On-Page SEO: The Best Practices
Talking about On-Page SEO first, it revolves around optimizing the content in accordance with a user query. It involves different approaches and methods, but we will get started with the basic ones to help you understand the whole concept easily. Note: Many people think that On-Page SEO is only about keywords placement. In fact, it is more than just placing keywords here and there. So, have a look at some of the best practices for On-Page SEO as follows:
Match User Intent
I have frequently used the word “User Intent” throughout this guide because Google in 2022 has become extremely intelligent.
It can judge the user intent just from a search query and start ranking the websites accordingly.
Keeping this factor in mind, you need to align the content in accordance with the user’s intent.
For instance, if a user searches, “How to gain weight” on Google, you will see all kinds of blog posts with informational guides ranked on the 1st page. Take a look:
If you compare the intent of both these search queries, the first one is intended towards gaining more information about weight gaining tips.
On the other hand, the second search query is having a buying intent and Google has thus ranked the relevant websites accordingly.
So, matching user intent while content creation is one of the best on-page SEO practices in 2022 to get a boost in ranking.
Inter-Linking Related Pages & Posts
Understanding the art of proper internal linking will help your website gain more visibility and ranking.
It’s one of the On-Page practices that many newbies and even the so-called experts ignore.
But, believe me, any authority website you open will have a diverse internal linking structure, and that is what makes them stand out among other brands.
You can take a look at Neil Patel’s website and read a blog post on it to see how efficiently he uses internal links to keep his readers engaged enough. I have also increased the traffic of my major site after interlinking relevant pages.
Here are some other benefits of internal linking on your website.
Improved Crawlability of Your Website:
With proper internal links, crawlers and bots from different search engines could explore your website more deeply. Hence, it will increase the crawling ability of your website.
Improved User Experience and Engagement:
The more a user feels like staying on your website, the more Google or any other search engine ranks it. Using internal links can help you with improving the UX and engagement of your website.
With proper inbound and outbound links come improved rankings. You can analyze any authority website such as SEMrush or even Ahrefs and see how these websites use their internal links to get top rankings on Google.
Now, some of the tips to get an instant boost in rankings with the help of internal linking go as under:
Practical Tips for a Perfect Internal Linking Strategy
Use Clear Navigational Elements
Utilizing a clear navigational pathway for your website will help a user get to a specific destination easily.
Think of it like this, when you visit your friend or family member for the first time, it will become a little difficult for you to find their home.
However, if that specific area has clear and visible signboards and directional markers, you will not find it too difficult to locate your friend’s house.
The same is the case here!
When a user visits your website for the first time, it should be properly optimized with different navigational elements.
You can create an attractive menu layout, use categories, and add different tags, and add a search box to help a user navigate your website easily.
I love the navigational menu of amazon.com as it is properly optimized to an extent that I can easily find anything I want here. For instance:
You can also utilize breadcrumbs and optimize them properly if your website has many posts, pages, and categories.
Link from the Body Page of the Text
Making in-text links from the body page of content requires a little bit of struggle.
But, you can excel in this technique before writing your next piece of content.
What I do on many of my websites is that I take a look at my previous posts and I note them down on an online notepad.
So, whenever I write my next post, I can utilize the previous topics in the body of the content that makes proper sense.
You can also use taglines, headlines, and catchy hyperlink text to make sure that the user clicks a link easily.
But, keep in mind that relevancy is a must when you try to create links from body paragraphs.
Here is an excerpt from the Simply Recipes website where internal linking is done from the body page:
Everything seems perfect when you analyze how relevant the internal links are from the example I have given above.
Optimize URL Slug Properly
Another aspect of On-Page SEO that you need to take care of is optimizing the URL slug of your website properly.
To understand the URL of a website properly, consider this example:
Now, when optimizing the slug of a URL, you need to make sure it is relevant to the topic. For instance, the topic, “Weight Gaining Tips” should have a slug looking like that, “weight-gaining-tips” and not like “weight-losing-tips”.
Similarly, if the topic you are covering comes in a specific sub-folder or category, then include that in your URL structure as well.
You can take a look at the above-mentioned example of cosier.co where you will see the “reviews” text first along with the slug, “best-coffee-machine”.
Keep these things in mind while optimizing the URL slug to increase your chances of getting ranked on Google.
