How to Do On-Page SEO in 2018 to Get Top Rankings in Google & Other Search Engines
With this post, I will try to help you understand what is On Page SEO, how to do On-Page SEO and things you need to avoid while working on the On-page optimization activities in 2018.
Table of Contents
- What is On Page SEO?
- What is Keyword Stuffing & How to Avoid it?
- Top On-Page SEO Factors to Get Top Ranking for Your Website in 2018
- 1. Writing SEO Optimized Titles Most Important
- 2. SEO Friendly URLs: Keep them short & Sweet
- 3. Single h1 Tag on the Page: Keep Your Headline Text Here
- 4. Use Targeted Keywords & LSI Keywords in H2 & H3 Tags
- 5. Do Internal Linking to Pass on SEO Juice & for Better Engagement
- 6. Use of Primary Keywords in first and last 100 words
- 7. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
- 8. Move Your Website to HTTPS (Secured Site) Version
- 9. Write Engaging Meta Description to Get More Clicks from Google
- 10. Optimized Image Names & Alternate Tag to Get More Traffic from Image Search
- 11. Linking To Trusted Domains to Improve Your Domain TrustRank
- 12. WWW Version vs Non WWW Version: Pick the Preferred One
- 13. Write High Quality Unique Contents
- 14. Use Your Robots.txt File Smartly
- 15. Adding Contents Frequently is the Key
- 16. Cross Browser Compatibility
- 17. Keyword Density: Don’t Overdo it
- Say No to Thin Or Fluff Contents
- 3 Dumbest On-Page SEO Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
- Top On-Page SEO Techniques To Boost Your Organic Traffic in 2018
- Top ON Site SEO Changes We Need to Double Website Traffic in 2018
What is On Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is all about optimizing website pages to help them get rank in Google & other search engines. While off-page SEO is mostly about building links, in on-page seo, we work on fixing the page level elements of a website.
On-page optimization is the key for any website’s success. Without search engine traffic, it’s hard to make more sales or increase your conversion rates, right? Everyone is focusing on Google to bring more traffic to their websites to increase sales and revenue.
What is Keyword Stuffing & How to Avoid it?
You need to be very careful when it comes to optimizing your web pages for search engines like Google. If you overdo it, you will get penalized by Google as it has many updates like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird etc. In any case, I don’t suggest anyone to do keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is nothing but using the same keywords again and again in your articles to increase your search traffic.
Google considers keyword stuffing as a spam practice, and it penalizes the sites that are stuffing their web pages with the same keywords. Instead of keyword stuffing, use long tail keywords in your articles so that you can drive more traffic for many keywords.
Top On-Page SEO Factors to Get Top Ranking for Your Website in 2018
When you browse Internet to fulfil your thrust for various On-page SEO Factors in 2018, you will find too many On-page SEO techniques and lots of them don’t work in 2018 search engine scenario. So in today’s post, I’m including top On-page SEO factors that you should give utmost importance that really works with Google latest algorithms in 2018.
Presence of Meta Keyword tag has no influence on your website rankings as far as Google is concerned. So you can simply ignore that. So you need to be sure about the tips that you are implementing on your website and whether they are compatible with latest Google Algorithms or not.
On-page Optimization is most difficult and most fruitful part when it comes about optimizing a website so that your website ranks well on major search engines for their targeted terms.
On-page elements make use of lots of HTML tags including Title tag, Meta tags, heading tags, image tags, bold letters, italics, underline, list type tags etc. We need to make sure we are using the targeted keywords in a natural way in our website contents.
1. Writing SEO Optimized Titles Most Important
Whether you agree it or not, your headlines will determine your search engine traffic. If you are not focusing on optimizing your titles for both search engines and humans, you will never be able to drive more organic traffic to your websites. Writing powerful headlines is not a rocket science, here’s a simple guide on how to write catchy headlines for both search engine crawlers and humans.
