This is a guest post by Andreas Horch, owner of Linknami.com which provides link building and article marketing tools to website owners and bloggers and today is teaching us about on-page seo.
According to my experience working with website owners and webmasters, many are still confused about the difference between off-page and on-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
We are not actually going to discuss the various combinations available for SEO here, but since on-page SEO is more straightforward for a beginner, I will share with you my 9 essential on-page SEO keys that I constantly apply to all my clients websites and blogs.
To anyone with an inclination to SEO, there are always basic on-site tasks that any webmaster, business owner, or Internet Marketer should know. These tasks are divided into the following components:
1. Keywords In Title Tags
The tag that appears in the title tag is the HTML meta code that is displayed at the very top of the web browser (not the address bar). Because this text is always visible, Google tends to rely on this heavily as a clue on what the content of the page is all about.
So, you need to include relevant keywords based on the content of the actual page as part of your SEO strategy. This also serves as a page ID and sets this particular page apart from other web pages with seemingly similar names. Assign different key phrases to each page to inform the search engines what each page is about.
2. Keywords In The First H1 Tag
Google likes to look into the first H1 text, in a much similar way as how it looks at the title tag for data indexing. Strategy is the same for the title tag. Never forget to use keywords strategically, and not just place them meaninglessly on the first string within the H1 text.
Recently the importance of the H1 tag has somewhat declined, however I still use it because I find it useful to website visitors when they browse around and try to apply this tag whenever I think it fits to the page layout.
3. Using The URL or The Page’s Name For SEO
Use plain English as much as possible for the web page address itself for SEO. WordPress uses this technique quite well in their blog software. It is exactly one of the reasons why WordPress is considered the best search engine optimized blogging platform.
For example, the name “http://example.com/?dogs-and-cats-living-together&AID=33” is a much better choice than “http://example.com/?AID=33”. The reason is that the first one describes the page in a more specific manner than the second one.
Adding variable data (such as the “AID=33” in our earlier example) has been one of the most discussed issues when naming web pages. In fact, I think that variable data should not be used if you want a proper SEO reinforced web page name at all.
But search engines are getting quite smarter and smarter these days, so bottom line, just make sure you have descriptive words within the web pages names, and the search engines can do their job indexing the page properly.
4. Keyword Meta Tag
A formerly important player in any SEO strategy, keyword meta tag is largely ignored nowadays by search engines. Manipulation and misuse are some of the heavily speculated reasons behind its demise.
It is actually not seen by the end-user, so some abusive webmasters exploited this fact and got limited to what it is today. True and hard SEO tactics never deceive or abuse.
However, it is still a reasonable thing to inject keyword tags because it is still seen by some search engines (minor ones), although it won’t really bring out fantastic results on its own. But any help for traffic is useful, no matter how small the results may be be.
5. Description Meta Tag
The description meta tag is a very useful tag for Google, Yahoo and MSN. Google looks for the most relevant description of your page to display in their search engine results but tends towards the description tag, if available.
So unless you are trusting the google algorithm blindly, you may have some say as to which description should be displayed in their results by setting this description meta tag.
6. The Decisive Importance Of Keyword Density
Keyword density is very critical for SEO. Search engines are typically digesting machines, taking in data from a website and analyzing its contents based on what it has “eaten”.
The most basic command that the search engine can do is to read up all the words and count all that is repeated across the page. Afterwards they’ll produce technical data in percentages, densities and graphs, depending on the raw data that they have received.
If you can observe the most popular keyword phrases, you’ll know that they can analyze all the pages that are truly driving your website. Don’t concentrate on keyword density too much, as it can compromise your web page’s content quality.
Then again, you have to make the keyword density enough to strike a hit on a search engine. It is recommended that you write at your own pace for the first draft. After analyzing the paragraph and editing it, you can now proceed to add the keywords meaningfully within the context. The satisfactory keyword density is always around 2-4% of the entire content of the page. Remember though, never compromise quality with keyword density.
7. Quality Outbound Links
The links found on your pages also matter a lot, both in terms of quantity and quality. When publishing links on a page, be always specific at where these links go.
Never link to low-quality or non-recommended sites. Keep the number of your links in mind as well. The less links there is, usually the better, but having none can be twice as bad as having too many.
Google most likely uses these outbound links to interpolate your exact position on the internet. So Google can already get a good idea about the content of a page simply by analyzing the outgoing links. Remember to use outbound links wisely for on-page SEO.
8. High Quality Content, Not Just Original
It is actually something that cannot be directly tailored for SEO. There is no question that high-quality and original content always dictates the base value of a page. You’re probably going to be reminded of this each and every time you look at an SEO strategy. Not a thing to get sick of hearing though, after all, content is king.
Don’t fall under the impression that the internet is too big to be able to look for unique content. If you can get to use Copyscape really well, you can see that there are software available that can tell you the frequency of a sentence on the entire internet! Quite mind blowing if you think of the effort needed to do so really.
But, if a simple customized software like Copyscape can do it, then why not Google? Any positive bump that you receive for your website can somehow be attributed to Google considering your website’s content to be original.
You won’t really get sued or anything for repeating the same topic discussed on other websites (although you can get sued for copying copyrighted content), but of course you can’t get that much ranking on a topic already discussed elsewhere. There are occurances where content ranks higher than the original content, but let’s not focus on that now. What is important is for you to create unique and quality content, period.
9. Don’t Spam, But Don’t Give Too Little Either
Quite different from what we have just discussed earlier, but you also have to consider how much content you are putting up for your SEO. There are many ways to answer this question, but if we are going to concentrate on the SEO theme, it can generally be assumed that more relevant content you can load on your website the better.
Fill all those crawlers and spiders bellies with all of the food for thought that you can give. Remember though that the content should still be of good quality and won’t veer away from the actual topic discussed within the website. Websites that focus on one or two specialties can be better avenues of information than the light, more generic ones.
For example, when it comes to a specific car, let’s say a Chrysler Grand Cherokee, more ratings and rankings will be given to a site that actually gives Chrysler Grand Cherokee information as their specialty rather than a website that discusses about any cars in general.
In conclusion, optimizing your pages for search engines is essential and will give you a solid base you can build upon when turning your attention to off-page search engine optimization methods like article submission, blog commenting, forum posting and link baiting.
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