The Definitive Guide of On-Page SEO 2020

Search engine optimization is a process of refining your website using both on-page SEO as well as off-page SEO so that it will be included and ranked successfully in search engines.

In the next 5 minutes, after reading this article, you will be able to know what you need to do to optimize your pages and how you can get better search engine optimization results.

The Definitive Guide of On-Page SEO
The Definitive Guide of On-Page SEO 2020

Why You Have to Do Search Engine Optimization?


Now think about it. In the article, How the Google search engine and its algorithm work we discussed how 60% of your customers are necessarily thinking about starting their purchase process from the search engine.

In the search engine, you have two options. You have either an option to pay upfront for advertisements to google or any other search engine provider.

You have the option of providing yourself on the search engine on the first page by not paying anything to search engine providers.

So by having search engine optimization you have a greater opportunity to get a lot of organic traffic without actually paying for these customers to come to your landing page.

So it helps you to get hold of a lot of customers without actually paying money. So it is organic click-through rates which basically talks about not having to spend money on advertising.

It also increases engagement because if you are somebody who is on the first page of the search results, then probably you have greater engagement because more people are likely to click on your page; roughly 20 to 25 percent of customers only go to the second page.

Most of the customers, around 75 to 80 percent of the customers, click on links, and find websites that they are looking for on the first page of the search results.

So think about the number of customers you'll miss out if you are in the second, third, fourth page, etc.

If you are on the 10th page, then probably you're getting nobody from the search engine. It also increases reputation.

Think about yourself. If the customer comes to google and searches for a product, and if you are the first person to come up on google, it basically means that somewhere your reputation has also increased.

The customer might feel that you are somebody who's credible. The customer might find that you are somebody who has a lot of reputation. So an increase in reputation is also one thing.

And because many of these customers will be going to the first link, a second link, etc. and mostly the top links on the first page, you generally tend to have market leadership and a competitive advantage from all of this.

You generally will have customers coming to your page as compared to your competitors’ page, thereby making sure that a lot of conversions happen on this stage.

So increased conversions, organic click-through rates, increase engagement, better reputation, market leadership, and competitive advantage, all of these are elements that you get from doing search engine optimization and you don't necessarily have to pay anybody a lot of money for each customer who is coming to your page.

So all of these things are reasons why you have to do search engine optimization.



On-Page SEO Techniques for Higher Rankings In 2020


There are different elements of on-page SEO:

  • Keyword research and strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Style and the structure of the website
  • Performance and compatibility of the website
  • URL optimization
  • Meta Tag optimization
  • Use of anchor tags
  • Images and multimedia optimization
  • Use of robots.txt file

Keyword Research and Strategy


One of the most important elements here is keyword research because many times we need to understand that customers are using certain terms and we are trying to get these customers to come to our page because of the terms that they use.

What are Keywords?


Keywords are basically significant words or phrases that are related to your website and in many times your keyword should be matching with the search terms that customers use.

How is that we can identify which keywords to use?


Because it becomes very relevant and it is one of the most important elements to achieve greater optimization ranks or optimization score. So that is why we'll talk a little bit about keywords.

Let's take an example here. Let's consider that you are running or I'm running a business which is about selling used cars in the city of Mumbai.

Now because I'm running the business of selling used cars in the city of Mumbai, I might find that there are different keywords that I can use.

One of these keywords, very obvious keywords to use could be “cars”.

Another keyword could be something that is more specific, which would be “used cars”.

Also, I could use related keywords like “cheap cars” or I can use a more specific keyword like “used cars in Mumbai” or I can go specifically and say that “used Maruti cars”, “used Tata cars”, “used BMW cars”, etc.

So, any of these keywords that I use, any of these terms that I can identify which has significant words or phrases that are related to my website become my keywords.

Now it is very important and extremely relevant for us to understand or predict what keywords are customers are going to use because unless we know what search terms the customer is going to use or unless we know what is going to be the term which is going to give the customer a feeling that I am the website that he's looking for, or she's looking for, I might not always succeed.

Now again, there are two ways in which you can identify what keywords to search or how you can arrive with specific keywords. We call them online keyword research and offline keyword research.

Offline Keyword Research


Offline keyword research is where you can identify keywords without using an online tool, so there are different ways of doing it. One, of course, is brainstorming.

