On-page SEO for beginners

On-page SEO for noobs

Alright, so we have talked about the basics of writing a blog post and touched on SEO headings. We are starting to go places now. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg; SEO is highly complex (my understanding is in its infancy, but I am an enthusiast), yet with a firm understanding of the basic concepts and a lot of commitment, most people can succeed. 

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of SEO that all content writers should be aware of: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. We’re gonna talk about on-page SEO today and then hit off-page next. 

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is what we talk about in terms of how the end users see the webpage. As a content writer, you are pulling double duty because you are both optimizing for readers and for search engines. 

When we talk about on-page SEO, we are talking about:

  • Your headings (H1, H2, H3) create your content outline.
  • Images optimized for your content
  • Keywords that are relevant to your content.
  • Internal links take people to your other articles or to your products and services.
  • External links to relevant articles not on your website.

On-page versus off-page SEO

On-page SEO and off-page SEO are two essential components of search engine optimization (SEO), each focusing on different aspects of optimizing a website to improve its search engine rankings.

1. On-Page SEO:

   On-page SEO refers to the optimization efforts made directly on the website itself. It involves optimizing individual web pages to make them more search engine-friendly and relevant to users. Key elements of on-page SEO include:

   – Keyword Optimization: Ensuring that relevant keywords are strategically placed in titles, headings, meta tags, and throughout the content.

   – Content Quality: Creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that addresses the target audience’s needs.

   – Meta Tags: Optimizing meta title tags and meta descriptions to describe the page content and attract users accurately.

   – URL Structure: Creating clean and user-friendly URLs that include relevant keywords.

   – Header Tags: Using header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure content and highlight key points.

   – Image Optimization: Adding descriptive alt text to images and ensuring they are appropriately sized and compressed.

   – Page Speed: Improving website loading times for a better user experience and higher search engine rankings.

   – Mobile Optimization: Ensuring that the website is responsive and performs well on various devices, including mobile devices.

2. Off-Page SEO:

   Off-page SEO focuses on activities outside the website but still impacts its search engine rankings. It involves building authority, credibility, and relevance through external factors. Key elements of off-page SEO include:

   – Backlink Building: Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites to demonstrate the website’s authority.

   – Social Media Marketing: Engaging in social media platforms to promote content, build brand awareness, and attract traffic.

   – Influencer Marketing: Partnering with influencers or thought leaders in the industry to gain exposure and credibility.

   – Online Reputation Management: Monitoring and managing online reviews and mentions to build a positive online reputation.

   – Brand Mentions: Getting mentioned by other websites or publications, even without a direct link, can contribute to brand visibility.

   – Social Bookmarking: Sharing content on social bookmarking sites to increase visibility and drive traffic.

Neither one nor the other is any more or less important; they are both crucial parts of the overall search strategy. 

What makes on-page SEO so important?

On-page SEO is super important to your overall methodology for optimizing your content. Google’s E-E-A-T really is the personification of on-page SEO. 

E-E-A-T is an acronym for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and these are the guidelines that should be the foundation of your content. You can’t fool Google anymore; in the age of AI, it is easier than ever to spot a phony. 

Proven strategies to improve your on-page SEO

Alright, let’s take a look at some of the more proven strategies to improve your on-page SEO rankings. 

Your content needs to be unique & helpful

E-E-A-T really says it all, but if you didn’t get the message, I’ll say it again: to stand out, your material has to be original. Everyone knows ChatGPT, Bard, or Grok because it sounds like a bot wrote it. 

Spend time mulling over your writing, honing your skills in the craft. Focus less on metrics and more on providing an answer that someone is asking. 

Strategically use & place your targeted keywords

Keywords are crazy important. You need to use them but also learn the art of subtlety. Look, everyone knows that there are keywords sprinkled in your text, but keep it at a sprinkle, not a heaping cup. Working targeted keywords into your text without it being cumbersome and awkward is a skill that takes time to master.   

Make sure your title tags are use keywords

A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. It is a crucial on-page SEO factor that plays a significant role in search engine optimization and user experience. The title tag is displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and is also typically seen at the top of a web browser when a user visits that particular page.

Key points about title tags:

1. Relevance: The title tag should accurately reflect the web page’s content. It is one of the first things search engines consider when determining the relevance of a page to a user’s search query.

2. Keywords: Including relevant keywords in the title tag can improve the page’s visibility in search engine results. However, it’s important to maintain a natural and readable title for users.

3. Length: While there is no strict character limit for title tags, keeping them between 50-60 characters is generally recommended to ensure they display well in search results. This helps prevent truncation of the title.

4. Uniqueness: Each page on a website should have a unique title tag. This not only helps search engines understand the distinct content of each page but also provides users with clear information about what they can expect when clicking on the link.

5. User-Friendly: The title tag is important not only for search engines but also for users. It should be enticing and informative and should encourage users to click through to the page.

Hone your meta descriptions–these are super important

A meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a concise summary or description of the content of a web page. Like the title tag, the meta description is important for both search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience. 

While it doesn’t directly influence search engine rankings, a well-crafted meta description can significantly impact click-through rates from search engine results pages (SERPs).

Headings & subheadings make up the structure of your page–don’t skimp

Your content must have structure. If it is an amorphous wall of text, your dwell time will suck.

Your content needs to be broken down into sections and subsections using different headings. 

Headings in content refer to the hierarchical structure of text on a web page or document. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), the language used to create web pages, includes heading tags that help organize and structure content. 

Headings are important for both the visual presentation of information and for search engine optimization (SEO), providing a way to break down and organize content into sections, making it more readable and scannable for users. 

Always approach headings in this order: 

  1. You ONLY use one H1 heading, and it’s for the title.
  2. H2s are your main headings. Think of them as leading paragraphs or sections. 
  3. H3s are the primary sub-sections. Use these to break down multiple points for an H2

It goes on in the same way from here, although I doubt you will ever find much reason to go beyond H4. 

Internal & external linking opportunities are muy importante

Read through this article. Do you see a ton of hyperlinks? Those are my external links. I use respectable links from outside of my domain to support a point or provide additional information. 

You’ll notice that I don’t have any internal links right now on here, and that is correct. See, I am just now launching this blog, so I don’t have any other articles to link to. Once I have a few, I’ll come back into this article and add some internal links to the mix. 

Parting thoughts

On-page SEO is named so because it is all about the items that are right there in front of you. It is the things that are quite literally on the pages that you are working on, so the name fits. 

If I can convey anything to anyone here, it is to take your time learning to write content and focus a ton on it. Make it helpful, make it useful, and make it unique. Oh, and try to make it fun. That might not help the algo directly, but it sure will make your readers loyal. 

 


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