Earlier this week I was out having coffee and ended up in one of those ‘what do you do?’ conversations, which soon transpired into “I have my own website, can you give me some advice to make my page come up in Google?”
As a result of this conversation, I thought it would make sense to turn some of the answers into a quick post, below you will find 7 Quick and Easy On-Page SEO Tips you can put into action today.
Tip 1. Write for your Audience, not the Bots
Once you know a little bit about SEO, it starts to change your thinking when it comes to writing content. Before you might have unleashed your rambles into a post without a second thought, now you start to think things like, do I have the keywords in the right places, does bolding the keyword still work, have I mentioned the keyword enough times or too many?
Don’t do it!
The main thing you need to focus on is providing a unique and valuable piece of content for your intended reader or persona (more on personas in another post). If your post was about “How to save time by doing X”, have you answered this question? If someone was to find your post would it be easy to understand?
When you successfully push out quality content you start to build credibility with your audience. As a result, they are more likely to share it across their social networks, reference it or link to it, which in turn should see an increase in traffic to your website. Ideal!
Tip 2. Where to put your Keyword
There have been many views that suggest where not to use your keywords for the benefit of SEO, but leading on from my first tip to show that by creating quality and relative content increases CTR (click through rates) and benefits search, I would make sure your primary keyword was in the following:
The domain name if possible and credible, e.g. www.cheapflights.com not www.best-cheap-flights-online.net
Page and Post URL’s, e.g. /cheap-flights-to-london/
Title tags, ideally as close to the start of the tag
Heading tag, H1
Meta Descriptions, try to be creative and create something enticing
Page content (body copy), even if you only mention it once.
Tip 3. Use Synonyms and Related Keywords
Related keywords and synonyms are the best way to avoid keyword stuffing your content. It’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating a target keyword throughout your content, leaving your page looking spammy.
In Google’s world, you want to put your effort into creating quality copy and related keywords should flow naturally through your choice vocabulary as the subject matter expert. However, in case you find this difficult, try using Google’s suggestive search to find terms they categorise as related or tools like Ubersuggest or HowRank.
Tip 4. Optimise your Images
Remember that search engines do not view images the same way we do, they’re looking at code, tags, sizes, dimensions etc for clues. The main factors you should consider are:
The Image file name, e.g. cheap-flights-banner.jpg
The Alt Tag, alt= ”cheap flights online”
The Image Title Tag, e.g. title= ”find cheap flights”
File Size, when saving in an image editor such as Photoshop, alter the image quality settings to keep the file size low.
Tip 5. Connect your Google+ account using Rel=Author
By adding credibility to your content and search engine listing you increase the likelihood of potential visitors clicking through to your page and taking the time to read your content. In a recent video, Google’s Matt Cutts said “If we can move from an anonymous web to a web where you have some notion of identity and reputation”, “then its harder for the web spammers to hide”.
By implementing authorship using the rel=author tag and your Google plus account you can educate your audience to who you are and establish yourself as a recognised subject matter expert regardless of the website you are publishing on. In addition, having visitors +1 your content sends social signals to Google suggesting you have created quality relevant content.
Tip 6. Contextual links to other relevant pages
Contextual links are a great way of retaining visitors on your site by providing them with additional content that complements the search they arrived on. More importantly from an SEO perspective contextual links further up your page, have shown to carry more weight/higher link value than a link in the footer or a page without a link.
Tip 7. Make it easy for users to Share it
If a reader likes your content, you want to make it easy for them to share it with their friends and community. In the same breath, if they want to engage with you through your social networks and participate in your conversation, you need to have these options clearly positioned on your page. WordPress makes this very simple thanks to the growing number of plugins such as “Digg Digg” and “Social Stickers” that integrate the latest share and social buttons with your blog.
Alternatively, you can visit Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Stumbleupon etc’s websites to find the code snippets and add them manually. This requires a level of technical skill, but some blog owners choose to do so as they gain more control of where the buttons appear and it keeps the number of installed plugins down.
*Note: Too many plugins can impact your blog’s performance
2014 has become a bit of a busy year for Google updates, most recently Penguin 2.0 or 4 to many search consultants. I’ll cover the evolution of the Penguin another day as it is more applicable to Links and Off-Page SEO, for now, I want to focus on tips that are here to stay, for the foreseeable future anyway.