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On-Page SEO Tips to Help Drive Organic Traffic to Your Site

Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of any website’s lifeline. If a webmaster makes a mistake that lifeline can be damaged or even cut. When this happens, it will take a lot of time, effort,  and a SEO specialist to revive a dyeing website and get it back on top. After studying and working with an old school SEO specialist, I have learned that there are things every webmaster should do when it comes to SEO practices.

Before Starting a New Website

SEO is an ongoing process that will never end. SEO is not a process you only need to do once and ignore it for the rest of the life of the site. SEO rules and rank are constantly changing. If your goal is to be on the first page of the search engine, this can be a lot of work. Rank changes almost daily, you will have to research why you lost rank and why your competitors gained rank. Then work to correct this. If you are not up to this, then you will need to work with a consultant.

Before starting a website, you will need to decide if you will do your own SEO or pay a consultant. Once you make your decision, you need to research your site’s niche. Research the keywords, check your competitors outs, find out why they are number one. A lot of times you can do a simple “View Source” on their site and view their code and see what it looks like. Most web developers and SEO consultants can look at code on a site and use its an reference or to understand what changes in the code they did to make their site better. You will also need to do keyword research. There are plenty of free and paid tools to help with your research. I have used such tools as Keyword Discovery, Free Keyword Tracker, and Good AdWords Keyword Tool.

If you plan to hire a consultant, make sure you research the company and check references if possible. There a lot of people out there that say they are “SEO Gurus” when in reality they know very little about SEO practices. These types of consultants may end up costing you more money and getting your site added to Google’s bad list. Once you are on this list it can be hard to get removed from the list. Another important thing to ask is what they practice. Ask if they practice White Hat SEO, Blue Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO. Choosing black hat might look good up front and get you great results quickly, but in the long term it could be disastrous for your site and even get you band from Google Search Engines

Be patient! SEO can be a slow process. It can take weeks if not months to get results.

Educate yourself; learn SEO, the tactics, and the rules will help you build a better site. Even if you hire consultants; you need to know and understand how SEO works. There are many websites out there that can help you understand SEO and get you more involved in the SEO community.

Do not hand over your site to an SEO consultant and forget about him until he bills you. Stay in contact with him, research his strategy and make sure it’s a good one and that makes sense. Work with him, ask questions and stay involved. Most SEO consultants will want you around if they have questions about your site and goals.

Building Your Website for SEO

Fill out your meta tags. The meta tags are important because they tell the search engines what your site is about. Make sure to use the title tag, description tag and keyword tag (yes I know Google doesn’t use keyword tags anymore, but other search engines do). When creating your meta tags use keywords that are important to your site and niche. Make sure to only use keywords that will be found on your site. Be natural; do not over stuff your keywords, Search Engines will count against you if they find you are keyword stuffing.

Always use relevant titles and meta description on every page

Page titles are one of the most important on-page SEO strategies and should be researched. Make sure your main keywords are in the first part of the title and descriptions. From the research I found, the description tag will not help you rank, but it can show up in the description field along with the page title. The description tag should be no more than 160 characters and add your key words towards the beginning of the description. Most search engines will only display the first 160 characters in the description section of the search results. If the description is longer than 160 characters, most search engines will cut off the rest of the description.

Use H1 through H6

Use H1 through H6 for all of your headings. H tags are used for organization and to structure of a website. Both user and search engine use these H tags. Users tend to skim through a page and if a title catches their eye they will stop and read it. The H tags should have a catchy title using your keywords.

Use your keywords as the anchor text when creating hyperlinks

Anchor texts are the clickable text that links out to another page. Do not “click here” but use something as “on page linking strategies” for the text. Anchor Text is ranked highly in the search engine algorithms. Search Engines will rank your page higher because in most cases linked text is relevant to the current page.

Link to relevant sites

When linking to relevant sites, try and use sites that are higher ranked than you. I found that a mixture of rank levels works well. try and choose wikis, blog post that are in the same niche, and research sites. As long as these links are relevant. Search Engine will rank you better. Don’t worry if the reader will come back to your site. If you have good readable content they will come back. If you do not, well…

Use internal linking whenever possible

Do not over do it. About every hundred and twenty words is a good number to use for internal linking. Internal linking should be treated as out bound linking using click about anchor text that flows with the content and not a ‘click here” link.

