Just because you *can* do something, doesn’t mean you have the time or energy to do it yourself. Outsourcing is a key factor in any business or for any manager.
If you are thinking you would like to take a crack at doing some or all of your own SEO, then these basic principles are a great starting point, in fact they may be all you need. That depends on how competitive your SEO keywords are though of course. Also, there’s more to online marketing and SEO than just on-page SEO, so there’s always more that can be done if you don’t get the results you’d like at first.
Likewise, this is a great intro for anyone who uses an SEO consultant but would like a bit more of an understanding of the process.
So, let’s leap right into it. The principles are tried and true and so as not to reinvent the wheel, here it is put beautifully by digitalmarketer.com:
There are five on-page SEO factors you need to consider while creating blog posts or pages on your website:
- The slug
- Body text
- Title tag
- Meta description
if you can’t alter even one of these five elements in your CMS or shopping cart — start planning a move to something else (like WordPress).
First, let’s make sure you have the right tools for this job…
Which SEO Plugin for WordPress?
The clear decision here is the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. Anything less is uncivilized. 🙂
This plugin will not only allow you to edit the five on-page SEO factors we’ll discuss later in this post, but it will also give you the ability to…
Create a sitemap
Verify Google Webmaster Tools
Create breadcrumb navigation
Edit your robots.txt file
…and a ton more.
If you’re stuck with some other plugin like All-In-One SEO or Headspace II, you can import your information over easily using the SEO Data Transporter function in the IMPORT/EXPORT section of Yoast SEO…
5 On-Page SEO Factors in WordPress
Alright, alright, alright… let’s get busy applying SEO to your WordPress post or page.
The keyword phrase I’m optimizing this post for is “on-page SEO.” I told you this was going to be meta. 🙂
On-Page SEO Factor #1: Optimize the Slug
The first thing I do when I create my new post is alter the file name or, as WordPress calls it, the slug. “Applying the keyword or keyword phrase to the slug has a surprising SEO impact.”
DANGER: This is the one on-page SEO factor that you should be very careful with. DO NOT make changes to the slugs of existing pages or posts on your website without doing a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page. Google, and your users, do not like finding 404 Error pages where pages used to exist. The 301 redirect will permanently redirect anyone visiting a URL to a new URL.
You can use a plugin like Simple 301 Redirects to make things easy.
On-Page SEO Factor #2: Optimize the Body Text
Wherever it’s natural to include the target keyword in the body copy of the page or post, do so.
Always err on the side of user experience and not SEO. But don’t force it.
You want the body copy to flow, and you’re not looking to keyword stuff.
And, thanks to the Google Hummingbird algorithm update, feel free to use variations of the keyword by incorporating synonyms and changing the order in which the keyword exists.
Always err on the side of User Experience (UX) and not SEO. It’s just not worth it in the end to rank well for a keyword only to have your users flee your website in horror when they read your copy.
Instead, work the keywords in there where they naturally fit within the body and the headings.
And, if you can’t easily work the keyword into the copy — you might want to reconsider the keyword you’ve chosen.
On-Page SEO Factor #3: Optimize the Images
The biggie here is the ALT attribute in the image metadata. You want to ensure that you put a description of the image in the ALT attribute and do so for EACH image on the page.
Then, use your target keyword in the featured or primary image on the page.
But the ALT attribute is another place where people go SEO overboard. Don’t stuff keywords into your images.
Instead, imagine that, for whatever reason, a person can’t view the image on your page. Use the ALT attribute to accurately describe what the image is about.
In the evolving “semantic search” (Google’s algorithm attempts to understand the meanings of words and phrases through the context that surrounds them) this will become more important.
Also, name the file with an accurate description of the image as well…
Now it’s time for the granddaddy of all on-page SEO elements…
On-Page SEO Factor #4: Optimize the Title Tag
The title tag is not only an important SEO element but is also an important UX element.
The title tag is the most prominently displayed text on the Google search results page.
Title tag in Google Search Results for the keyword phrase, “buy handmade goods”
As a result, the title tag will be more effective if it reads properly to a user.
As a rule, the earlier the target keyword appears in the title tag, the more impact it will have on your SEO.
But don’t stress about it — just be sure to include the keyword in the title tag. If you can include it early in the tag, do it.
You’ll edit your title tag in the Yoast SEO plugin. And, as a bonus, the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to view how your title tag will appear in the Google search results from within the EDIT POST screen using something called a “Snippet Preview.”
OK, on to the last on-page element in WordPress…
On-Page SEO Factor #5: Optimize the Meta Description
So the meta description is not actually an SEO element.
Optimizing it will not improve your rankings but it’s still important for a number of UX and conversion reasons.
First, the meta description often appears prominently in the Google search results page…
Meta description in Google Search Results for the keyword phrase, “buy handmade goods”
This meta description WILL BE READ by most of the people that are choosing which search result to click on. So… it’s an SEO element.
On top of that, the meta description is often “pulled” by social sharing plugins as the descriptive text placed on sites like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You’ll get more clicks from social media if you’re meta description is optimized.
Like the title tag, you’ll optimize the meta description using the Yoast SEO plugin on the EDIT POST screen. And, as with the title tag, you’ll see what the meta description will look like in the “Snippet Preview”…
That’s it — easy peasy.
Lara Spence Web Design – SEO Consultants in Vancouver BC
If you do happen to be looking for an expert SEO consultant in Vancouver BC or the surrounding area, please consider us. We have an experienced and growing team that has been doing SEO for many years. Have a look at our portfolio, click the SEO tag to see the many companies we have done or are doing ongoing SEO for.
If you’ve searched around and found that many SEO companies don’t advertise their prices and instead have a ‘contact us for a quote’ link on their page, you may find it refreshing to see that we do publish the price of SEO services. Though it is not an exhaustive list of prices for everything we do, you can get a good idea of the the cost of some of the most common online services we provide.
We offer the full range of online services including:
- web design
- online marketing
- SEO, social media marketing
- graphic design, business writing
- SEO content writing such as blog posts and web pages
- enews campaigns
- Google Analytics analysis and reporting
- Google Adwords campaigns and pretty much anything else related to your business website