On-Page Optimization Factors No Bloggers Could Afford to Ignore

On-page SEO Optimization[On-page optimization is one of the very first step of SEO which webmaster and blogger should consider. It helps search engines determine the topics of your site pages / blog posts. Bloggers will be, or should be, excited about this. Why?

On-page SEO optimization factors are entirely under your control. Although they are not solely the factors or reasons to rank highly on the search engine result pages, still with proper optimization of various elements you will be able to outrank your competitors.

Assuming that everything else stays the same, pages that are well optimized will eventually rank better. In fact, if you target long tail keywords, you can easily outrank existing pages easily, especially if you have gained trust from search engines.

There are certainly more to search engine optimization than a few simple factors, but with these knowledge, you are on your way to getting those first page rankings. Note that the order of the factor doesn't necessarily mean the importance of the factor.

Title Tags

By far this is the most important on-page optimization factor of all. If you use a keyword on any search engine, you will notice that most of the pages have the keyword in the title.

Due to how search engine represents the result, if you have keyword in the title, it will appear as bold text. That makes it catchy, hence you will be more likely to get the click. It can be seen as conversion from the search engine to your site page.

In various tests, I’ve seen pages climbed up the ranking ladder just by changing the title and nothing else.

Note that Google limits the display of the title tag to 66 characters only, so it pays if you optimize accordingly so the title is compelling for the searchers to click.

Meta Tags

Meta tags used to be very important. Many webmasters are able to rank well just by stuffing keywords in the meta keywords and meta description tags. Search engines are getting smarter every day, so these tags are less important than it used to be.

However, they are still of some use, although certainly you have to be careful while implementing them. For instance, if you stuff keywords in the meta keywords tag, it may end up backfire you.

Meta description tag should contain a brief description of your web page, including your primary keyword so it stands out in search engine result pages. Make it a strong teaser, including a compelling benefit if possible, so a searcher finds it appealing to click. You have to deliver what they expect though, but that’s another blog post…

Meta keywords tag still works to a certain extent in Yahoo. It can be useful if you want to include misspellings, which are really just other keyword variations.

H1 Tag

Keyword in H1 and H2, H3 tags don’t matter a lot nowadays, but still they are good to have, if used carefully.

First off, with H1 tag, you still have to include topically relevant keyword for it to have an impact on ranking.

Although other SEO experts may disagree on the effectiveness of this tag, still it provides a visual element to organize content on the blog post. Make the title of your page appears in the H1 tag on the top of the page.

This tag may hurt your rankings if the content is too well aligned with the page title and anchor text. The idea is to make anchor texts pointing back to your site and specific page natural.

Keyword Density

This factor is obsolete. It no longer matters as much as it was in the past, if at all. Search engines are now able to notice stems, synonyms and other topically related keywords.

Although you still need to integrate your primary keyword in strategic places, secondary and additional keywords in the content should be natural. Before writing, know your keywords. They will get into the content naturally through your writing.

Page URL

Keyword use in page URL is not weighted as much as keyword in domain name (preferably exact match). However, it can still improve ranking when people see the keyword in the URL of your blog post bolded.

Keyword in page URL still works quite well in Yahoo.

Alt and Title Attributes

Many people refer to it as alt tags, but it is not a HTML tag. Alt and title are two attributes for the img tag.

The alt and title attributes can be seen as anchor text. If the image is used as a link, the alt attribute in the image can be as powerful as the anchor text.

Moreover, this attribute is useful for usability too, especially for people who disable images. This is common for people who browse using mobile devices.

Content

It is always a good idea to include your main keyword once in the first paragraph or near the start of the document.

Secondary keywords should be other semantically related terms. They should be sprinkled throughout the web content to help search engines pick up and determine page and site topic of your blog.

Additionally, you may be able to rank for long tail keywords with the occurrence of the keyword in the body text of a page.

Document Formatting (Strong, Emphasize) Tags

This factor may not be too significant but it just seems natural that you highlight what you think as the important content on the page as bold (strong) or italics (emphasize).

Think of the SEO benefit as the side effect. You want to draw the reader’s attention to the area where you make the text stands out.

Final Words

It is very important to remember that SEO is not only about on-page and off-page optimization. Most important of all is content. As search engines get smarter — it happens every day — they will be able to analyze web content better.

Quality of content and natural writing will become more important in the future. Spam pages are out. Although they still appear in various shapes, believe me, they won’t be there for long. If you are going to build a business that lasts, think about your customers first.

Assume that your content is someone else’s, and imagine that you visit the blog page as a search engine user, what do you think about it? Do you click the back button or curse because it wastes your time? If so, it is a sign that it is not good enough. Others may as well feel the same.

Return to Blog SEO — Whitehat SEO for Bloggers in a Nutshell.

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