While most SEO’s already know the ins and outs of off-site search engine optimization, but what often gets overlooked is the actual on-site SEO which may be a key reason as to why you are not at the top of the SERP’s. I’ve compiled a list of things the beginner SEO can do to make sure his or her site is fully optimized for the search engines.
- The Title Tag – Single handedly the most crucial element of on-site optimization. Make sure you have your main keywords in here. A useful plug-in for this if your using WordPress is optimal title.
- The H1/H2 Text – Are also extremely important because they show the search engine the main subjects and “table of contents” for your sites content. These should be targeted towards the keywords you want to rank for, and should be indicative of your title tag.
- First sentence of body text – In terms of advanced SEO tactics, the first sentence for the body for every page on your site will be picked up by the SE’s and more importantly are picked up by Google’s LSI algorithm.
- Meta Keywords, Description and Robots Tag — The site’s meta tags are always used to place your site in the rankings. As well your sitemap.xml will be looked at by Google on a regular basis so keep it updated.
- The Body Text – Try to keep your focused body text in bold as this will be more emphatic to the search engines.
- The URL — The subdirectory folder and page of content should be optimized. A useful way to do this with wordpress is through permalinks. (Settings -> Permalinks -> Custom Structure, and then use “/%category%/%postname%/”) So for http://site.com/SEO-optimization-in-toronto.html would rank higher for a page devoted to “SEO optimization in Toronto” simply due to this structure.
- Same Site Link Texts — Make sure all your pages of your site are inter-linked or have some type of navigation whereas your main pages you are trying to rank for are linked. Make sense? Having your targeted keywords linked to other relevant pages can go a long way for a little higher rankings.
- Same-Site Link URLs — Don’t just use keywords to describe pages inside your site, those URLs you link to should include SEO URLs as well. (eg: http://site.com/your-keyword.html)
- Keyword Density — While this topic is generally up for debate, the general consensus is to have anywhere between 5-8% of your total text. So for a 500 word article you should have anywhere between 25-40 of those words as some sort of derivative of the keyword you are trying to rank for. While this isn’t THAT important for rankings, it should still be considered.
- Image ALT Tags — Lastly you should always make sure to have your images optimized for keywords you wish to rank for. It wouldn’t hurt to go as far as to change the names of the images to be keyword-rich as well.
By using these simple methods, you can get a jump start on your off-site SEO so that you can focus more on getting inbound, authority backlinks from relevant sites. Then all you can do from there is write viral content and link build like a madman. I will be doing a follow up post on off-site SEO methods so stay tuned.