As marketers, we have to stay ahead of Google's seemingly endless algorithm updates. If we don't, we run the risk of not showing up in important keyword searches. However, keeping up with all these changes is no easy task. When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) success, there is one rule of thumb that continues to be a proven technique: optimizing websites with relevant and targeted keywords.
If you have a well-optimized site, you’ll start to see results, such as better quality of visitors, higher conversion rates and, ultimately, more customers. So, in this article, we’ll discuss how to add keywords to your webpage after you have completed your keyword search.
Do you already have your keywords ready? Perfect. Read on to see what on-page SEO is, in which sections of your website you should add those keywords, and how to avoid search penalties.
What is on-page SEO and off-page SEO?
SEO includes creating, promoting and optimizing the content of a website. On the other hand, on-page SEO refers to the improvements of the information on specific pages of your site to achieve a better ranking in the searches. Of course, on-page SEO isn't the only thing that determines the place your site will occupy in a search. To be brief, we could tell you that:
- On-page SEO is what a website "tells a search engine."
- Off-page SEO is what "other websites say" about a site.
What could websites say to search engines? On-page SEO is about optimizing individual websites so that search engines understand the topic and keywords of the pages and link each page to relevant searches.
Regarding off-page SEO, it’s an aspect that doesn't depend solely on you. The opposite is true with on-page SEO, so improving it can significantly help your inbound marketing efforts by attracting the right visitors to your website. You should optimize your webpages and help search engines understand who you are, what you do, and what topics you write about. Once again, when you improve on-page SEO, you’ll help improve your website's organic ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The structure of on-page SEO
On-page SEO has two main elements that build its structure and you must know and identify these elements to improve your positioning.
On-page SEO optimization related to keywords
Although you might think that these are aspects that only concern content writers, the truth is that it is the most important concern for any type of content creator, from writing to images to HTML programming. Therefore, to take care of and improve on-page SEO related to keywords, you must consider the use you make of them in:
- The title of the publication or post
- The name of the URL
- The title and H1, H2, and H3
- The first 100 words (or the first paragraph) of content on your page
- Meta Title and meta description tags
- The names of the images, as well as the alt or alt-text labels to the images.
On-page SEO optimization not related to keywords
The second element that makes up on-page SEO is not related to keywords which are made up of the following components:
- Links or internal links
- External links
- Content extension
- Multimedia elements.
Considering external and internal links will allow search engines to place your site within the rankings relevant to the topics. Of course, it is worth mentioning that external links aren't off-page SEO.
Although both refer to links from external sites to yours, the difference between them is that external links from on-page SEO are hyperlinks that redirect your readers to external sites, while external links from off-page SEO are the links that external sites take from pages of your website.
8 tips on on-page SEO to position yourself better
1. Start by conducting an SEO audit on your website
The SEO audit will give you an idea of the SEO optimization level of your website in general. In this way, you can update and optimize your current content for search starting with the web pages with the highest traffic.
- Perform a detailed SEO audit. Check if your site is blocked in search engines, monitor site performance, detect and remove duplicate internal content, as well as check the popularity and reliability of your site.
2. Insert keywords in five fundamental sections of your website
To optimize your webpages for keywords, you must include these keywords on your website. However, not all sections for keywords are the same, as some are more relevant than others for on-page SEO. The following list contains some of the most important sections of your website where you’ll need to optimize the keywords you have selected:
Titles are the HTML element used to describe the topic of a web page. Titles have a direct impact on both clickthrough rates (CTR) and search rankings. If you want your title to be searchable and attractive:
- Try not to exceed 65 characters so you don't appear cut off on search engine results pages. Technically, Google measures the width of the pixels; not the number of characters. Organic search results are approximately 600 pixels long; that is, about 65 characters.
- Include one of your target keywords or phrases, so it's easier for people searching to identify that your results are relevant to another query. Put these keywords closer to the beginning of the title to decrease the risk of it being cut off in the SERPs.
Meta descriptions appear in search results, below the title and URL. They can help improve CTR, but today they don't have a direct impact on rankings. They are there for the users, not for the search engine crawlers and you should use them to tell people searching why they should click on your result.
Your keywords or target phrases in your meta description should show a high relevance to the search, but they also need to be attractive to the user. This will give you a better chance of getting visitors.
Headings and content
You must use keywords in your headings and content, as visitors are more likely to stay on a page if they can see the terms they searched for on it. Google uses the use of keywords in your content as a ranking factor, so doing this can help improve your SERP rankings.
