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Don’t Forget the On-Page SEO Factors!

Written by Trent Brownrigg  · May 16, 2011

Most website owners are so worried about the off-page search engine optimization (SEO) factors such as building links and creating a great social media presence that they forget about doing the right things on their actual site. Yes, backlinks and a following are extremely important but they won’t mean much if your site isn’t up to par.

Here are some on-page SEO strategies that you should implement on your website…

Domain – With enough work you could technically get any domain ranked highly for any keyword, but you can make it much easier on yourself by choosing the right domain from the start. Getting an exact match domain (EMD) can often be incredibly helpful in ranking your site at the top of search engines. Often times EMD’s will make it to the top 10, or even #1, based on that alone.

The problem is that in most niches all the best exact match domains will already be taken, so it’s not always possible to get one. However, you should at least get one with your main keywords in it. Just add an extra letter or word at the end, or whatever fits well. Having your keywords in the domain can be very helpful for search engine rankings.

Meta Tags – Your title tag and description tag are extremely important SEO factors. Your title tag should contain your main keywords without many extra filler words, but also don’t stuff it so full that it looks ridiculous. Keep the title to around 65 characters and that includes spaces. That’s about what Google shows in the search results so you want to keep it around there.

The description tag should also contain some of your main keywords but all tell a little more about what visitors can expect from your site. This should be kept to around 150 characters (including spaces) so it has to be a quick summary. Again don’t stuff it full of keywords or it could do more harm than good. Just put them in there as naturally as possible so it still reads well and looks good.

Great Content – Your site is worthless without content and in order for it to be a site that gets natural backlinks, high rankings, and so much more, the content must be very high quality. You will often hear internet marketer’s use the line, “Content is king” and there’s a reason for that saying. This is even more true now because there was a recent update at Google that has made really good original content even more important than ever.

Also, inside your content needs to be your keywords. You should include them wherever they fit in a natural way with around 3% density or so. That means for every 100 words on your page about three of them are keywords that you are trying to rank for. Don’t try to stuff them anywhere and everywhere just for the sake of getting them in there. That tactic used to work but it stopped working years ago. Doing that can actually hurt more than it helps.

Site Map – Having a sitemap is a great way to link all the pages of your site together easily and efficiently. Doing that is important for the search engines so they can find all of your content and rank it accordingly. And it also helps human visitors navigate your site much more easily if needed.

That’s pretty much it. Of course, there are many other things than can be included or tweaked for a maximum SEO score. But if you do the things listed above correctly on your site, you will already be far ahead of most sites. Then, you can start concentrating much more on the off-page strategies.

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5 Responses to “Don’t Forget the On-Page SEO Factors!”

  1. Steven on May 20th, 2011 11:09 pm

    I absolutely agree with you. I spent so many months working on my link building that I totally ignored my on page factors. I went back one day and spent about 3 hours on cleaning up my on page factors like; title tags and h1 tags. Then within 4 days each page that I did this to went up at least 4 positions in Google. Thanks for the reminder I need to do that again! I will be back!

  2. Joe on May 22nd, 2011 6:57 pm

    In my opinion, the domain name and SEO that are available to that domain are the most critical factors in determining a sites success.

  3. WJL on May 23rd, 2011 12:20 pm

    There are lots of sites out there that have thousands upon thousands of low quality links and they wonder why they cannot rank. Sometimes it is good to just take your time and network with some high profile sites and bloggers to get your name out there. Regarding link building, a good way is to subscribe to blogs that use CommentLuv and make relevant comments. Not only does it add to the discussion and get you a nice link, but it can really help you become known to other bloggers and readers.

  4. Vi@Travel Tips on June 1st, 2011 1:22 pm

    Is there any online tools for calculating keywords density?

  5. Steve (Sussex SEO) on September 16th, 2011 12:23 am

    As soon as I started reading, it made me smile because you are dead right!
    On page SEO should come first. It might not carry as much weight but without it, the off page SEO has no structure. It amazes me just how many web designers don’t seem to know this.