Free On-Page SEO Optimisation guide:

2018

The first and leading rule in search engine optimisation is to strive for great content. In order to rank well in search engines – you have to provide clear signs that your pages are better than those of your competitors. There are a lot of procedures, tactics and best practices of how to achieve this, but the most important thing you can do is – optimise your content, always make sure that everything you own and control is simply outstanding. Also, remember that search engines will rank the most important of the most appropriate pages. This indicates that, for a search query, they will first pull up a set of relevant pages and then display them in result pages according to their influence and repute.

On page optimisation workflow

On-page SEO is all about Conceiving or Improving relevancy signals for a webpage with regard to the search query. Having some knowledge in optimising and promoting websites,  I was able to deduce few rules that are fundamental and that helped me to prioritise my work method and improve my results. I hope these rules will help you.

 keywords research

Keyword Research

Before you begin writing any bit of content (including title, meta description, image name etc.), you should know which predicament you’re trying to solve, that is – what are people really looking for and which words have most search volume. You should also take the opposition into account and choose the ideal balance between the most searched keywords and those with fewer rivals.

You can do this investigation using plenty of tools, but the most popular ones are offered by Google (Search, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, AdWords, Trends etc.).

When analysing the opposition – start by googling for the super-keyword and pay regard to their title, meta description, URLs and headlines and then make sure to create your own sounder versions. It is of the highest interest to have great URLs, titles, and descriptions, as these are the qualities that make a search engine result snippet.

A webpage should be tailored around just one family of keywords.

1 Super-Keyword

This should be optimized around one keyword, let’s name it the super-keyword. All the connected keywords, including variations, synonyms etc, which will then be connected to one other

Good Amount of Text

If this is the page you want to rank for with all the search queries in the related family, so you need to have a generous amount of text that covers the topic thoroughly

1 Keyword Family

The relevancy signs should only incorporate keywords in the targeted family, to evade competition between various pages, which is also recognised as ‘keyword cannibalisation’

Use keyword variations, instead of just the ‘super-keyword’ in noticeable locations

The use of keywords variation is less hazardous, because of “over-optimisation” penalties. This will help you to cover as much of the semantic field as feasible, ie more long-tail keywords. Also, it is good to know that long terms are more helpful than short terms, and it would be easier to rank for the super-keyword if we used it everywhere.

With this in mind, it is also important to prioritise keywords that are based on their estimated search volume.

URL

The URL address should represent as closely as possible what your page is about. Users should be able to understand whether the page will meet their needs without loading it in their browsers. The URL address suffix, the last part, not including the domain name or parent folders should be the shortest review of the page. The URL address prefix, domain name, and parent folders should provide context.

Try to meet the following requirements:

  • Try to keep URL length under 100 characters
  • Regularly include the super-keyword
  • Remeber separate words with dashes rather than with underscores
  • Be as descriptive and memorable as you can for the user
  • Always avoid keyword stuffing

  • Skirt words without search potential (info, tag, article etc.)
  • Keep clear of special characters (except for languages such as Greek, Arabic etc.)
  • Try to make your URL shareable, the same content should load no matter who, where or when it loads

As a outcome, we can deduce the following rule:

The URL is the shortest summery of your page

URL, the Uniform Resource Locator is your address to a resource on the Internet. This element is essential for On page optimisation settings.

Keyword Target

Your URL should include the target keyword, this will be relevant and representative of all page content. It is also recommended for a better crawl and high-grade user experience. Remeber always follow this rule!

Accessibility

Do you like how your URL looks like? It should be clear, readable and easily accessible for your users because the easier a URL is to read for humans, then the better it is for search engines.

The Correct Length?

Of course, there are no firm rules, but you should take into consideration the following factor. A short URL is better than a long one, why because it looks more realistic, natural and is much easier to remember.

Page Title

Your page title tag appears at the top of your browser and as the headline in search engine result snippets. Social networks also use this as part of the post when someone shares your URL. For those reasons, it has both a huge SEO benefit, and it’s one of the most important ranking factors and a ‘clickability’ value. It also serves as an encouragement for people to click. You should always try to find the perfect balance between great SEO and excellent user-friendliness.

