When it comes to onsite SEO it seems that almost everyone on the web does things backwards. What most people seem to do, and what is sadly taught on most SEO related websites is to do a lot of research and careful keyword selecting, and then generate web pages and blog posts around those keywords. The belief is if you know what keywords perform well and you create SEO friendly pages then logically you should achieve search engine results for those keywords. The truth however is that this is a completely backwards way of doing SEO and exactly what
both Google and Microsot Bing are trying to stop people from doing. Rather than selecting keywords that rank well and building content around them, what you should be doing is creating good solid pages and posts filled with unique content, and then selecting what keywords will perform well based on that content.
Although at first glance this method of SEO may seem similar to the traditional way of doing things there is actually a vast difference.
Onsite SEO for Content not Content for onsite SEO
You really need to ask yourself what is the message you are trying to get across in your webpage? What is its purpose for being there. When you create the page, don’t worry about keywords, just write to your audience and get the message across that you are trying to get across. Let the words flow naturally as they would if you were giving a speech, talking to a friend, or describing a product of some sort.
After you have your content created you should go back and do your SEO optimization. The first think you should do is take any article headers, article titles, product headers, or similar type of text that appears in bold or larger text and turn those words and phrases into keywords.
Selecting Keywords for SEO
Your keywords are ultimately the main points of your page. They tend to show up a bit more frequently in your text and also tend to appear in your headers. After you have selected your keywords you add them to the header of your page source by using the following website code in the <head> </head> tags before the start of the <body> tag.
<meta name="keywords" content="your list of keywords, and your phrases, that relate to the web page, or article in question, each separed, by a comma">
Selecting a Description for SEO
The next thing you need to do is select a statement from the article or page that sums up what the page is about or the main point of what the page is about. If the page is actually a product catalog page or a product page, you should select a brief description of what the page is about. The statement should be less than 160 characters in length. After selecting a sentence of two from your page or post you need to turn this into your page description. To do this add this following code in the same place you added the keywords above.
<meta name="description" content="The sentences you selected from your page that sum up what your page is about.">
Selecting a title for SEO
The third thing you need to do is select a title for your page or post. If you are doing onsite SEO for a blog, selecting your title is fairly straight forward. Just use the title header you used to create your post. So for example on this post I would select “SEO the way Google and Bing want it”.
If you are selecting a title for a non-blog page, you want to select a very descriptive yet short title that explains what the page is about. For example if you are discussing the review of a product you may want to use a title tag such as “Review of Product XYZ”.
When creating a title tag the thing to keep in mind is that this is what people will see when they find your page in a search engine. Because of this you really need to select a title is likely to encourage a user to click. Also keep your title tags under 60 characters as this is the limit for many search engines.
A website title should come immediately after the start of your head tag in your html source as shown below.
<title>Your Title goes here</title>
SEO friendly links and images
The final thing you need to do after creating an article or webpage is go back over it and review your links and your images. Every single image needs to have an alt attribute. If the image is not also a link, you should have a title attribute on the image as well. An alt attribute is what is displayed to users who disable images in their browser, and is also used by search engines in determining what a image is about. It should be short, descriptive, and whenever possible it should contain a word or phrase from your pages selected keywords.
A title tag is what is displayed to a user when they put their mouse over the image. Search engines also use this in determining what an image is about. Just like the alt attribute a title attribute should describe what the image is about, but it doesn’t have to match the alt tag. The typical image that is not linked should look like the following.
<img src="some.image.jpg" title="SEO friendly keywords that tell what the image is" alt="this is an image of .... other seo friendly keywords describing the image" />
If you are creating a link, whether it is a text link or an image link, your title tag should be included in the link tag. When using a link you can exclude the title tag from images. I have given two examples below, one of a text link, the other of an image link.
<a herf="something.html" title="SEO friendly keywords that tell what the link is"> <img src="some.image.jpg" alt="this is an image of .... other seo friendly keywords describing the image" /> </a>
<a herf="something.html" title="SEO friendly keywords that tell what the link is"> SEO friendly link text </a>
Now all this SEO optimization of your pages may seem to be a tedious task, and the truth is you are correct, it is tedious. This is one of the many reasons content management systems and blogs have become so popular, because they take the tedious task and make them a bit more manageable.
Almost every content management system available has SEO plugins you can download to help automate the task of search engine optimization. Although I can’t speak for most systems, a simple search in Google or Microsoft Bing should return a number of results.
If you are using wordpress for you blog or content system, there are a number of SEO plugins available but only one that I have found consistently works with every update of wordpress. That plugin is the All in One SEO pack.
I recommend after setting up this plugin, that you also interact with it by customizing the title, description, and keywords of each post rather than just using a set and forget method. This ensures that the best keywords and titles are used as you see fit rather than just allowing a computer program to decide that information for you. However it is not a requirement at all, the All in one SEO pack does work right out of the box after it is configured.
Note this plugin does not do image or link SEO, this strictly does title, description, and keywords for each of your articles. I am open to helping anyone configure this plugin who needs help, just leave me a comment below telling me what is confusing you or asking SPECIFIC questions (please don’t jsut say “I need help”).