Building The Foundation With On-Page SEO for 2017

SEO campaigns have become a staple for well-run sites in this day and age. Site owners who are inattentive or refuse to accept SEO's powers will lose out on targeted traffic in their niche.

It's as simple as that.

However, SEO campaigns often start on the wrong note because site owners aren't as creative as they need to be. They start with the details rather than building a foundation for their site.

A beautiful analogy can be highlighted here. Imagine a builder working on a house and beginning with the roof. Is that the right approach to take? What about the structure's foundation? What's the purpose of a roof without something to put it on? The same applies to "on-page SEO" and SEO campaigns. You have to start with on-page SEO as your foundation.

Here is more on what this entails.

What Is On-Page SEO?

Let's start with the basics for those who are learning the ropes and want to get a better read into this technique. On-page SEO defines any change made to help a site's framework. The changes are implemented in-house, which means the site owner works on improving aspects that are under their control.

1) Header Tags

This is an essential on-page SEO technique used by site owners to rank.

Header tags are important because they divide content into readable pieces and can be a wonderful way to optimize for keywords. In essence, these are "sub-headings" within the text.

There is a hierarchy present when it comes to header tags, and this should be understood immediately.

The hierarchy goes from biggest to smallest (i.e. H1, H2, H3) where each heading holds a different value. The larger posts will use this hierarchy to go in-depth with content, while other smaller posts use H1 and nothing else. This is up to the site owner.

Imagine writing a piece titled, "Great Smartphones For You."

The header tags could then read:

Great Smartphones Under $100
Best Smartphones For Battery Life
Best Smartphones For Students

You will start to see a pattern. Secondary keywords are being placed in these headings to optimize content. It will help rank for multiple keywords. It's even recommended to add in the main keyword once into these headings as long as it reads well.

This is an automatic setting for most WordPress themes, and with HTML, you can use tags such as <h1>.

2) Title Tags

This is the first piece of information a user will see when they're on Google or Bing. It's the clickable link when search results pop up.

If this isn't optimized to rank, it can become much harder to do so.

Title tags are easy to incorporate with regular Wordpress themes where a separate "title" field will show up for site owners to use.

For those who are working with HTML, a simple use of <title> should suffice in the coding. It's important to get this spot on so it looks adequate.

The one mistake site owners make with this on-page SEO techniques comes from stuffing their title tag. It's unacceptable to do this. By stuffing the title tag with a useless keyword, it won't read well, and that will turn away search engine bots plus users.

Remember, the goal is to woo traffic at the end of the day.

If the keyword doesn't sound right, change it.

3) Image Tags

Graphics or general visuals have become an important component of on-page SEO in this day and age. Most site owners are venturing towards diversification with their content.

Too many site owners used to stuff text onto their sites and leave it like that.

It doesn't work that way now.

Bots are smart, and they're searching for image tags on sites. Plus, it's not about image tags alone, but making sure they're optimized for keywords too. This is how to take the next step as a site owner.

The goal is to use image tags as a way to describe an image. If it's an acne scar, you list it as "acne scar," so it ranks well on Google or any other search engine. Don't leave it as a random collection of numbers such as "i9d03g" as that won't work.

4) Bold Tags

These are not mandatory and don't have a direct influence on ranking a site. It's important to note this as a site owner.

However, bold tags do have a place.

By highlighting key components within your content, it's easier to woo traffic into becoming leads. Find essential parts of the text and bold them for emphasis.

A simple use of <b> can do wonders for how well your content reads. It won't look like a wall of text that's useless or mind-numbing.

Remember, as always, the goal is to woo traffic not just get them through the door.

5) Keyword Density

When Google was first invented, ranking for keywords was as simple as breathing. Site owners ranked with relative ease straight out of the blocks. It was a dream come true.

However, it's not the same now, and Google's algorithm has diversified.

Keyword density has become a prominent subject among site owners. What is the right amount? How many times should a primary keyword be used? Well, the accepted number sits at 1%. This is the amount of text one's keyword should be. Going over isn't acceptable and going under might not be enough.

If a person shoots over 3%, they might as well ignore ranking the site as it won't happen. This is regarded as straight spam.

Yoast is a great plugin for WordPress site owners. It ensures you have a good reading for what percentage of text is your keyword. It'll make things easier.

6) Site Speed

Imagine doing all of the hard work and losing traffic because of inferior site speed. Is that acceptable in this day and age?

