- On-Page SEO: Overview
- On-Page SEO: Facts and Information
- On-Page SEO: Tutorial and Course
- On-Page SEO: References
On-Page SEO: Overview
Tutorial and Course for On-Page SEO is the ultimate SEO tutorial and course created by SEO University to help you to learn and understand On-Page SEO and SEO Process, including On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO: Facts and Information
SEO can be split up into two separate categories: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. On-Page SEO covers everything you should do when developing your website and web pages. Don't worry if you've already spent money on designing your website or have limited knowledge of HTML or even website development itself. Once you know these techniques and understand how to use them, they can be applied in just a matter of minutes to any new or existing website.
Surprisingly, On-Page SEO techniques are overlooked by over 90 percent of all Internet marketers and those who are attempting to increase their website's popularity, rank, and traffic.
On-Page SEO: Tutorial and Course
On-Page SEO refers the SEO process that you apply to website pages and files to make them search engine optimized and apply to help search crawlers index them more efficiently, which in turn displays them in a higher position in the search result pages.
On-Page SEO techniques are applied to the code in web pages, filenames, and content. To apply On-page optimization, you need to have a basic understanding of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), which is the programming language used to create web pages. HTML uses commands called tags to tell the browser how to display content. For example, you need to add Meta tags to thetags in HTML documents. These Metadata tags provide information to search engines about your page. You can start building HTML documents using text editors such as TextEdit for the Mac and Notepad for Windows.
On-Page SEO: Dovetailing Your WWW and Non-WWW Domains Properly
The preferred domain is the one that you would liked used to index your site's pages (sometimes this is referred to as the canonical domain). If there are links pointing to both versions (either internal links on your own site or external links originating on other Web sites), your link equity is diluted because it's split between the two URLs. Link equity refers to the value of all your incoming links, which search engines use to determine your page's authority and expertise on its subject matter.
You'd better tell search engines your preferred domain name, once you've set your preferred domain, you should use a 301 Redirect to redirect traffic from your non-preferred domain, so that search engines will know which version you prefer and will use that information for all future crawls of your site and indexing refreshes.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Search Engine Friendly URLs
Sites created with content management systems rely on interaction with the database for the display of content. Accordingly, the URLs often include query strings and other characters that are part of the interaction with the database. A simple HTML site doesn't have this issue; instead, its URLs are typically much simpler and lack the complexity seen in a CMS-powered website.
URLs containing query strings and other odd characters are hard for both humans and search engines to read. Ideal URLs are readable and tell us something about the content of the page. Some system produces complex URLs containing additional characters that serve no useful purpose for the site visitor. Accordingly, your first step towards making CMS more search engine friendly is to get rid of the messy URLs and replace them with Search Engine Friendly URLs.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Title Meta Tag
Title is the most important meta tag and appears at the top of your web page code, directly after the <head> tag, as well as one of the most important factors in On-Page SEO. Search engine crawlers index the Title meta tag and display it in the search results. You can view a website's Title meta tag by opening the website in the web browser; the title appears at the top of the browser or tab. Thus, the title should be descriptive of the page's content and include the important optimized keywords. Not only is title tag presents in search engine results and in browsers, but it is increasingly used as anchor text of links from social media sites. So crafting SEO friendly title tag can help with both user experience and link relevancy.
While there is some evidence to show that search engines read (and more important, factor into rankings) up through 80 characters or more, search engines typically truncate the title tag at around character 61. This means that the title should be less than 61 characters and any character beyond 61 (or even earlier, if a word overlaps that character) will be turned into ellipses and will not even appear on most SERP. (Long-tail queries can sometimes have title tags longer than 61 characters.)
The following example is the best practice for title tag for both search engines and users. Notice that the keywords are close to the beginning of the title and that the brand is included to increase click through rates.
Primary Keyword - Secondary Keywords | Brand Name Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keywords
If you are trying to rank for a very competitive term, it is best to include the keyword at the beginning of the title tag. If you are competing for a less competitive term and branding can help make a difference in click-through rates, it is best to put the brand name first. With regard to special characters, we prefer pipes for aesthetic value, but hyphens, n-dashes, m-dashes, and minus signs are all fine.