Write Compelling Title Tags
The title or title tag is what appears to a user in Blue color when he searches for a specific query.
Writing compelling title tags will attract a user to open your website and it could thus increase your chances of getting ranked.
While writing title tags, make sure that you add your main keyword. Moreover, you can add numbering followed by the current year to show that the content you have posted is fresh enough.
If your target keyword is weight gaining tips, then no one will click a title like that:
Weight Gaining Tips | Your Website Name
However, users will get more interested in clicking the title, if it seems more like that;
12 Proven Weight Gaining Tips from Professional Trainers 2022
See, what I did there?
That is how a compelling title looks like. Practice on it and you will become quite good at optimizing the title tags of your blog posts.
The last practice you can do in On-Page SEO is to optimize the images you use in different articles on your website.
Not only will it make your website responsive enough, but you will also grab extra traffic from Google Images.
Here are some of the tips to optimize your images properly:
You can use free tools like TinyPNG to compress the image size. This will allow a specific image to load easily.
You can also utilize plugins like EWWW or Shortpixel to compress the images of your website automatically.
Name the Image Properly:
Before you upload an image on your website, name it according to whatever it presents first.
An image file name with cat.png seems better than IMG123213.png. Got my point?
Optimize Alt Text of the Image
Keep in mind that a search engine crawler or bot cannot understand an image. To help it understand your image, you will have to optimize its alt text.
I usually keep the image file name and alt text the same. However, you can become more elaborative while describing an image.
If I have to optimize the alt text of this image, it will be something like, “A cute bunny holding a heart”
Use Next-Gen Image Formats
With the compatibility of WebP, you can now serve the images in next-gen formats to load them faster.
Different plugins and tools are used for that purpose. I remember using WebP Express plugin to convert the format of all images on my website. So, you can consider it too.
With that, the On-Page SEO optimization has now come to an end!
Let us now move to the next type, i.e., Off-Page SEO and its best practices:
Best Off-Page SEO Practices
Anything you do outside the website to impact the search engine rankings comes in off-page SEO.
“Time taking, Exhaustive, and Money Eater” are the three words I would use to describe this type of SEO.
Whether you follow a link-building strategy, make guest posts, or outreach via email, it will cost you extra bucks.
The brighter side?
Your website will gain more authority due to high quality and highly relevant links.
High authority means dominance over your competitors. This way, you can keep your rankings consistent, especially on Google for a long time.
Some of the off-page (link building) you must know, include:
Do the Guest Blogging (Posting) Carefully
In this approach, you will have to write a blog post for another website with proper optimization.
With that, you can take a link from that article back to your real website to pass link juice and authority.
Finding guest posts relevant to your website is not as easy as you might think.
However, you can use tools like Ahrefs, and SEMrush to find hundreds of websites offering guest posts.
You can reach out to them via email and ask them about their requirements. Most low authority websites will accept a free guest post. However, some website owners could also charge you for a single guest post and the cost could go as high as $500 for a single post.
Use Skyscraper Link Building Technique
A new technique in the town but totally worth it especially if you want to increase the authority of your website.
In the skyscraper approach, we have to think out of the box while creating content better than the one that people are already linking to.
The whole process goes as under:
You find a piece of content relevant to your website and it has many outbound links.
You start working on creating content better than this.
Finally, you ask people (with links on original content) to link their websites to your content instead.
The result: Your piece of content will attract more and more website owners that could eventually increase the overall traffic.
The Content Explorer tab in Ahrefs tool is the best way to find such websites.
Go to this tab and search for a topic relevant to your niche. Set the referring domains filter to “>than 100” and click on Search.
Find content that you can make better. Publish it and open the tool again.
Enter the original content’s URL in site explorer and find its backlinks profile. Pitch the website owners from here and ask them to link their websites to your content.
Analyze Competitors’ Backlinks Report
Another way to practice off-page SEO is to analyze the backlinks report of your competitors.
Free tools will not offer you this feature. However, you can spend some money on the likes of SEMrush, Ahrefs, or even MOZ Pro for that purpose.
Simply gather your main competitor’s homepage URL and paste it into the site explorer section of Ahrefs.
Go to the Backlinks report and see how your competitor is gaining links from different resources.
Pitch those websites either for guest posts or contextual backlinks to increase the authority of your website.
Article reference H-supertools
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