July 22, 2019

15+ On-Page SEO Tips to Rank #1 on Google [2019 Update]

Google has over 200 factors that determine the SERP of a particular blog. Alas, a lot of us are not aware of it when we step into the world of blogging.

In the early days, I found it hard to chalk out what could've been wrong that my post was not getting ranked. I went through multiple guides on the internet to work on it and write an article that would be search engine friendly.

On Page SEO tips
On-Page SEO tips

Now, after over a year, I finally started figuring out every loophole and write my articles in such a manner that they rank well in search results.

In this post, I have shared my tips about On-Page SEO (the ones that I tried to rank posts on this blog). Following them, you shall witness steady growth in traffic and ranking of your blog posts even when you're on a vacation.

Let's now hop in to learn On-Page SEO techniques!

Overview:


What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO refers to the tweaks that you can make to your blog to push it to better rank on search engines.

These modifications can be either applied to the content (i.e. text) or to the design (i.e. look) of your blog.

It’s a simple checklist that drives in more organic traffic from every piece of content that you publish!

On-Page SEO Checklist-

Use SEO-Friendly URLs

Matt Cutts from the Google Algorithms team stated that the first 3-5 words in your URL are given more weight.

A study conducted by Backlinko found that short URLs may have a lead in the search results.

Short URLs
Short URLs

So if you want SEO-friendly URLs, make them short and simple.

Don't forget to include your target keyword in your URL.



When it comes to choosing the slug, try to make it as short as possible while still fitting your keyword in.

In some cases, stop words should be removed but it’s fine if you leave them there. (Stop words are words like “a”, “the”, “us”).

Start Title With Keyword

The title tag is the most important on-page SEO factor of your website.
In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has with search engines. Here’s an example from my article on Google RankBrain.

Keywords in Title Beginning
Keywords in Title Beginning

However, the above tip doesn't seek permanent placement of Keywords at the beginning of the title. The title should be meaningful and attractive too.

My motive is to get those keywords in the proper place to form meaningful title as well as let you rank high.

Add Modifiers To Your Title

Using modifiers like “2019”, “top”, “best”, “guide”, “fast” and “checklist” can help your articles for long-tail versions of your target keyword.

Believe it or not! Half of your organic traffic is driven via long-tail keywords. These long-tail keywords span from 6-8 words.

Interestingly, none of them ever appears in any keyword research tool.

So if you are planning to write on SEO for beginners, try putting up a title like this:


Blog Post Title to be in an H1 Tag

The H1 tag is your “headline tag”. Those who are blogging on WordPress will find their post title is automatically quoted in the H1 tag. If that’s the case, you’re all set.
But some custom themes(especially in Blogspot) override this setting. Check your site’s code to make sure your title gets the H1 tag it deserves.



Make sure you have only one H1 tag per page and that H1 tag should contain your target keyword.

Wrap Subheadings in H2 Tags

Place your target keyword in at least once subheading and wrap it in an H2 tag.

However, doing such won't bring about a significant change in your on-page or off-page SEO efforts. After trying this trick on several posts of mine, I did notice a certain upward push from the search engine results page.

Here’s an example of this strategy in action (target keyword= "AdSense Ads"):

Wrap Subheadings in h2 tag
Wrap Subheadings in h2 tag

Drop Keyword in First 100 Words

Whenever you are writing an article, try to keep the target keyword within first 100-150 words.

Keywords within first 100 Words
Keywords within the first 100 Words

Although, the introduction of any content naturally includes the keyword.
But a lot of bloggers pen down their posts off with a lengthy and detuned intro…and use their keyword for the first time later.

When you put your keyword somewhere in the first 100 words or so Google understand what your page is all about.

Use Responsive Design

Google started penalizing mobile unfriendly sites in 2015. And with Mobile-first indexing now live, a mobile-optimized site is a now an absolute must. What’s the best way to optimize your site for mobile devices? Responsive Design.

If you take a look at the stats below:

StatCounter Monthly Statistics
StatCounter Monthly Statistics

The StatCounter Monthly Metrics clearly indicate:

Mobile vs Desktop vs Tablet
Mobile vs Desktop vs Tablet

And if you’re going to make your site mobile-friendly, it is highly recommended that you install a responsive design. In my opinion, it’s ideal for user experience. Also, Google prefers it.

Use Internal Links

You'll find professional bloggers have one thing in common and that's internal links in their articles. In fact, I would suggest you add a couple of relevant links to your own articles.

One great example of internal linking is found in Wikipedia. Goes without saying, Wikipedia is there on the first page in the majority of search results.

They add keyword-rich internal links to every article:

Wikipedia Internal Linking
Wikipedia Internal Linking

But they are Wikipedia. In every post they have on the web, there are at least 10-20 internal links. Some posts even cross 50. But that's Wikipedia.