Some tips:

  • Your keywords should be closer to the beginning
  • The length between 50 and 60 characters
  • They should be unique
  • Should be compelling
  • Use your brand name at the end, and only if it will increase the click-through

  • Skirt words without search potential (info, tag, article etc.)
  • Keep clear of special characters (except for languages such as Greek, Arabic etc.)
  • Try to make your URL shareable, the same content should load no matter who, where or when it loads

Studying the above tips, remember the next rule:

The title tag is the second shortest summary of your page

Your title tags are the document definitions, that you can see in numerous places around the web, including the tab in your web browser. This element is used to tell search engines and visitors alike what your page on your site is about.

It should always be concise, displaying the content of the page, also being attractive and memorable for your users.

Spiders pay an exceptional deal of attention to the words used in your headings. That is why they should always perfectly describe the content beneath.

The H1 tag, which is the biggest headline. Should appear at the top-center of the page and also should be the first thing people see when they land on your page. It should be tailored as a “synonym”, instead of the same text of the title tag. Therefore always include the ‘super-keyword’, or some alike variation. There is no restriction to the length, but it should not be too long and should normally fit inside one or two lines max.

Some tips: Headlines should obviously communicate the subject of the page that they are introducing.

Remember that your page headlines are another representation of your content.

The headlin <H1> is the 3rd shortest summary of your page

The heading should be helpful and informative, explicit and relevant. Try to think past the conventional and make it unique and novel.

meta description

Meta Description </>

The meta information is a summary of your page and appears as part of a search result snippet, right below the page title. It helps people decide whether to click on your site or go to the other sites above or below. The key is to test until you get satisfying click-through rate.

Try to meet following requirements

  • The length of 150-160 characters, but preferably no more than 156
  • Always include your super keyword just once closer to the beginning and then some variations, and or synonym after that, in a conversational style format, make it user-friendly and easily understandable

  • Try to provide valuable, compelling information to make people visit this page
  • It should be unique within the domain, but also the whole world wide web
  • Also, avoid keyword stuffing, always!

Additionally, note that sometimes it’s a sound idea not to write a meta description, but this is subject to experimentation. When search engines don’t find a description,  they will generate one for themselves and use that inside. This can sometimes be better because the auto-generated description uses content pieces that contain the search query, therefore it is relevant and compelling to the user. It’s also important to recognise that search engines don’t use meta description as an SEO ranking factor. It just merely serves as an encouragement for users to click on this search results, and not on others so there’s absolutely no need to stuff it with your keywords.

The meta description, in essence, reflects the following rule:

The meta description is the 4th shortest summary of your page

Your meta description it is the HTML attribute that provides a brief summary or an analysis of your page content. It is used on search engine result pages, SERPs, to display preview snippets for a given page. Even if it wasn’t a significant role for SEO, it is an important factor of user-friendliness. It should be compelling, super-informative and attractive for your visitors.

Content

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First, we can say that content runs your site. Or that content is King. That is what ultimately pushes people to your website, keeps them happy, makes them share it and so spread the word.

The user has searched for something, then they reviewed a list of different search results, examined URLs, titles and meta descriptions etc. They then decided to visit your page. Here is when things really become interesting.

Here is one important rule to keep in mind, it is that a user will spend two or three seconds only to decide if what they searched for is actually here on your page. This is a critical time frame and everything in front of the user should be designed to promote that decision.

As we said before the headline is the first thing that they will see. Then the first paragraph is second and only then will they choose whether or not this page is a good fit for their demands. If they bounce back to the search engine result page, called “pogo-sticking”,  then your rankings will be hurt. But if they stay, then the content still has to show itself worthy.

on-page seo guide content is king

There are no hard and fast rules of how to write great content, but it really needs to be great. Something to remember though is the look and feel,  it should be designed in such a way that the user shouldn’t need to read every single piece of text in order to get the basic ideas. Instead, they should just be able to scan the page and quickly extract the most important takeaways. You can accomplish this by playing with your headlines, bolded texts, internal table of contents, ordered or unordered lists of elements, etc. Just as long as you just need to read these and so get the idea.

