Many of us are very famiellear with this two terms but for many new comers and even for who are experience it is hard to get all the on page seo factors done correctly.
It is very important that we concentrate on on page seo at the start of our seo campaign because if we mess up our on page optimization it will be very hard for us to rank regarding how well we do our of page optimization.
Importance of Page Title on SEO
Page Title is the most valuable and important On-Page SEO factor for a website.
The typical length of Page Title is 70 including everything (alphabets, numbers, special characters, spaces etc.).
All pages within a website should have unique Page Titles with the most important targeted keyword/s for or about that page subject/topic.
One well optimized Page Title should start with the keyword/s instead of mentioning the keywords in the middle or at the end of the Title.
Use modifiers like best, top, advanced, year, list etc. in your Page Title which will help to rank high on Search Engine Result Page (SERP) and to get better CTR (Click Through Rate).
Concentrate on one topic per page. Do not write similar contents on same topic with same or identical targeted keyword/s or keywords phrase/s on multiple pages.
Optimized Meta Description
Meta Descriptions are the 2nd most important on-page SEO factor after Page Title.
Meta Description plays two different roles on overall SEO. First, if properly and naturally optimized then it will help to get better ranking on SERP for specific keyword/s and secondly if it is well written without any grammatical or spelling errors and if it is appealing and sounds credible then it would deliver better CTR to a website.
Write natural Meta Descriptions mentioning the variation of primary keyword/s (for Bots) and describing the overall page topic (for humans) uniquely within 150 characters.
Each page within a website should have unique Meta Descriptions.
We can check duplicate Page Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords at Google Webmaster tool. On webmaster tool site dashboard click on Site Appearance and then on HTML improvements section we can check if we have any long, short or duplicate Meta tags or Page Titles.
Domain Name of the Website
Domain names can be utilized for SEO. We can select domain names with our primary keyword/s included in the domain which may naturally boost the ranking of the site. Though there are lots of controversies about this SEO strategy. Mostly small businesses or traders used to use this kind of exact match domain names but many of the SEO Gurus, SEO Bloggers and critiques think that this is unethical as it deceives the Search Engine.
Domain names with keywords are not brandable. So depending on the nature or type of the business, business demographic, target audience or other requirements, companies may or may not like to use domain names with keyword/s.
Make sure to use either www or non www version of your website’s domain name. Do not use both as Google and other Search Engines will see them as 2 different web pages with duplicate contents and furthermore the Page Rank of your website may get divided between the www and non www version.
Use either www.domain-name.com or domain-name.com. Do not use domain-name.com/index or domain-name.com/home if they are same page/content as domain-name.com.
We can take two different approaches to set the www and non www preference.
Either Use Google Webmaster’s Proffered Domain tool to tell Google which version of domain you want Google to crawl and reflect on SERP. On Webmaster tool site dashboard click on the gear icon then click Site Settings and then In the Preferred domain section, select your preferred domain option.
Or we can use .HTACCESS file to create a rewrite rule to point to your preferred version of the domain.
Search Engine Friendly URL Structure
Keyword rich URLs perform much better than non-optimized URLs on SERP. Always write Search Engine friendly URLs including your targeted keyword/s.
Do not write URLs like www.domain-name.com/products?product-id=xxx, rather use www.domain-name.com/products/product-name-keywords/#xxx.
Most of the blog engines have the option to write custom URLs or permalinks.
Depending on the technology or language we are using to build the web application we can take different approaches to format the URLs of a website.
Typically .HTACCESS files can be used to format URLs for better Search Engine Ranking.
Position of keywords in an URL matters a lot on SEO. Such as, www.domain-name.com/keyword will perform much better on SERP than www.domain-name.com/folder/xxx/keyword.
Make sure that 2 different or multiple URLs do not have same content. If it happens then either redirect them to the original page or use rel=canonical attribute.
Do not use underscores (_) or spaces as word separator rather use dashes (-) to separate multiple words in an URL. Read Matt Cutts on URL separator
For a typical static website with all .html or .htm pages, do save all the html pages with the keywords related to that page title or content or topic.
Write URLs as short as possible keeping the most relevant targeted keyword/s.
Optimized HTML Header Tags
HTML has six different Header Tags and they are numbered as per their HTML structural priority. Six header tags are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6. Headers should appear in the html code as per their numbering. Means H3 cannot come before H2 in the website/page source code.
Header tags other than H1 are used as the heading of the content paragraphs and H1 is used as the page heading which tells search engines what the page content is all about.
Multiple H1 is not possible in a single webpage where as other header tags can occur multiple times in a site page.
H1 optimization is very important on On Page SEO. Use the variation of your primary keyword/s in the H1 tag. Optimize all other header tags with keywords and keyword variations topic wise.
