On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (2017 Update)
When it comes to on-page SEO, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about meta tags and keyword density for one lifetime.
If you’re looking for some practical strategies that you can use on your site today, then you’ll love this infographic.
It’s a simple checklist that will bring in more search engine traffic from every piece of content that you publish:
Here’s my take on the on-page SEO insights from the infographic:
1. Use SEO-Friendly URLs
Google has stated that the first 3-5 words in a URL are given more weight.
So make your URLs short and sweet.
And always include your target keyword in your URL.
In other words:
Avoid ugly URLs: backlinko.com/p=123
Or long URLs: backlinko.com/8/6/16/cat=SEO/on-page-seo-is-so-amazing-omg-its-the-best
2. Start Title With Keyword
Your title tag is the most important on-page SEO factor.
In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has with search engines. Here’s an example from my big list of SEO tools.
3. Add Modifiers To Your Title
Using modifiers like “2017”, “best”, “guide”, and “review” can help you rank for long tail versions of your target keyword.
4. Wrap Your Blog Post Title in an H1 Tag
The H1 tag is your “headline tag”. Most CMS’s (like WordPress) automatically add the H1 tag to your blog post title. If that’s the case, you’re all set.
But some themes override this setting. Check your site’s code to make sure your title gets the H1 love it deserves.
5. Dazzle with Multimedia
Text can only take your content so far. Engaging images, videos and diagrams can reduce bounce rate and increase time on site: two critical user interaction ranking factors.
6. Wrap Subheadings in H2 Tags
Include your target keyword in at least once subheading…and wrap it in an H2 tag.
7. Drop Keyword in First 100 Words
Your keyword should appear in the first 100-150 words of your article.
8. Use Responsive Design
Google started penalizing mobile unfriendly sites in 2015. And they’re likely crack down even more in the future. If you want to make your site mobile-friendly, I recommend Responsive Design.
9. Use Outbound Links
This is an easy, white hat SEO strategy to get more traffic.
Outbound links to related pages helps Google figure out your page’s topic. It also shows Google that your page is a hub of quality info.
10. Use Internal Links
Internal linking is SO money. Use 2-3 in every post.
11. Boost Site Speed
Make sure your site doesn’t take more than 4 seconds to load: MunchWeb found that 75% of users wouldn’t re-visit a site that took longer than 4 seconds to load.
You can easily check your site’s loading speed using the excellent GTMetrix.com:
12. Sprinkle LSI Keywords
LSI keywords are synonyms that Google uses to determine a page’s relevancy (and possibly quality). Sprinkle them into every post.
13. Image Optimization
Make sure at least one image file name includes your target keyword (for example, on_page_SEO.png) and that your target keyword is part of your image Alt Text.
14. Use Social Sharing Buttons
Social signals may not play a direct role in ranking your site. But social shares generate more eyeballs on your content.
And the more eyeballs you get, the more likely someone is to link to you. So don’t be shy about placing social sharing buttons prominently on your site.
In fact, a study by BrightEdge found that prominent social sharing buttons can increase social sharing by 700%.
15. Post Long Content
The SEO adage “length is strength” was supported by our industry studywhich found that longer content tends to rank significantly higher on Google’s first page.
16. Boost Dwell Time
If someone hits their back button immediately after landing on a page, it tells Google in black-and-white: this is low quality page.
That’s why Google uses “dwell time” to size up your content’s quality. Increase your average dwell time by writing long, engaging content that keeps people reading.
Here are a few more important on-page SEO factors that I didn’t have room to include in the infographic:
Quality Content: I know that you’re sick and tired of hearing about “quality content”.
Even though search engines have no direct way of determining quality, they have plenty of indirect methods, such as:
- Repeat visitors
- Chrome bookmarks
- Time on site
- Dwell time
- Google searches for your brand
In other words, great content definitely won’t hurt you. So there’s no reason NOT to publish awesome stuff every single time.
Encourage Blog Comments: I’ve long suspected that sites with lots of high-quality blog comments get a slight edge in Google’s search results.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Google said that having a thriving community on your site can help “a lot” with rankings:
That’s why it’s smart to encourage people to comment on your blog posts.
Maximize Organic CTR: There’s no doubt in my mind that Google uses organic click-through-rate as a ranking signal.
And even if they don’t, you STILL want to optimize your Google listing for CTR.
(More clicks=more traffic)
This video will show you exactly how to do it:
Here’s How to Use These Techniques For Your Site
I made a free on-page SEO checklist for you that will help you put these strategies into action for your site.
It outlines — step-by-step — exactly how to use the techniques that I talked about in this post…including 2 strategies that I didn’t include in the infographic.
Here’s where you can download the checklist: