Blog Tip

Onpage SEO: 7 Tips That Are Easy to Implement

Sure, offpage SEO (aka link building) is more important than onpage SEO. However, don’t neglect the onpage elements. They’re easier to implement. Also, you have total control in onpage SEO whereas in link building, you’re hoping that through your efforts other people will link to you.

1. Keywords, keywords, keywords

Use Google’s keyword tool and type in some search terms that relate to your blog.

For example, let’s pretend you have a Hawaii travel blog. I typed in “hawaii travel”. Here are some of the terms I got back:

  • hawaii hotels
  • hawaii travel guide
  • hawaii travel packages
  • maui hawaii travel
  • adventure travel hawaii
  • hawaii honeymoon travel
  • hawaii resorts
  • honolulu travel
  • nonstop travel hawaii

Take those keywords and write posts about them. Keyword research is doing market research. You’ll find out what people are searching for and you can write posts to match their search terms.

You’ll be using keywords for the rest of tips so do some keyword research before moving on.

2. Title tags

Insert your keywords in the title tags. If possible, add more than one keyword in the tags. The closer a keyword is to the beginning of the tag, the better you’ll rank for that keyword.

The title tag is what shows up on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Write a descriptive title and you’ll get more clickthroughs.

Don’t make your title tags too long. Google will only show the first 70 characters on the SERPs.

Another reason to include keywords is because they are bolded on the SERPs. The bold text will increase your clickthroughs.

Each of your title tags should be unique. For example, if your have a tech blog, don’t use “Tech Links” as your title for your link posts. Instead, vary it. Try different titles like:

Tech Links: Including iPhone Craziness and New Facebook Ads
Tech Links: Airline Software, Urban Robots, Solar Panels, and More

3. Internal Linking

Point more links to your best content. The more links pointing to a page, the better it will rank.

I’m a fan of putting your best posts on the sidebar. Chris Pearson’s blog is a good example of this type of sidebar. What about the category pages? Are your category pages really that important? Do you want them to rank? I would move them to another page.

Use links in your blog posts to guide your readers to your best content. It takes some creativity and thought to link from a blog post to another, but it’s worth it.

When linking between blog posts, use keywords in your anchor text. However, don’t overdo the same keyword. Instead, use many related terms and synonyms. For example, if you want a page to rank for “hawaii travel”, link to it using related search terms that you find through keyword research. Here are some related terms from Google’s keyword tool:

hawaiian travel
travel to hawaii
hawaii travel destinations
hawaii travel info
hawaii travel information
hawaii travel tips
hawaii vacations
hawaii flights

4. Meta Description Tag

Write a unique description in the meta description tag for each of your pages. The description often shows up on the SERPs. Google cuts off the description at 155 characters.

Write a descriptive description to get more clickthroughs. Include keywords in the tag because they are bolded on the SERPs like the keywords in the title tag.

If you’re using WordPress, check out this plugin. (Thanks, Markus.) The plugin makes it easy to add a unique meta description to each of your pages.

5. Body Text

Insert your primary keyword(s) in the opening paragraph. This encourages the search engine visitor to continue reading. Insert related keywords (that you find in your keyword research) throughout the post. This keeps you from keyword spamming. Also, you’ll rank for more search terms.

6. Use Images and Alt Tags

Not only do images make your blog look better, they allow you to rank on image search engines. Go to sxc.hu for free images. Make sure to look at the terms. Some photographers require notification and attribution of credit if you use their pictures. If this is the case, link back to the photo page.

Use relevant keywords in the image alt tags.

7. Readability

Most important rule: Don’t sacrifice readability. If a keyword doesn’t sound right, don’t use it. If a link doesn’t fit a post, remove it. You’re writing for humans not search bots.

Conclusion

Onpage SEO is often forgotten by many bloggers. However, by following the above simple tips, you’ll build a good foundation for getting search traffic for months and years to come.

Thanks to Ahmed, ChrisG, DavidG, and Char for their input towards this post.

What are some other easy-to-implement onpage SEO tips?

Author: pholpher

20 thoughts on “Onpage SEO: 7 Tips That Are Easy to Implement

  1. This was an excellent article. Thank You! This blog caught my eye because I have a blog in the trvel realm and it’s about Hawaii. I really got some good ideas from reading this. thanks!

  2. Probably a dumb question; but what the heck we can’t all be rocket scientist. So here goes: Would someone please go to Chris Pearson’s

    Blog (http://www.pearsonified.com) and explain to me why all the article titles have a number after the title? Why did he number the

    article titles and what, if any, SEO benefit is achieved? Thank you in advance for answering my question.