If you are asked to work on only one On-page SEO factor, this is the biggest On-page SEO factor you should pay special attention to. When writing your page titles, you should make sure you are including targeted keyword towards the beginning of your title. You should restrict your title within 65 to 70 characters only (including spaces).
You should write a Title copy that people will find interesting enough to be clicked as that will help you get higher CTR in search engine result pages. If people don’t like your title content, they won’t click your website listing in search engine results even if you are rankings on top for your targeted keywords.
2. SEO Friendly URLs: Keep them short & Sweet
By looking at your website URLs, people should be able to understand the content type they will be served on those pages. So you should include your targeted keywords in your URLs. Always try to include the target keywords towards the beginning of URL and try to keep it short so that people can remember it with ease.
You should avoid using special characters (brackets, commas, plus, colon, semicolon, question mark, underscore, Tilde etc) in your URLs.
Unoptimised Sample URL: bloggerspassion.com/p=212 (Gives no hint at the content type)
Optimised Sample URL: bloggerspassion.com/off-page-seo/
3. Single h1 Tag on the Page: Keep Your Headline Text Here
First of all you need to make sure there is single h1 tag (heading tag) on all of your website pages. You can crosscheck the same by checking the source code of any of your website page.
With most of SEO friendly WordPress themes, headline for the post used to be in h1 tag. If same is the same with you, you are all set.
4. Use Targeted Keywords & LSI Keywords in H2 & H3 Tags
Apart from using primary keyword once in h1 tag, it is advised to use the the main keyword and its related keywords (LSI keywords) in h2 and h3 tags.
Suppose for this post, primary keyword I’m targeting is On Page SEO, I will try to include it once in h1, h2 and h3 tags. Apart from this, I will try to include other related keywords like SEO,off page SEO, optimizing content, on page optimization, search engine optimization etc in heading tags.
5. Do Internal Linking to Pass on SEO Juice & for Better Engagement
Internal linking is all about adding links for relevant posts and pages from the content you are working on. Internal linking will help you send more targeted traffic to the linked pages and users will also spend more time on your website as they will keep browsing the relevant linked pages.
With this, you will also end passing on the much needed SEO juice and domain authority to the linked pages. This will help the linked pages rank better on Google & other search engines.
6. Use of Primary Keywords in first and last 100 words
It is advised to use your primary keyword once in first 100 words of content and then once in last 100 words.
7. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Google has already lowering down the rankings of websites that are not mobile friendly (Responsive design). So make sure whichever platform you are using, your website is mobile friendly. You can check the mobile friendliness of your website home or any of internal page from Google Page Speed tool here.
8. Move Your Website to HTTPS (Secured Site) Version
If you spend some time researching top results for any query in Google, you will see lots of https websites showing up. Google is giving ranking boost to websites that are secure (on https version). If you haven’t moved your website from http version to https version, do it instantly. Most of well known hosts are offering free SSL configuration to their clients. So moving to secured version should not be a much headache for you.
9. Write Engaging Meta Description to Get More Clicks from Google
It’s very true, your meta description copy does not play any role in your website search engine rankings. But most of time, Google used to show up meta description data as part of your website listing description in search result pages. So writing a good meta description copy could help you get more clicks to your website even if your website is placed below your competitor websites in search engine result pages. Here is an interesting video from Matt Cutts (Former head of the web spam team at Google) where he talks about changes in title, meta description and its impact on organic CTR:
10. Optimized Image Names & Alternate Tag to Get More Traffic from Image Search
ALT tags play a key role in increasing your traffic from Google or any other search engines. If you have appealing images on your blog posts and have properly optimized keywords on their alt tags, you will tend to get massive traffic from Google image search results.
Your image names should be created keeping in your targeted keyword in mind. Apart from using your targeted keyword as part of image name, you should add alternative text with each image used on your website pages. Again it will be beneficial if you could include your targeted keyword as part of your alternative text (alt tag).
I would suggest you to use free tools like Quozio.com to create free images that turn your text into images and learn some basic photoshop skills to create visually appealing images for your blog posts.
