The Bloggers Guide to On Page SEO

Get Google Love

A lot of people say SEO is dead.

The truth is, SEO(in the sense they’re referring to) has always been a myth anyway. So saying it’s dead is kinda redundant.  SEO isn’t dead.

However, the act of tricking Google is quickly becoming irrelevant.

If you want more people to find your blog, you need to know a little about SEO.  You don’t need to know everything, but some basic knowledge will carry you pretty far.

Go over the stuff in this post and you’ll be surprised how fast your blog gains more traffic from the other search engines.

On page SEO is all about simplicity

First of all, on site optimization is impossible if your site’s navigation is a mess. Categories, tags and menus need to be easy to navigate.

Search engines like Google use what they call “spiders” to crawl your site and determine what your content is about.

You need to make it easy for them to do that.

Since no one has interviewed a web crawler before, a good rule of thumb is to make it easy for your readers. That seems to work every time.

Being a member of the WA community has taught me that keeping things simple helps your readers, plus it helps on page optimization.

However, keeping things simple isn’t always easy. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

It takes a lot of effort to keep things simple on your blog for your visitors.  The same can be said for just about any task.

Steve Jobs knew this when he built the Macintosh and he knew it’s what would make or break those who worked under him.

Steve Jobs understood the value of simplicity and it showed in his products.

He also understood the tireless effort it would take to create that simplicity for his customers. And that is the most important part.

Simple Design

If you want traffic from search engines, you need good on page SEO. Without it, all your other efforts are wasted.

No amount of backlinking can save you from bad on page optimization.

The best way to keep things simple for your readers to navigate your site is to limit your amount of categories, menu items and tags.

I suggest not using tags unless you’re a real pro…I don’t use any.

Also too many ads or footer links can cause problems too. The same goes for the sidebar.

Now that we’ve established the need for simplicity, lets get into the good stuff.

The good news is, if you’ve done a good job keeping things simple the rest will be a breeze.

Keywords

Keyword research should be done before you start your blog.

Depending on the type of website you’re trying to build, it can be very beneficial to do keyword research before you even buy a domain name.

Proper keyword research can be the difference between a thriving blog and one only your Mother will love.

If you’re not clear about how to do proper keyword research, you need to familiarize yourself with it. There are tons of resources and tutorials available.

To put it simply, keyword research means finding terms related to your niche with the highest number of people searching for them and the lowest number of competing web pages(or websites).

Your keywords will be used throughout your blog many times, in many different ways. It’s important to find keywords that are very closely related to your niche.

Since you’ll be using them frequently, it’s important also to keep them as natural as possible every time you use them.

Search engines, especially Google are looking for things to be natural. Just like your readers can tell when you’re trying too hard, so can Google.

If you have your target keywords in mind and you know your niche, your keyword(s) should come out naturally in your writing.

Titles

Your titles are important for a number of reasons.

They are what helps a searcher decide to click and read your article. And they are the first thing people notice when they see your content on social media.

Your titles need to be enticing, but they also need to contain your keyword.

Readers clicking your link from the search engine or from social media is great for SEO.

But for on site optimization purposes, your titles are what tells the search engines what your content is all about.

A title without a keyword will do nothing for your on site SEO.

Using your keyword(s) in your page and post titles is one of the easiest ways to increase your on site optimization.

Creating good titles with your keywords isn’t always easy, but it’s incredibly important.

Don’t forget about your site title.

Site title is different from your domain name and it is often overlooked.

Including your main keyword here will dramatically increase your on page optimization.

Imagesmulti-colored eye

Since we just talked about the importance of titles, I felt this was a great place to talk about images.

You see, images are a great way to increase the overall performance of your site.

We’re not just talking about SEO either.

Good images can help to increase conversions, subscribers and just about everything else.

There is no excuse to have a website that has no images, there’s just too many advantages.

Of course, one of those advantages is SEO, but you need to know how to properly optimize those images.

So, first things first.

How you choose to find your images is totally up to you. I suggest that you Do Not download them straight from the web.