Here are some helpfull tips and tricks:

  • Always write content for people, not for the search engines
  • Write at least several hundred words, 900+ is great
  • Make your first paragraph a summary of the page
  • Don’t forget to place your targeted keywords at the beginning of the text
  • Begin your content with text only, then feel free to add other formats
  • Please avoid Flash banners
  • And avoid ads too!
  • Include at least one image this will make the content friendlier
  • Add at least 1 link to another of your excellent pages, especially if the visitor would get more details
  • Regularly provide unique value, relevant information, develop on the title, be interesting and instructive for the potential visitor
  • Place the most significant takeaways at the beginning and then embellish on that
  • People normally scan the page, so write short paragraphs which reveal one idea only

  • Always use your super-keyword just 2 or 3 times throughout the page
  • You can use variations and synonyms of the super-keyword a few times also
  • Just don’t care about keyword density,  just keep working on creating excellent copy
  • Really don’t stuff your keywords, but do mind that keywords will get indexed and will bring traffic
  • Include at least one list of ordered or unordered elements, instead of paragraphs or enumerations. No more than 7-10 points and make list items short. This helps people to remember them
  • Combine action paragraph and include sub-headlines with your important keywords
  • insert a table of contents at the beginning, with links to the sub-headlines
  • Text in bolditalic or underline will emphasize keywords and your important ideas
  • Keep checking your content for typos and spelling errors, before placing your content on the page

A webpage content should always be unique and valuble

Clearly, it should be able to stand on its own, be valuable and different from other web pages, and easily solve “the problem” that is it provides information, answers, take action etc.

Primarily, in order to perfect on-page SEO heaven, you have to design the content in such a way that it will be obvious to anyone, both humans and bots, what your page is about. The way you can do this is to include targeted keywords in noticeable locations, i.e. those areas that users are most likely to pay heed to.

The 1st paragraph is the 5th shortest summary of your page

Always remember that the 1st paragraph is a key-element that can attract your user attention. Design it thoughtfully and think about your likely visitors and what they expect from you? Answer how can you convince them to read the subsequent text and stay on your website?

1 Super-Keyword

Your keyword should be optimised around, let’s call it the super-keyword), and all the other connected keywords, including variations, synonyms etc, which will be connected to each other

Text Amount

Is this is the page you wish to rank for with all the search queries in the same family, therefore you need to have a generous amount of text that covers the topic thoroughly

1 Keyword Family

Relevant signals should only include keywords in the targeted family, this avoids competition between different pages, which is also known as “keyword cannibalisation”

Use keyword variations instead of ‘super-keywords’ in notable locations

The usage of your keywords variation is less risky, why because of “over-optimisation” punishments. It will also help you to include as much of the semantic field as possible, ie more long-tail keywords. It is good to know that long terms are better than short terms It would be simpler to rank for the super-keyword if we used it everywhere

With that in mind, it is also important to prioritise your keywords and base them on their estimated search volume.

Images

All your pages should have images as they are very important in search engine ranking. Images have an opportunity to show up in an image search, but they also contribute to regular SEO as well. It is considered a good user experience to have cheerful, good-looking pages and professional graphics can quickly add the missing ingredient. Advanced search engines can also understand texts within images, but it’s not advised to hide perfectly crawlable keywords inside them. When optimising, use the most important keywords for your first image, the next ones use your synonyms, and variations for the second image, with long tail keywords for the third and so on and so on.

To optimisation  images you should meet following requirements:

  • The filenames should closely match the URL suffix
  • Use separate keywords inside filename with dashes
  • Only use lowercase characters in an image filename
  • Don’t use special characters in your filenames
  • Do make sure to use high-quality images
  • Always use the right resolution
  • create an image file size as small as possible, use gif, png, jpg as appropriate

  • Do provide an ALT attribute, alternative text displayed by the browser is when the image cannot be loaded; this should closely match the meta description
  • When providing a TITLE attribute – use the name of the image, as it appears as a tooltip when holding the mouse over the image; it should closely match the page’s tag

Links

Your links are very valuable for SEO. It’s regarded good user experience to link to other excellent resources that cover the topic further. They are also usually, and should always be highlighted within the text so they ease the means of scanning through the page.

When optimising links, acknowledge the following best practices:

  • Keep the number of you links low, less than 10 per page
  • Only Link to excellent resources
  • Use bolditalic or underscore if you want it to carry more weight
  • By providing a TITLE attribute, it appears as a tooltip when holding the mouse over the link and should accurately, but concise, describe the page the user is going to land on after clicking on your link
  • Use your keywords with search potential as anchor text, not just the URL or “click here!”

  • Always use an absolute path for the referenced URL
  • Never use redirects for the referenced URL
  • Don’t use Javascript or other technologies to produce the link
  • Always avoid keyword stuffing in the anchor text or title
  • link your pages if you want to rank higher

If you require a full SEO of your site, contact me for a really great quote @ Graphic & Web Design Ireland