If you are using images from Google or any other website, don’t forget to link to the original owners of the images. This way you won’t face any copyright issues in the future. Click this link in case you don’t know how to find free high quality images for your blog posts.
You should also check out some free image editing tools from here before uploading next image in your blog post.
11. Linking To Trusted Domains to Improve Your Domain TrustRank
Outbound linking is also considered one of the major ranking factors in on-page optimization. If you want to get better search results for your keywords on Google, try linking to trusted domains that are highly relevant to your content.
Google maintains TrustRank for each website, which is calculated on the bases of who you are linking to and what kind of websites are linking to you. So whenever you link to external websites, make sure you link to websites and blogs having good TrustRank in the eyes of Google.
Linking out to your own website pages will help those pages better search engine rankings and high domain authority. When linking to external websites, you need to make sure you are linking to high authority websites only.
12. WWW Version vs Non WWW Version: Pick the Preferred One
Canonicalization is all about deciding whether we want to use www version or non www version for your website home and internal pages. We need to be consistent with that and should go with only one version and later should be redirected (301 redirect) to the first. And when linking to our website pages, we should link using the preferred version.
Suppose if you have decided to use www version for your website pages, in this case, all non www version should be automatically redirect to their www versions. And when getting links for our websites, we should make sure we are using www with our website URLs not the other versions (i.e. non www).
13. Write High Quality Unique Contents
High quality content should be considered as one of the most important On-page SEO factors. When writing contents for your website, you need to make sure you are delivering relevant contents and not copying all or fractions of your website contents from other popular websites and blogs on Internet. If you are copying others contents, you are doing a blunder and you will also get penalized by Google for doing such plagiarism practices.
After latest algorithmic change from Google in the form of Panda Update, Google has become very strict against use of duplicate or low quality content. In the recent times, Google has lowered down the rankings of lots of popular websites as they were delivering scrapped contents.
It’s not easy to write great blog posts all the time, so here are few tips that will help you create quality content:
- Always come up with problem solving content ideas
- Read what others are writing
- Read hot topics in your niche
- Start brainstorming blog post ideas and keep a ideas folder to never forget your content ideas
14. Use Your Robots.txt File Smartly
Robots.txt file plays a vital role in getting your web pages and contents crawled by Google bots. Robots.txt file is basically used to block certain kind of content types from our website being indexed in search engines. We can use this file to block certain files, certain folders and specific URL patterns being crawled in search engines.
With each websites, there will be certain content type that we don’t want to show to search engines. And we fulfil that motive through robots.txt file.
15. Adding Contents Frequently is the Key
It doesn’t matter how many SEO tactics you use, they are not going to help you get better search results unless you are updating your website with new articles or web pages. Updating frequently helps Google to crawl your site more frequently, thus it helps you get better search results for your desired keywords.
So if you are running a website around certain products or services, you won’t see many changes in your products level. So what you can do is start writing blogs on your website around your products, services or things related to your niche that your website readers would be interested in reading about.
16. Cross Browser Compatibility
You need to make sure that your website is compatible with the most used versions of all modern browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Netscape etc. Optimizing your website for these browsers will send pleasing experience for your website readers in browsers of their choice.
You can check your website browser compatibility by using Browser Stack. It’s a free website helps you check your website compatibility across many browsers that are widely used worldwide.
17. Keyword Density: Don’t Overdo it
Keyword density is all about repeating the targeted keywords in your website contents. Keyword density is calculated on the basis of total number of times a keyword is used in your web page content and divide it by total number of words in that page content. And then multiply the result with 100 to get your keyword density percentage.
Suppose the targeted keyword On-page SEO Factors is used 8 times in page content and the total word count in that page is 400 words. So the keyword density for ‘Onpage SEO Factors’ term in that web page will be 2%. Ideally you should try to limit your keyword density to 1-2% only.
