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On-Page SEO Tips: SEO in a Nutshell

There’s one thing you need to know about Google when it comes to on-page SEO tips. It cares about one thing above all other things, and that thing is RELEVANCE. The more the things on your website are related to the main keyword you want this page to be found for, the higher Google will rank you, and the faster it will do it.

SEO In A Nutshell: How It Really Works

Well, let’s say you want a page on your home decorating website to rank well for “Tibetan Rugs For Sale”. There are a lot of people who would title that page “Area Rugs for your home”, and then write an article and mention “hand-made rugs” and “decorative rugs” and “beautiful rugs,” all of which are alternate names or could describe “Tibetan rugs.”

Then, they would wait for Google to rank the page.

Well, it’s not going to happen.

While Google is smart, it’s much smarter at understanding things that are clear and consistent rather than things that are vague and obscure. And Google looks at a long list of elements on your page to figure out what the page is about.

What are those things? Well, here is a list of 7 of the easiest to implement and most important On-Page SEO Tips. Use your primary keyword in each of these places on your page, and Google will understand what your page is about, and rank you higher because of it.

Note: WordPress has both pages and posts. In this article, whenever I write “page” it applies equally to “posts.”

My 7 Easiest To Implement And Most Important On-Page SEO Tips…

Make sure your main keyword is in your…

Optimizing Your Title Tag With Your Keyword

Setting the Title Tag of each page to the main keyword for that page is the single most important on-page SEO Tip you can implement to increase your rankings. Google looks there first to discover what your page is about. And if you have a WordPress Site, and you name your page with your keyword, then WordPress will automatically set your title tag to the same thing. And, it will also set your Page Name to the same thing (kinda sorta), too. See the next tip.

Choosing a Page Location

WordPress calls the actual, physical location of a web page it’s “slug”. So, in a URL like this one, “www.MySite.com/my-post”, the “my-post” makes up the slug.

If you put your major keywords in your slug, Google will understand even better what your web page is about. And, if you are using WordPress to build your site, when you set your page or post title to your keyword, WordPress will automatically set your slug to the same thing…mostly.

What WordPress will actually do is “slugify” your title to make the slug. That means it will replace spaces with hyphens, and set all characters to lower case. So “My Cool Post Title” will get “slugified” and become “my-cool-post-title.” And so far as Google and SEO is concerned, that’s just fine.

Using Keywords In Headings & Subheadings for On-Page SEO

Here’s a little HTML lesson for you. HTML Headings help to organize the content on a page like headings in a book or magazine. And they have a hierarchy like in an outline.

The Hierarchy is numbered, so you always start with a “Heading Level 1”, which in HTML is an H1 Tag, after which you can have one or more H2 tags. The next level down is an H3, and so on. It “logically” looks like this:

  • H1 Main Title
    • H2 Important Heading
    • H2 Another Important Heading
      • H3 Subheading
      • H3 Subheading
    • H2 Last Important Heading

Google pays special attention to any text that stands out on a page, and the headings on a page certainly stand out visually, because they are usually larger and in bold or color. But what’s more important for SEO is that the Heading Tag itself tells Google how important the text is. So, it makes sense to use your keywords in your headings.

Again, WordPress helps you get started because it will automatically put an H1 heading on your page that matches the Title of the page. So, if you set the Title of your page to “My Cool Post Title”, then you’ll have an H1 Heading on your page with the same text.

But you should also add your keywords to your subheadings…at least one or two of them, but not all of them. But be sure there’s some additional text in the headings, too. So, if your keyword is “Best Back Braces”, then a subheading of “2020’s Best Back Braces For Pain Relief” or “Best Back Braces Are Not Always Expensive”.

Anything is fine, but Google pays more attention to a keyword the closer to the beginning it finds the keyword. So “Best Back Braces For 2020” would be better than “This Year’s Best Back Braces.”

For optimal on-page SEO, your pages all need to link to each other, and they will when you add them to your site’s menu. But there’s a big mistake most people make when building links from one page to another: they link with words like “click here” or “that page”.

Do you do that? If you do, then you are losing an opportunity to tell Google what the linked page is about.

