January 26, 2011
When it comes to onpage SEO, it’s estimated that Google checks up to 200 onpage SEO parameters. And since Google keeps its ranking algorithms a secret, nobody really knows what these checks are or even if the estimate is anywhere near correct. But none of that matters when it comes down to it. As long as you can apply a handful of the top onpage SEO strategies, you can get your web pages to rank and draw traffic.
Choose the Right Key Phrase for Onpage SEO
If you want a web page in one of the top ten search engine positions, you need to perform your SEO on a keyword or key phrase that does not have too much competition. You don’t want to take on keywords that the big guys are throwing a lot of money at or ones that too many people are competing for. It’s not that you couldn’t get to page one for these keywords, but achieving, and maintaining, your ranking would be more difficult. First, you want to get to page one, then you want a good chance of staying there.
There is one method of analyzing key phrases that is not foolproof but may give you an edge. Choose keywords and key phrases that match the following criteria::
1. Find key phrases that get more than 1000 searches per month on Google. You can check this using the Google keyword tool.
2. Go to the Google search page and search on your key phrase with the word ‘allintitle:’ in front of it (remember to include the colon). So for the key phrase of ‘yoga poses’ you would use the following search command: allintitle: yoga poses.
3. When the search is entered, look at the top of the Google search screen to see how many pages are returned for that search. The number of pages must be less than 100,000.
This method of keyword analysis is simple and free but suffers from one major drawback. It assesses the competition by finding the number of pages that the search finds. This gives a guideline to the amount of competition for that search term but doesn’t give any indication of the strength of the competition. I don’t know of a simple free way to do that, but there are tools available that can provide that information for a reasonable cost.
Seven Onpage SEO Techniques
Once you have chosen the key phrase that you want your page to rank for, you need to apply some onpage SEO techniques to it. The search engines will look for the pages that best match the search term that the user enters. Hence the need for 1000 searches a month or more. It’s no good optimizing for a search term that nobody searches on. Once you know that a fair number of people are searching for your chosen key phrase, you need to make sure your web page makes good use of that key phrase. Here are seven onpage SEO techniques you can use to make sure the search engines take notice of your page for that search term.
1. Buy a domain name that matches your key phrase. For example, if your key phrase is ‘yoga poses’, the ideal domain name would be yogaposes.com. If you can’t get an exact match, try using hyphens to separate words or add a word as a suffix such as yogaposesexplained.com. You could add a prefix word but suffix words tend to rank better with the search engines.
2. Get your key phrase into the URL of the page. This is already taken care of if your key phrase is in the domain name but you can perform onpage SEO on sub-pages as well. So for instance you might have a URL like yourdomain.com/yoga-poses.
3. Make sure the keyword appears in the title of the web page and in the meta keywords tag. If you don’t know what this means, you need to make sure your web developer understands your requirement for this. The keywords tag is not as important as it used to be, but it’s still worth using as part of your onpage SEO strategy.
4. Put your keyword into headings. If you can place your keyword into heading text such as heading 1, heading 2, etc, this will highlight it for the search engines. Ideally get your keyword into level 1, level 2 and level 3 headers.
5. Make the keyword stand out. Identify your keyword to search engines by putting it in bold, underline or italic. Search engines regard words with special formatting as important.
6. If you have an image on your web page, put your keyword into the ‘alt’ tag of the image. If you don’t have an image on your web page, it might be worth finding a relevant image for the subject. Not only can you use it for your onpage SEO but it can add interest for the reader.
7. Make your keyword prominent in the first sentence and the last sentence of the text on your web page. Apparently, the search engines often pay more attention to the beginning and end of the content on your page.
Keyword Density for Onpage SEO
You will want to scatter your key phrase throughout your web page’s content. Keyword density is usually measured as a percentage of the total words on a page. So, if your web page contains 100 words and your key phrase appears three times, your keyword density should be three percent (assuming your key phrase is just one word). You might assume that the higher the keyword density, the better it is for onpage SEO, but this is not necessarily the case. Too high a keyword density will get your page penalized by the search engines. Besides, overloading your content with your key phrase will make your content less readable and therefore less appealing to your readers. There’s no point getting people to your web page just to see them leave again out of boredom or frustration.
A keyword density of around three percent is ideal, but a density anywhere between one and five percent is fine. The caveat to all this is that it should read sensibly so don’t get too hung up on getting exactly three percent. It’s far more important to keep your visitor’s interest so they keep reading. Onpage SEO is there to serve the needs of your website. Don’t make your website a slave to onpage SEO.
Ray Whittaker is an Internet Marketer, coach and mentor. He is a member of the Six Figure Mentors. If you want to read more articles on Internet Marketing, visit his blog at raywhittaker.com/blog. Get a 7-day video bootcamp to get you started with your own on-line marketing business – absolutely free at online-income-system.com