Search engine optimization, or “SEO” is a buzz phrase just about everyone knows, but very few understand. One of the most immediate means of optimizing your site for search engines, and one of the best means in your control is to create quality content on a regular basis. Utilizing some very basic on-page SEO tactics will give you an edge in the search engines, too. Surely your hard work deserves every chance possible to be seen, read and appreciated, no? We use WordPress with the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” and “Zemanta” plugins.
SEO Starts with Keywords
Have your keyword list in hand? Good. Haven’t gotten that far yet? We have just the thing for you. Download our Keyword Research eBook, and plan a few quiet hours for your research. Your customer’s needs and questions, as well as the help you can offer and information you can provide will help you come up with your topic. Now, look at your keyword list for applicable words to focus. Got them? Good!
How to Use Keywords for Good On-Page Search Engine Optimization
Use your keywords in title tag, preferably at the beginning. Include your brand name, too. If you are a local business, add your location, as well. But remember you have 50-60 characters!
Permalink or URL
Your permalink is the URL for your page or post. Use keywords here and leave out “stop” words such as: “a”, “and”, “the”, “for”, etc.
Meta Description Tag
Again, use your keywords (in the snippet preview images notice how, if you searched for “Search Engine Optimization” those words appear as bold in the search engine listings). Since people who searched for your keywords will see the description in the listings, put the description in a call to action where possible.
Meta Keywords Tag (Optional)
Once a haven for keyword-stuffing black hat SEO practitioners, the Keywords tag is ignored by Google. Bing and YAHOO! may still use this tag, so it doesn’t hurt to include your keywords here.
Don’t overuse one word or phrase here. Use secondary keywords, too. Always make sure to use headings (use H2 or lower, as, in most WordPress installations, your title is an H1), rather than adjusting the font size and making the text bold.
Within the Body of the Page
Use your keywords naturally – 1 to 2 times on the page.
More On-Page SEO Tips
Link to other, related pages on your site. The plugin Zemanta makes this easy – scanning your blog post and suggesting articles you can add to a “related posts” section at the end of the article (see below). Choose the best category for your page or post. If one does not exist – create one! This not only provides a better navigation experience for visitors, it also allows you to later link to an entire category of blog posts on, say a guest blog post.
Bonus: How to Ruin Your On-Page SEO
- Use keyword stuffing or hidden text – keep it natural, instead.
- Use images in place of words, especially in your navigation.
- Utilizing confusing navigation.
- Create poor quality content.
- I’m In Marketing But Here’s Why SEO Matters (searchenginepeople.com)
- Five Easy Ways to Improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Today (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Measure and Improve the Success of Your Website with Analytics – It’s Easy! (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Social Media Tips to Increase SEO (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Keyword Research in Seven Simple Steps (scalablesocialmedia.com)
— Mark Salke (@marksalke) November 18, 2013