When it comes to SEO in 2017, you hear about so many things from everywhere. So many advanced tools and methods are being used by the webmasters to anyhow rank on the search engines.
The core essence of SEO and SEO services has been manipulated so much with the myths and conceptions. Bogged down with these myths and fear, a rookie website owner doesn’t even try to touch the back-end by himself. He fears if he might mess with the SEO and loose the ranking if tries something by himself.
If you are one of such website owners who dearly depend on your SEO man to do every minute optimization on your store, just come out of your dreams. SEO is not that dangerous at all. At least you can perform the fundamentals by yourself.
In this article, I am going to repeat some very basic on-page SEO practices that are so simple to perform that you don’t need to wait till your SEO person come and see. It’s time to show some skills and perform the fundamental SEO of your website all by yourself.
1. Meta Title Tags
Before you start writing the Meta Title for your pages, you should understand the content on the page and the keywords that you are targeting on it. It is so, because, while writing the meta titles, you must include your relevant target keywords in it so that search engines would easily identify the type of content on your page by simply looking at the title itself.
A simple meta title code on your page looks something like this:
This is how a Meta title looks on the SERPs:
Best Practices of Meta Titles
- Try to write your Meta title in maximum 60-70 characters including spaces.
- Include the target Keyword among the first few words itself.
- Do not repeat keywords.
- Meta title of each page should be unique
- Do not stuff keywords; focus on your primary keyword
- Use only one meta title per page
- Include the site branding at last separated by pipe (|) if required.
- Avoid stop words like “an”, “the”, “but”, “if” etc.
2. Meta Description
The Meta description is the next most important element of your website page after the meta title. It’s a short paragraph that gives a quick overview of your page. The Meta description is placed inside the head tag of your page Something like this:
You can see the meta description on the SERPs showing below the page URL:
Best Practices of Meta Description
- Keep the character limit to 135 to 160 characters including space.
- Write in active voice case to make it more acceptable to the users.
- Include your primary keyword in first few words itself.
- Include other keywords in descending order of priority if required.
- It should match with what is written on the page.
- Write unique meta description for every page; do not duplicate.
3. Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or simply call it “web address” is a specific medium of locating the resources on the internet. The same URL also defines the way these resources are retrieved from the sources, also called as “Protocol” such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc
A simple URL format includes a protocol, domain name, and the path making it look something like this:
This is how URLs look on the SEPRs:
Best Practices of URLs
We have explained the best practices for writing SEO friendly URLs in detail. You should read this article once. The highlight of the practices include:
- Keep it simple to be read even by a human user
- Use your focused keywords in the URL
- Use hyphens (-) to separate the words in the URL. Do not use an underscore(_) for it.
- Use only lower character case
- Keep your primary keyword within the first few words itself
- Use shorter URLs. Research says shorter URLs have higher click trough rate.
4. The page content and target Keywords
The content on your page plays the most important role in the search rankings. You must abide by the content creation and webmaster guidelines laid by the search engines. For achieving the higher ranks, it’s very important that your content is unique, informative and valuable to the readers.
Include your target keywords in the content but avoid stuffing them unnecessarily. You must also maintain the keyword density to the optimum to get the better results. Overusing the keywords can even kill your SEO. It is recommended keeping the keywords density around 2 percent for an optimum result.
Page Content Best Practices
- Keep your content unique and informative
- Do not copy contents from other websites
- Do not duplicate a content even from your website
- Keep the content on every page unique
- If in case you need to duplicate a content; utilize canonical tags to tell the search engines which content to crawl and which one to leave.
- Use a proper header tag structure. (h1, h2, h3, h4)
- Use internal linking from other relevant contents on your site
- Use natural external links as a reference if required for providing an authority to your content.
- Do not stuff keywords; maintain the keyword density around 2 %.
- Do not use back links from non-relevant domain names.
- Avoid low-quality links to your content.
- If you are using images; then do not forget to write ALT tag and Meta description for them.
- Use caption for the images in the content
5. Internal linking on the site
Internal links are those links on a page which lead to some other page on the same domain. Simply when you link a page from your site to any other page from it, it is internal linking or interlinking.
It’s an important and necessary SEO practice as it provides your readers further reading options and also signals the search engines that the particular page is also relevant for the linked anchor text/ phrase as well.
Internal Links best practices
- Use Anchor text to link; do not use naked URLs
- Avoid interlinking top level pages like Home Page, about us, Contact us.
- Top level pages already have so much of links as menu options, categories etc.
- Use links that are natural to the reader; use a proper anchor text.
- Link to only the relevant contents/pages.
- Use follow link; do not use no-follow in internal linking
- Keep the number of links on a single page be reasonable and natural.
- Do not use vague Anchor texts like Click here, See here, Jump to page.
- Instead, Use relevant keywords as anchor text.