I have tried to compile a detailed On-page SEO checklist which has been inspired by Brian Dean and my personal experience. There are so many recent theories which suggest the importance of link building but for me, On-page SEO with very basic Off page SEO can produce tremendous results for non-competitive or mildly competitive markets.
Business owners have always asked us the ratio of importance – On-page SEO vs off page SEO. Newbie’s theory is 50-50 and always has been the same. Yet, this is not true. A site’s On-page SEO maybe the most important for getting ranked on search engines. Google closely monitors all the 200 factors which are directly related to On-page SEO. A site having a great On-page SEO with basic off page SEO is most of all likely to rank higher while sites having poor On-page SEO and good off page SEO stay behind. Here is an example –
On-page SEO techniques for 2018 (Updated)
1.The right SEO Keyword Research
SEO Keyword research is very crucial to a successful Search engine optimization campaign. Probably many SEO companies practice the right SEO techniques but get their basics wrong. In 90% of the cases, business owners have a list of very generic and ultra competitive keywords. Priority of these decision makers is the search volume. Agreed Technologies guides business owners towards optimizing their site around the right keywords rather than giving them the control to provide their list. Click here to know learn how you can determine the best keywords for SEO and to understand the rest of the list.
2.The title tag should begin with Focus keyword
Once you have the focus keyword; make sure that your title tag starts with it. The title tag is one of the most important factors for ranking a web page. Here is an example –
3.Add modifiers to your “Title tag” for targeting long tail keywords
once you have the keyword group in place, analyze it. I have the following keywords with me – Spiderman costumes, Spiderman costumes for men, Spiderman costumes for women, Spiderman costumes for Adults, Spiderman costumes for kids. For targeting all these keywords and more, I can use a title tag which goes like this –
Spiderman costumes 2018: Best collection for kids, women, adult & men
You can use Charactercountonline for checking if you are not exceeding limits of a Title tag length. I have 69 characters which is just under the maximum length recommended by Google. However, the title tag is very strong and now covers the permutation and combination of every possible keyword with the words – 2018, best, collection, kids, women, adult, men & Spiderman costumes which is a lot. Long tail keywords like best Spiderman costumes collection for kids 2018, best Spiderman costumes 2018, etc. are easily targeted by my title tag. Sweet! Isn’t it?
4.Keep your sub-headings in H2 tag
Yoast SEO recommends having at least one or more subheadings in an H2 tag. Every keyword apart from the focus keyword in the keyword group should be a sub-heading wrapped in an H2 tag. Let me show you the code from the “Partycity” page which I talked about in SEO keyword research. You can see this by right-clicking on the text “Solid coffee cups” and select “Inspect”. For your reference, I am using Google Chrome. Every sub-heading in the page has been wrapped in H2 tag and is part of the keyword group.
5.Loading time of the site
Loading time of the site is again a very important factor in getting a site completely optimized. Avoid using sliders on the homepage and excess of plugins or extensions as they tend to increase the loading time of the site. Keep your site clean. GTMetrix is a very helpful tool which can help you optimize your site. For sites that have a lot of media or content, they should prefer custom frameworks and use CDN for fast loading time of the site.
6.Increasing session duration of a page
Goblackfin – Ever heard of this company? Well, they are using a very different On-page SEO technique for results. Apart from getting everything else right in On-page SEO, they utilized the concept of increasing session duration for a page for increasing its rankings. How?
Example – “A” happens to rank for a keyword on rank 8 and “B” happens to rank for the same keyword on rank 7. However, the users are spending more time on “A” compared to “B”. This gives a signal to Google that “A” contains more useful information for the user in context to the keyword than “B” and thus lifts its rankings.
If you notice this page of Goblackfin, they are having a video as soon as you scroll down the banner. This video is shot so well that I personally was tempted to watch it till the end. As soon as I did that I spent over 2 minutes on the page and was tempted to read some more and was kind of engaged by the page even further due to the content. But those 2 minutes came in as a bonus due to the video. They have taken the top 3 spots for every keyword targeted on this page for the very same reason. SEMRUSH verifies their strategy.
A good looking site will catch the attention of a user immediately. It is a saying that a website is your office in the online world. Businesses that need to convey the end users that they are world class and increase the credibility of their brand need to have a great looking website.
Take these two sites for example – officefs and officemakers. I would personally be spending more time on Officefs because their design is cleaner, the site is easier to understand and navigate. And these things are one of the factors in a consumer’s mind to be able to finally make a purchase.
