If you own a website, it is essential to have at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization in order to get traffic from the free organic search results. SEO has two major components: on-page and off-page optimization. Off-page optimization can be very complex, and it is recommended to work with an SEO consultant in order to get the right results. We recommend Jimmy Huh, the best Los Angeles SEO Consultant, as he has a lot of experience increasing rankings for all types of websites. However, before you start working on your off-page strategies, you need to polish your website to make sure that it is search engine friendly. In what follows, we will discuss the best practices for on-page search engine optimization.
Table of Contents
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Optimized content
- Internal and external links
- Header tags
They must be unique for every web page and they should tell search engines that your pages are relevant for certain search results. Title tags should contain a primary keyword and a secondary keyword, separated by a dash. They should have a maximum length of 55 characters in order to be displayed properly on all devices.
A while ago, it was pretty common for meta descriptions to always include keywords, but this is no longer the case, since search engines no longer take meta descriptions into account for rankings. However, meta descriptionsare necessary to convince users to click on your webpages when they display in search results. If they are not compelling, and your website keeps getting displayed without getting any clicks, search engines will eventually assume that your webpages are not relevant for those search terms and this will affect your rankings. So, if you can naturally insert keywords in your meta descriptions, by all means do so, but your focus should always be on writing clickable descriptions. Meta descriptions should be unique, they should not include any quotes or non-alpha characters, and they should have a maximum length of 160 characters.
First of all, your content needs to be unique and to provide value to your readers. It should be focused on keyphrases with high volumes of searches. The keyphrases should be wisely spread in your articles, with a maximum distribution of 5%. However, if you have very long blog posts, make sure they only feature the main keyphrase 4 times maximum. Nonetheless, you can and you should use synonyms in order to avoid abusing the main keyphrase. Moreover, optimized content should also be easily readable, meaning that it should feature relevant subtitles, short paragraphs with a maximum of 3-4 sentences, and bullet points for enumerations.
Both internal and external links have value for search engines. Internal links show that your website is well structured and that your webpages revolve around the same main topic. External links on the other hand show that your content is well researched and that you want to provide your readers with all necessary information. Nonetheless, be very careful with external links, because if you link to untrustworthy websites, it will affect the reputation of your own website. When it comes to both internal and external links, be careful with the anchor texts that you use. Try to use relevant terms for the anchors and avoid cliches like “click here”.
For search engines, header tags are an indicator of a well-structured content. All your blog posts should contain at least a H1 tag and several H2 tags. Usually, most content management systems automatically use a H1 tag for the title of a blog post. The H1 tag should always contain the main keyword.
Images are the most popular files that are included in blog posts, and you should use ALT tags for your images, with names that include your main keyphrases. Image ALT tags can bring you traffic from image searches, but they can also be helpful for people who are using screen readers. For the best results, make sure the names of your images are as descriptive as possible, avoid non-alpha characters, and use dashes to separate words.