No, it's not.

Don't let it get to this point. Instead, the goal should be to improve one's site speed, so the bounce rate remains low. A site that's slow is never going to attract traffic even if it has the best intentions and great content. People are as impatient as ever, and this has to be factored into one's on-page SEO strategies.

Remember, build a good foundation first, and it starts with your speed.

So, how do you go about doing this? How do you increase the site's speed in the long-run? It begins with getting a better hosting provider for your site. A private network will help a lot and ensure hacks don't take place either.

It's a real win-win, and it won't cost as much as you think. Give it a shot.

7) Latent Semantic Analysis

This is a long-word for variations in essence. The goal is to include variations of a keyword.

Primary Keyword: Acne Treatment

Variations: Best Acne Treatment For Me, Best Acne Treatment Under $50, Treating Acne Now, Beating Acne

The goal is to eradicate the use of your primary keyword and still ranking well. By including these natural variations, you can impress search engines and come across as a reputable site. It's also going to flow naturally when a reader comes across what you're presenting.

8) Length Of Content

Now, with this on-page SEO component, the goal is to emphasize the length of one's content. Is it 200 words? 500? 1000?

What is the right amount of words per post? A lot of site owners go through this predicament.

Studies have shown the right length sits in the 3000-5000 length posts. You need longer, high-quality posts to impress search engines and rank well. Plus, with longer posts, you're able to include variations with ease. It also enables the hierarchy of header tags as listed above.

The length of one's post is necessary because too many people started off in the 500-700 region. This might have worked in the past, but now it's useless. It won't work as well and will take a lot of quantity to get remotely close to what larger pieces can do.

It's better to write one longer post than ten smaller ones.

9) Bounce Rate

The bounce rate talks about the amount of users who come through from search engines and "bounce" away from the site. You want this rate to remain as low as possible, but that's not going to occur until changes are made.

Optimization is required to hit the right notes.

The best way to make a positive change is by interlinking content. This means you point towards another post on the site, which is related to this one. It will help users stay engaged and often result in sales or conversions based on what the site is offering.

Ignoring this is going to keep the bounce rate high, and that's the last thing a person is going to covet when put in such a position.

On-page SEO has, to begin with, the basics and interlinking is a staple of what works in this day and age.

10) Meta Descriptions

The title tag has been mentioned, but what about the little description underneath each listing when a person goes on Google? What is that little paragraph called? It's a "meta description," which is helped to highlight what the site has to offer.

Now, this meta description shouldn't be ignored because it has a lot of value.

The keyword should be present in this meta description. WordPress themes enable one to make changes to the meta description on the spot. Using this feature is of great use.

You will get 160 characters to work with, and you want to use them wisely. Don't spam and make sure it's a generalized look at the content. Imagine the person as a beginner who doesn't know anything about your content.

11) URL

The next on-page SEO component emphasizes the URL one is going to see after a click is made. What is the user going to see at the top?

The average site owner will have a random string of letters after their site name. For example, it might read

As you can imagine, that's useless and a waste.

Instead, you want something similar to if your site is about acne relief.

To do this in WordPress, you can click "Settings" and "Permalinks." It will direct you to where changes can be made.

As you can see, one provides more context and will include the keyword. You want to take this route with all URLs on the site. It will help with ranking and is appreciated because it organizes content.

12) Interlinking

The last step and this has been touched upon when it comes to on-page SEO is interlinking. The premise as mentioned is to emphasize connecting pages inside the site to each other. If this doesn't take place, a site owner might see their bounce rate remain staggeringly high. You want people to stay for as long as possible and nudging them towards another post will help.

Interlinking is different than "link building" as it pertains only within your actual website and not externally.

Please remember, you want to keep the focus on providing value. There is such a thing as "too many links" so you don't want to venture down that path. It should be readable at all times.

If not, you're going to be the one paying the price for a higher bounce rate. You need to be smarter with your use of links.

It's better to have 1-2 links rather than spamming them throughout the content.

This is how one goes about building a foundation for their site. Too many site owners assume they need to find backlinks right out of the gate and that's untrue. It's better to start with the foundation and then look to add in finishing touches. If you start with the finishing touches, you won't be ranking anytime soon.

It's the basics that matter, and it's always been like this. If you want to rank, you start from the ground up and watch as traffic flows in.

On-page SEO is your best friend as a site owner, so realizing it is a must.