According to a source, nearly 60% of the searches are from mobile devices. If the site is not mobile responsive and well it should be good not just “OKAY”. Check your UI/UX on the mobile devices and the tablets very carefully as they have become the prime sources of business.
Let me show you what I am talking about. Visit this site and go to the bottom of the page where you shall find “Related articles”. All these articles are related to the essence of the entire page and with the same approach a user may retain longer on the overall site even though he/she might re-direct to a different page. This technique is also a popular method for interlinking.
7.Keep your URL’s short & “Focus keyword” in the last fold
The homepage of any site is the most authoritative page of the site and enjoys the highest page rank. The closer a page is to a homepage; the more important it is in the eyes of Google. The URL must not be longer than 3 folds. Here is a screenshot to understand what a fold means –
We have three folds here –
First fold – Products
Second fold – Natural bath body
Third fold – Natural soap
Crisp and short URL’s perform much better. And URL’s have always been Google’s favorite in terms of ranking a page. The focus keyword for this page is “Natural soap” which is visible in the last fold.
8. Use “Focus Keyword” in the first 30 words of Article; Keep its consistency between 2.2%-2.5%
The “focus keyword” must appear in the first 30 words of the article. This is to help Google understand primary targeted keyword for the page. This keyword must appear at least 2.2%-2.8% (percentage based on length of content) inside the body of the page.
9. Use synonyms of the “focus keyword” and other keywords in “Keyword group” in the content
I recently built a page where the same approach was utilized for results. The focus keyword for this page was “Instagram marketing service”. Here’s what I did – I broke the keywords: Instagram + marketing + service. The word Instagram has no synonym. Probably, Social media is the best choice. The word marketing has synonyms like promotion, advertise, sell, trade, etc. and the word service has synonyms like resource or solution. My other target keyword was an Instagram marketing company. The word company has synonyms for business, agency, firms, etc. And if you happen to check the content of the page you shall find them in plenty.
I love this trick because you are beating Google with Google. The next on this list is LSI keywords or heatmap keywords.
10. Use LSI keywords/Heatmap keywords
This is something you don’t want to overdo. Use 2-3 LSI/Heatmap keywords which fit your keyword group and don’t use them more than twice in your content. What is a heat map keyword? Here it is –
LSI keywords can be easily extracted from here. All you need to do is enter your keyword in the search bar and wait for results. Pick the ones which suit your group and use them at least once in your content.
11.Internal Linking: Overlooked but one of the top ranking factors.
Internal linking shows how much in-depth knowledge one has about the subject. And Google knows everything in the world that connects to a “Keyword”. Websites which are currently enjoying the top positions on Google for any keyword have strong interlinking. I have seen almost all kinds of websites which have a lot of content but they are not interlinked. Probably this is why they have failed to prove Google their expertise in their field. This is just one of the purposes which interlinking serves. I have already talked about how it helps in increasing the overall session duration.
95% of the websites have a blog section which is not utilized and viewed to their potential. They are just left out. However, leading sites like MOZ and Searchenginewatch showed their in-depth knowledge about SEO through their blog posts of the industry. Now, both these sites are considered to be a trusted benchmark for facts in this digital marketing world. Notice, how every post is interlinked to so many other posts.
How much of Internal linking is acceptable
This is a question which is asked quite often. If you take Wikipedia as an example, I guess there is no limit to internal linking. Yet, that is not the case. One should link to other pages which somehow co-relate to the subject of the host page’s content and should have good quality content on them as well. If you feel this criterion is fulfilled, do it as much of it you can.
12. Use outbound links
Link to authority sites which are credible and popular. My recommendation is to use 4-5 outbound links per 1,000 words. The main advantage of this WHITE HAT SEO technique is to make other sites realize that you praise their content. A few of the sites could return a favor and shall give you a backlink for free!
Optimize your image for Alt Text, size, and filenames. Try to do this page by page. Every page has it’s own focus keyword and thus the Alt text for the images on the page should contain the focus keyword.
The file size of the images can be optimized through GTmetrix. The name of the image files should also contain the focus keyword. Although, this does not have much impact certainly makes a difference. Here’s an example-
If you try to save any image from Gemvara , they have keywords in their filenames.
14. Publish long content
This image from backlinko tells the importance of publishing a detailed long content. Google seems to love the high quality and long content. Try not to make grammatical errors and keep the post as comprehensive and crisp as possible.
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