than just saying “SEO” and leaving it at that. SEO is a broad term, and it’s going to be more difficult to rank for a broad term. Try to narrow it down a bit. Not only will this help you rank, but it will also bring you more readers who are actually interested in your topic. They might have been looking for on page optimization techniques, and will be happy to have landed on your page about that topic as oppose to one about link building. The more specific you can be the better.
– In the H1 headline tag. If you know a bit about coding, this will make sense; otherwise just know that the keyword should appear within the first headline of your article. I’ll talk more about headlines in next week’s article, but it should be similar to the title, not quite the same, and should go into more detail about the topic of the article.
– It should occur within the body of the text, at least once within the first 100 words or so. Like I said, don’t go crazy with it, but sprinkle the keyword throughout the text where it fits logically. Craft your writing in a way that includes the keyword in a helpful and informative way.
– Put it in the URL of your page. So, the URL for your page about “What is SEO?” could simply be, MySite.com/WhatIsSEO. Make the URL simple, clean and short – not a lot of ransom letters and numbers – and make sure that it includes your keyword. This helps with the search engines, but it also provides a good choice to use as anchor text if someone else decides to link to your page from theirs. For example, if someone writes this sentence on their blog about SEO Resources – “JSL Marketing has a great resource on the popular question, what is SEO?” – they might use the words “What is SEO” as a link back to my site (MySite.com/WhatIsSEO). This shows Google that my “What is SEO?” page is really about SEO, and this can actually help boost the ranking of my page a little bit over time. And every little bit helps!
4. External and Internal Links
I’ll go into more on this later, but it’s important to link out of your page to both external and internal links. Externally, you could link to a relevant article or an additional resource. Something that your readers might find interesting or helpful. It might sound counterproductive to send them away from your page, but your goal should always be to educate your readers to the best of your ability, and if that occasionally means linking out to another page or resource, then you should definitely do it.
Don’t sell yourself short though. If you’ve got some additional resources and articles on your page that they might find interesting or useful, make sure you link to those when appropriate within your content. Like, for instance, say you’re talking about content marketing. You don’t want to take the time or space to explain it right there, but you have an awesome resource elsewhere on your site about that very topic. Link to it! Tell your readers to check it out, of just casually link to it within the text. Either way, your readers will appreciate the knowledge, and will be more like to check it out than if you hadn’t linked at all.
And the more quality links you have, external and internal, the more legit Google thinks your page is. Google likes those links, so make sure to link to relevant content when appropriate within your article.
Well, that’s all I have for now. To sum it up, in order to create solid content that is ready for SEO on page optimization, be sure to create uniquely valuable content, use words that are sharable and interesting, be specific in your keyword targeting, and use external and internal links whenever possible. Try these techniques out on your own site and see how they work! And be sure to tune in again next week for more tips on SEO for your website. If you missed the last post in the SEO series, you can check it out right here – What is SEO?
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!