Onpage SEO Recommendations
Here’s a brief guide to getting on-page SEO right, before you begin off page SEO. looking at the basics as well as the other essentials you need to ensure are in place if you want to outrank your competitors. SEO is constantly evolving, however this should get your site moving upward over the next few months unless anything unexpected comes along.
The title tag has consistently been one of the most critical ranking factors, and remains so for 2014. Your title tag is likely going to the be clickable text that appears in search results, making its optimization important for reasons far beyond SEO; it’s one thing to rank highly in search results, but if your title tag isn’t enticing, it won’t get clicked.
When choosing your title tag, try to include your keyword naturally and strategically. It’s usually a best practice to use your company name as part of your homepage’s title tag. For internal pages, include it at the end of your title tag rather than at the beginning; this helps with branding.
Your title tag should ideally be less than 65 characters, and again, if you’re targeting local keywords, be sure to use these here as well.
Heading tags are still one of the key factors Google uses to decipher what your page content is about. Fortunately, if you already have a good handle on how to use proper headings to improve reader experience, the same principles hold true in terms of what the search engines like to see.
Each page should have one – and only one – H1 tag. Your H1 tag indicates the main topic of your page, and should be the first element on your page. In fact, your H1 tag will often automatically become your title tag, depending on what CMS software you’re using, and what custom SEO plugins you have installed. This is generally considered to be a best practice.
Breaking up long chunks of content with relevant headers will ensure your readers can quickly scan your content, and will help Google understand the progression of your content as well.
Use your keywords in your header tags (H2, H3, etc.), as well as in your H1 tag, when it’s logical and natural to do so. Don’t force it! The key is keeping it natural and helpful.
Keywords in Content
This is another factor I don’t see changing at any point in the future. Proper incorporation of keywords will be a natural result of good copywriting, but it never hurts to spell out the best practices in terms of frequency of use.
Keywords should be used throughout your content. Variations of your keywords (known as LSI keywords) are also important.
Alt Image Tags
Your image tags are still important for SEO; not only do they reinforce the relevance of the text content on the page, they also have a chance to rank in Google Image Search. But whereas, long ago, alt image tags were commonly thought of as primarily an SEO tool, marketers need to be keenly aware of using them primarily as a tool for labeling images for the visually impaired.
Where appropriate, your images should contain your keyword. If you’re finding that your images consistently aren’t relevant to your keyword, then maybe it’s time to rethink which images you’re choosing, rather than trying to ‘make’ them relevant.
Make sure your alt image tags are highly descriptive and give readers a clear understanding of the subject of the image.
Just a few years ago, blogs weren’t thought of as a way for companies to publish content, build their brand, grow their audience, and build authority in their field. Now, they’re an absolute necessity.
In my own testing, I’ve already seen a 51.38% average increase in Google organic search traffic since publishing daily blog content with custom images, offering valuable insights