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On-Page SEO Guide [SEO Tips & Tricks for Bloggers]
When you’re starting off as a blogger its seems like there is a neverending list of things you need to do to make your blog successful. You have to:
- Have a nice design
- Posts regularly
- Build an email list
- Create a lead magnet to help grow your list
- Network with other bloggers
- Find good affiliate offers
Geez! Then, once your blog is gaining some traction some jerk tells you that you need to do on-page SEO so that your site shows up organically.
First of all, WHAT IS SEO? Secondly, WHAT IS ON-PAGE SEO?
I don’t know about you, but my brain exploded and I started rocking back and forth in a dark corner.
So I’ve created On-Page SEO Guide for you all, to keep you out of the crazy-house!
I’m here for you!
It’s not as bad as you’d think, and I’m here to drop some on-page SEO techniques that you can use without being some nerdy or guru-ish SEO wizard.
So, let me introduce my On-Page SEO Guide for Bloggers. You’ll also want to consult my SEO Glossary so that the terms I’ll be using will make sense.
By the way…WHY does the word SEO sound like a new disease? A possible cousin to SARS?
But, I digress!
WHO has the time for this? There are MANY benefits to on page SEO. Mainly, not having to pay for traffic. If you can rank your site organically, the visitors come to your without you needing to sell your car (or first born) to pay for Google Ads.
Learn to rank baby! You’ll be glad that you did!
On-Page SEO Anatomy
I am making a checklist downloadable for you all. However, for those that don’t want to have to click things, or download things, or join my list (how dare you!), I’m gonna break down the salient points for you all.
On-Page SEO Best Practices
Keyword Optimization: Put your keyword in the first 100 words. As you’ll see below in the Meta Description
If you are a blogger Keyword Research is an absolute MUST. You can use Googles Keyword Planner, which can take a little getting used to. Brian Dean has an amazing guide to get the best out of Google’s KW Planner.
There are also quite a few free tools you can use as well if you’re on a budget. However, you will get more bang for your buck with a premium tool. A few recommended free keyword tools are:
LSI’s: LSI stands for Latent Semantic Index. The easiest way to describe this is that they are keywords that are VERY closely related. Some people think they are synonyms, but this isn’t exactly true.
An example of an LSI that’s a synonym could be: Best Baby Gifts = Top Baby Gifts
However, an example of LSI’s that’s NOT necessarily synonyms, but is still closely related could be:
Google Search = “Best Baby Gifts”
Each phrase located in the “Searches Related to Best Baby Gifts” is an LSI. You can also use a tool called LSI Graph.
Page Titles aka Title Tags: First of all, keep it around 65 characters. This is the standard for what will show up in the SERPS. Moz has a cool tool to help you preview what it will look like. Anything more than 50-60 characters will get cut off and the search engines use an ellipsis for the text that doesn’t fit.
Use Modifiers In Your Page Titles: Examples of modifiers include words like:
Adding these words to your page/article titles can go a long way. In addition, some modifiers can also solicit buyer intent from research intent.
Words such as “Reviews” and “Buy” indicate more of an intent to buy, so that can be used to your advantage to increase conversions because readers are already searching with buying in mind.
Put Your Keyword As Closer to the Beginning Of Title As Possible: Another good way to increase your ranking is to make your keyword as close to beginning to the of the article/page title as possible.
- An example could be if your keyword is “Best Baby Gifts”.
- Example of keyword at front: Best Baby Gifts for New Moms (Will Rank Better)
- Example of keyword further into the title: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Baby Gifts.
Meta Description: Firstly, you want to have your keyword in there as this will show up in the SERPS and it will be bolded. This lets Google know that your content is relevant. Try to keep your description under 300 characters as, again, Google will truncate your content.
If you’re using an SEO plugin like SEOPressor or Yoast, it will automatically generate your meta description based on your first 300 words. EDIT THIS, to make sure your keyword is in there. Take out any filler text. Get to the point!!
