When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) there are 2 main categories that SEOs talk about.
- Off-Page SEO
- On-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to certain optimizations you can make that are not directly on the website you’re trying to rank. For instance, writing a guest post on another website that then links to the website you’re trying to rank. This is called a backlink and would be a prime example of off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to optimizations and changes you make directly on your website. These are typically the easiest optimizations you can make, as they are completely under your control and don’t require working with any type of outside source.
You will always want to make sure you have your on-page SEO in place before you begin spending a lot of resources on off-page SEO.
Today, we’re going to cover the top 5 on-page SEO factors you need to have in place to rank effectively in the search engines.
1. Select A Domain Name With A Keyword In It
This is the most obvious thing you should have done from the start, but it’s so important that I had to rank it number 1.
As you probably know, your domain name is your website’s address. This is what people type into their browser to get to your website.
While you can utilize a brand only domain name, it is much harder to rank these for competitive keyword searches.
By getting a domain name that includes the keyword or niche you’re going to be focusing on, will help you’re rankings tremendously.
While this step isn’t always possible, if it is, you should definitely take advantage of it.
For example, if you’re trying to rank a plumber’s website in Orlando, FL I would recommend utilizing either a plumber keyword or a city keyword.
So some examples would be:
As you can see, each of these examples either includes the city or the word plumbing.
The advantage of using a plumbing related keyword, instead of a city one, is that if you ever want to expand outside of Orlando, you can do that without your domain name limiting you.
2. Optimize Your Page Meta Title
The meta title of your page is what shows up in the search engine results when people search for your keyword.
This is an extremely important factor in your on-page SEO. Most people never even read the actual page when they’re looking at the search results. They just read the title of the page and then click on it. For this reason, it’s important you choose your title carefully.
An optimal title will include your keyword, be short, and include the name of the website.
For example, let’s say you’re doing an article with the keyword “How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies” you want the meta title to look something like this:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
The title is not only the most important factor in your on-page optimization, but also the most important factor in your rankings.
If you were to look at any top ranking website in the search engines, the odds are you would find they all have an optimized title.
3. Write A Keyword Rich Meta Description
The meta description of your page is what people see on the actual search result page.
Again, this is important, because most people don’t spend time reading the actual content of the page. They simply see the meta title and meta description and click on the one that looks best.
You want to make sure you take the time to optimize this part of your page, just as much as you take time to optimize your title.
Optimizing your meta description is one of the best ways to get people to click on your website in the search results, instead of one of your competitors.
When you’re optimizing your meta description, you want to use your keyword in a natural way in the description, while also giving a compelling reason for someone to click on your page.
A good way to do this is to ask a question at the beginning of your meta description. For example:
Have You Ever Wondered How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies?
The example above is a bit extreme, but you get the idea.
You want to make the person reading your meta description feel like they will be missing out if they don’t click on your result.
This is a great way to get more people to click on your page in the search results.
4. Place LSI Keywords In H1, H2, and H3 tags
LSI keywords are basically synonyms for your main keyword.
To make this more clear, let’s look at an example. Say you’re doing an article on “How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Here are some LSI keywords that would be good to include in your page:
- cookie recipe
- recipe for chocolate chip cookies
- homemade chocolate chip cookies
- homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe
- chocolate chip cookie recipe
The benefit of using LSI keywords is that they are usually more relevant to the keyword you’re trying to rank for, but they are still somewhat of a long tail keyword.
This means they are less competitive, which means your chances of ranking on page 1 of the search engines are higher.
The easiest way to find LSI keywords is to do a Google search for your main keyword, highlight all of the relevant keywords people are searching for along with the main keyword, and copy them into a Word Document.
This will allow you to create an extremely long list of LSI keywords you can then use to optimize your content with.
5. Target Keywords In Main Content
The last thing you should have in place on your website is your keyword.
This doesn’t mean you have to literally put your keyword in your title, meta description, and meta tags. It just means that you need to talk about your keyword in the content of the page.
This is an extremely important aspect of on-page optimization.
It’s not enough to just have your keyword in the title of the page and the meta tags. You want to use it in the content of the page.
Using your keyword in different areas of your page will help search engines determine that you’re a relevant result, which increases your chances of ranking higher.
On-page SEO is extremely important. It’s hard enough to get ranked these days, and you shouldn’t have to rely solely on off-page strategies to do it.
If you take the time to make sure your on-page SEO is optimized, you’ll be able to rank with a lesser resource expenditure.
For a full guide to on-page optimization, check out this article.