On-page SEO helps Google crawlers understand what your site and post are about which helps you rank on Google. Unlike Off-page SEO, On-page SEO is something that you have total control over.
If your page or post is correctly optimized, you have a much higher chance of ranking in SERPs than someone who has zero clue about it.
Now, how and where to search for keywords is a different topic and a whole beast of a post on its own.
This article will cover how you can optimize your blog post for on-page SEO after you’ve researched your keywords.
A few tips for your keyword research:
- Use Keysearch if you are a beginner and you don’t have enough funds to buy SEMrush. It’s cheap, beginner friendly, and provides accurate data
- Download free Moz extension and Keywords Everywhere chrome extension.
- Don’t be fooled by a low green score on an SEO tool and think ranking for such keywords is easy. If big sites are ranking for that keyword, it will be a lot harder
- If tools are the only sites ranking on the first page of Google, find some other long-tail keyword
- ‘People also ask‘ in Google search results and Google suggestions are a great way to understand user search intent and so try to include those keywords in your post
- Use free Google keyword planner to search for your competitor’s site keywords
- Related searches on Google help a lot to find new keywords
For those that don’t know, you need to set up Google Search Console so that Google crawlers can start indexing your pages. Install XML sitemap plugin or Yoast SEO plugin and submit your sitemap to Google. (Here is how you do it).
For this post, I will assume you use an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or Rank Math. It makes the job 10x easier.
Now let’s get down to business!
How To Optimize Blog Post For On-Page SEO
Here are the steps to optimize your post for On-page SEO.
Frequency Of keywords
A lot of people wonder just how many times a particular keyword should be used in a blog post. Honestly, there is no right answer to this.
If you know what you are writing and talking about, the keyword will come up enough times without you trying too hard.
A rule of thumb is for a thousand words, the main keyword should come at least 4 times. Could be more if it sounds natural and not too robotic. The main keyword is accompanied by lots of long-tail keywords and related keywords and you need to have space for them to be inserted naturally as well.
Let’s suppose you have at least 10 keywords. If you repeat each keyword even 4 times, you will have to insert 40 keywords for only a thousand words blog post which is honestly excessive and will no doubt sound like crap.
So to naturally insert many keywords you need to find a lot of related keywords.
For example, if the main keyword is ‘affiliate marketing’, related keywords would be ‘online income’, ‘work from home’, ‘make money online’, etc.
It doesn’t matter if related keywords don’t repeat. Google greatly favors blog posts that accurately satisfy user search intent.
Even if a blog post stuffed with many keywords ranks first in search results, Google quickly de-indexes them and sometimes blacklists them.
So it’s not good to use such tactics for quick gains, as your site loses credibility.
Where to place keywords in the blog post?
Place it in the following places in the blog post for the best results.
- Near the start of the introduction. Along the first few lines or sentences.
- Post title (best if it’s in the beginning)
- Subheadings (at least 2 for a thousand words post)
- Plenty of times in the body
- In the conclusion and CTA
How To Insert Keywords Naturally?
Worrying about how and where to place keywords can kill your writing process and mess up your flow.
What I do to insert keywords without sounding like AI is that I write the post without worrying about the keywords. I do keep them in mind and use them where it fits but I don’t actively insert them.
It’s only when I am finished with my draft, do I insert keywords where necessary. It’s much easier, fun, and very natural. The quality of the post improves when you write without worries.
Also, if you have researched your topic well, you will write so many keywords without even trying. So, try not to actively insert keywords when you are writing your first draft.
Remember, you are writing for humans, so the post needs to be something that they can read and understand.
Nothing makes you want to exit a site more quickly than an article stuffed with keywords.
Yeah, it ranks, but the bounce rate of those sites must be through the roof.
Internal links are links to your posts and pages found on your site.
You need to link articles and pages that are relevant and related to what you are writing.
For example, if you are writing about ‘how to make a cheesecake’, you can link your articles about ‘making sour cream from scratch’, ‘how to make strawberry sauce’, ‘how to bake a cake on a stove’ etc.
Internal links greatly matter as you come across as someone that has authority on the subject and people are more likely to stay on your site for longer, which boosts your site’s credibility. As a result, Google favors your site more.
