On-Page SEO Fundamentals

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When it comes to online marketing, taking care of SEO should be at the top of your list. On-page SEO is crucial, since it advertises the importance and relevance of your content to Google. User engagement and social media sharing are both determined by the quality and content of your web page. In order to maximize the exposure of your pages, you must not only write relevant content but also search engine optimized pages.

On-page SEO starts with relevant, human-readable content that’s well-written, lacks typos and is accessible to the audience. Even though Google might not be able to read and understand your content, a moderator might and your site could be banned if you are found spamming or dynamically plagiarizing content. To optimize your web pages, follow these guidelines:

General Guidelines

Keyword Usage
Ensuring your target keyword exists in the page title, URL (see: 38pitches.com/onpage-seo-fundamentals/) or even the domain name is of significant benefit to rankings in Google.

External Links
Link to good (useful) resources. Do not link to sites in ‘bad neighborhoods’ with questionable content.

Keep It Fresh
Google loves fresh content, so do we. Keeping a regular publishing schedule can benefit site authority (and ultimately, rankings) over time.

Use Headlines That Reference the Primary Keywords
These headlines indicate to search engines what the page is about. In particular, using H1 and H2 tags allows the search engine to create a “content map” of your site and adequately catalog it.

URLs: This is Critical
Short URLs are preferable and it is best if they come from reputable and old domains. Through short and relevant URLs, search engines qualify the importance of a particular web page. Avoid complex naming conventions and include your keyword(s) in the URL whenever possible.

Try To Avoid Dynamically Generated URLs
Using those is a sure recipe for getting your web pages not indexed at all. Search engines can only crawl so many pages, and dynamic naming make it look like your website has no end.

Use ALT Tags Whenever Possible
Use ALT tags in order to describe your images, videos and objects whenever possible. Readers and search engines need these descriptions to make sense of the content they’re analyzing, so is a good practice to include them.

Avoid Inline JavaScript
Instead, put the code in a separate file and include it using a tag. Use this process for CSS files and other similar objects. The key here is to reduce the character count of your HTML file and make your keywords more relevant as a percentage of the total page content. This also makes your web page perform better in modern browsers.

Pay Attention to Your Link Structure
Make sure you link to the parent page, which is your category page or home page, so that Google can create a hierarchy map of your content. Remember to include a link to this page in the site map.

Do Keyword Research
Do your keyword research beforehand and figure out a set of keywords to promote in your website. Then, try to pick one or two per page. It is hard to optimize a page for three or more keywords.

Don’t Post Duplicate Content for the Sake of Posting Content
Posting the same content multiple times on your website may get some of your pages removed from the Google index. This tip is especially important for e-commerce websites that have few opportunities to differentiate each product page. Strive to keep the page count to a minimum and make every page as unique as human possible.

Focus on the Details
Making that keyword bold, using italics or placing the keyword close to the heading might make a difference in your rankings, all other things being equal. Pay attention to the details and boost your SEO one word at a time.

Enrich Your Content
Google loves multimedia-enriched web pages. Using images, videos and external assets will not only make your web page more appealing to customers, but it will also portray a professional image to search engines.

Translate Your Content
After nailing your local rankings, consider translating your content to receive international visitors. International traffic is often easier to get than visitors within your own nation because competition is lower in countries with lesser educated web developers. However, make sure that whoever is doing the translation is well-versed in SEO.

Mind the Code
Make your code as tidy as possible. Keep the HTML codebase to a minimum to make sure your page gets completely indexed. Close every HTML tag and make sure your code is compliant with whichever specialization you choose. As was stated before, you are not only preparing the page for a single search engine, but for multiple search engines, directories, and social media sites.

Be natural. Don’t overdo it.
Try to keep things as natural as possible or your website will be overlooked. The web is filled with scraped content, duplicates, plagiarized pages, and low quality content. Rise above the noise and prepare truly original content that’s relevant for all consumers, machine and human alike.

Other Helpful Resources:

By following these easy tips and tricks, you’ll see success with SEO efforts. Even if you don’t have a solid linking strategy, by preparing high quality content that’s relevant and optimized, you’ll place yourself above a large majority of web publishers and will certainly be positioned to start linking and promoting campaigns. Discipline builds good habits and, in the case of SEO, this couldn’t be more true. The discipline of going through every page and every paragraph to follow these guidelines is the pillar of SEO success. On-page SEO is crucial for high rankings, so be disciplined, diligent and detail-oriented. You’ll reap great profits with high rankings, international exposure, free traffic, and high conversion rates.

Link Emporer

A 30-something online marketing consultant living in Miami. After spending a decade focused on SEO, I branched off to architect a software solution to assist high-volume Amazon sellers in the automation and enhancement of their business, including automated ASIN identification, association and algorithmic repricing strategy. I can be contacted via LinkedIn or my blog.

2 Comments

  1. Hershel Chicowitz

    June 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I’m a little confused here. By using a descriptive plug as a URL address, rather than a name that ends with .htm (or whatever), don’t have to create a sub-directory on my web site for every page with the actual page as the index file for that sub-directory? Second, this page appears to have been optimized by a WordPress plugin. Yet this is not a WordPress web page. How did you do that? Should we use such a plugin?
    Thanks,
    – hmc
    (P.S. love the robot thwarter)

    • 38PItches

      June 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Hershel,

      Not quite sure I follow your first question. Clarify for me?

      As for optimizations, we’re running on WordPress with a host of plugins. I can definitely make a few recommendations if you’d like.