On-Page SEO: An Easy Overview
If you haven’t heard of SEO, chances are you’ve actually lived under a rock for the last ten to fifteen years or you’re Amish, in which case it would be interesting that you’re even reading this now. Basically, SEO is an extremely important part of all aspects of successful web development, business marketing, and content creation. Most people who at least dabble in these realms know the basics, which we’ll cover, but there are other simple best practices that can also be easily implemented to better serve your rankings on the biggest of online hubs – search engines.
First off, a brief description. SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, and it’s a way to gain favor with search engines like Google in increasing rankings and relevancy for keyword searches. We’ll use Google in our explanations here, simply because it’s the largest, most widely used, and most discussed when it comes to SEO.
Over time, Google’s algorithms for defining relevancy have become more sophisticated. SEO used to rely highly on keywords, which incentivized people to take part in ‘keyword stuffing’, or egregiously using the keyword they were hoping to rank for within their on-page content. This is now a big no-no, and to succeed in the world of SEO, at the very least it’s expected that you’ll have a keyword density of around 1%-3%. Because this is now a given however, it’s important to understand the other elements that make up a successful SEO campaign currently.
The most important thing to understand is that ‘content is king’, meaning if you have good content, most other things will fall into place for you in terms of good SEO practices. Always keep this in mind. As this relates to SEO, this means first of all having multimedia present in your posts and on your pages. Pictures and video can add interest and value to your content, keeping visitors on your site for longer. Speaking of which, Google measures bounce rate and time on site as factors when determining SEO. If your visitors are leaving your site immediately, it essentially shows that there isn’t much in the way of quality or incentive for them to stay longer, which is a knock against you. If, however, people stay for longer, it’s evident your website must have better content. Beyond multimedia, other ways to effectively boost these measures in Google’s eyes is to increase the length of posts (more than 1,000 words, or 1,500 if competing for an even more competitive keyword) and add internal links that people actually want to click on in order to read more of your stuff and see more of your site.
Other current best practices to incorporate include cutting down on the loading speed of your page, utilizing SEO friendly URLs that include keywords, including outbound links to other relevant and credible sites, and using social media buttons/icons on-page in order to promote sharing. And while there are even more best practices out there, these are best to start with in order to get you off and running to better rankings and more successful SEO.
In short, SEO is all about your content nowadays. Live by that philosophy and on the whole you’ll be alright. Structuring your page is important though, and implementing these necessary steps as habit for every new update, post, page, or site from scratch will boost your SEO and ultimately bring more business and visitors to your site.