As with much of SEO, the title tag has a dual purpose:
- To show the user what the page is about.
- To show the search engine what the page is about.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Description Meta Tag
The Description meta tag is another meta tag that you add at the top of the web page, inside the <head> tag. The Description meta tag is a free advertisement webmasters get to include when their search results are included in the SERPs. It should be optimized and tested just like traditional advertisements. The Description Meta Tag provides a brief summary of the webpage and its content. Search crawlers use this tag to get information about the page content and display it in the search results. Unlike with the Title tag, you can use a greater number of characters to describe your website. The character limit for the site description is 150 characters, so the Description meta tag should not exceed the recommended maximum of 150 characters. Make sure to use optimized keywords that represent the website content.
Like the title tag, keeping your meta description down to the visible character length is recommended, since excessive characters are also delimited with ellipses. Unlike the title tag, search engines don't actually use keywords in the meta description for indexing purposes. But since you still want to influence the highest clickthrough rate possible, it's a good idea to work your primary keyword into the tag to reinforce the search result's relevance.
A best practice is to use the keywords in the meta description tag twice. This has a direct impact on SERPs in Bing and related search engines. The impact to Google is minimal but does help with your overall optimization efforts. If you can, work your keywords into a description that seems natural and be sure to repeat your keyword phrase. Your description should be compelling and accurately describe what users will find when they click through to your page. This consistency is important to Google and the user experience.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Keyword Meta Tag
The Keyword meta tag includes individual keywords separated by commas. Similar to the description and title tags, the search engine crawlers use the Keyword meta tag information to index the website and display it in the search results. The keywords should be descriptive and optimized to ensure that the search engine displays the website when users search for these specific keywords. Limit your number of keywords to around 2 to 5 percent of your content. Overloading your web page with keywords is considered stuffing, and it may negatively affect your Google rank. Some search engines overlook the Keyword tag, but it is still useful in others.
The keywords tag is another way to educate search engines about your website. There are a variety of thoughts out there today about the importance of keywords and keyword tags. Our belief is that keywords themselves don't carry significant weight in isolation, but analyzed in conjunction with the overall theme of your page, they signal Google as to the legitimacy of your content.
The keyword tag should include your main keywords, those you've chosen as the main focus of your website, as well as those associated with the theme of your web page. When listing keywords in the keyword tags, we recommend that you may use a comma followed by a space to separate each keyword, and you should avoid keyword stuffing, this means that you should make sure that you are not repeating the same keyword consecutively.
When users place keywords on their web page or within their meta tags over and over again in an effort to improve SERPs, search engines (like Google) actually discredit the value of the web page.
Google doesn't pay much attention to the meta keywords tag for a good reason. If SEO were as simple as inserting a long list of keywords in a tag, everyone would be doing it. This is a pretty unimportant element for SEO, but it needs to be clarified since it's often described as “the meta tag”. Since meta tags actually refer to whole set of title, meta description and keywords tags, some people erroneously conclude that "meta tags" don't matter anymore, when what they're really referring to are meta keywords.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Heading Tags
The earliest specifications for HTML included provisions for document headings and subheadings, elements known as heading tags. Heading tags, as their name suggests, are used to differentiate the heading of a page from the rest of the content. These tags are also known to webmasters as HTML header tags, head tags, heading tags and SEO header tags. Headings are important in HTML documents. Heading tag elements begin at h1 and progress to h6, h1 defines the most important heading, h6 defines the least important heading, and each level is intended to represent an ordered and organized taxonomy. These tags serve multiple roles.
Although the order and occurrence of headings is not constrained by the HTML DTD, documents should not skip levels (from H1 to H6), as converting such documents to other representations is often problematic. In HTML coding the header tags from h1 to h6 form a hierarchy. This means that if you skip any of the tag numbers (from H1 to H6) the heading structure will be broken, and this is not ideal for On-Page SEO.
As mark-up tags, these elements conveniently format the text elements to which they are applied. For example, an h1 tag will generate large text, in a bold font, with margins above and below - much like the headline in a newspaper article.
