SEO Basics: What Is On-Page SEO?
One of the first SEO basics to learn is on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing a page on your website to rank higher than others through On-page SEO techniques such as content, internal links, title tags, and URLs.
On-page SEO is one of the best ways to help your content rank higher and be seen by more viewers, making you a more valuable expert online.
But keep in mind that to stay ranked, you need to remain relevant, which means being knowledgeable in the latest trends in the industry you’re writing about.
So updating your content to stay relevant is essential as well.
According to Google in their “How Search Works” Report it states:
If you use keywords in your title, headings, and the body of your text, your on-page SEO will be much better. For example, take a look at the image below. It is an excellent example of how to use keywords in your titles.
But don’t just overload your page and title with keywords. You need to create something that adds value to the viewers, and these are some things to consider when creating your content:
- User Experience
- Bounce Rate & Dwell Time
- Search Intent
- Page loading speed
- CTR (Click Through Rate)
So how do we do all of this? Next, I will tell you how to Optimize your content for SEO.
SEO Basics: How to Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
Your number one goal SHOULD NOT BE to rank #1.
There we said it.
We’re sorry, that must have been a lot to take in all of a sudden.
But we need to be straight with you.
Your content should first and foremost be there to help others! Because even if you implement all of these SEO basic strategies that we teach you, they mean nothing if your content doesn’t help people.
So, here are some potential practices that we recommend not following:
- Duplicate content (“borrow content from other sources” aka plagiarism, just don’t do it)
- Spreading Content (making multiple copies with different keywords for the same content)
- Cloaking (hiding keywords in the HTML where the viewer can’t see it, not a good user experience)
- Keyword Spamming (don’t listen to the “you need to use your keyword X amount of times to rank” BS)
- Auto-generating Content (nothing worse than content that is emotionless and bland… please don’t use a program)
SEO Basics: Place Your Keywords Where it Makes Sense
Your content should feel natural and be easy to consume.
When you are writing your content, begin with an H1 tag that includes your keyword. Think of it as a mini title. Even Google recommends adding an H1 tag at the top of your content:
If you have WordPress, the title will automatically become the H1 tag so you don’t have to worry about it. The first tag after the title and intro for WordPress should be H2. Using H1, H2, H3 tags, and so on helps search engines better understand your content.
Now definitely don’t spam your content with your keywords, but SEO experts like Brian Dean have said:
“Google may deny that using the same keyword multiple times helps. But SEO pros with experience will tell you that it works.”
Just remember to be natural, and be you.
SEO Basics: External Linking
Using external (outbound) links is a great way to help your on-page SEO.
For example, Reboot Online ran an experiment to see if external links helped improve rankings. They created ten websites, half linked to Oxford University and the other half without external links.
They found that all of the sites with external links ranked higher than those without. So make sure to find some external links that make sense to go with the content, and Bob’s your uncle!
SEO Basics: Your URL Slug Matters
Your URL is one of the parts of on-page SEO that can help improve your rankings.
So how do you create SEO-friendly URLs?
- Make Your URL short
- Include a keyword in every URL
And you’re done! Pretty easy but it can go a long way to improve your marketing strategy.
SEO Basics: Optimize Your Title
This section will give you some techniques to optimize your title.
According to Google, title tags can “help a lot” with your rankings.
While Google doesn’t use your description to understand the content, it helps people searching to more quickly know which pages are most relevant to their search query.
First things first, let’s get that title tag filled with keywords.
For us we wanted to fill ours with “SEO basics.” This is the first thing that people see and can help give a quick overview of your content. The more definitive you can get with your keywords to the title, the better it will rank.
They did a fantastic job of showing a great example of updating, and they are currently the highest-ranking blog.
Adding modifiers will allow viewers to quickly know what’s in it for them if they read your content.
A lot of blogs will use modifiers like “complete”, “ultimate”, “checklist”, “guide”, or “quick”. These are great, but just make sure that your content matches what you describe it to be. For example, if you say it is ultimate, it darn well better be the most ultimate piece of content they have ever seen.
Well onto the next page, now that you know some SEO basics we can start to really dive into how to go more in-depth into optimizing for SEO in the backend.
Up Next: Optimize Your Website Content for Search Engines
Now that you learned some basics of SEO, click the link below to learn how to better optimize your pages and content.