I would recommend, place at least 5 internal links to your previous posts.

Use Outbound Links

Outbound links to related pages help Google figure out a niche of your page. Google is made aware that your article is a stock of quality info.




Lots of experienced bloggers out there have a misunderstanding about out linking. They believe they are providing backlinks. But, that's not the reality. I practice keeping 2-4 outbound links to those pages which I studied before writing my content.

In fact, you can even mail the admins of such pages and write to them about your article. If they do like those, there is a high chance they will share it on social media handles.

Boost Site Speed

Google has stated on the record that page loading speed is an SEO ranking signal (and they recently made PageSpeed even MORE important). By using a CDN, compressing images, and switching to a faster hosting plan, you can boost site loading speed.

Check if your site load time is less than 4 seconds or more: MunchWeb found that 75% of users wouldn’t re-visit a page that took more than 4 seconds to load.

You can easily check your site’s loading speed using the excellent GTMetrix.com:


CDNs and cache plugins are nice, but investing in premium hosting is the #1 thing you can do to make your site faster.
$5/month hosts are decent for the money you’re paying. But they don’t gift you up with decent speed.



I have not moved on to WordPress yet. I love to stay on Google-hosted Blogspot. Yes, Google owns it all and there are risks of losing your site if you void their Terms and Conditions. I'm still working on a decent Hosting Plan before shifting my website.

Distribute LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are synonyms that Google uses to determine a page’s quality. Add them into every post.

Those bloggers who jolt down huge articles have a natural tendency of including LSI keywords into their posts.

If you want to check that you’re using LSI keywords or not, search for your keyword in Google and scroll down to the “Searches Related to…” section at the bottom of the page:

LSI keywords
LSI keywords

Toss one or two in your articles.

Image Optimisation

Infographics and images add flavour to an article. Viewers are also helped greatly by such tools.

As a publisher, one must add the keywords in the image name following a proper format. For example, "on-page-seo-checklist.jpg" is an ideal image name for SEO.

Also, don't forget to add Title and Alt Text tag to the images.

Image Optimisation for SEO
Image Optimisation for SEO

Search engines get clue about what topic is the page written.

When Google sees images with alt text “on page SEO tips” it tells them: “this page is about on page SEO”

Use Social Sharing Buttons

Today's netizens reside mostly on social media. They browse through digital mode of information provided by different sites.

Those who love reading your article will definitely share with their community. Social media has the power to drive countless traffic overnight. So don't hesitate to add social share buttons on your blog.

BrightEdge, in a study, found that popular social sharing buttons can escalate social sharing by 700%.

Social signals aren’t an important part of the Google algorithm. But social shares on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may give you an indirect rankings boost.

That’s why we put social sharing buttons in the sidebar of every post:

Social Sharing Buttons on TechGyd
Social Sharing Buttons on TechGyd

Post Long Form Contents

The SEO aphorism “length is a strength” was aided by an industry study from Backlinko which found that longer content tends to rank significantly higher on Google’s first page.

Long Form Contents
Long-Form Contents: Backlinko

The target should be for at least 2000 words for every piece of content that you publish on your blog.

Whenever you are writing a blog post that you want to rank, you want to make sure you are including as much detail as possible.



Search Engines have been rewarding long-form content and in 2019, you won’t rank unless you write at least 1500-2000 words per post.

In fact, when you are writing long-form contents, you get to explore a topic in-depth, which in turn increases the time that some visitor spends on your site and Google understands your content is awesome.

Longer content helps you rank better for your target keyword. It also brings in more long-tail traffic. A win-win!

Conclusion

I’ve shared with you my own SEO hacks that I have been practising for quite a while.

These are the top on-page SEO steps out there that have driven over 10,000 visitors per month to my site.

If you follow this checklist, you will notice more traffic and better SERP positions.

To sum up, you need to:

  1. Select the right keywords and their variations
  2. Write long posts of over 2000 words
  3. Use compelling meta copy to increase CTR
  4. Aptly add outbound links
  5. Beautify the code structure like heading tags.
  6. Add images and videos
  7. Clean up your permalinks
  8. Encourage sharing and commenting
  9. Create backlinks to your article
  10. Review and update your articles every so often
  11. Ignore the blackhat temptation

Here’s a useful infographic about On-Page SEO techniques from Brian Dean from backlinko.com to summarise whatever I have explained above:

On Page SEO Tips
On-Page SEO Tips

I believe this article was helpful for you.

If it is, drop a comment telling me which factor you just came to know about and share this article with your marketing friend.

2 comments

  1. I loved the way you've detailed about the topic. Such transparency is rare.

    ReplyDelete

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