As HTML standards matured and CSS formatting became available in browsers, many web designers abandoned heading tags in search of prettier formatting for their headings. True, you can make text big and bold with CSS mark-up or with HTML formatting; you can make any text look like a heading without utilizing heading tags. However, in the world of search, that is a blunder because you will build almost no search engine ranking power from simply formatting text.
For search engines, heading tags serve a supplemental function beyond formatting. Heading tags serve as signposts that help search engines determine the context and topic of a web page. Heading tags are certainly part of search algorithms, and are given moderate weight in determining search position.
The best methodology for employing heading tags is to do the following. First, your page should only employ an h1 tag once. The text of the h1 tag should describe the main topic of the web page upon which it appears and should include the high-value, high-volume keywords for which you want to rank. Next, at a minimum, you should employ both h1 and h2 tags. Your h2 tags should repeat your important keywords—but with additional terms to give context to the section that the h2 tag covers.
h3 tags are optional, but can come in handy for organizing longer pages. The search engine ranking power of heading tags decreases as you progress from h1 down through the lower orders of heading tags. Thus, h1 tags are mandatory, h2 tags are highly recommended, and h3 tags are necessary only in the most competitive markets. Heading tags have a complementary effect when combined with an effective title tag, body text, and meta description - when these elements are in accord, a search engine can more comfortably determine the main context of a webpage, and can more confidently reward that web page with higher rankings.
The heading tag is used to represent different sections of web page content. It has an impact on both the SEO and usability of your site.
Header tags from an SEO point of view:
- Relevancy: Search engine spiders check the relevancy of the header tag with the content associated with it.
- Keyword Consistency: The search engine spiders check the keyword consistency between the header tags and other parts of the page.
- The Importance of an h1 Tag: The h1 is the most important tag and it should never be skipped on a page. Search spiders pay attention to the words used in the h1 tag as it should contain a basic description of the page content, just as the page title meta tag does.
- Enriched User Experience: Heading tags give the user a clear idea of what the page content is about. Search engines give much importance to user-experience on a site, meaning the presence of heading tags becomes an important component of SEO.
Header tags from a usability point of view:
- For users of the web who must use a screen reader, it is easier to navigate sections of content by referring to properly structured headings on a page.
- The h1 heading tag (main heading) of a page gives users a quick overview of the content that is to follow on the page.
- By reading the different heading tags, users can scan a page and read only the section they are interested in.
- The primary use of heading tags is for SEO, not to gain the larger, more prominent fonts; but the presentation of a web page does look cleaner with the presence of these tags.
Things you should not be doing with heading tags:
- Do not stuff your heading tags with keywords.
- Do not use more than one h1 tag on a page unless really necessary. Usually pages will have a single h1 heading and including two might make search engines think this as an attempt to include more keywords for SEO in multiple h1 tags. It is better to divide the content into two separate topics on individual pages with their own h1 tags. This makes more sense to both readers and the search engine spiders, however, using multiple h1 tags is allowed.
- Do not use heading tags as hidden text. Any hidden text can result in penalties for your site, especially if the hidden part is a component that effects SEO.
- Do not repeat heading tags on different pages of your site. It is a good practice to have unique heading tags throughout your site.
- Do not use the same content in your page's h1 tag as in your meta title tag.
- Do not use heading tags for styling text but use them for presenting organized and structured content on pages. Use CSS stylesheets for the purpose of styling.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Robots Meta Tag
The robots meta tag lets you utilize a granular, page-specific approach to controlling how an individual page should be indexed and served to users in search results. Place the robots meta tag in the <head> section of a given page.
