SEO too expensive? Not to worry, you always do SEO on your own. This is a guide for first time entrepreneur, solo-preneurs, E Commerce shop owners, and people with a general lack of distrust on SEO services (you know who you are!).
Understanding how to do on page SEO is half of all SEO techniques to get right.
In the modern world of SEO, it’s no longer just about keywords, renaming image files and all the technical stuff, it’s actually about writing content that’s sharable, funny, personalized, researched and all around excellent for that matter.
How to Do On Page SEO on Your Own? – a Complete Guide
1) Write 10X Content
You’re probably shit bored of hearing that content is king. However, long form, quality content, researched and sharable content is the way to go in the modern world of SEO.
It’s researched that content with 1900 words and above ranks higher than shorter content.
The best way to approach writing for SEO is to write compelling, relevant and informative content FIRST and then worrying about on page SEO.
Quality content boosts dwell time, repeat visitors, increase Google searches for your brand and etc. These are all indirect, correlated SEO ranking factors.
2) Include Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Words
Wait …what the hell is LSI?
Well, the proper definition is: latent semantic indexing is a mathematical method to determine the relationship between keywords and terms. In SEO world, this is commonly known as LSI in short.
How do you do it? It’s simple Google your targeted keyword and refer to the bottom on your page for your LSI keywords. You then sprinkle these keywords like fairy dust in your post.
On the contrary, if you’re writing long, researched content, you don’t have to worry too much about LSI keywords.
3) Link from Your Older Posts, and Link to Your Newer Posts
Internal links help Google crawl bots crawl deeper into your website, and help human users better navigate your website.
Here’s the thing about linking. 1) Internal links should be varied and not only keywords focused and rich. 2) You should aim to link whenever necessary and deemed helpful.
It’s also good to have an understanding of site structure and internal page rank.
4) Link out to Resources
Linking out signals relevancy of what your post or page is about. It’s an underused white hat SEO strategy. Linking out to resources, goes hand in hand with writing long content, that is researched and of high quality.
5) Fix Your Broken Links
6) Use Short, Sweet and Simple Friendly URLs
Google has stated to avoid long and complicated URLs. Make your URLS shorter and sweet. This can be changed in the permalink settings of your site.
7) Include Your Target Keyword in URL
Short, Sweet URLS:
8) Include Your Target Keyword in Your H1 Title Tag
Title tags can be adjusted through a SEO tools such as the All in One SEO and Yoast SEO plugin.
You should limit your title Tags are to 60 characters Per Title as Google SERPS can’t show more than a limited number of words. It should also be
- Relevant to Query
- Relevant to Content on Your Page
- Relevant to Links That point to Your Page
- Placed Nearer to the front of the Title
- Compelling and Persuasive
Here’s a bonus tip from one of the top SEOs in the world: it can help to put your keyword in the front of your title tag.
So, how can you create compelling, relevant title tags?
Think of yourself searching through Google and you’ll be most likely be more encouraged to click on titles that are more interesting or attractive to your search query right?
Titles such as ‘How To…’ and ‘Why He or She….’ are compelling titles motivate the user to click through on them to view the page’s content.
Using modifiers like “2016”, “Best”, “Guide”, and “Review” can help you rank for long tail keywords of your target keyword.
Including and writing title tags and meta descriptions that includes emotions like fear, love, disgust can also increase your click through rates.
Here are some of my favourites:
Long Tail Keyword + “No Nonsense Guide”
Long Tail Keyword + “a Definitive Guide”
Long Tail Keyword +”The Ultimate Guide”
8) Wrap Your Target Keyword in H2s Sub Headers
Including your target keyword in H2s is a relevancy signal.
For Eg. If I’m targeting How to Do On Page SEO… then I’ll create a H2 title tag with ‘How to Do On Page SEO – an Ultimate guide’
9) Include Keyword in Meta Descriptions and Write Persuasively
You’ll want to include your targeted keyword and write persuasive meta descriptions. You’ll also want to write meta descriptions for important pages such as home pages, the general pages on your website such as about us, services, contact and more.
- Writing Persuasively for Meta Descriptions
I like to use: “Step by step guide on… + Keyword”.
For EG: “Here’s a step by step guide on how to do on Page SEO for your website to increase your site’s organic traffic from search engines such as Google.”