Never overdo it and make sure you are using relevant keywords instead of repetitive one’s. Below you can find Matt Cutts views on ideal Keyword Density:
Say No to Thin Or Fluff Contents
Stop producing thin contents that don’t add any value. Google will lower down your site ranking if your website has poor or thin content. Start updating your old blog posts, keep writing unique articles and build quality backlinks using evergreen techniques like infographics, video marketing, guest posting etc.
If you want to rank for any keyword on top of Google search results, make sure to write highly relevant posts with at least 2000 words. And you will see the results in no time, Google gives top priority to detailed articles that are filled with quality content.
On-page SEO is an ongoing process and thus you should keep on making changes to website at various levels. You cannot get top rankings in search engines without taking care of above On-page SEO checklist.
So spend some time making the suggested changes on your website home and internal pages and wait for the new changes to be index in Google and other search engines. Once your latest On-page SEO changes are indexed in search engines database, you may notice changes in your website rankings for its targeted keywords.
If you are looking for an easy to follow On-Page SEO guide, you have come to the right place.
3 Dumbest On-Page SEO Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
1. Over optimizing your contents
Never stuff keywords in your blog posts especially when you are writing small articles that contain 500 to 600 words only. That’s the surefire way to get penalized by Google Panda update. I would recommend you to use your targeted keyword not more than 5 to 6 times in a 1000 words article along with the usage of relevant keywords to rank better in search engines.
2. Writing crappy short articles
Most beginners make this mistake while optimizing their blog content. They write short and mediocre stuff and heavily use keywords on short content. It won’t work. Short content won’t rank well in search engines especially when you are competing in a highly crowded niche like Technology, Internet, News, Marketing, Fitness etc. Aim to write 1500 to 2000 words articles by using long tail keywords for better on-page SEO results.
3. Avoiding the on-page SEO cheat sheet
Following on-page SEO techniques isn’t hard if you have a cheat sheet. Most bloggers don’t follow one, that’s the reason why they fail to bring more traffic.
Top On-Page SEO Techniques To Boost Your Organic Traffic in 2018
Here are top on-page SEO techniques that will increase your search traffic:
#1. On-Page SEO Starts With Your Audience
Before doing any on-page optimizationq on your content, focus on giving your audience the top priority. Don’t use keywords that are just intended to increase traffic. Your overall priority should be providing value to your blog audience so that they will read your stuff and trust you. It not only increases your brand awareness but also sales.
One extremely powerful way to find what your target audience wants is Quora.
Step 1: Go to Quora (it’s a question and answer based platform used by thousands of intellectuals) and type in your favorite search terms that you want to cover on your blog.
Step 2: Pick the questions that you are mostly interested in. In the above screenshot, I highlighted the really interesting questions for the keyword “SEO tips”.
Step 3: Start creating content around it that will answers all your audience questions or problems. That’s it! See, how simple it is?
This not only provides your audience a great reason to read and share your content but also gives you more chances on winning Google’s game on increasing your website traffic using the proper on-page SEO techniques that you are going to find below.
#2. Find long tail keywords for content creation
Whether you agree it or not, proper keyword research is the key to increasing any website traffic. But most people don’t increase their traffic because they identify wrong keywords (in other words short tail keywords such “best cars” instead of searching for long tail keywords like “best cars in India under 10 lakhs”).
Write detailed content with lots of useful information if you want to boost your organic traffic with on-page SEO techniques. Short posts don’t cut the edge and they really don’t add any value either to your audience or search engines.
Luckily, finding long tail keywords to increase your website traffic has been never easy. There are a lot of tools and methods to find long tail keywords including long tail pro keyword research tool, SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner.
I would recommend you to start using Google’s Keyword Planner for finding long tail keywords if you are new to keyword research. Once you get the idea of doing proper keyword research, you can then move on to Long Tail Pro or SEMrush for betterment.
Here’s a simple step by step tutorial to find keywords using Keyword Planner.
Step 1: Open Google’s Keyword Planner (you need AdWords account which is free to open this up).
