When it comes to blog promotion and increasing traffic, no other marketing strategy means more to bloggers than search engine optimization, or SEO for short. In this post were going to focus more on on-page SEO as apposed to off-page, don’t worry I’ll explain the difference later if you’re not too sure.
Naturally when you’re starting out in blogging for the first time, you’re going to have very little to no knowledge on SEO, that’s understandable. But it’s important that you understand what on-page SEO can do for your blog, you cannot ignore it or hope to succeed without some basic knowledge of on-site search engine optimization.
The difference between on-page SEO and off-site SEO
OK before web get started let’s briefly take a look at the differences between on-page and off-site SEO.
On-page SEO looks at the meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density of a page within your WordPress blog. How well a page is optimized will reflect on your web page listing positioning in the natural search results.
But since Google’s algorithm updates namely Panda, on-page SEO now takes into account other elements such ash page loading time, use of quality images (optimized), video and other media formats, content uniqueness and quality, navigation and internal links, screen resolution, authorship, mobile optimization, design and layout and generally how good of a user experience a page has to offer.
One thing I’ll mention about on-page SEO is that whilst it’s essential for increasing organic search engine traffic, it does take time to achieve. It’s not an overnight fix, you don’t optimize a page one day and the next day you’re at the top of Google, you’ll need to be patience, and in fact whilst you wait you can be doing a little off-site SEO in the meantime.
Off page SEO is all about link building which we’re not covering in this post, you can find tips and ideas on link building by checking out the following posts below –
OK let’s get started with our on-page SEO.
How To Do On-Page SEO in WordPress For Newbie Bloggers
1.Create A Search Engine Friendly URL
Let’s start with creating a search engine friendly URL. Depending on your current permalink structure, creating a SE friendly URL is relatively easy, all you need to do is ensure that you incorporate your keyword with elements of your post title. For example, the permalink title of this post is …/on-page-seo-newbie-bloggers
As you can see it doesn’t contain any stop words such as ‘for’, otherwise it would be ‘on-page-seo-for-newbie-bloggers’. Stop words are words that are ignored by the search engines, so they don’t need to be in your SE friendly URL. You’ll find a comprehensive list of stop words here: http://www.webconfs.com/stop-words.php
2. Create A Post Title + Keyword
Now we’ve created a search engine friendly URL, it’s time to look at your post title.
I’ve always believed that creating an attention grabbing post title is more important than creating a search engine optimized title, I don’t expect you to agree with me that’s just my belief but I’ll explain why.
Post or headline titles are all about ‘grabbing the attention of your audience’s straight away, readers tend to scan content. However you can also incorporate a little SEO into your post title too, simply by placing one of your keywords into your title. Here is an example I’m using for building this particular post –
My Post title: On-Page SEO For WordPress: The Complete Guide For Newbie Bloggers
As you will note, I’ve highlighted my target keywords in bold. So next time you’re creating an eye-catching SEO title for your post or page, you can do the same.
3. Check Keywords & Density
Keywords and keyword density are at the heart of on-page SEO. You should always write for your audience, that’s one of the golden rules in blogging, but you should also keep the search engine in mind also. You want search engine traffic; you need to think about your focus keyword and how often your keyword appears in your copy.
Here are some tips for you when using keywords in your content –
- Combine and diversify with short and long tail keywords
- Aim for an absolute minimum keyword density of 1% in your copy, more is OK but don’t over stuff your copy with keywords, it will only appear unnatural. Usually 3 to 5% is good.
- Use bold, italic and underline for your keywords at least once.
- Ensure your keyword is present in your post title, SEO title and search engine friendly URL.
- Ensure your focus keyword is present in the first paragraph.
4. Create Unique Content
Google started penalizing sites and blogs that contained too many thin content pages, thin content meaning posts or pages that contained only a few sentences or a few paragraphs at most. So a few things you need to keep in mind when creating content that is search engine friendly is that you always create unique, quality and useful content, and consistently too.
Here are some points to keep in mind as far as content creation is concerned –
- Create unique, useful, content consistently.
- Don’t make it thin; aim to write 500 to 1,000 words per post.
- Make good use of bullet points
- Break your content up into readable / scanable paragraphs
- Make your content readable by everyone; avoid using too many technical phrases and terms. (In other words make it user friendly as possible).
- Check for typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
5. Make Use Of H2 and H3 Subtitles
Ensure your content makes good use of H2 and H3 text titles where appropriate and that they contain your focus keyword, but don’t over do it.
6. Add Optimized Images
You’ve heard the saying a photo is worth a thousand words, this is true and an optimized photo is worth incorporating into your content.
Optimizing images is an essential part of doing on-page SEO. Before uploading your images into your blog ensure that they are optimized for the web. You can pretty much use any good desktop image editing software to do this, if you don’t have one you can download a free digital image editor here: http://www.imageoptimizer.net/Pages/Home.aspx
Here are some top tips for optimizing your images before adding them to your post -
- Use JPEG images, PNG are much better quality but can take longer to load.
- Host images on another server or use a photo management / hosting application such as Flickr or PhotoBucket.
- Use keywords in alt text, text around the image, image name, page title.
- Use reasonable image file size for faster loading.
7. Make Use Of Other Multimedia
Diversify your content using other multimedia such as audio, video, infographics, slide presentations and more. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider adding video content or multimedia to your blog post content -
- It adds visual impact.
- Video content resonated deeper with your audience, give your readers what they want.
- Not too many other bloggers out there are doing it.
8. Do Internal Linking
Make sure to add suitable internal anchor text links to other relevant content on your blog. Diversify your anchor text links using single and long tail phrases.
Read: 5 Smart Ways to Optimize Your Internal Anchor Text Links
9. Add Outbound Links
As well as adding links to other pages on your blog, don’t forget to be resourceful and link to other useful content from high authority domains such as Mashable, The NY Times, Wikipedia and also sites related to your niche.
10. Add Social Signals
It’s impossible to avoid social media these days, the web is constantly adapting to social engagement in so many ways. Ensure that your content has all the social signals required, install a social sharing plugin such as Digg Digg to allow your users to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn. Don’t forget about social bookmarking too, such as Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Digg.
11. Add Google Authorship
Google Authorship has now become an integral part of modern day SEO, especially amongst bloggers as Google are now grading authors as apposed to websites. Check out the following post to learn more about the importance of Google authorship and how to claim.
Recommended on-page SEO Plugin for WordPress: WordPress SEO By Yoast
There are many plugins out there that can help you do on-page SEO more effectively, here is a list of the one’s I’ve been using and would highly recommend -