A Best Practice for Content Pages:
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow,noodp,noydir" />
A Best Practice for Category Pages:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow,noodp,noydir" />
A Best Practice for Archive Pages:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow,noodp,noydir" />
A Best Practice for Error Pages:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow,noodp,noydir" />
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Author Meta Tag
The Author meta tags are optional and are not as important as the Title, Description, and Keyword meta tags. However, they do make your web page look professional. The Author meta tag includes information about the web page's creator, or webmaster, as well as contact information, an e-mail, and the company name.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Copyright Meta Tag
The Copyright meta tags are optional and are not as important as the Title, Description, and Keyword meta tags. However, they do make your web page look professional. The Copyright meta tag defines website copyrights and ownership. You can use it to include information such as a trademarked name.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Image File Name
Because image traffic can be a substantive source of visits, and image filenames appear to be valuable for this as well as natural web search, a best practice is to use the keywords as the name of the image file employed on the page.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Image ALT Text
Each image should contain an alt tag. An alt tag is simply the practice of naming a photo, image, or icon. You can check to see if your website images already have alt tags associated with them by running your mouse over the image. If an alt tag is in place, text should display. If text does not display, an alt tag is not present and needs to be added.
The literal benefit of an alt tag is that the text displays while your website images are loading, giving users information about the content included on your page. The primary purpose for alt text is to ensure people with disabilities can read the page. Blind users who use a page reader cannot see an image. The alt text tells them what the image is. The secondary benefit (or primary SEO benefit) is that Google takes these keyword phrases into account when evaluating your website.
The best way to tag your images is with your keyword phrase followed by the word image. For multiple images, use slightly different wording.
As with any optimization effort, don't overdo it with images or alt tags. Too many images can result in a slow loading website which is a key ranking factor. Images that contain a number of alt tags, all with your keywords, can signal keyword stuffing.
<img alt="Tutorial and Course for On-Page SEO" src="">
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Image Title Text
Similarly, image title offers advisory information about the element for which it is set. It should be relevant, short, catchy, and concise, and it should not be same as Image ALT Text.
<img title="On-Page SEO: Tutorial and Course" src="">
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Link Anchor Text
Link anchor text signals search engines what a page is about, which is useful for rankings, but if you use the same exact keyword match text over and over to link to the same page it makes our sites look really manipulative. A significant portion of the Penguin update deals with over-optimized anchor text. Don't get penalized, folks. Instead, go with logical, useful anchor text, and change it up when you're linking to your pages.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Body Content
Body content simply means the "words on the page", actual ASCII text readable by a search engine. This important factor is too often ignored by webmasters. Some of the most egregious examples of webmasters that miss this important factor are sites with little or no text, sites which rely on image files to display text and messages, and flash-based sites. Search engines do not read the text in pictures or effectively read the text in the Flash files. So, if you are describing your service in the image file or Flash file, your message will not be read, and you will not rank for those terms. Search engines needs to be able to find text on a webpage in order to make an evaluation of what your page is about. The text on your pages should meet the following rules:
- Size: A webpage should have at least 250 words of readable ASCII text.
- Focus: A webpage should be focused on a reasonably narrow set of keywords.
- Keyword Density: A webpage should not have keywords repeated so that the density of the keywords is too high in relation to the total number of words.
A webpage should be of a reasonable length, at least 250 words. A page length of 400 or 500 words is better, but one can get by with shorter pages in some cases. In a more competitive search market, 250 words may not be enough and you'll need to increase your page length to rank effectively.
A webpage's body text should be focused; the page should deal with a narrow set of keyword phrases and not try to cover too much ground. If your web pages cover too many separate topics or keyword phrases in one page, you'll dilute the ranking power of each individual phrase and you'll rank for nothing.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Keyword Density
Keyword Density refers to the ratio (percentage) of keywords contained within the total number of indexable words within a web page. It used to be that the more times a given word appeared on your page, the more likely it was that the search engine would return that page when users searched for that keyword. As search algorithms have gotten much more sophisticated, this is no longer the case, although it is helpful to have the target word or phrase show up a small number of times on the page.
Keyword density is important, but you can overdo it. If the search engine finds that the search phrase makes up 50 percent of the words in the page, it may decide that the page was created purely to grab the search engine's attention for that phrase and then ignore it. On the other hand, if the density is too low, you risk having the search engines regard other pages as more relevant for the search.
The preferred keyword density ratio varies from search engine to search engine. In general, a best practice is to use a keyword density ratio in the range of 2-8%. For more information about how to optimize keyword density, please visit Tutorial and Course for Keyword Density.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Keyword Frequency
Keyword frequency refers to the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears within a web page. The theory is that the more times a keyword or keyword phrase appears within a web page, the more relevance a search engine is likely to give the page for a search with those keywords.
