Writing valuable articles is important but not enough. You must get as much traffic to your blog posts as possible. At that moment On Page SEO becomes very important. In this article you will learn how to use On Page SEO Step by Step.
SEO is a set of tools and procedures which allow search engines to find your article and present it to the readers on the internet. Using SEO procedures and rules you help search engines (e.g Google) to index your content and present it to your customers.
There are two different SEO parts:
- Off Page SEO: procedure and tools for websites optimization globally ( check article: How To Bust Traffic [9 steps technical SEO checklist] )
- On Page SEO: rules for SEO optimization article itself.
In this article we will pay attention to “On page SEO optimization”.
STEP 1 of On Page SEO: Choose your Focus Keyword
What is Focus Keyword? The Focus Keyword is one of the fundamental concept in the On Page SEO. Before you start writing an article, normally, you must know the topic being written about. That topic is your Focus Keyword. The Focus Keyword must be shown in the title of your article and in the first paragraph of your article at least once.
Before using your Focus Keyword it is necessary to do some Keyword Research. There are a lot of keyword research tools on the internet, paid or free to use. In this article we will focus only on free tools. One of the best free keyword research tools you can find on the h-supertools.com site. The h-supertools keyword research tool is very relevant even though it is totally free of charge. Only you will be asked to sign in for free. Normally there are a lot of paid keyword research tools across a internet that you can use. But, why pay for something if you can get it for totally free.
Keyword research tools is essential for good On Page SEO
The goal is to pick a Keyword that allows you to rank your article on top ten search results on Google. Is it possible to do that, if we know that there are a lot of articles on the internet with millions of views? Yes it is possible, but first you have to choose the right keyword for your article title. In the case of this article what you’re reading now the Focus Keyword is On Page SEO. Go to h-supertools.com log in, or sign in, if it is your first time visiting this site and open the Keyword Research Tool.
Type your Focused Keyword in the field named Enter a Keyword or phrase, choose Country = global and language you want to use in your article, and click the Search button. If we type keyword On Page SEO the results are:
Monthly Search Volume = 22K, which is not so bad even with a relatively high score. But the main problem with our keyword is SEO Difficulty = 61. High SEO Difficulty means that there is a lot of competition. Let’s try something different. Try using “On Page SEO Step by Step” as a keyword phrase.
New results are much better. Monthly Search Volume may be low, only 40, but that is not a problem because our site is brand new. But the most important is that SEO Difficulty = N/A which means there is not a lot of competition. We will use On Page SEO Step by Step as a keyword phrase for our article.
Always use keywords with as low as possible SEO difficulty, ideally with an N/A result.
STEP 2: Use H1 Tag in On Page SEO
You must make the title of your article a H1 heading. This article title is “On Page SEO: 10 Essential Steps, Easy to Implement”. How to check is it H1 header? Simply, open your article in your browser and right click on the article title. Click on the Inspect option:
New window will be opened (inspect window). Find your title in the inspect window and make sure that is marked in html code as H1 heading.
Luckily in WordPress all article titles automatically are made as H1 headers, but in any case it is good to check it to be sure that this step of On Page SEO is completed.
STEP 3: Subheading Optimization
Make sure to use H2 heading for your subheading and H3, H4 … headings, depends of an article organization. And one more important thing is to be sure to use your Focus Keyword at least once in your subheadings. You can use the Focus Keyword in more than one subheadings (H2 headings). But do not overdo it, one to three times is enough.
STEP 4: Focus Keyword Frequency as a part of On Page SEO
Use your Focus Keyword multiple times in your article. But, be careful, do not overuse your Focus Keyword. Five to six times is enough, do not put Focus Keyword too many times and everywhere. Use it only when it is necessary, but at the same time, organize your article in the manner that Focus Keyword use is necessary, not just put it without context.
Keep in mind that you write articles as a human for other humans and use keywords when it is justified not every time and everywhere in other case you will refuse instead of attracting an audience.
In the example in the previous image it can be seen that the Focus Keyword (technical SEO checklist) is mentioned seven times in the whole article including the article title and H2 heading.
STEP 5: Linking
The good practice in “On Page SEO” is to use external and internal links.
- External linking is when you put in your article links which lead to the external (other authors) pages and articles. When you decide to use external links, use links that lead to authority sites with good google ranking results. Because Google’s algorithm “likes” and favors articles with multiple external links which leads to other top ranking sites. Additionally, external links from your article to other author articles somehow describe to Google your article niche and topics.
- Internal link connects your current article with your other articles on the same website. Practice to use internal links is good for best Google ranking results, not only for current articles ranking then other articles on your website.
STEP 6: Optimize The Title
Title optimization is one of the most important steps in the on page SEO optimization procedure. But how to optimize it? Before we start with title optimizing our article’s title, we will install a WordPress plugin called MonsterInsights. Go to the WordPress dashboard and open the Plugins / Add New page. Then type “MonsterInsights” in the Search field to install and activate it.
The main purpose of this plugin is to connect our website with Google Analytics tool, but it has one additional feature which we will use to optimize our article’s title.
Open your article in the WordPress posts editor and you will see an additional tool on the right upper corner.