Step 2: Enter any keywords that you are trying to rank for (and also include the countries where your target audience are, I generally include both US and Indian audience while doing keyword research).
Step 3: Choose the “long tail keywords” that contain more than 3 keywords in it. It’s much easier to rank high in Google search results by using long tail keywords.
#3. Spy On Your Website Speed
First of all, run a free website speed test. I recommend you to try Pingdom, GTmetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find out your website loading time and performance. All these tools are free and they provide incredible information about your website speed.
Whether you know it or not, your website speed highly affects your overall search engine traffic. If you are not getting the traffic you deserve, it might be mainly because your website loading time sucks.
Here are few simple tips to increase your website speed:
- Always use a reliable hosting service. If you are a beginner and want a reliable, fast and affordable hosting, I highly recommend you Bluehost. They also offer you a free domain for life along with the anytime money back guarantee! Know more about it here.
- Use less plugins. The more plugins you use the more burden it will create on your servers, hence your website speed drops. So make sure to keep your plugins usage under 15 for better performance.
- Your website speed majorly depends on the images. Make sure to always optimize each and every single image you use. Don’t use more than 100 KB images, it often impacts on your overall search engine rankings.
#4. Start Using The Right SEO Tools
Here’s the #1 simple tip to boost your search traffic: use the right SEO tools!
On-page is made easy by having access to the proper SEO tools. Here are 3 essential tools I highly recommend you to check out if you want to implement the right on-page techniques on your blog or websites.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
Whether if you are a beginner to WordPress or someone who is looking for the BEST on-page SEO tool, try this out. WordPress SEO by Yoast is not only a free WordPress plugin but it offers exceptional features to make on-page optimization extremely easy even if you are a newbie.
Basically this plugin offers you to enter a primary keyword and tells you whether your web page is properly optimized for search engines or not by looking at your site title, meta description, body of the content, URL, image alt tags etc.
I love using SEMrush. It’s not only my favorite tool that helped me increase my search traffic by 15% in just 30 days but also helps me find better keywords that I can use while doing on-page SEO optimization.
Using SEMrush, you can do:
- competitor’s analysis
- checking any website traffic
- analyzing the backlinks of any site
- creating site audit to fix your website issues
- finding highly profitable keywords
- comparing the domain results of any of 5 competitors
- and so much more
Suggested Reading: SEMrush Detailed Review with 30 Days Free Access to Pro Account
Long Tail Pro
As I said earlier in the post, your on-page SEO majorly depends on keyword research. Without finding and using the right keywords in your content creation, there’s no way you can increase your traffic.
Here’s where Long Tail Pro comes into rescue, it’s an amazing keyword research tool for finding golden keywords in any niche.
Here are few advantages of using this tool for keyword research for better on-page SEO.
- Search Multiple Keywords at Once
- Generate up to 800 results per seed keyword
- Competitor Analysis on top 10 Google Results
- Check Rankings of sites in Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Pre-filter keywords
- Automatically find Domains
- Google or Bing Title Competition
Suggested Reading: An Honest Review of Long Tail Pro to Find the Golden Keywords for Any Niche
Top ON Site SEO Changes We Need to Double Website Traffic in 2018
There are literally thousands of ways to increase your website traffic.
But if you are stuck for ideas that can help you “quickly” double your overall website traffic, this post is a treat for you.
We all know website traffic is the currency online. The more you have it the more money you can make. It’s as simple as it sounds.
Use the 4 powerful on-site SEO tweaks mentioned in this guide, and you can easily boost your website traffic. Let’s find them out without much discussion.
#1. Make “Unique On-Page Optimization”
One of the quickest on-site SEO tweaks you can make to boost your search engine traffic is to start doing unique on-page SEO optimization.
In short, on-page SEO is all about optimizing your web pages for specific keywords to get better search results.
Did you know that on-page optimization contributes to over 20% in Google search ranking factors? So the better your on-page keyword usage is the better your search rankings will be.
