I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks optimizing my blog using On-Page SEO!
What is On-Page SEO and how can you use it to enhance your blog for Search Engine Optimization?
On-Page SEO should not be ignored as one of the primary ways to get the best possible search engine ranking and get more visitors to your blog. Let’s start at the beginning…
On-Page SEO Defined
In the article On-Site SEO from Moz.com, Moz defines On-Page (or On-Site) SEO as follows…
On-site SEO (also known as on-page SEO) is the practice of optimizing elements on a website (as opposed to links elsewhere on the Internet and other external signals collectively known as “off-site SEO”) in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. On-site SEO refers to optimizing both the content and HTML source code of a page.
To put it a little more simply, on-page SEO involves all of the things about your blog that you can control. So, that’s pretty good news for bloggers that want to take their site seriously and get a high ranking on the big search engines like Google and Bing.
Significant Components of On-Page SEO
Some of the most important components of on-page SEO include the following…
- Site design and load speeds
- Mobile friendliness
- Keyword selection and usage
- Snippet optimization
- Great content
- Internal and external linking
The first 2 are probably the most difficult to master, but once you are done, you generally do not need to go back to those items. The remainder of the list is geared to specific pages, posts and content.
Site Design and Load Speeds
Site design refers to the organization of the pages and posts on your site and the ease of navigation. According to Yoast SEO in their article SEO Basics What is On-Page SEO, “Users need to easily understand your website. They should be able to find what they want in a heartbeat. They should know where to click and how to navigate through your site. And it should be fast! A beautifully designed website is nice, but you should definitely make it your top priority to create a user-friendly website first!” A good way to accomplish this task is by using an SEO friendly WordPress Theme. Just Google “SEO friendly or optimized WordPress theme” and you will find at least 20 options to choose from. Once you select your theme, don’t overload it with lots of unnecessary plugins and you should be just fine. Another good practice is to optimize your site’s images. This will compress and clean up your images so they load faster. I use the plugin Way2enjoy Image Optimizer. It does a great job and keeps things simple.
In terms of mobile friendliness, there are 2 plugins that will help accomplish this task. The first is a3 Lazy Load and the other is AMP for WP. Both are designed to help your mobile pages load faster providing for a better mobile experience for your readers. Another way to ensure a good mobile experience is by using the phone icon in the Customize section under Appearance on your site’s dashboard. With this feature, you can actually view your blog as it would appear on a mobile device.
Keyword Selection and Usage
For keyword selection, I use the Google Keyword Planner. For specifics on how to use the Google Keyword Planner, see my related article Blogging for the Best Website Ranking. In this article I provide specific instructions on how to choose the best keywords for your topic. To make sure I am using my keywords properly in each article I rely on the Yoast SEO plugin, which I highly recommend adding to your blog. Yoast will have you covered as long as you follow their suggested guidelines.
So, what the heck is a snippet? Here’s a definition taken from HubSpot’s article Here’s How Featured Snippets Work, According to Google…
I’m going to keep this simple. Here again, I rely on the Yoast SEO plugin to ensure that all of the attributes of my featured snippet are optimized. You will see this information at the bottom of your post, just make sure you get the Yoast green light on your SEO Title, Slug and Meta Description.
Providing great content is a matter of tackling a few issues. First, developing a great topic. Check out my article How to Develop Amazing Blog Post Ideas to help you get started with choosing your topics.
Of course, you need to write about things that interest your audience or you will never get out of the starting gate. Next, you need to write in a clear and logical manner that is easy to read and comprehend. Part of this will depend on your own personal writing skills, but our friends at Yoast SEO can help a bit too. The Yoast SEO plugin has a section called “Readability,” which reviews the structure of your article and provides feedback on areas you can improve upon. Finally, make sure you fit in your keywords where possible while still maintaining a well written article. Don’t just cram them in all over the place or it will be obvious to your readers and the search engines that you are simply trying to rank your content.
Internal and External Linking
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another article or page on your blog, while external links point to another page or site that is not on your blog. Sounds simple enough, so why are they important? Well, internal links help your readers navigate your blog more easily, taking them from page to page of relevant or related content. Remember under the section above on Site Design I discussed the importance of clean site navigation and overall user friendliness. This is important for your readers and search engines and should be important to you.
External links help give credibility to your article by siting (and linking to) outside relevant sources. Not only that, but they provide the possibility of getting linked back from the other site, which is very important for site ranking. Link-backs will be a topic for a future article on off-page SEO.
Notice as you read through this article you will see a number of internal and external links.
I started this post by saying that I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks optimizing my blog using On-Page SEO. Perhaps now that you have read through the entire text you can see why. Bookmark this article and come back as often as necessary to digest each of the topics and begin to apply them to your existing articles as well as any new content you produce.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions.
To Your Success,