The text in your link — the technical term is the “anchor text” — tells Google what it will find if it follows the click. What would you expect to find if you followed a link called “click here”? It would be better if the link had your keywords in them. Again, WordPress comes to the rescue. When it builds links for you — either with the default menu builder or the “recent posts” widget — it uses the title of the page as the anchor text.

But when you manually make a link from one page to another, be sure to make a link out of the keyword of the page you are linking to. So, if you are linking to a page about how to plan a wedding, then your link would use those words, assuming it makes sense in the sentence you wrote. In other words, if “wedding planning” works better in a sentence on the first page, then link from that text. It’s still awesome!

Keywords in Meta Tags

Lots of people don’t understand what Meta Tags are, and that’s okay. “Meta” means “information about information.” Meta tags are special parts of HTML that tell other computer systems what your page is about. The two most common are tags called “Keywords” and “Description”.

What most people don’t know is that none of the major search engines look at the Keywords tag any more.

But they do look at your Meta Description, and they even sometimes use that text for your Google listing in search results. So, be sure to write a short description that uses your main keyword once — especially as the first words in your description — along with some compelling text that helps someone decide to click from Google on to your page for more information.

Using an SEO Plugin like Yoast SEO makes entering your Description Meta Tag very easy.

How to Use Keywords In Your Body Text

Okay, this on-page SEO tip may seem obvious, but it’s unfortunately not as obvious as I thought it was before I started reviewing websites built by other people.

I’ve seen pages that had nothing but images on them (check out Beyonce’s website for an example). I’ve actually seen pages about “Tibetan Rugs” that never used those two words on the page. I’ve even seen pages with no content at all…and yet the owners still expect their sites to rank highly for some keyword.

It’s not going to happen.

But following these on-page SEO tips for body text will get your page ranked for your keywords.

  • Use your main keywords in the first paragraph of your WordPress page or post content.
  • Use it in the middle of the content once or twice…or more if it’s a long page.
  • Use your keyword again in the last paragraph at least once.
  • Boldface or italicize your keyword once in your post, especially if you can make it look naturally, as if for emphasis.
  • Use a keyword as a link back to the same page once in your post, with your keyword as the anchor text.

The more of these you do the better, though the last two may not be as important any more.

Can Images Have Keywords?

No, Google still cannot read your images and know what they mean. It won’t look at an image of a rug and say “Hey, that’s Tibetan!” However, HTML does have other “attributes” for images that Google can read — and will. So you may as well stack the deck in your favor and use all of these on-page SEO tips for images.

  1. First, name the image itself using your keywords. If the image is a beautiful red Tibetan rug that your camera named DCIM3343, then don’t name the picture “DCIM3343.jpg” when you upload it to your site. Instead, name it “red-tibetan-rug.jpg.”
  2. At the same time, set the “alt tag” for that image to your keywords, too. What is an alt tag? It’s text that is displayed to your user when the image is not available. Google uses it to help figure out what to show in an image search. It is also used by screen readers to tell blind people what is in the image. You can set the Alt tags in the WordPress Media Library. Just click on the image and you’ll see the fields for you to fill out.
  3. Set a caption that describes in more words the subject of the photo.
  4. And finally, set a “Title” attribute using your keywords, too. (As a conversion bonus, make the image a link, and link to your product sales page, or to an affiliate link for a product related to that keyword. People OFTEN click images, and you’ll make a few extra bucks this way if you’re offering something for sale.

That’s All 7 Of My On-Page SEO Tips

Now, most of these things are very easy to do in WordPress.

We recommend you take a look at the Yoast SEO plugin I mentioned above. Go to the Plugins menu, and choose “Add New.” Search for “Yoast SEO” and you’re well on your way.

You’ll find settings in there for the things that WordPress does not handle automatically, including your home page meta tags, and meta tags for your categories, too.

The On-Page SEO Bottom Line

Your very first step in trying to get more traffic with on-page SEO is to make it EXTREMELY CLEAR what your web page — and your entire web site — are all about. Take advantage of every opportunity to logically place your keywords in places where they belong. Once Google knows what your site is about, it will more readily rank your site when people search for your topics.

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