- Bonus Tip from Google:
It’s not necessary to have unique meta descriptions on every page. Matt Cutts mentioned that it’s probably not worth your time to generate unique meta descriptions on every single page and post. Google will auto generate a meta description for your post or page if it’s left blank.
Registering your website in Google search console will notify you if there are duplicate meta descriptions in your website.
I personally think it’s good practice to write a compelling 150 words copy for every single page and post.
10) Keyword Density
How important is keyword density in 2017? Google themselves once refuted the importance of keyword density.
However, it’s recommended by MOZ to include your targeted keyword in your content at least once or twice.
12) Include Keywords in Image File Name
Google doesn’t crawl and understand images, flash and some forms of graphic content.
Renaming your photos before uploading them is a recommended On Page SEO strategy.
If you’re a photographer, naming your galleries, categories of photos are good ideas on introducing text to your design based website. Until Google figures away out to understand images from images themselves, we’re going to have to play by these rules.
13) Include Keywords in Alt Text
Next, when uploading them, there’s an option to fill in the ‘Title’ of the image and the ‘Alternative Text’ of the image.
There’s the title option, the caption option, the alt text and description option. Filling them up will give the search engines more textual content on the image.
If you’re a graphic designer or photographer. Having text surround the image is one of the ways to have Google bots understand the content of the photographer’s website better.
User Experience On Page SEO Signals
14) Include Multimedia In Your Post
Including images, videos and other forms of multimedia can reduce bounce rate and increase time spent on your post or page.
It’s researched that posts with more than one image gets shared more.
15) Have a Mobile Friendly and Responsive Design Website
There is a survey done by Today, a Singaporean newspaper starting that Singapore’s smartphone penetration has the highest percentage globally.
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re losing out on users.
Imagine loading up an ugly website on your mobile screen that load slows and doesn’t function well on your smartphone screen. You’re going to exit the website immediately. Google will recognize the lesser time spent on the website and it’ll result in a high bounce rate.
Google won’t recognize your site as a valuable site because of people coming in and leaving immediately.
I once handled an SEO project where we tweaked our website to a non-mobile friendly website for merely a week and our website traffic went down by 25%.
To check if your website is mobile friendly. Use the Google mobile-friendly test tool. It’s free and it’s made by Google, you won’t go wrong there.
16) Increase Page Speed
Google has stated officially that site speed is one of their ranking factors. Faster site speed too reduces bounce rate and increases time spent on your site.
Site speed can be checked using the Google page speed insights tool. Site speed can be increased by using caches and optimizing your site’s code using plugins such as Autoptimize and WP Cache. Investing in a premium web hosting can help as well.
17) Include Social Sharing Buttons
Social signals are not a direct ranking signal. However, Google has mentioned that social sharing and links are an indirect ranking signal. Studies have shown that having social sharing buttons increases social sharing by 700%.
18) Encourage User Interaction and Blog Comments
Genuine user interaction such as blog comments sends a signal to Google that your page is of quality.
User interaction also boosts time spent on the site. Encourage people to comment and debate on your blog. This can be encouraged by making the barrier for a comment lower.
I personally use the Disqus plugin to make my comments section aesthetically pleasing. So guys, do leave a comment or two. It’s the internet, don’t be shy.
19) Write a Compelling Title Tag
Lastly, it’s to make your titles pop out. This increases click through rates and research shows that click through rates are a ranking factor for SEO.
The more your pages beat the CTR for a given position, the more likely you’ll appear in higher organic positions. The more your pages fall below the expected expected organic CTR, the more likely you’ll appear in lower organic positions on the SERPs.
Tracking and Optimizing Your On Page SEO Efforts
It’s one to apply on page SEO, but it’s another to measure your efforts. How can you track your on page SEO efforts?
Through Google analytics, you can figure out what you’re ranking for, and why. This can be done under the search engine user acquisition option in Google analytics.
Here are some metrics you can use to measure your SEO, content marketing efforts:
- Bounce rate can be used as a rough measurement of the relevancy of the page’s content
- Time spent can be used as a rough measurement the quality of the page’s content
- Click through rates can tell how compelling is your title and meta description is
Whilst the technical aspects of SEO is equally important, Matt Cutts has mentioned that majority of these technical issues are fixed by using WordPress as content management platform. In the modern world of SEO, it’s the 10X content that’ll cut through the noise. The quality pieces with the researched and engaging content.