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What Is On Page SEO and What Elements Should You Optimize?

by Kelly Exeter | March 14th, 2011 | 1 comment

A guest post by Alex Petrovic from Dejan SEO

When you are creating your website, it is important to optimize both on-page and off-page SEO elements. Although these are both important factors for ranking high in the search engines, the on-page factors are the ones that are more likely to be under your immediate control. If you can make sure that your website is fully optimized for SEO from the get-go, then your website will have a much higher likelihood of success. Let’s take a look at the most important on-page SEO factors that you should concentrate on when you are building your website.

SEO1. HTML Tags

Probably the simplest and easiest method for making sure that your web page is optimized for the search engines is to spend some time properly formatting the meta tags in your website’s HTML. The most important of these is your Title tag. For the keyword that you are targeting, you definitely want that keyword to appear in the title. In general, the earlier that the keyword phrase appears in the title, the better.

The second tag you want to make sure that you optimize is the Meta Description tag. Although this tag won’t affect your rankings in the search engines very much, it is quite important for getting people to click on your link when you do show up in the search results. A good description can act as a short advertisement for your site. In the description, you can convince the searcher that your web page is the best result. If the search phrase appears in the description, it will also typically be bolded, which adds to the perceived relevance of your website.

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If you search for "graphic design perth", look what comes up at #2 πŸ™‚

2. URL

If you are targeting a particular keyword phrase on one of your web pages, then you will also want to incorporate the keyword into the url of the page. In general, it is better to have the keyword appear as close as possible to the root domain name, and it is better to use dashes rather than underscores to separate the words.

Therefore, yoursite.com/keyword-phrase.html would rank much better than yoursite.com/folder/subfolder/keyword_phrase.html or yoursite.com/page1.html.

3. In the body

The body of your website will typically consist of a few paragraphs of text. Many webmasters struggle with the number of keyword repetitions and the overall keyword density that should appear in this section of their web page. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, but you basically want to insert your keywords enough times that it is clear to the search engines that your page is indeed about that phrase, but not so many times that your web content appears unnatural or spammy. A good rule of thumb is to repeat your keyword phrase 2-3 times in a short article and 4-6 times in a larger article. One more factor to keep in mind when you are writing the body is the H1 tag. This is the tag that is usually used for the main page heading, and the search engines will give a bit of extra weight to the text that it contains. The same goes for H2, H3 and lower tags, they get SEO weighting priority over the rest of the text.

There are a quite a few other on-page SEO factors to consider, but if you focus on these basics to start with, you should be able to dramatically improve the search engine ranking of your website.

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COMMENTS

Good advice Alex
The other on page factor that warrants mention is SEO anchor text (and please accept my apologies Alex if this is a topic you already have pencilled in for a future post). For those unacquainted, an example of ‘SEO anchor text’ is the preceding link. Follow the link for further instruction. In my humble opinion, the value of the link juice anchor text transfers between pages exceeds any other on page optimisation strategy in its importance. Except perhaps for ‘Page Titles’ as you’ve explained above. And by extending your anchor text strategy off-page – incorporating it into your backlinks – the benefits increase exponentially. Anyway, thanks for the good read. Cheers, Steve

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