On-Page SEO Basics

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems to be on every blogger’s mind these days. After all, who doesn’t want free traffic from Google? If you want your blogging business to succeed, building a strong SEO strategy for your website is a must.

There are different types of Search Engine Optimization and strategies but the easiest one to control is On-page SEO.

We’ll cover what on-page SEO for bloggers is in this article. Let’s go!

What is On-Page SEO?

As its name suggests, this type of SEO is a set of practices that enhance SEO through on-page tactics. It takes into account title tags, internal blog links, keywords, and much more.

Long story short, you focus only on the page elements you can manipulate and adjust. It doesn’t include backlinks or social media mentions, for example. Those are off-page SEO elements.

Important On-Page SEO Factors

There are numerous factors that determine your ranking in search engines. But let’s focus on the ones you can easily manipulate inside the page.

Target a Keyword

The first piece of SEO-related advice anyone will give you is to use keywords. We’ll cover in another section that you should not overuse them. But you first need to determine the target keyword.

Some online tools like Yoast or SEMrush help you determine keywords related to your content. But I get my best ideas from Google itself! If you don’t have the largest audience, you might consider using keywords that don’t have a high-volume search. Why? Because you probably can’t compete with big media companies like Hearst or Forbes as a new blogger.

Permalink / URL Slug

The permalink is the URL the reader sees when navigating your website, for example, https://mywebsite.com/article-topic-here

Always use your target keyword as the permalink or URL slug of your blog post.

Search engines use it to determine where your post fits within the results.

Make it simple and eliminate any unnecessary words that might appear in your title.

For a post titled “10 Reasons Why You Should Definitely Hire a Copywriter,” instead of using “10-reasons-you-should-definitely-hire-a-copywriter” as your URL slug, opt for a neater slug such as “why-you-need-a-copywriter” to keep it to the point.

H1 Title Tags

The H1 Title tag is your blog post title. It’s what potential readers see first on your website and use to determine whether they’re interested in the content.

This is mostly determined by your theme, but it’s good to double-check that your title is formatted as a Header 1. Only one H1 tag should appear on each page of your website.

It’s a tag part of the <body> of the page (HTML). It’s not the same as a title. A title will show in search results and browser windows, and it may not match the H1 tag.

They draw (or not) the readers’ attention, so make sure they’re catchy and relevant!

Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a snippet of up to 150-160 characters that summarizes your page’s content. It’s the text under the page title that you see when you make a query on Google or another search engine.

Not only does it help the reader decide whether to click on the link or not, but it also determines whether it boosts your SEO ranking or not. It should include the keyword, active voice, and a call-to-action.

Subheadings (H2, H3, etc.)

Subheadings are crucial in your on-page SEO strategy because they help organize the content. It eases the reading process for readers, and everything looks neater.

But there’s one more reason for it. Using keywords on the subheadings boosts your SEO, and you’ll rank higher in the search engines. So make sure to organize your content into short, manageable subsections!

Keep Paragraphs Short

As our attention spans shorten and there are more stimuli around us, short paragraphs are a game-changer.

If you visit a blog and see thousands of words without space or images, you’ll get overwhelmed. Readers seek entertainment and useful information, but they want it in an accessible and fun way.

Use the Keyword in the First 100 Words

This piece of advice is SEO 101. Over time, you will learn to strategically place your keywords, like in headers or at the beginning of the content, but make sure to include the target keyword in the first 100 words.

Sometimes it’s challenging to include it naturally in the first paragraph. If that were to happen, use the keyword in the second paragraph. But don’t delay it too much, or your SEO will be affected!

Aim for a 1-2% Keyword Density

Some writers believe that stuffing the content with keywords is the path to success, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Although it may make sense to use the keyword multiple times, aim for a 1-2% keyword density at most. If you overdo it, search engines will mark your site as spam. You won’t rank high or appear in the search results by overstuffing your keyword, I promise!

Pay Attention to Search Intent

Users make queries for different purposes. Maybe they want information, to visit a specific website like Wikipedia, or wish to buy a product.

Depending on your audience’s search intent, you should offer a specific type of page. Say they solely seek information. Then don’t show them a product page – you might scare them away. It goes the same for people who want to buy – don’t force them to read a 1,000-word post!

Do Internal Linking

Internal linking refers to you redirecting readers to your own website. This practice will make readers stick around longer. The more time they spend on your website, the higher you will rank, as search engines will assume your site is relevant.

Say you have a recipes blog. You’re talking about sugar as an ingredient, and you add a link to other recipes with sugar in your blog.

Image SEO

People enjoy websites that have some images instead of all text. But there are some considerations when adding pictures to your page. You should use unique images, resize them, and add captions.

There’s also something called alt-text which helps people discover your photo. Alt-text is crucial for all images on your blog.

Alt-text is a description of the image for those with impaired sight and for search engines to determine what the picture is about. Search engines can’t see pictures, but the text you use to describe them. Make sure it matches and complements the photo!

I hope this guide to on-page SEO for bloggers was useful for you!

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