Have a look at the following screenshot to know its importance. These metrics are done by Moz team and the importance of on-page keyword usage is only going upwards.
#2. Don’t Ignore These 3 Essential SEO Elements
Most WordPress users forget the most essential things to implement on their sites. Here are four such incredible SEO elements that are must for any site to get higher search results.
Google XML Sitemap:
In simple words, an XML sitemap contains all the pages of your site and gives an easy access to the search engine crawlers to easily crawl your site. It’s so helpful in finding your newly published content on search whenever you post or update something.
Google Webmaster Tools:
Google webmaster tools help you monitor your Google search results for your entire site. If you have just launched a new site or if you have not yet access to them, make sure to create an account as quickly as possible. Not only it’s free but it lets you improve your site’s overall performance by giving access to free reports, tools and resources.
This plugin helps you find all the broken or dead links that your website has. It’s really hard to find broken links and you can’t check for broken links on your sites regularly. To overcome this problem, there’s a plugin that’s made just to find and fix all the dead links of your sites. So make sure to install and use this and flush out all the unwanted or non working links to get better search rankings.
#3. Using SEMrush for keyword research
Whether you know it or not, SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools to quickly find profitable keyword ideas for your websites.
If you want to give this tool a try, I have a great news for you.
For a limited time, I’m offering you an exclusive 30 day free trial of SEMrush. Click here to claim it. So make sure to grab it before the offer ends. You don’t have to pay even a penny and use it only if you are satisfied with the results.
Firstly, finding better and low competitive keywords before writing your blog posts is the surest way to double your website traffic from search engines.
If you are not targeting any keywords, you can never expect huge search traffic flowing through your sites. It’s as simple as that.
But finding better keywords that increase your organic traffic is usually hard and almost impossible with free tools such as Keyword Planner (which most people use for keyword research). The problem with the free tools is that everyone else in your industry is using the same to find keywords.
So even if you find keywords that have less monthly search volume, you will need a lot of backlinks to rank better because of the competition. This is where premium tools like Long Tail Pro and SEMrush comes handy.
They provide you lots of keywords that are hard to find and also help you with the “related keyword phrases” you can target to increase your overall search traffic.
Quick Note: If you are wondering how to do keyword research with SEMrush, I’ve written a detailed and easy to follow tutorial for you.
#4. Get Tactical About Promotion
Most bloggers only think about on-page optimization and they often forget about the importance of off-page SEO such as getting links from other blogs, social media submission etc. Here are few things I personally do after publishing each post on my blog and I highly recommend you to follow the same if you want to double your website traffic.
Submit on forums: Blogging forums such as Indiblogger.in, Blog Engage, Blokube etc are free to submit your blog posts and give you good social boost.
Submit on social bookmarking sites: Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, Stumble Upon can send you a lot of traffic if you have compelling headlines. They also help you in getting quality links as these sites still have great DA and authority.
Share on social media: Immediately after publishing your blog posts, make sure to submit on all the social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. We all know social media sites can get you massive traffic if the content and headlines are viral.
Use a friendly writing tone: Don’t write in a corporate tone while creating content. It’s the surest way to irritate your audience. Always use the word YOU and avoid all the jargon. Use simple words so anyone who’s reading your posts should be able to easily digest what you are talking about.
Use a call to action: Have you ever noticed how I wrap up my blog posts? The all end up with a call to action. I always encourage my reader and that’s YOU to leave comments or continue the discussion relevant to the content I publish. Use the same formula if you want to get more interaction from your users.
Final Thoughts about On-Page SEO Elements in 2018 & Getting Rankings in Google
If you are blogging for a while, you know how hard it is to grow traffic to a blog. But by fixing the on-page SEO checklist that is mentioned above, our chances of doing well for targeted keywords on Google & other search engines increases.
So what are your views about increasing search traffic? Do you have any more quick On-Page SEO technique or factor that can boost organic traffic of a website? Do share your thoughts in the comments.