There are a lot of suggestions and tips that are necessary to change or improve on your title. Before making your article online try more different titles and choose one that has the best results. As MonsterInsights plugin informs us, the good result is between 40 to 60, but the best results are exide 70. Try to make a title with more than 70.
MonsterInsight offers you to try more than one title and choose one with best results, option “Try New Headline”.
Why is the title so important? There are two main reasons:
- When you search for something on google you will see a list of results that show only titles and meta description. No pictures, no article, nothing other than title and meta description. So, the title and meta description will attract or refuse you potential audience.
- Second reason is: if somebody opens your website (homepage) he will see only the article’s title, featured picture and first paragraph of your article, similar as on google. Again, the title and first paragraph (and featured picture) are most important for attracting your audience.
STEP 7: Install SEO Plugin
There are a lot of On Page SEO plugins for WordPress. One of the really good On Page SEO plugins is Yoast SEO. To install it go to the WordPress dashboard / Plugins / Add New and type Yoast SEO in the search field. Install it and activate it.
Open your article and you will see a new tool in the upper right corner of the editor’s screen.
Click on the Yoast SEO icon and open the analytics window. There are a lot of tools and tips that are necessary to improve in your article. To start, write your Focus Keyword in to the Yoast SEO and plug in will automatically analyze your article and suggest to you what is well done and what is need to improve. There are a lot of tips and suggestions for all aspects of your article improvement.
Just follow Yoast SEO tips and make your article as optimized as possible.
Adjust Meta Description
If you scroll to the end of your article you will see another part (tool) provided from Yoast SEO:
On the top is shown how your article will look like as a google search result. You can choose between mobile and desktop results. As you see there is no meta description and Yoast SEO advised us to write a meta description. Meta description is a text which Google displays below the title of your article. Meta description is not crucial for better Google ranking, but in any case it is better to write it then don’t. Text in meta description must contain Focus Keyword (key phrase). You can write a meta description by yourself or use some online tools for that. In any case there is a bar graph just below the meta description which will show you the strength of your meta description. Always try to keep this bar graph as long as possible.
STEP 8: Slug – Optimizing the URL
Slug is the article title shown as part of the URL address. The general rule is to keep Slug short and Slug has to contain a Focus Keyword or key phrase. Do not use long Slugs. Even if your article title is long try to short it for slug, but never forget to mention Focus Keyword.
STEP 9: Optimizing Graphics
Always use images, graphics, lists, tables or even videos in your articles, but to not use it too much. Remember, the most important thing in an article is the article itself. All other graphic elements are good to use to better describe your article and attract readers. But if you have a lot of additional elements, more than text, it can refuse some readers. Articles with text, images and other elements must be attractive for readers and on the other hand simple to navigate and read. If your readers are satisfied with your articles they will share them through social networks and Google “like” articles with a lot of shares. One of the best online tools to make graphics, even video you can find on canva.com. Normally you can use other programs to make graphics and other multimedia elements for your article.
Canva has a free plan or paid plans. To start is more than enough to use a free plan, later you can use some advanced plan.
You can choose a lot of multimedia formats predefined, such as: Blog Banner, Blog Graphics … and many more. Make your image, graphics or some other multimedia content and download it. Normally download format is JPG or PNG. How to use Canva for multimedia content is out of the range of this article, but the Canva’s user interface is so intuitive that I believe that it can not be a problem to start using it.
No matter if you use Canva or some other program to create graphics and multimedia, please, try to use the same style on the whole website. Do not use mixed styles.
Make images smaller in size use WEBP format
After you download the graphic for example it will be in JPG or PNG format. You can use it as it is, but it is a good idea to convert it in some more web compatible format such as WEBP format. A lot of WEBP converters are available on the internet. Just type in Google search PNG to WEBP converter, or JPG to WEBP converter, depending on your image format and convert image to WEBP format. The images with WEBP extension are more optimized for web than other image formats and they are smaller in size. Always try to use as small as possible images or other multimedia content. Smaller size means faster loading.
Even more important than image size and style is optimize image for SEO. That means that every image has to have image title alt text. Always write alt text, and image title, and use Focus Keyword in image alt text and image title. Not for all images, but at least one third of the total number of images in the article.
If we talk about images, it is good to mention Featured Image too. Featured image is the image or graphics that are shown at the very beginning of the article. Article without a featured image is “less than half of the article”. So, before publishing your article be sure that you choose the right featured picture. All SEO rules for featured pictures are the same as for “ordinary” pictures in articles.
STEP 10: Final optimization and Publishing
For final optimization use the Yoast SEO tool that we installed previously. If we look at it’s icon we can see two circles in the same or different colors. Those circles represent the level of optimization of our article. Upper represents “Readability analyze result”, lower represents “Result of SEO analysis”. The circles can be green, yellow or red, depending on the degree of optimization. But, no matter what their colors are, there is always something that can be improved. Click on the Yoast SEO icon and follow its advice until you are satisfied with results.
Do not forget to put internal and external links. External links are not a problem, you can always link your article with some out resource on the other websites. The internal links can be a problem especially if your website is new and you don’t have enough articles. But, over time you will make a lot of articles which you will link to each other.
When you finally become satisfied with the degree of your article SEO optimization, you can click on the Publish button on the right upper corner and your article is live on the internet. Congratulations.