On-page SEO factors are aspects of a web page that can influence the page’s search engine rank. These are easy to do, and small changes can have a big effect on the page’s rank, so everyone should optimize their website’s on-page factors.
That being said, here is a list of 33 basic SEO do’s and don’ts for on-page optimization:
- DO include keywords in your website’s title tag, meta tags, and URL when it makes sense.
- DO write a compelling meta titles and meta descriptions. They often appear on search engine results pages. It will be what convinces a visitor that your content is what they are looking for and to click on the link to your page.
- DO include keywords in your content and image alt tags.
- DO emphasis keywords in your content by formatting it. Put it in header tags. Make it bold or italic.
- DO include keywords in anchor texts from inbound links.
- DON’T stuff your keywords all over the place and where it doesn’t make sense.
- DON’T target general keywords. Make it specific. It is easier to rank for specific long-tailed keywords than general keywords. The audience that come to your website from more specific keywords will also be more relevant to who you are looking for.
- DON’T worry too much about the meta keywords. I would still suggest you to put your keywords in there, but don’t spend too much time on it. Meta keyword is a depreciated tag that doesn’t really get used for the most part.
- DO write unique content that is educative, informative and valuable to readers. Content is king.
- DO update your website with fresh content on a regular basis. Google values fresh content over old content.
- DO make sure your content is of a good length. If it’s too short, Google will think the content is not long enough to be informative or valuable. But if it’s too long, your visitors will not read the article.
- DO use alt tags in images. Search engines cannot read images and rely on alt tags to find out what the image is about.
- DO include other types of content, such as images, videos, podcasts, etc. Be sure to transcribe your videos and podcasts so search engine are able to read it.
- DO repurpose your content. Different readers like to learn differently. One person might prefer to read a white paper, while another person might prefer to read a series of blogs. The same person might prefer to look at visual infographics, while another might prefer to watch and listen to a video demonstration instead. Different types of media are better at explaining different things as well.
- DON’T reuse someone else’s content without their permission.
- DON’T duplicate content on multiple webpages and or websites.
- DON’T cloak your website and show search engines a different version of your website that visitors don’t see.
- DO make site your website is accessible. Fix broken links and 404 errors. Use permanent 301-redirects to redirect older, non-existent pages to newer ones. Make sure your robots.txt file is set up correctly to not block search engines.
- DO make sure your website is usable. If it is messy and hard to navigate, visitors will leave even after they find your website through search engines.
- DO include a sitemap. Sitemaps makes it easier for search engines to understand and crawl your website.
- DO grow the size of your website. The bigger your website is, the better it is, but make sure it is still easy to use and navigate.
- DO make your website design responsive. More and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the internet and many visitors use multiple platforms to browse on a single website (cross-platform browsing).
- DON’T use frames or flash for content.
- DON’T use dynamic URLs. They are not keyword-friendly, user-friendly, or SEO-friendly. Keep your URLs static.
- DON’T make both website.com and www.website.com accessible. Search engines count these are two separate websites and will dilute the ranking between the two websites. Choose one version and stick with it. Redirect the second one to the one that you chose to use.
- DO make sure anchor texts of internal and external inbound links are descriptive of your web page.
- DO make sure your inbound links are from relevant quality websites.
- DO grow your inbound links. Each additional link to your website is a vote of confidence and will boost your rank.
- DO list your website on good directories, but be selective and be careful of ones that look suspicious.
- DON’T obtain excessive inbound links from the same website(s).
- DON’T link to spammy or suspicious-looking websites.
- DON’T excessively link to external sites. Only do so naturally so you do not dilute the value of your outbound links.
And there you go. If you follow these basic do’s and don’ts, you will have a pretty good head start. Never stop optimizing your website. Ever. There will always be something on your website that can be improved. Like I said before, even small changes can go a long way in boosting your website’s search engine ranking.
If you are unclear on any of the do’s or don’ts on the list, leave a comment or shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you.
What do you think about this list? Have you implemented them on your website? Do they work for you? Do you disagree with any of the items that I listed? Let me know!