Here are the Best Practices for On Page SEO that I recommend to all of my clients to help them get their blog posts to rank highly in search results:
Keyword Research – Start by loading up Google’s Keyword Tool and type in a few keyword phrases within your niche. Then look down the list (sorted by highest exact local traffic) and find keyword phrases that you are knowledgeable about and write your story around them. Here is how I do keyword research.
Title – Give your new story a title that includes the keyword phrase. For example, if your chosen keyword is “artificial insemination”, you might choose a title like “artificial insemination FAQ”, or “understanding artificial insemination”. What you want to do is embed the keywords into your title.
URL – Make sure your URL displays the title, such as:
A URL such as http://mywebsite.com/blog/2011/#6 not only has little value for search engine optimization robots, but it also is useless for human readers trying to navigate your site. A nice, clean URL is a great starting point for on page SEO.
Content – When writing your blog post, try to follow these guidelines for best on page SEO results. Put your keyword in the first sentence and last sentence of your story. Have a keyword density of around 1-3%. For SEO purposes, a story that is long stands a better chance in the search rankings, so aim for between 500-1,000 words for best on page SEO results. Include at least 1 photo in your story (more on this later).
Internal Linking – Create at least 1 internal link from your story to another story. Here’s an example of an internal link from this story, to another one on my site: Several months ago, I wrote a story about affordable SEO.
Header Tags – You might need your webmaster to set these for you in your source code. Your keyword should appear in each of 3 header tags in your story. Generally, your first header tag <h1> will be the title of your story. The second header tag <h2> can be inserted after your introduction or part of the way down your page. Not only is this useful for SEO, but it also makes the story easier on the eyes, as it naturally creates space. You can follow the header tags in the affordable SEO company blog post I wrote. The third header tag <h3> can be inserted further down in the story. A trick I sometimes use is to just re-state the title of the article at the bottom of the story like below. Plus, it is also seen as your last sentence, so you kill 2 birds with one stone.
This Post: Title of Story
You will notice I use this little “cheat” strategy at the end of my on page SEO post below 🙂
On Page SEO Meta Data
Meta Tags (Title) – In addition to the headers, which may need to be setup in HTML by your webmaster, each blog post should have its meta title include the keyword (s). A simple format I like to follow is:
Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Business Name
This allows you to optimize your blog post for 2 keywords and also include your company name within the title. This is a general rule of thumb for how I do it. Feel free to vary it to suit your needs, as long as you have your main keyword listed first.
Meta Tags (Alt Tags) – Remember the photo you included? In order to have Googlebot understand what the photo is about, you will need to set the “alt tag” parameter to include your keyword. If your blog software does not allow you to set this, have your webmaster do it for you.
Meta Description – The description of your blog post should be a 1-2 sentence summary of what the post is about. Include your keyword in your description.
IMPORTANT: On Page SEO Marketing Strategy
Since your description shows up in a search result, your description needs to be compelling, so that it entices the searcher to click on your story. Think about what you do when you get search results. For me, I quickly scan the titles and descriptions of the search results, looking for the most appropriate answer to my query. Writing a compelling description can often result in your link getting clicked more often than those websites appearing higher on the page than yours.
Frequency Of Posts – The subject of how often to post a story is debatable. I believe this comes down to personal preference, although a good guideline is 1 to 3 times per week. I would not sacrifice quantity for quality. If you are having all of your blog posts auto-update your social media sites, how often do you want people to see what you’ve written? Personally, I do not care to see what people are doing every hour and I do not have time to read their blog posts, even on a daily basis. But again, it comes down to personal preference.
The techniques described above are what is known as on-page optimization and will give you the best opportunity to get your content ranked in Google. I am happy to work with you if you need help optimizing your posts, or if you require off-page optimization to move your website higher up in search results.
This Post: On Page SEO: How To Write a Blog Post For Best Search Results