Business owners spend a lot of time and money creating visually appealing websites and in-depth content to promote themselves online. While these are key features in generating leads, you also need to understand on-page SEO essentials if you want your site to rank properly in the search engines and be found by potential clients.
Since many business websites tend to overlook the relevance and power of on-page SEO, in this quickfire audio checklist I’m going to give you an overview of the crucial foundational SEO elements you need to get right. I share how to properly use keywords, outbound links and internal links, and also consider how to create content that engages your audience and encourages people to stay longer on your site. Let’s dive in.
Listen To The Site Speed Show
- How to create SEO-friendly URLs
- How to effectively set up meta titles and meta descriptions
- Keyword variations and sub-heading variations
- Where to position keywords in body text
- Why you need a mobile-friendly, responsive design
- The relevance of multimedia on your page
- How to create authoritative content that’s easy to read
- Encouraging social interaction through social sharing buttons
- How to use internal links to boost your key content
- Why site speed is always important
[Podcast] On-Page SEO (SEO Essentials) From Content Champion #contentmarketing #seo
- How to create SEO-friendly URLs
Read the transcript
Loz James: I'm Loz James, and this is the Content Champion Podcast, the content marketing and SEO show where you can learn actionable techniques from real-world examples.
Hi guys. Welcome to the Content Champion Podcast, and this is another in the SEO Essentials series, which helps you get to grips with those foundational elements of SEO, that you must get right before you roll out your own successful SEO campaigns or employ a service like Content Champions SEO Solutions.
This time on this solo show I'm looking at on-page SEO, and I just plan to really quickly go through all of those essential on-page SEO elements that you must get right, but quite often, you know, we overlook, so that all your pages can have their best chance of ranking properly in the search engines.
First up, must ensure you have SEO-friendly URLs. You really need to have the keyword in the URL, which is especially easy to do in WordPress. For example, mysite.com/bluewidgets. Okay, secondly, add your main keywords to the meta title, preferably at the start of the meta title, and make sure your meta title length's about 50 to 60 characters, no more.
Then, by extension, add your main keywords to the meta description, and try to write it in a way, within 160 characters, that entices click-through. So, make a little mini-ad in a SERPs to click through to your page.
Moving onto the page itself, got to ensure that keyword is in the H1 tag, preferably at the start again. Then, those keyword variations and the main keyword you want to rank the page for in your other H tags. Your H2s, H3s, H4s, and use those H tags properly. Just don't go H1, then H2s, H2s, H2s all the way down the page. Make sure that, you know, you have sub-headings with H2s and then relevant headings under that as H3s, and then go back to another H2 and have relevant subheadings under more H3s, et cetera, et cetera.
Okay. The body text. The first paragraph, within the first 100 words, we need that keyword in there, bolded if possible. Remember, also, those keyword variations, semantically related terms, phrase match keywords in image alt tags, and the file names of the images. Also, ensure that those images on the page have been properly sized to load quickly for the web.
Then, of course, we've got a mobile-friendly responsive design. All the stuff we're talking about won't work unless it can be viewed on mobiles, laptops, tablets and desktops. So, we've got to make sure that you have a mobile-friendly responsive design, and everything shows properly on each of those formats.
Moving on, multimedia. It's very important that you include multimedia elements on the page, especially things like video, graphics, slide shares, screenshots, audio like this podcast. We're using the Smart Podcast Player from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income to include audio on the page. You can also use various video players like YouTube, Vimeo, and also engaging images. Either make up your own images in Canva, or download some great free stock images from Pexels or Pixabay, just to make your blog posts, your pages look more attractive and entice, encourage that dwell time.
All the multimedia we're talking about will encourage people to dwell for longer on the page, increase that engagement and reduce your bounce rates, and that will be a good thing for your rankings.
Okay, moving on to content length. Static pages, you know, perhaps category pages on an eCommerce store, or static service pages on a services site. Make sure these are at least 700 words, but go further. 1,000, 1,500 words. Make sure that blog posts are at least 2,000 words. We do 3,000 word power posts for clients. Get those keywords in there, those semantically related terms as well, and provide a real blockbuster resource that really communicates fully the subject that you're covering and then is relevant to search, because really it's a content arms race and the best content will win.
When it comes to those static pages, make it length enough to communicate your expertise. Also, you'll want to look at breaking up your text with those engaging keyword-rich headings we talked about, and use bullet points, short paragraphs, short sentences. Make the page easy to read and easy to scan, and don't forget that call to action at the end of the page as well, and periodically through the page, at key points for sign ups for your emails or webinars or whatever your call to actions are, just make sure that they're in the content as well, and that that content is really driving action. It's worth looking into copywriting techniques as well to ensure that you're driving that action through the page.
Speaker 2: You're listening to the Content Champion Podcast, available at ContentChampion.com and on iTunes.
Loz James: Okay, moving on. Social sharing buttons. I know this is an obvious one, but just make sure they're there. It's great to encourage social interaction with your content, and just having those social sharing buttons, you know, there are various plugins for WordPress, but make sure you have them on static sites and eCommerce stores as well, to share content, to share products.
Moving on as well, we touched on this earlier, but as well as your main keywords for each page, look at semantically related long tail keywords, and pepper these throughout the text. It's important that the page is optimised, not just for a very narrow headline keyword and a couple more, but really look at the content and the relevance of the search holistically, and research some of those related, semantic keywords that will help to convey meaning to search engines and help you rank higher in Google and also help you to cover the topic in question more thoroughly, so your user, your readers get a better experience.
Moving on, use outbound links to authority sites. As an extension to all this, you know, content relevancy and content quality stuff we're talking about, it's actually impossible, really, to write an authoritative piece of content or an authoritative article without linking out to a source that either proves the argument you're making, shows the stats that you're talking about, builds the authority of the piece in that way. So, you are going to be linking out to other sources of information, and this is what Google expects to see in a well-rounded, crafted piece of authority content. So, make sure you're linking out and also, in order not to lose link juice, just make sure those links are no-follow.
Moving on, let's talk about internal links. Now, you can't use high percentages of exact match anchor text in your link building anymore, because you'll get a Google penalty for that. A link building penalty. But, we can use exact-match anchors with internal links. So, when you write a new blog post and there is a truly relevant place to link through and exact-match your partial match keyword to a money page or a services page or a landing page, and you want that page to rank higher in search, just simply use an internal link through to that page from your best pieces of content.
Indeed, for a back-link kickstart, you can go in, find in Google analytics your, say, top 10, top 20 highest ranking, highest traffic, most authoritative pieces of content, and you can go through those and add, you know, a sprinkling of different exact and partial match keyword anchors and link those through to money pages, to get them ranking quicker, as well.
Okay, finally, we've done a podcast on this, but site speed. Ensure the site, and therefore the page that your content is on, is running quickly, because all the good work we're talking about in terms of on-page optimization above, won't be worth anything unless the page itself and the website it's on are running quickly. So go back and have a look, I'll link to the previous podcast on site speed, so you can have a look at all the things necessary to ensure that your site is fast running, quick loading, and all the resources on that site don't cause problems when people are trying to click through your pages and read your content.
So, that's it, quick-fire on-page SEO. Get all that in order, based on keyword research, and when it comes to ranking for your target keywords, you'll be cooking with gas. Okay, that's it for this time. Thanks for listening again to the SEO Essentials series, part of the Content Champion Podcast.
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