Buy them, or create them yourself. Trust me it’s a lot less stressful.

File name

Once you have your images stored you need to change the file name.

People often overlook this, but changing the name of the file is a great way to boost your SEO.

Don’t try to force your keyword into the file name if it doesn’t make sense.

Title and alt-tag

At this point, I’m going to assume you’ve written a stellar blog post and you’re ready to upload that image. Once you upload the image you need to give it a title and alt-tag.

Be sure to give the image a different title than your file name. Your title should also explain the image, but it should be relevant to the content around it.

Again, don’t try to stuff your keyword here.

Your alt-tag is where you want to try to use your keyword. If you’ve properly named your image file and title, using a keyword within your alt-tag should be easy.

Just make sure whatever term you use in the alt-tag is related to the image.

Although people don’t speak much about it, image placement can have a huge affect on your readership.

Carefully choosing where you place your images will increase the amount of time readers spend on your site.

The King

We’ve discussed keywords, titles and keywords in the title…but what about content, right?

Well, just like every other part of your on page SEO, content is important.

Writing great content that attracts and engages readers is going to be the backbone of your entire blog.

Within your content you must include your keywords, and terms that are related to your keyword.

If you’re writing good content and you know your niche, writing content that includes your keyword is going to happen naturally.

Everyone has a different method for when and where they use keywords in their content.

I like to try to include my keyword in the first paragraph because it tells readers and search engines what the content is about, quickly.

SEO tipIf you’re struggling to fit your keyword into the article, it’s better to leave it out and just write naturally.

 

Links, links and more links

When you hear people talk about links you always assume they mean backlinks. And while having backlinks is great for SEO, it’s an off-page strategy.

So lets talk about the links that help to build your on page SEO.

Internal linking

Anytime you write content for the web, it’s a good idea to keep people engaged as much as possible.

If you’re good at keeping readers engaged it helps to build your on page SEO(among other things).

Search engines, especially Google calculate bounce rate.

If people are landing on your blog and leaving quickly, that pretty much tells Google your content sucks or it’s unrelated.

Basically, the more time readers spend on your site the better.

One of the best ways to keep readers engaged with your content is to show them more content.

Let me explain…Confused Reader

When a reader has finished your article, they don’t know what to do next.

If you don’t tell them what to do or where to go, they will simply leave.

This is a good time to use your call-to-action if you’re goal is to get them to purchase.

But if your goal is to increase your on page optimization you want to suggest that they read more of your content.  But you can’t just say, “Hey check out my other posts” and expect them to go find it.

You have to show it to them

Some bloggers like to use plugins that display related posts at the end of each article. Since plugins can be counterproductive to on page SEO, I prefer to link to my related to content manually.

Simply linking to other related posts within your blog will increase on page SEO tremendously.

You don’t need a fancy plugin to do it for you, all you need is a link. If you feel like you want to be fancy, use an image to link to related posts.

Be sure what you link to is related to what they just read. If not, you risk hurting your on page optimization and all your effort is wasted.

Outbound links

Linking out to other blogs in your niche is a great way to build your on page optimization. Not only does it look more natural, but it helps to establish your trust with your readers.

Linking to your sources or other helpful info shows readers you know what you’re talking about.

There has always been a lot of talk about passing “pagerank” when you link to other blogs.

Lots of bloggers like to use the Nofollow tag when they link out, in order to keep all of their valuable SEO-juice.

A nofollow tag is easily created with most SEO plugins. It tells search engines not to follow the link you’ve created.

Showing a link to your readers that you don’t want to show to the search engines can make your blog look unnatural.

You cannot be willing to cite a webpage as a good source for information, and then not be willing to give it a vote of SEO. At least not every time you link to one.

Most SEO experts say the nofollow tag isn’t as necessary as it once was.

The truth is, it’s probably okay to “follow” most, if not all of your outbound links to other sites.

Remember that good on page SEO is all about being natural.

