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Our Guide: Mastering On Page SEO

Author: Corsto Blog Team
September 29, 2021

The internet is a crowded place. With more than one billion websites out there, competition for traffic is fierce. How do you make sure that your site gets noticed? The answer to this question lies in on page SEO

On page SEO refers to the various techniques used by website owners to get their sites higher rankings in search results pages and thus generate more traffic. You want your site visitors to stay on your site longer so they can become loyal customers - what better way of doing that than ensuring they find what they're looking for? On page SEO includes making sure that the keyword(s) you're targeting are placed strategically throughout the content and metadata of your site, and we'll be discussing best practices for using keywords in your content, where to place them within the page and more.

As with any strategy, you want to implement on page SEO gradually over time so that it doesn't seem forced or unnatural to site visitors. You don't want your content or metadata to look like an unreadable list of keywords either.

1. What is on page SEO

On page SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO. It is an essential strategy for on site optimization that will help you rank your site and bring in more traffic.

This process can be described as making sure the keyword(s) you're targeting are strategically placed throughout the content and metadata of your site. This includes both on page content and page title, descriptions, headings, etc., but also external factors like social media profiles, blog posts or external articles linking to your company's website. The key to on page SEO is writing your site's content with the most relevant keywords naturally placed throughout for search engines to find and index. This process can be challenging because it requires a balance between stuffing these words into your content, which would send up red flags, or placing them too sparsely, which will make your content sound unnatural and not have enough relevant content to tell google what the page is about and how best to rank the page.

2. How to use keywords in your content

Keywords are a big part of on page SEO, so it's important that you understand what you're trying to rank for. What keywords are you targeting? Where are you targeting them? How can you make sure that your content contains those words or phrases? The following paragraphs will run through the basics.

2.1. Know your Keywords

When writing your content, it can be helpful to know which keywords you're targeting before beginning. This helps to narrow down topics and focus your SEO efforts. Once the desired keyword has been determined, include that keyword or phrase throughout the piece of content once per paragraph; then include synonyms for the word (but not too often). Online search engine bots cannot always read context clues like people can, so using synonyms can help your content to be interpreted correctly.

2.2. Know where to put your keywords

When it comes to on page SEO, some people say that the best place for a keyword is everywhere! While this may sound extreme, there are important places within an HTML document where you should use your keyword(s) strategically in order to help you rank.

2.2.1 Title Tags

The title tag is one of the most important parts of an HTML document, so it makes sense to have your keyword within this section if you can. It works as a headline for the page and should be placed in the beginning of the title tag since people see that first when they are searching for a specific topic. The title tag should be no more than 65 characters long, so spruce it up a bit and make sure to include your keywords in first 10-20 characters if possible!

2.2.2 Meta Description Tag

The meta description is another important section for writing content that will help you rank well, but it's not as vital as the title tag. The meta description should be concise and clear, so try to use your keyword(s) here once if possible, but do not stuff keywords in this section. In fact, it's best to avoid having a very similar phrase show up within both your meta description and your title tags since search engines may see that as spammy.

2.2.3 Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.)

Similar to the title tag and meta description, header tags can also be key tools for improving your on page SEO efforts. Using keywords in the headers will help search engines understand what your page is about, so place them strategically throughout these tags. The most important header tags are H1, H2 and H3 tags. Ideally you would have one keyword within each of these three headers with a combination of other keywords thrown in for good measure, but don't go overboard!

2.2.4 Body Copy

The body copy is obviously the most vital part of your on page SEO strategy, so it's important to pay attention here. When writing your content you should include one targeted keyword in each paragraph. This means that if you have a 500 word article, there should be a least 50 different instances of your keyword - this is not an exact science and depends on the length of your content but is a good basic guide for getting you started in the right direction.

2.2.5 Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that appears when an internet user places their mouse over a hyperlink. It's important to use your targeted keyword within the anchor text of a hyperlinked phrase in order to help you rank higher for it. For example, if I were writing content on "Mastering On Page SEO" then I could hyperlink the word "SEO" to that phrase, and within the anchor text I would use my keyword phrase. However, if you're using an affiliate link (a link with a tracking code) which you're trying to optimize for your keywords, don't go overboard! This means that you should not stuff your keywords into anchor text for affiliate links or you could risk getting your site penalized by search engines.

3. Optimize Your Content up to the First 100 Words

Yes, this falls under on page SEO, but it's important enough to warrant its own section! You should always make sure that you include your keyword(s) in the first 100 words of your content. This will help search engines (and, subsequently, visitors) understand exactly what you're writing about without having to read the entire article.

For example, if you have an article called "5 Ways to Increase Sales Through Social Media" but the first 100 words are "Many small businesses are using social media as a fast and efficient way to increase their sales. It's such a popular idea that it has become a norm, and there is no one out there who doesn't know about this." - well, search engines will be confused by the lack of keywords and visitors will likely leave because your content isn't relevant to them in the slightest. Remember: include your keyword(s) as close to the start of your content as possible!

4. Where to place keywords within the page for maximum impact

Part of optimizing your content for search engines is using keywords throughout the page and within the appropriate place. So, for example, if you're targeting the keyword "running shoes," then it's a good idea to use that term in the title and in text that discusses running.

Keywords should be used:

-In both your headline and subheadings

-In introductory paragraphs

-In images/titles

-In body copy (use synonyms or variations of your target keyword)

With all these opportunities to use keywords, it's important to make sure you're not over-optimizing your content. Search engines are smart enough now where they can tell when keywords are used too frequently or placed in the wrong spots (like an image title that doesn't make sense).

And remember that using keyword variations is still worthwhile. You do want to put your primary keyword in the right spots, but using phrases (also called latent semantic indexing) like "running shoes" and "runner's shoes" is good practice.

6. Tips for making sure you're targeting the right keyword(s) and finding synonyms when necessary

-Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This tool can be used to find popular keywords that people are searching for and get a good idea of what your target audience is looking for, which will help you better tailor your content. It also shows how many people search for a given keyword every month so you know if it's worth targeting or not, and it provides related keywords so you can explore other related terms

-Find synonyms - this is a really useful strategy when there isn't an obvious synonym (or when you've exhausted all ideas). You may not be able to rank for "guitars" but you might still be able to rank for "acoustic guitars" or "electric guitars."

-Check out your competitors' keywords on SEMrush. This is a really powerful tool you can use to spy on your competitors' keywords and see how much traffic they're getting for each of them.

-Pay attention to how people are searching for your topic. If you're writing about "Greek yogurt," search Google for that phrase - do most of the top results just have that phrase? Or do they use other words and terms as well?

Conclusion

If you want to rank higher in the search engines, drive more traffic and conversions, or just get people interested in your brand - on page SEO is a valuable tool. It's important to make sure that your keyword(s) are spread throughout your content strategically for maximum impact while still playing nicely with search engine bots. Remember: the first 100 words of any article should include keywords so visitors can understand what it's about without having to read an entire post; keywords should be used within both headings and body copy (both using variations); pay attention to how people are searching for specific terms when coming across them online; use Google Adwords Tool to find popular related keywords. Implement some of these on page SEO strategies and watch your conversion rates soar!

I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free send us a message here.

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Philip Smith

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