Protip: Use Google Analytics to track and monitor your traffic. It’s a free solid tool that keeps you updated about how people use and interact with your site. Connect all your business accounts and social media handles.
Insert at least 3 internal links in your blog post for a thousand words article.
(Can be more or less depending on the topic and length of the post)
Just like internal links, external links are links to posts and sites that are different from yours and direct your traffic to another site.
You should only link high-quality and relevant sites and posts as your external links. If you link any site that is considered spam or is blacklisted by the Google algorithm, your on-page SEO and credibility take a hit.
So external links for sites should also have authority on the matter and they shouldn’t be your competitors’ sites.
For example, if you write a post about making cream cheese, you can link articles that explain the benefits of cream cheese, some statistics or research, how to preserve cream cheese, or other relevant and related articles.
Don’t link the article to the same topic you are writing about!
Basically, any link that directs your traffic out of your blog is a qualified external link. Affiliate links don’t count though.
Try to insert 2-3 high-quality external links in a thousand words blog post.
(Can be more or less depending on the topic and length of the post)
Your blog post titles play a huge role in boosting your SEO score. So an SEO-friendly title is very important.
Insert your main keyword at the beginning of the title if possible. Also, your main keyword shouldn’t be dissected all over the title.
For example, if your main keyword is ‘how make chips’;
You want to make a title like ‘How To Make Chips At Home’ instead of ‘Make The Best Potato Chips At Home | How To Guide’
Sometimes the main keyword can be so awkward that you cannot form a title without sounding awkward. But for most cases, the first title works like a charm. It’s easy to make and is perfectly optimized for On-page SEO.
When I started my blog, I had zero clue that I needed to SHORTEN and optimize my slug for SEO.
Some of my older posts have long ash slugs that look so bad! And now I can’t even change them without affecting my URLs.
Slugs are your blog post Url and they need to be optimized by your main keyword.
When you write a post on your site editor, your WordPress editor copies your blog title to the slug.
If your blog title is ‘How To Make Chips At Home From Scratch’ and your main keyword is ‘how make chips’
Your default slug would be: yoursitename/how-to-make-chips-at-home-from- scratch/
Which is crazy long! You need to make it short like: yoursitename/how-make-chips
That’s it. Your slug is optimized for SEO!
A meta description is a small description of 155 characters that appear on search results under your post title on Google.
The purpose of meta description is to tell your readers what they can expect from your post, and it also tells Google what your article is about.
So, your meta description should include your main keyword and a secondary or related keyword (best to use all three).
You will find the meta description along with the slug at the bottom of your WordPress editor if you use the Yoast SEO plugin.
Don’t try to stuff keywords and write an informative and catchy description that makes people want to click.
Image Alt Text
Image Alt Text is important for On-page SEO as well as for people who have disabilities and can’t see the photo or make out the graphics.
Alt tags help describe an image and inform search engine crawlers about the context of the image and help them index it correctly.
Your image alt text needs to be not more than 125 characters.
Also, don’t stuff it with keywords.
Briefly but specifically describe what the image is about and insert your main keyword where it makes sense. Don’t insert alt text if the image is for decorative purposes only.
For example, if you want to rank for the term ‘how to make chips at home’ and you use the image below for describing your recipe,
A good example of alt text would be ‘A hand picking up chips from the bowl’.
Apart from writing alt text, you also need to rename your images for On-page SEO.
To do this, copy your main keywords, and paste them into the name section of your post images. (Remember to separate each keyword with a comma!)
Optimizing your article is very easy if you use an SEO plugin. I use Yoast SEO but Rank Math is also good.
If you don’t use those, you need to have some coding knowledge to insert meta tags, alt tags, and title tags into your post HTML.
Remember that even if your post is optimized for On-page SEO, there is still no guarantee that you will rank first on SERPs.
A lot of things matter in SEO, so try not to sweat too much.
Start marketing your post and don’t just rely on Google to bring you traffic. Even if all your posts are fully optimized, Google may take 6 months to gauge your site and index your pages.
Hope this post was helpful!
Tell me what part of On-page SEO is the most challenging for you? Also, share this post with people who would benefit from it!