Original content

Only use original content, write for your readers first and the search engine second. If you write for your readers and follow the SEO tips then you will be writing for the search engines. If you write for the search engines first, then you will not have returning readers. But if you write your content as if you are a reader and give life then you will have returning readers.

Bold your keywords in the article

An old school tip I learned from my partner is to  bold your keywords in the article. Not all of them, but the more important ones. Search engines may see this as something important. Even if it does not, it will catch the readers eye and may get them to read more of the article.

Create a site map

Search engine spiders cannot crawl everything. If your entire site cannot be crawled, then your site will not be properly indexed. Site maps help spiders find and crawl all of your hard to reach pages.

Conclusion

These are just some of the tips I have learned for on-page SEO. Having a good SEO strategy starts with your site first. Once you have everything in place, then you can start your link building strategies.

Have more tips? plz share with us some tips you do to build up your on-site SEO?

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spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, and social media. You can reach him website, Evolutionary Designs Blog.

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{ 116 comments… add one }
  • Anish October 16, 2011, 11:46 pm

    Good stuff mate. I think the main step where most beginner marketers fail is not doing the keyword research. Nor have I seen many marketing coaches focusing enough on it. Choose the right keyword is the key to the niche marketing in my opinion.

  • Mani Viswanathan August 3, 2011, 2:53 pm

    That’s a really nice list of tips. Original content can do wonders even if secondary On page factors like bold/italics are not followed

  • Rae March 29, 2011, 5:08 am

    This is an awesome tips. doing this tips would really help the ranking of the site.

  • Tess September 30, 2010, 9:34 pm

    Thanks for the on-page SEO tips! While I have used most of the ideas in building my own sites, I have not linked out to many sites as you suggest, such as Wikipedia or .org sites, which I’ve heard can be effective.

    Great blog!

  • Elyse Ra September 27, 2010, 11:27 pm

    :O So mush Info :O ¡­ This is he MOst Incredible Website DUDe¡­

  • Hubert Dungy September 26, 2010, 12:28 am

    “Of course, what a good site and useful articles, I will increase backlink – bookmark this web site? Regards,Reader.”

  • Michael Pehl September 9, 2010, 12:20 pm

    Isn’t valid code and optimizing for loading speed (e.g. using a Cookieless Domain), combining CSS/JS and optimizing images not important?

    Google Page Speed Scores of 90+ are a must, at least for me.

    • element321 September 16, 2010, 2:13 pm

      Yes that is correct. But combining the doesn’t necessarily mean it will speed it up. It all depends on what the code is doing.

      • Michael Pehl September 16, 2010, 5:05 pm

        It surely will speed up. If I have only 2 requests (1 for the CSS file and one for the JS file) instead if 6 or more (e.g. 2 CSS files and 4 JS files) it speeds up.

        Putting the JS at the end of your code before the is also an advantage (site is shown before JS is gonna executed).

        This stuff is at the moment one of my main jobs… fyi

        • element321 September 16, 2010, 5:14 pm

          Is it a big diffrence when, a site a lot of JS calls because they run to many plugins on a wordpress site?

          As for putting the JS at the bottom, that is a good idea, I do that unless its its only have 1 call. I generally test loads speeds when a site is new and then whenever a new change to the site is made.

          • Michael Pehl September 16, 2010, 5:28 pm

            Wordpress is the worst example in this case. The more plugins you install the more problems you will get with site speed.

            One thing you can do (I just did it on my cookielessdomain blog) is using W3 Total Cache, combine/minify CSS/JS and use a CDN (in my case self-hosted ftp) to put all the static content to a cookieless domain.

            Google Page Speed Score 93… for a WP site unbelieveable, and of course valid XHTML (I had to fix the stuff myself) 😉

            • element321 September 16, 2010, 5:35 pm

              Thats why I mentioned WordPress. I always recommend Total Cache on sites I maintain and setup. It has saved some of this sites when they get traffic spikes.

              As for CDN, I am looking into services and moving images over to one…

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