If you want to rank on Google, or any other major search engine, you need to understand the basics of SEO and what search engine spiders are looking for when analyzing your website.
In this blog post, we are going to look at the basic SEO foundations you need to set when optimizing your website for 1st page rankings on Google and other search engines.
What Is On Page SEO?
On Page SEO is the optimization of individual website pages that tell search engines what each page is about.
There are a number of details search engines look for when determining how well your website pages will rank.
Some of these details include the title tag, description tag, heading tags and the content on the web page.
Why On Page SEO Is Important
On page SEO is important because a well optimized website can drive tons of free traffic to your website 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Additionally, traffic from search engines is highly targeted and are proven to have the highest conversion rates in the industry.
Just to give you an idea of how important on page SEO is, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 75% of people never scroll past the first page! (source: https://junto.digital/)
How To Optimize For On Page SEO
Google AnalyticsKeyword Research
The first step to optimize your website is to research keywords you want to rank for.
When researching keywords, look for keywords that have a high search volume and low competition.
If your website is new and you try to rank for a keyword that has a high search volume and lots of competition like “pizza”, chances are your web page will be buried deep in search engine results pages where nobody will find you.
Instead, you may want to try to rank for “long tail keywords” that have a high volume of search but have less competition.
Using the “pizza” example, a long tail keyword could include something like “pizza delivery in (your town)”.
Google offers a free keyword research tool to anybody with a Google account. You can access Googles free tool, “Keyword Planner” here.
The title tag is the most important factor of on page SEO because it is the first thing search engines recognize.
After you have done your keyword research, you will want to put the keyword you want to rank for at the beginning of the title tag.
Keep your title tag under 60 characters long so it displays properly in search engine results.
The description tag is important because it is what searchers read before determining whether or not to click on your listing.
Consider your description tag more of a sales copy to entice searchers to click.
Keep your description tag under 160 characters long so it displays properly in search engine results.
(Update: As of Dec 2017, Google now displays up to 325 characters)
The keyword tag is no longer relevant to search engines and can do more harm then help to your online rankings.
The reason keywords are no longer relevant is because webmasters abused them by spamming the tag with hundreds of keywords.
Google and other search engines recognized the issue and did away with the keyword tag.
Heading tags, such as H1, H2, and H3, are important because they give structure to your page.
From a search engines perspective, a H1 tag carries more relevance than an H3 tag.
From a consumers standpoint, the use of heading tags helps them navigate the web page to discover they content they came looking for.
Keyword density is important for on page SEO because it reinforces what your web page is about.
The trick to keyword density is to not overuse your keyword and to make it flow with the content on your page.
Advances in Google’s search engine now recognizes keyword variations which allows website owners to create content that is easy for consumers to digest.
What Is Off Page SEO?
Off Page SEO is the practice of marketing techniques that take place outside of a websites immediate domain and have an impact on your websites ranking.
Some off page SEO marketing techniques include link building, social media eng