Understanding on page optimization can help you craft blog articles that rank higher in search results. Want to know how?
Improve Your On Page Optimization
If you own a blog for business or write regularly as a freelance content writer, on-page SEO is a valuable skill worth studying. Once you learn the critical elements of on-page optimization, you’ll be able to enhance your blog articles as well as the evergreen content of your domain.
First off, there are elements of your page that a search engine reads to help it analyze your content. Titles, subheadings, images, alt text, and other critical aspects of your page are scanned for appropriate keywords by the search engine.
The structure of your on page content is also analyzed by search engines and ranked based on select criteria. Blog content that’s search-engine friendly will rank higher because it’s easier to index and matches the relevant keywords.
5 Tips for Better On Page Optimization
Even without an SEO audit, there are simple and immediate actions you can take to directly improve how well your blog content ranks in search results. Apply these simple tips to and you’ll see better results:
You really can’t overstress the impact of keywords on SEO in general. For every blog article you publish, there are primary and secondary keywords you should aim for, which will optimize traffic to your page. Using a keyword research tool will provide you with a list of possible keywords to build your blog articles on.
Placing keywords in the right places on the page will also generate better search engine results for your content. The primary keyword you’re trying to rank for should always be placed in:
- main title or Header 1 (aim for 65 characters or less)
- at least once in the sub heading or Header 2 (varies on length)
- image titles and urls
- URLs (permalinks)
Secondary keywords, variations (i.e. pics for photos), and synonyms, should also be used in the body of your text to give your content a more natural, conversational tone. Search engines analyze the entire text of your page, not just the keywords, for relevance. The frequency of your keywords as well as their spatial relation to other content on your page tell a search engine what your content is all about in more detail so it can match your pages more accurately.
2. Word Count and Keyword Density:
Keyword density and word count are intimately related. Search engines analyze how frequently a keyword appears on your page as well as its relation to other text on the page. Complete phrases are also analyzed (referred to as phrase-based indexing) to help a search engine match your content more accurately.
So, if a particular keyword appears on a page, the search engine analyzes the entire text to rank its relevance, regardless of the word count. A blog article about a very rare breed of felines may have very little local competition for the keyword. In that case, even a short article of only 300 words would rank high in a search result if it was optimized for the keyword.
Your content is ranked against other pages as well. If your blog is more substantial than your local competitor’s blog, your pages may rank higher because you offer more to the user. A 300 word article on baseball with a keyword density of 0% doesn’t read like a page with valuable information, next to an 850 word article with a higher keyword density.
3. Image Optimization:
Images like stock photos, infographics, illustrations, selfies, or any other visual graphic that appears on your web pages can also be optimized for more traffic. High resolution images attract the attention of users, so search engines prefer them too. If your blog articles are enhanced with images, you stand a better chance of ranking above competitors with less appealing content.
Make sure your images have an SEO-friendly title, instead of an alphanumeric URL. Include an alt text description as well, and use your primary keyword where possible. You can create separate image tags to deploy across your social media as well, which will make it easier to find your blog content. Apply the same SEO rules to any other multimedia you plan to integrate on your page (video, podcast, webinar, etc).
Pages with links offer more value to users, provided the links are relevant. Including links to pages that rank high will help you if those pages are not competing for the same keyword as you. So if you’re a motorcycle repair shop, and your blog article includes a link to the Harley Davidson site, search engines will consider that a relevant link. Linking to another, more popular article on the same topic as your article isn’t helpful to you.
What you really want is your content featured as a link on other pages that hold authority with users and search engines. If people are sharing your content, search engines will take this as a positive sign that your blog content is popular with users, which will boost your content higher in search results.
Far from the least important, I’ve saved content for last because, without it, your on page SEO will still suck. When you write a blog article, focus on a specific problem or question your audience struggles with, and provide a logical, step-by-step solution. Build your article like an argument:
- State your theme – the problem you’re trying to solve as early as possible
- Outline your solution with subheadings to help the reader follow your argument
- Organize your argument in logical steps that proceed to a conclusion
- Use bulletins or numbers to clarify your key points
- Provide statistics and their source to support your argument
- Keep to one topic for each paragraph
We could go much deeper into on page optimization, but if you practise these fundamental tips consistently, your blog content will start generating better traffic for you over time.