    I only have an entry level blog design and SEO understanding – but wow, are you blown away as me?

    Note: The Blog even has an xhtml sitemap and an xml sitemap – see bottom of page

    Thank You – waynesgnc

    Reference Source: Archive Page – http://www.pearsonified.com/archives
    Every post ever in one big list!

    For example for the number 1 – there are 11 different posted articles.
    1 for January 2006 – January 19, 2006
    2 for February 2006 – February 24 and 3, 2006
    5 for March 2006 – March 29, 14, 12, 10, and 8, 2006
    1 for April 2006 – April 12, 2006
    1 for May 2006 – May 27, 2006
    1 for November 2006 – November 15, 2006

    Here is a couple of article title numbering examples:
    November 15, 2006
    How to Implement Post Teasers with WordPress – 1

    November 16, 2006
    Add It to the Portfolio — ReviewMe.com – 2

    April 24, 2006
    Can You Guess What My Problem Is? – 3

  3. Hi, all, its good to read all the suggestion and tips i got here,
    One more thing i do for higher ranking,
    I put

    keywords

    as the first line on my index.php (home page)
    And some good keywords at the footer, which mostly has some useless content like copyright,
    If any one can tell me more about FB, will be tankful,

    Thanks,
    http://www.webworldguru.com

  4. I think internal linking is, by far, the most overlooked and one of the most beneficial.

  5. As I said above I (also) use FeedBurner to ping several ping services and search engines when the feed has new content. FB is looking for new feed content.

    Traditionally the blog software pings one service which then pings trillions of others. Look for i.e. ping-o-matic.

    Most services also allow manual pinging by submitting the fresh URL.
    ScribeFire is able to ping too.

    (PS: I see … It could become an article -> notes

  6. @Ryan: “Markus, could you tell us a little about Pinging the search engines?”

    There is not much to say. It is just a service which tells search engines that new content has arrived. It is an on/off concept 🙂

    Re: Keywords

    Natural writing style comes along with great organic keyword density. Just remember that pronouns are evil and double check title and body before publishing 🙂

  7. I’ve been reading Performancing religiously for several days now. I’m hooked. You’re doing a great job, filling a real need. I was going to buy a couple of books from Amazon, but I can’t imagine I’d get any more valuable content.
    -Brad Bright

  8. Yeah, keyword research has been given a bad rep because of keyword spamming webmasters. I know, because I used to be one of them. I would give keywords to writers without telling them what I wanted in the article.

    I thought the keywords were enough. Well, they weren’t. I kept getting articles that were not very readable.

    Now, whenever I outsource an article, I give specific instructions of what I want in the article. I give the topic, the tone, and some paragraph ideas. I don’t give keywords anymore. I add those myself after the article is written.

    Also, thanks for the other tips, Ryan, Markus, and Tuppy.

  9. Keywording is about specifying, and if you do it right it can actually help you focus your ideas rather than feel like a spammy pimp.

  10. I think the reason I’m so turned off by SEO is because of how many people abuse it. Before I gave up a freelance writing career for full time blogging, I did a lot of writing for websites, all of which would give me a big old list of keywords expecting me to write articles around it. I think what people fail to recognize sometimes is that we don’t search the way we talk. Also, when people are searching for certain items, they might be looking for prices or items – not a whole article. I’ve been asked to write around some silly keywords and phrases – thanks for telling us they need to make sense.

    I understand why SEO is necessary – just not a fan of keywords.

  11. Markus, could you tell us a little about Pinging the search engines? I’m not familiar with this concept. Might make a good article topic.

  12. Use tags, tag links and tag search result pages for better internal linking.

    Never ever forget to send your feed through FeedBurner and PING the search engines. Even if you don’t use the FeedBurner feed.

  13. Didn’t know that about the question mark … I’ll watch how I use that in the future. Thanks.

  14. Here’s one that I think is easy:

    8. Divide your content into titled subsections, where each subsection title is tagged

    and keyword loaded

  15. The question mark actually won’t be ignored by search engines. It will be seen as some kind of a delimiter, marking the difference between the beginning and the end. Most search engines put emphasis on the beginning, but at the end of the day… point taken…you are right.

  16. Thanks, that was a good roundup of onpage tips. One other that I try and make use of where possible is the actual file name (which isn’t necessarily the same as your title tag).

    Also, particularly when writing blog post titles: Remember that punctuation doesn’t “count” in terms of SEO. For instance, using your Hawaii example, you could use a title like “Planning a Hawaii Honeymoon? Travel In Style” in order to include a valuable keyword phrase. The question mark will be ignored by search engines.

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