While many experts agree that off-site SEO is the most important SEO strategy, on-site SEO is the crucial first step to help search engines determine what your site is all about.
In fact, there have been cases where sites that optimized for non-competitive keywords have seen first-page rankings simply by utilizing on-site SEO best practices.
The great thing about on-site SEO is that it’s easy and less time-consuming than off-site SEO.
Whether you’re just starting to blog, have launched a new site for your business, or are looking to compete well in the online arena, you should see terrific results if you implement the six on-site SEO best practices below.
1. Link out to sites with high TrustRank
Some experts argue that search engines don’t place much value on outbound links. However, there are some indications that Google does pay attention to the places you link to.
Also, Bing, the world’s second most valuable search engine, assigns substantial value to sites that have solid outbound link structures. If you’re going to link out to sites, be sure to link to ones that enjoy high TrustRank. The higher the TrustRank of the page you link to, the better your on-site SEO will score.
For more information on TrustRank, click here.
2. Take advantage of Authorship Markup
Google now allows you to view the credibility of a site’s author by way of Google Authorship. With Authorship, you can link your content to a specific domain such as your Google+ Profile.
By implementing this new Google feature on your website, you will build a better reputation for yourself and for your content. This in turn will inspire greater respect and trust among the people who visit your site.
Click here for more information on how to implement Authorship Markup.
3. Repeat keywords properly
It’s fine to repeat keywords several times on your pages, but do it intelligently. With the advent of Google Penguin, it would be a fatal error to over-optimize your pages with just one set of keywords based on exact-match.
Over-optimization does more harm than good these days. When repeating keywords, be sure to vary the terms or key phrases. You should use related terms instead of repeating exact-match keywords throughout your content.
4. Use fewer ads, and place them strategically
Monetizing your pages is fine, as long as you keep ads to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to check content above the fold (the first screen or upper half of the page) regularly. This area should not be heavy with ads.
If you choose to include them, place a small block of banner or an AdSense ad just above the post title — nothing more. Or you can opt to place ads only on the sidebar or below the post.
Pages that feature big and startling ad displays above the fold tend to get heavily penalized these days for quality violations.
5. Rev up your site’s load speed
Google aims to direct users not just to sites that are useful, but those that provide visitors with a great user experience. Site load speed is definitely one of the factors Google considers for ranking. The faster your site loads, the higher it will rank.
6. Use vanity URLs that are search-engine compliant
This is perhaps the most ignored of the crucial SEO strategies. URLs that have a long string of characters will inevitably confuse your users. Therefore, it’s wise and ultimately productive to employ features that enable you to customize your URLs.
When customizing URLs, be sure to include keywords, a very useful tactic for achieving high ranking. WordPress has a plugin that allows bloggers to customize the URL of their posts with ease.
Don’t take on-site SEO for granted. It’s very important. So important in fact that properly optimizing your pages for the keywords you are targeting could rank you well against the competition in searches with only minimal off-site efforts.
For more information on how to optimize your site properly, contact us and we will assess your website for free.