On Page SEO Best Practices by the End of 2017

 On Page Search Engine Optimization Best Practices

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:

 Ranking Factors for Google. Source: Searchmetrics

Ranking Factors for Google. Source: Searchmetrics

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.

 Include target keyword in title example

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.

 On page SEO best practices - Pinterest

 

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.

 Place keywords in the first 100 words of an article. Sample

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.

 Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords

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:

 Assigning H2 tags to subtitles

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.

 Updated content is prefered

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.

 External links in content example

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.

 Inserting internal links in content

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.

 

Yes:   https://www.marketingdigibook.com/blog/boost-traffic-pinterest

No:   https://www.marketingdigibook.com/blog/10-strategic-ways-to-boost-your-traffic-from-pinterest

No:  https://www.marketingdigibook.com/blog/105u43895738567

 

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:

- compressing images

- faster hosting

- using a content delivery network

- using a caching plugin

Test the speed of your site with a tool like GTMetrix.com, Pingdom or PageSpeed Insights and see how you stand.

 Site performance report example

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.