On Page SEO Best Practices by the End of 2017
Ranking the highest possible in search engines results is a fierce battle. An interminable ever-changing list of on page and off page SEO factors impact these results.
The main purpose of on page SEO techniques is to naturally optimize a piece of content for search engines, in such manner that it is easily found and listed in front of targeted visitors.
According to the Searchmetrics study for 2016, the latest search engine ranking factors are the following:
Here is a list of on page SEO best practices that everyone should use to boost rankings:
1. The Title Should Include Your Target Keyword
Most experts consider that the title of the post is the most important on page SEO factor. Their argument is that if the title is not attractive and engaging enough to click through, or not optimized, the content will never appear in front of the user.
Others, like MOZ, consider the title tag is the second most important on page SEO factor after content.
For best performances your titles should follow the subsequent rules:
- Optimal length under 60 characters for proper display on the search results
- Use your keyword in the title once, out of question to stuff a title just with keywords
- Keyword should be among the first words of the title, the first if possible.
Whenever possible include modifiers in the title. Words as 2017, “guide”, “best” help improve rankings for long tail keywords.
2. Assign H1 Tag to the Title of the Article
The H1 tag is the most important for SEO, so verify if your CMS properly added it to your title.
H1 tag should be used only once on a page and include the target keyword.
3. High Quality 1000+ Words Content
There is a huge debate of what do that high quality content means. As consequence there are a myriad of indirect methods that in a certain way can measure the quality of the content: number of visitors, repeat visitors, time on site, shares, comments, etc.
Useless to say that unique content is the norm. Avoid publishing duplicate content, for example for a guest post, because you have real chances of getting penalized by search engines.
High quality content is easy to digest and attractive as design. Organize the content in short paragraphs, emphasize keywords with bold format, use bullets to break blocks of text.
Nowadays the trend is to write long form content as it was established that is ranks higher and it is perceived has providing more value. Writing 1000+ words or even 2000+ words posts becomes the standard.
4. Enrich your content with visuals
Besides high-quality content, formatting that content is of out-most importance. Insert charts, videos, entertaining images to retain attention, increase time spent on that piece of content and shrink bounce rate.
Visuals improve the quality of content, making it more informative and attractive, thus boosting user interaction. Search engines highly appreciate that.
5. On Page SEO Absolutely Includes Images Optimization
Image name and image Alt Text should include target keywords. At least one of the images should include the keyword you run for. Again, this is a detail that helps search engines determine the subject of your post.
6. Insert Target Keyword within the First 100 Words
The first 100 words of your article should include the target keyword to help search engines identify the subject of your content.
Most probably this comes naturally, but just in case don’t skip it.
Concerning the keywords density in your post, there is no magic formula, but don’t over use them, it’s subject of downgrading in search results. Use one keyword in the beginning and within the post where it makes sense, including semantic variations.
Here is what Matt Cutts from Google says relative to keywords density:
7. Exploit the Power of Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords are related words or synonyms used by search engines to score the relevance of a page. Use a couple of them within your post.
8. Assign H2 Tags to Subheadings
Subheadings should also have tags, H2, H3. The target keyword is to be inserted in at least one subheading.
Like in the example below:
9. Updated Content
Search engines are more interested in fresh content. As such updating content, especially for time sensitive content is decisive.
Google, for example, displays the date of the last update.
The dimensions of the modifications made to a certain post are important too, removing irrelevant parts, adding more content surpass just changing a few words. Update your post frequently and boost your rankings.
10. Insert External Links in Your Content
This seems to be a common mistake not using outbound links. But it is a simple, easy SEO strategy to increase traffic. Its major advantage is that improves the quality of your content and helps search engines establish the topic of the respective page.
It’s important to pay attention to the sites you link to, aim for those with high authority. Renowned sites like Forbes.com or Entrepreneur.com, or major actors in your niche, like HubSpot.com for Inbound Marketing, are more than reliable and trustful, as they provide quality content that your readers will highly appreciate.
And more over your site will gain in credibility.
11. Insert Internal Links in Your Content
If external links are very important, inbound links are also important. Interlinking is a strategy to keep the reader more time on your site while passing from one page to another. Inbound links prove that you are also offering supplementary information besides your page content.
Drop 2-4 links among your posts. And use as anchor text the corresponding keywords. Place them just since and when they are necessary and pertinent.
12. Insert Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing is not actually a ranking factor, but has an indirect role. Social media buttons help expanding the audience that arrives on your site.
13. URLs Should Be SEO Friendly
It is well known that the first 3-5 words that appear in a URL bear higher importance.
Consequently, the permalinks should be short, relevant and include the target keyword.
14. Improve the Loading Speed of Your Site
Loading speed is a SEO ranking factor and a compulsory on page SEO technique. User experience is highly impacted by the site’s loading speed. Statistics say that users would not come back to a site that loads in more than 4 seconds.
Some methods to improve speed are:
- using a content delivery network
- using a caching plugin
15. Avoid Broken Links and HTML Errors
Since search engines consider usability a ranking factor, multiple broken links reduce the value and quality of your site and impact on SEO ranking.
Consequently, check regularly on your links and avoid error pages.
Another weakness sign is having HTML and coding errors. They should never appear on your site.
For simplification, the quintessence of on page SEO best practices is outlined on the following on page SEO checklist.