THE IMPORTANCE OF ONSITE SEO: COVERING THE FUNDAMENTALS
As we’ve continued to take a closer look at what link building means in 2015, this week we’re moving our focus from offsite back to onsite SEO. While earning quality links, citations, and sending positive social signals are crucial steps in helping to improve your site’s ranking, Google also ensures that it is sending users to the most relevant websites that provide a worthwhile experience.
Simply put, with Google’s algorithm growing ever more complex in terms of how it calculates offsite SEO, ensuring the best possible onsite SEO is an essential method in holding onto and improving your site’s rankings.
But what does good onsite SEO look like exactly? Online marketers used to synonymize onsite SEO with keyword stuffing, but Google now has Panda to penalize sites that engage in such practices. Today, it is not a matter of how often a certain keyword occurs on page, but rather where the keyword is placed.
What this means is you should have your most important keyword in the title tag of your page, if it makes sense. In addition, you should have a variety of header tags, from
, on the page, each with a keyword in it as Google gives preference to the header tags over the body text.
In addition, you should have a fair amount of text on each page, as long as it makes sense. Every page you have is an opportunity to optimize for a particular keyword, but as Google’s bots continue to grow and improve, their ability to parse text has also improved and thus you can optimize each page for a variety of keywords (though it’s smart to keep things simple when it comes to your title and header tags).
In addition to the title and header tags, the URL is also an opportunity for you to highlight the keyword for which you are trying to rank. For example, if you are trying to rank for the keyword “film school” and you have an About page, consider following this formula: www.sitename.com/film-school. Remember to hyphenate spaces in your keywords and do not use underlines.
Finally, one recent ranking signal that Google has indicated that it is now taking into account when it ranks a page is whether or not the site has HTTPS security. Of course, if you have a large website, making all of your pages HTTPS can be a rather daunting undertaking, but if you’ve done everything else imaginable to improve your SEO and can still use an extra boost, than you might want to consider it.
Of course, at the heart of all of the above steps is having content that users want to read and view. At the heart of any good SEO campaign is strong content, and by using the best onsite SEO practices in the service of good and high-quality content, you will definitely be giving your site the leg up.