Guide to SEO - On-page Optimization

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On-page SEO is essentially taking the words and phrases that we want to rank for with content that will help searchers accomplish their task and then making sure the page is optimal for ranking in Google. This is very different from the way it was years ago, a long time ago SEO was about stuffing keywords into all the right tags and places on the page. Taking advantage of things like the meta keywords tag, which hasn't been used in a decade and much more. Although most of that does not matter, some of it still does and we need to run through what those are so that you give yourself the best possible chance for ranking.

To help you with that we have created a brief on-page SEO checklist. In this checklist some of the most important things are things like, a descriptive, compelling, keyword rich but not stuffed title element which is also called page title or title tag. 

Title Tag

Let us assume, you have an online tool website like toolsource.com. You want to rank for the keyword “best online survey tools,” best online survey tools for 2019 is a great title tag and it's very different from best online survey tools, best survey software, or best online survey software, etc. However, that is no longer good SEO practices.

You need to have a descriptive, compelling title that will make users want to click. Note, this title will also show up in the SERPs as the title of the snippet for your website.

Meta description

A meta description is like ad text you are writing to attract users to click on. So you must have a description that tells people what's on the page and inspires them, incites them, and makes them want to click on your result instead of somebody else's. That's your opportunity to mention why you are useful and valuable.

URL

You should have an easy to read, sensible, and short url. For example, toolsource.com/reviews/best online surveys 2019. It is very legible and readable. A user that sees this in SERPs knows what that page is going to be and it looks relevant to them. A URL like reviews.best-online-tools.info, that's a terrible domain name, it’s a bunch of weird letters and the searcher does not know what this is about. Also, having one or two url parameters is very poorly correlated and is not recommended for trying to rank in search results. So you should rewrite these to be shorter, friendly, readable, and they should make sense to a human being. That will help Google as well.

First Paragraph 

The first paragraph of the content or the first few words of the page should be optimized to appear in what Google calls featured snippets. A featured snippet is the box often with an image, and a bunch of descriptive text that's drawn from the page. This text is usually from the first paragraph or two, so if you want to get that featured snippet you have to be able to rank on page one. And it needs to be optimized to answer the search term in your first paragraph. This is a chance for you to be ranking in the third, fourth, or even fifth position, yet have the featured snippet answer above all the other results. This is very powerful in SEO. You should use keyword targeting intelligently. For example, if you are trying to rank “best online survey tools” you should try and use that in your headline. If you have the headline and the title of the piece of your content exactly or nearly the same, when someone clicks on it they get the same headline on the page, and they don't get any dissonance between the title tag and page title.  

Internal linking

You don't want to have a page that's talking about best online survey tools and you never mention online surveys that would be a little disconnected. An internal link anchor would work for you here. If other places on your website talk about online survey tools you should link it to this page. This is helpful for Google finding it and helpful for visitors finding it as well. It no longer makes sense to target one keyword per page. 

For example, “best online survey software,” “best online survey tools,” and “best online survey tools 2022” are three unique keyword phrases, they have different search volumes, and probably generate different search results. But it is no longer the case, whereas it was a decade ago where you would create a page for each one of those separate things. Instead since all share the same search intent, you can create one page with just a single URL that targets all the keywords that share the exact same searcher intent. If users are searching for the exact same thing but with slightly different phrases, you should create a page that serves all of those keywords with that same search intent, instead of creating multiple pages.

This is done for a bunch of reasons, one it's really hard to get links to all of those different pages. Getting links is very challenging and you need them to rank. Second off, the difference between those is going to be very very subtle and it will be awkward that you have these slight variations with almost the same thing. It might even look to them like duplicate, very similar, or low quality content which can get you down ranked. So create one page per set of keywords with the same search intent. 

Snippets

Next you should leverage appropriate rich snippet options. For example, if you are in the recipes space, you can use a schema markup for recipes to show Google that you've got a picture of the recipe and you know a cooking time, and all these different details. Google offers this in a wide variety of places, schema.org has a full list of these and Google's rich snippets markup page offers a bunch more 

Images

Image search is such a huge portion where Google's search traffic comes from. It is very wise to optimize the images on the page. Image search traffic can now send significant traffic to you and optimizing for images can sometimes mean that other people will find your images through Google images, and then take them, put them on their own website and link back to you. Which solves a huge problem, getting links is very hard and images are a great way to do it. The images on your page should employ descriptive keyword rich file names, meaning if you have one type form, it should not be “pic123,” instead it should be typeform logo or typeform survey software as the name of the file. 

Descriptive alt attribute 

The alt attribute or alt tag is part of how you describe that for screen readers, other accessibility focused devices, and Google. Caption text if that's appropriate, if you have a photograph and a caption describing it, you want to be descriptive of what's

actually in the picture. In order to perform well these files generally need to be hosted on the same domain and subdomain. For example, all your images are stored on Amazon Web Services and you don't bother rewriting or making sure that the domain looks like it's on we are toolsource.com photos or slash images. That can cause real ranking problems. Oftentimes you won't perform at all in Google images because they don't associate the image with the same domain and same subdomain as well. 

It is preferable if you do all these things and you nail searcher intent and you've got your keyword research in place to ace your on page SEO.

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