In general, A best practice is to make the most important keyword or keyword phrase is the most frequently use keywords in a web page. But be careful not to abuse the system by repeating the same keyword or keyword phrases over and over again. For more information about how to optimize keyword frequency, please visit Tutorial and Course for Keyword Frequency.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Keyword Proximity
Keyword Proximity refers to the distance between the search term's individual keywords. The smaller the distance between a search term's individual keywords, the more relevant it will be from a search engine's point of view. You can improve your site's relevant for the target keywords by optimizing keyword proximity. For more information about how to optimize keyword proximity, please visit Tutorial and Course for Keyword Proximity.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Keyword Prominence
Keyword Prominence refers the measure of the location (i.e., placement) of a given keyword in the HTML source code of a web page. The higher up in the page a particular word is, the more prominent it is and thus the more weight that word is assigned by the search engine when that word matches a keyword search done by a search engine user. Consequently, it's best to have your first paragraph contain important keywords rather than superfluous marketing speak. This concept also applies to the location of important keywords within individual HTML tags, such as heading tags, title tags, or hyperlink text. If you optimize the perfect keyword prominence, placing keywords in the right locations, you will have a greater probability of your website being found. For more information about how to optimize keyword prominence, please visit Tutorial and Course for Keyword Prominence.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Landing Pages
For more information about how to optimize your landing pages, please vist Tutorial and Course for Landing Page SEO.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Website Performance
Website performance optimization streamlines your content to maximize display speed. Fast display speed is the key to success with your website. Website performance optimization increases profits, decreases costs, and improves customer satisfaction, as well as improving your website's search engine rankings, accessibility, and maintainability. For more information about how to optimize your website's performance, please vist Tutorial and Course for Website Performance Optimization.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Sitemaps
The sitemap is an XML-based file that indexes the website's links, images, and files. It should follow the same structure as the website. The sitemap file is usually named Sitemap.xml, Sitemap.html, or Sitemap.php and it is placed in the website server so the search engines can reach it directly by following the website link; for example, it can be www.sitename.com/sitemap.xml, where sitename.com can be your own website name. While you can create the sitemap manually, there are tools you can use to create a sitemap for your website without needing to learn how to write XML code.
On-Page SEO: Optimizing Robots Exclusion Protocol
Robots.txt is a convention to advising cooperating web crawlers and other web robots about accessing all or part of a website which is otherwise publicly viewable. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize and archive web sites, or by webmasters to proofread source code. The standard is different from, but can be used in conjunction with, Sitemaps, a robot inclusion standard for websites.
The first thing a search engine spider looks at when it is visiting a page is the robots.txt file. It looks for it because it wants to know what it should do. If you have instructions for a search engine robot, you must tell it those instructions.
On-Page SEO: Implementing URL Canonicalization
Canonical is an HTML attribute that tells search engines which version of duplicate content is the main or canonical version. It has shown a lot of promise and has already worked well for some of our clients who suffered from duplicate content problems before implementing this attribute.
earch engines don't want a dozen different URLs when one will do. The rel="canonical" attribute was created to give search engines a clue about which URL is the "authoritative" version.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://seouniv.com/p/on-page-seo.html"/>
On-Page SEO: Implementing Structured Data & Rich Snippets
Adding structured data to pages on your site helps search engines' algorithms understand their content and index them better. The structured data gathered from your site can be used to improve the page's search entry, for example, to generate rich snippets, which provide an improved page summary in search results.
Historically, Google have supported three different standards for structured data markup: Microdata, Microformats, and RDFa. Now Google have focused on Microdata and JSON-LD. In addition, Microdata and JSON-LD will improve consistency across search engines relying on the data. JSON-LD has been newly supported by Google, and Microdata with Schema.org has been currently the most widely understood and recommended by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
Schema.org is a collaboration by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! to improve the web by creating a structured data markup schema supported by major search engines. Schema.org helps search engines understand the information on webpages and provide richer results, it supports a wide variety of item types and properties.
For more information about how to implementing structured data and rich snippets, please visit Tutorial and Course for Structured Data.