** Use the Cliff-Hanger Technique: A cool hack to add to your sites curiosity would be to get to around the 250-word mark and end it with something like “I plan to show you the best free….”. Readers will want to click through to see what was “free”.
Basically, use the fact that the search engine will cut off your meta description to generate a bit of curiosity. People will click if you leave them hanging.
Header Tags (H1, H2, H3…H6): Header tags are HTML tags used to designate a hierarchy of topics. They are used to identify heading and subheading in your content.
H1 is seen as the main tag and the most important it is also usually the title of a post. H2 is more relevant than H3 and so on.
URL Optimization: Url length IS a factor. The shorter the better. 3-5 is a good range.
Content-Length: It has been proven that Google ranks longer-form content more favorably. Typically a 1000 word post will outrank a 400-word post every time. The content that makes Googles first page search results typically contain 1,800-2,000 words.
Internal Linking: Internal linking is just as it sounds. Internal implies that you are linking to other pages within the same domain.
This will not only allow your reader to stay on your site longer, it will also help the search engines see that you are connecting relevant posts and pages.
Of course, you are welcomed to manually link internally, or if you want to get all fancy there are a few very cool WordPress plugins that I can recommend.
External links: External links are links that direct one to another domain. Linking to high authority sites is a positive ranking signal to the search engines.
Anchor Text: Anchor text is very simple the text one would click on that is connected to a hyperlink. Keywords are great to be used as anchor text as they help Google see what’s most relevant in your content. Anchor text comes in quite a few varieties that you should take use:
- Naked URL: www.bestbabygifts.com
- Branded: “BestBabyGifts.com”
- Exact Match Keyword: “Best Baby Gifts
- Partial Match Keyword: “Awesome Baby Gifts”
- Generic: “Click Here”
Image Optimization: Image optimization in SEO involves making sure that Google can “read” your images. Of course, Google can’t actually see your images so it relies on the data that you provide to determine what the image is. There are several ways you can optimize your images for SEO:
- Make sure your file name is a keyword. So instead, if your image shows a sunset in Amsterdam, the file name shouldn’t be DSC2576.jpg, but instead, Amsterdam-sunset.jpg
Use responsive images: More and more people are accessing websites on their mobile. So it is important to use images that will change with the size of the screen you are viewing the image on.
Alt text and title text: Alt tags are text that is used to describe what the image is. Think of it as what someone who is visually impaired would hear to describe the picture that they can’t really see.
You can use this opportunity to use one of your relevant keywords. Or LSI keywords.
Media: Several different types of media should be used as well. Media is proven to give readers a more positive experience on your site as they may stay longer while viewing your media.
This will decrease your bounce-rate, which in turn is a positive ranking signal to the search engines. Some forms of media that I recommend are:
- Youtube Videos (obviously)
- Gifs (These can be embedded from sites like Giphy.com
- Embedded audio (like a podcast)
Low Bounce-Rate: Bounce rate is that percentage of time that someone lands on your page and how long they stay. A higher bounce rate is a negative ranking signal because it means to the search engines that something about your content is not attractive enough to keep users on your page. Hence, making the user-experience a negative one.
Schema Markup: Schema allows the search engines to better understand the content on your pages. Schema markup tells the search engine what that content means. I use a plugin called WPSSO to do my schema.
Page Loading Speed: Fast-loading sites have been shown to rank much higher than slow-loading sites. Ideally, your page should load within 4 seconds. Any longer and you run the risk of a visitor leaving your site because it’s too slow.
There are numerous plugins that can help increase your site speed, by caching and compressing a lot of the information. W3 Total Cache or WP Fastest Cache are both good options. WP Smush is also a good plugin that will compress your image sizes.
Mobile Friendliness/Responsiveness: It came out about a year ago that Google is now ranking sites that are mobile-friendly higher.
To Get this post as a PDF please Click Here!!
If you want to learn more about SEO, feel free to also check out my SEO Glossary 2018.
If you’d like to know more about me or contact me please go to my About Me Page