I originally wrote this as a guideline document just for Orbit clients, but I figured “Hey, who doesn’t love a good checklist? I should share this with the world!” So here we are.
Below are eight tips on SEO best practices for on-page optimization. Let’s get started…
Assuming you’ve already done your keyword research, this is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. If you haven’t, here is a step-by-step guide on how to research keywords.
The title tag tells search engines what the page is about and that the page on your website is relevant for that keyword or keyword phrase. Title tags should be unique for every page. In search results, search engines will highlight your keyword phrases if a user has searched for those terms. This increases visibility and click-through rate.
Let’s say you’re trying to rank for “Chicago Web Design”, your title tag may look like this:
Chicago Web Design and Development | Orbit Media
Example of a title tag in a browser:
Example of a title tag in search engine results:
Meta descriptions, while not as important in search engine rankings, are extremely important in getting users to click through from the search engine results page (SERP) to your website. Meta descriptions should use keywords wisely, but more importantly they should include a compelling description on which a user would want to click on.
Much like title tags, the SERPs will highlight keywords that the user searched for, increasing the likelihood of the user clicking through to your website.
Example of meta descriptions in search engine results:
Your content is the meat and potatoes of your website. With all of the Google Panda updates, it is extremely important that your content is unique and relevant. If you have multiple pages with the same content (or if you have your content on other people’s websites), you will run the risk of getting penalized by Google and your search rankings will suffer.
We want to keep Google happy, so keep your content unique.
A header tag, also known as an H1 tag, is much like the subject line of your web page. You should only use your keyword phrase once in the H1 tag. This should be included on a page to which you are trying to drive unique traffic to. You can also use H2 tags (second header) if there are multiple sections.
Example of an H1 tag being optimized for ‘web design’:
Internal linking refers to a link on a page that points to another page on the same website. Internal linking is important because it helps strengthen those keywords internally for those pages, it allows users (and search engine robots) to navigate through the website, and it tells the search engines that the page is relevant for that keyword phrase.
Example of how to use anchor text in your internal links:
The ecommerce text links to our ecommerce page, mobile links to our mobile page, etc. You get the picture!
An alt tag is essentially the name of an image. All images should use appropriate alt tags. Not only are alt tags good for search engines; they are also good for accessibility. If someone is using a screen reader, they will be able to hear what that image is.
You should try to include your keyword phrase in the name of your image, if possible, but don’t overdo it. Image filenames should also be SEO friendly. Image search is much more widely used than believed, so traffic from there is also valuable.
This is not a huge factor in search engine rankings, but will help your users easily scan your content and find the keywords they are looking for. You should use bolding and bullet points to set apart words in the text, and this further tells the engines what is important on the page. Don’t go wild or you’ll end up cluttering up your page and aggravating the user.
Example of easy to read content:
Meta keywords used to be popular back in the day. However, nowadays Google (or any other search engine for that matter) does not hold any weight to meta keywords, so go ahead and skip this.
If I missed anything, or if you have something to add, I’d love to hear your comments below!