Just be sure to use these words naturally, as Google is becoming more and more effective at detecting keyword stuffing in content. Every time you create content, focus on what your audience cares about, not the number of times you can include a keyword or phrase in that content. If you do that, you’ll notice that you’re naturally optimizing your site for the important keywords.
While it’s fine to use keywords in various sections of your website, don't abuse this tactic or Google will remove your web pages in search results. Additionally, keyword abuse lowers the quality of your content.
Image titles and alt text
You can also consider including keywords naturally in image titles and alt text. The alternative text of an image tells search engine crawlers what an image is about, allowing it to find them in searches and it also improves accessibility for people with low vision who use screen readers. On the other hand, an image title tag appears when users hover the mouse over the item, similar to a pop-up window.
It's a good idea to include keywords in your URL if they accurately describe the content of the page. As always, keep the reader in mind when creating your URLs. After all, your URLs must make sense to people: give them a good idea of the section of your website they landed on.
3. Learn to avoid search penalties
There are some practices to avoid when optimizing your website for keywords as well. So beware of the following inappropriate practices:
Never hide keywords
Don't use the same background color as the text or hide the words behind the images. While not as easy to spot as other tactics, today's search engines are more sophisticated and can easily discover hidden keyword instances, which could lead to penalties.
Avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing involves repeating keywords over and over again in the text, be it in titles, headings, descriptions, page content, URLs, or even at the bottom of a web page in very small text. Keyword stuffing is the oldest trick when it comes to SEO. Today, search engines detect it and it leads to penalties.
Don't force keywords
This is not the same as stuffing a large number of keywords in a post. Rather, it's about not forcing a keyword (even just one) if it's not relevant in a given context. If you can't find a place to put a keyword in a piece of content, this is usually a sign that the content isn’t well aligned with what your ideal consumers need.
Remember, SEO doesn’t seek to incorporate as many keywords as possible. It's more about choosing the topics relevant to your target audience.and remove the extra words.
4. Promote a good UX
Optimizing your webpages for algorithms sounds scientific, remember that the final goal of search engines is to offer the best possible experience to end-users, who are the ones doing the searches. If you don't lose sight of this goal with your SEO strategy, you’ll have a better chance of making better decisions. Think users first, search engines second, and everything will work out.
5. Add internal and external links
Paying attention to internal and external links on your pages is as important as other elements to improve on-page optimization. From different perspectives, you’ll see that taking this into account will bring you several benefits.
- Internal links
Internal links will make it easier for search engines to position your content within the appropriate classifications for the topics you are dealing with. They will help refine the selection process and positioning in the area that corresponds to your site.
Each internal link that leads to pages within your site will allow search engines to determine which topics are relevant to your site and will leave no room for doubt about the problem that your company solves. Something that can make a big difference is adding the links in the keywords of the page you are creating content on.
- External links
External links, on the other hand, will improve the UX, since they will make it possible to corroborate the information that your site is providing through content from other sites. In itself, the experience is something that will improve your ranking. Additionally, adding these links can complement the information or help your readers or visitors to investigate a certain topic more thoroughly without having to go to more pages. That can earn you a few regular visitors to your site.
6. Optimize for mobile devices
Every day mobile devices are gaining more ground. That’s why it is valuable that you consider optimizing your sites for these environments. Creating versions for the most popular mobile devices is another element that will help promote a great user experience. In addition, Google considers it a favorable feature that your site offers a friendly environment with mobile devices.
7. Enrich your content
The structure you give to your content on the pages and the type of resources you decide to add are your allies. And enriching content it’s not about extending the writing of a topic just to achieve longer content, but about providing all the necessary content that users or visitors are looking for: finding the right balance between a redundant explanation and a short or incomplete one is the key.
So, it is clear that you need to create quality content and offer the necessary information when developing a topic. Write the ideal length for your topic and also include complementary audiovisual material that facilitates the understanding of the topics. As a result, if you consider multimedia elements as a substantial part of the on-page SEO structure when making changes, you’ll see that your results will improve.
8. Pay attention to the style of the typeface
Using typography and different styles such as bold, italic or underlined, will allow readers to understand in a faster and easier way the concepts and ideas that you want to convey with your content.
No pain, no gain
You have a lot to do on page SEO optimization. We guarantee it is a rewarding job, so don't stop. To maximize your investment, start with the pages that receive the most traffic.
Have a great optimization! At PUNCHY, we are experts in UX and SEO. Contact us, you’ll be in good hands!