If you’re thinking about it too much, you’re probably doing it wrong.Don’t get too caught up in all this follow or nofollow crap.

Just let it be natural.

Privacy policy

Your privacy policy is absolutely necessary. Do not overlook this.

It may be a boring part of blogging, but its important. Even if you don’t collect any information from your visitors, you still need a privacy policy.

Google requires all sites running adsense to have a privacy policy. They also require you to have one if you use adwords to drive traffic.

Putting Google guidelines aside for a second, having a privacy policy puts your visitors mind at ease while browsing your site.

Obviously you want visitors to feel safe, so be sure to add a privacy page to your blog.

It simple, quick and you can generate a free privacy policy here.

Contact Page

Much like your privacy policy, a contact page can help to establish trust with your visitors. Show me a blog with no contact page and I’ll show you a failing blog.

If you’re a small business, or run a blog that discusses local topics a contact page will make a break your on page optimization.

From a local standpoint, NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is the most important part of your SEO. If you don’t include the NAP you can forget about ranking locally.

Local blogs should include the NAP in their header as well as the contact page.

local seo services

For bloggers trying to reach a wider audience, just make sure you have a way for visitors to easily contact you.

Make this page clearly visible in at least one place on your blog, usually in the main menu.

Sitemap

Your sitemap is an essential part of your on page optimization, it tells search engines about all the pages that make up your site.

You can find lots plugins to help you create an XML sitemap, but my favorite is All in one SEO pack. (AIO for short)

All in one SEO pack has lots of other features to help with on site optimization, so using it to generate your sitemap just makes sense.

It allows you to quickly create a standard XML sitemap and update Google all at the same time.

Once you’ve created your first sitemap you need to copy the link and paste it in the footer of your blog.

In Summary

Everything you just read is more than enough to help you create good on page optimization. Remember to keep things as simple and natural as possible.

SEO(especially on site) doesn’t have to be technical or difficult, it should come naturally.

Good SEO should come as a byproduct of careful research and passion for the topic you choose to write about.

Don’t get too caught up in all the SEO hype. Don’t over-think things and never over do it.

Over optimizing your blog will only have adverse effects.

Keep it simple and keep your readers in mind and you’ll be just fine.

If you have questions, let me know in the comments below.

To learn more about SEO check out the community that taught me.

You can sign up as a free member with access to hundreds of videos, live support and a community of helpful people.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Chris. Very useful post on Page SEO. As a new blogger this provides much clarity amongst a plethora of conflicting and badly written drivel by people who frankly didn’t seem to know much more about it than I do ! I will start to incorporate these excellent basics and then absorb some of your further advice. Thank You !

    • Chris M Cloutier says

      Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by. I’m happy the post was useful to you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so don’t try to do too much at one time. Focus on your content and making it easy for your readers to find and navigate through that content and you’ll be fine. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

  2. says

    This is such an important point: If you’re struggling to fit your keyword into the article, it’s better to leave it out and just write naturally.

    It would be terrible for an article not to make sense for the sake of keywords. However, on the flip side if you have the “right” keywords it should be a lot easier.

    @iteachblogging

    • Chris M Cloutier says

      You’re absolutely right. In the beginning it took a lot of trial and error for me to realize that part of my problem was that I didn’t have the right keyword to begin with. Careful planning and research make a blogger’s life much easier, that’s for sure. Thanks!

  3. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Your advice is easy to digest and it gets straight to the point. As a new blogger, you’ve really helped me on my journey (it has been a painful journey of trial and error for me).
    Best wishes!

  4. says

    Fantastic Chris.

    You know I’ve been 3 months into my blog and I just remembered I never added a Contact me page!

    Thanks for reminding me.

    I don’t know how it slipped out of my mind! Maybe that’s why it’s been tough getting rankings!

    Cheers. See you in WA ! :)

    • Chris M Cloutier says

      Ya’ know, I just recently did the same thing with a niche site I created. I think we get so caught up in all the technical stuff that we forget about the simple things. Thanks Chris!

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