Most of the CMS makes H1 same as the Page Title. Please consult your website developer to change that. Otherwise it can be an over optimization issue.
Content optimization is very important for overall SEO. Using keyword/s naturally, throughout the page content helps search engines to understand what the page is all about. But do not over use keywords in the content. Keyword inclusion should come naturally but repetitive use of keywords can cause keyword stuffing or over optimization which can get a website penalized by Google or other search engines.
Try to put the targeted primary keyword/s within the first 150 – 200 words of the article. Early mentioning of the main keyword/s in the article supports the Page Title and H1 and helps in overall on site SEO.
Typical keyword density should be between 2% to 4% though it depends on various things like article size, business niche or type, competition level etc. Use different variations of keywords, long tail keywords, keyword modifiers across the content.
Break your entire content in multiple paragraphs with proper heading to reduce bounce rate and write long and valuable contents for your readers.
Image Optimization for SEO
Images are great to make a website or article pages more appealing and attractive to their site visitors.
Search Engines only understand texts not the pixels (images). So if we want to optimize images for SEO then we can do three things.
First save the image (image name) with keyword/s and separate each word with dashes (Keyword/s should be about the image topic).
Second, mention the proper image alt attribute and same as image name, alt attributes should be keyword centric but should not be out of the actual image topic.
And lastly use the image title attribute for Image optimization for SEO. HTML image titles are typically for human readers so it can be keyword/s rich but it should have human touch as well. Means image title should not be robotic rather inclusion of keyword/s in an image title should come naturally.
Outbound or External Links as a strategy of on page SEO
Most of the time we get confused whether to link an external site or not. We think that linking to a competitor site may hamper our business or we may lose our traffic. But the outbound linking concept is all about relevancy, further sharing valuable contents to our readers and building relationships.
Outbound links help search engines to better understand the topic of the article or the niche of business and thus external linking helps in SEO.
Be careful about whom you are linking to. We should link to a relevant page of a site with the only motive of adding more values to our reader’s knowledge and over all experience.
Impact of Internal Linking on OnSiteSEO
Internal linking between different pages within a website has couple of advantages.
It helps search engines to crawl different pages of a website easily when inter linked from different other pages.
Page Rank juice flows from the home page of a site to its other pages so Internal linking is one of the best SEO practices for smooth PR flow.
Inner linking to an old article page from a new and highly ranked article page within a site can further boost that old page ranking on SERP.
Interlinking between pages reduces the bounce rate as visitors have more options to navigate around the site for further relevant information or knowledge.
For best SEO results use keyword/s in the anchor text and title attributes of inner links. Anchor text of inner links should have relevant keywords related to both linking and linked pages.
Implement Rich Snippet – Schema
Though Rich Snippet does not have any direct impact on a site’s ranking on SERP but it has a very good result on CTR.
Schema and micro data are used to structure the content of a website properly so that Google and other search engines can identify and interpret certain elements or property of a business or website, easily and effectively. So if Google better understands a web page or the business itself, then they are more likely to rank higher for different keywords over time.
Rich Snippets help websites to standout in the search engine result page with some additional information (like review, rating, address etc.) which eventually attracts more clicks.
Certain types of businesses or websites like local businesses, restaurants, hotels, event management companies, travel companies etc. should implement schema and micro-data without any delay on their site.
Schema.org offers a list of different Rich Snippet mark ups for different types of businesses or websites which can be incorporated on a site easily.
Google provides a rich snippet testing tool which can be used to test and identify if there are any mark up or rich snippet structural problems or errors on a website/page.
Social Sharing and Social Signal – impacts on SEO
Use different social media sharing buttons like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest for better sharing of your contents over different social networking sites.
Use third-party social tools for seamless integration and sharing capabilities so that your readers can easily share your contents without any difficulties.
Use Facebook and Google+ Open Graph and Twitter cards for better user experience when someone copied and pasted your links on any of those social networking platforms.
Google provides rel=author and rel=publisher markups to show a profile or brand image alongside the regular search listing on SERP which helps to generate more credibility and CTR.
Making Websites Mobile Ready
With the increasing number of different devices, screen sizes and browsers, today it is very important to build a site responsive for mobile, tablet, laptop and as well as desktop users. As more and more people are using smart phones and tablets for searching, browsing and sharing contents on internet so if we do not have a responsive, mobile friendly website then we are going to miss the opportunity to reach to those huge reader or consumer base.
We have intentionally excluded Meta Keywords from this Onpage SEO check list as it is no longer important for SEO.
I hope, the above mentioned 12 points will help you in doing Onpage Optimization of your site or blog. Remember Search Engine Optimization is a cumulative result of different factors, so doing one thing rightly will not get you the expected results.Rather concentrate on all the points carefully, do them ethically and naturally and over time you will see good ranking of your website and other article pages on Google and other search engines.