Checklist: 7 Key On-Page SEO Elements for Better Content Optimization
In the field of SEO, trends and search engine algorithms shift and change more frequently than you might imagine. In fact, Google keeps changing its search algorithm an average of 500 to 600 times a year! However, if there’s one thing that remains constant throughout, it’s the age-old adage, “content is king.”
Content is basically the building block of the digital world—for blog content alone, 2 million articles are posted every day, and as of 2018, there are over 1.8 billion websites in existence. These numbers put things in perspective; that with so much content available on the Internet, it’s crucial for marketers to boost their efforts in having their piece heard and noticed.
While high-quality, valuable, and compelling content is key to the success of any digital marketing and SEO effort, after creating these types of content, you’re not quite done yet. There is no sense in taking the time to write and create content only to sadly have it fall on deaf ears. Great content needs to be seen and heard, and this can be easily achieved through a solid content optimization strategy.
Content optimization is more than just using the right keywords. Working behind the scenes are on-page SEO elements that help boost the visibility of your content in relevant search engine queries. To help you get started, here are some key on-page SEO elements to help better your content optimization:
1. Title tag
Your title tag is one of the first crucial on-page SEO elements. Make sure to have your target keyword(s) in the title of your page. Generally speaking, the closer the target keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has to search engines.
Also, be mindful of the length of the title. A title length of between 50 to 60 characters is recommended. Anything longer than that and you run the risk of having your title getting truncated in search results.
2. Page URL
The URL of your new page or blog post is another essential on-page SEO element that gets noticed first. When you’re deciding which URL to use, be sure to consider your target keywords. Always include your target keywords in your URL and separate them with hyphens.
It’s also recommended to make your URLs short and concise. Avoid lengthy and vague URLs riddled with numbers. Keep your URLs neat, keyword-focused, and descriptive. It should be able to give users an idea of what your page is all about.
3. Meta descriptions
While meta descriptions do not directly impact rankings, it’s still considered one of the key on-page SEO elements. Writing a clear and compelling meta description that succinctly reflects what your content is about can help improve click-throughs, which then translates to more traffic.
As with your title tag and URL, your meta description should also contain your target keywords. Length is important here as well. While Google can still show longer meta descriptions of up to 320 characters, it’s still best to keep the length within 70 to 160 characters.
4. H1 tags
The H1 tag, or heading 1 tag, is an HTML tag that indicates the primary heading of a page. H1s are a major ranking factor in SEO and are usually the most visually notable content. Your blog article title is usually your H1 tag. What’s important is that it should be able to describe what the content is all about. Keep the length between 20 to 70 characters—more than that, and it will dilute the SEO influence it has.
Be sure to check if there is only one H1 tag per page by looking into your site’s source code. While the presence of more than one H1 tag won’t necessarily confuse search engines, it could still significantly hurt your SEO rankings.
Keywords have been repeatedly mentioned in this article, and no doubt that it is possibly the most important SEO factor. However, the key to harnessing the power of keywords is being able to use it correctly.
Make sure you use your target keyword in the first paragraph, and throughout the rest of your post—that is, the body, the subheadings, and image captions. Use relevant keywords, or variations of them, as naturally as possible; keyword stuffing could badly hurt your rankings, as well as your reputation.
Blog posts with relevant images perform significantly better in search engines than those without. When including images in your content, there are actually quite a few things to consider.
First, it’s important to use your target keyword in the filename of your image, the image title, and the ALT tag. This way, your images are visible in relevant image searches, which could then drive traffic to your website. Second, the file size of your image should be optimized for web viewing; too large a size could hamper your page load speed, which is also a key SEO factor. Additionally, use media queries to ensure that your images are responsive when viewed on mobile devices.
7. Internal and external links
Internal and external links within your content are key parts in an SEO strategy, as they serve as a signal to Google that your website is a good resource for information worthy of citation.
Adding at least two to three internal links into your content not only helps users find other relevant content sources within your website; it also keeps search engine bots on your site longer, which leads to more pages being indexed. Linking to two to three authoritative and reputable sites also helps in boosting trust signals, which is valuable to obtain in SEO.
On-page SEO is but one of the many aspects of search engine optimization. The overall structure of your website—including the design, mobile-friendliness, fonts and images, and more—as well as off-page SEO elements, such as backlinks and social media bookmarking, all come into play as a whole when considering an effective SEO strategy.
If you want to know more about content optimization and SEO, or if you need help with your search engine marketing efforts, just give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to [email protected].Tags: content optimization, keyword search, on-page seo, SEO