Every organization, every marketing department has a set of interesting and capable people like you who basically are involved in identifying and involved in making sure that the product is available for the customer.

So you can brainstorm within yourself within the organization to identify which are the terms that your customer or your target group customer might be looking for.

Brainstorming, marketing materials, customer surveys, a lot of listening to customers can be used at an offline level where you are trying to identify which keywords are most appropriate.



Online Keyword Research


In order to do online keyword research, you can basically use a lot of tools that are out there.

One simple tool is google auto-complete.

If you're going to remove all the browser memory, all the material that is there in the cache memory, all the cookies, etc. and then you go to google and then you start typing for a key term you will see which are the most frequently searched terms and based on that, google is now going to suggest something like an auto-complete.

So you can identify what are the terms that customers are still looking for, what are the terms that customers are searching very frequently, and that can be a basis by which you can identify keywords for yourself.

There is a Google AdWords keyword planner. Google AdWords is basically something that is used for search engine marketing where you want to provide advertisements on the search engine, so a tool that is used for providing advertisements gives you a keyword planner tool.

Now, the keyword planner tool, basically tells you specific keywords, what are the number of searches that are happening from different locations or different geographies of the world.

You can also use google trends. Google trends are something that all of you would be aware of. It is again, a platform that gives you results or a summary of all the different types of searches that are happening on google.

It will tell you what kinds of locations, what kind of searches, how many people are searching for different things, what kind of times are people searching for different things, etc.

So again, looking into google trends, you can get an idea as to how many people are looking for and searching for specific information and once you have this idea or once you this understanding, you can basically look into creating your website or using keywords that are part of trending topics or trending content.

Now there are other tools that are providing premium features and services for paying a little cost. Say, for example, you can use SEMrush software.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a third-party tool that helps you to identify what kind of optimizations and what kind of keywords you can use in order to make your website automatically come up on the first search page.

You have Moz's Keyword Explorer, which again is a third-party tool.

There are innumerable third-party tools out there. Again, some of these third-party tools are free. Some of these third-party tools are not so free.

You can use any of these tools like Google AdWords keyword planner, google autocomplete. You can use google trends.

You can also use other third-party methods like SEMrush, Moz's keyword explorer, etc. to identify which are the specific keywords that you need to have, but how do you arrive at the specific mix of keywords that you're going to use in order to optimize your website.

Which are the keywords that you should use? 


This is again a very important question. Now, this is where we have to be a little creative and little involved in how we are going to create a strategy here.

The first thing is to understand that there are keywords that are in the short head as well as keywords that are in the long tail, of the number of keywords that are out there depending on the ranking of search terms or search results.

There is also something that is known as keyword density.

Say for example, if I am using the keyword of cars. I have “cars” as a keyword or “used cars” as a word twice in every hundred words that are used. So my total website has 5000 words and in 5000 words I have somewhere around 100 times that I've used the word “cars”.

So when I divide it, I basically get that I'm using the keyword “cars” as two times per hundred words that I have.

Now, in order to understand how search engines are going to optimize or search engines are going to identify whether or not the website is relevant, it needs to identify what is the keyword density.

Many times we'll find that there are a lot of keywords that are organically identifiable based on the content that you use.

So if you have a website that has a lot of words written down, a lot of content written down, and you can pick out which are the words or which are the keywords, or which are the phrases that have a higher density. Then you might want to use these as the keywords in your search engine optimization.

The keyword should be also relevant to your website. And the keyword should be something that is very close to what your website is trying to provide to the customer.

Because many times a search engine like we discussed earlier, is only as good as the information that it provides to the customer.

If the search engine doesn't always provide information that is very relevant, then people are not going to find a lot of value in the search engine.

So hence your keyword should be identified based on the relevancy factor as well.

So based on the long tail and the mix of the long tail versus the short head criteria, based on the kind of keyword density that your website could provide, based on the kind of keyword funnel that you can have and based on the relevancy with respect to your website, you can identify which are going to be the keywords that you're going to specifically choose.

And thereby you can have a mix of keywords that are going to be most appropriate to enhance the search engine strategy or to have better search engine optimization for your page.

So once we have identified the specific mix of keywords, when I say the mix of keywords, I'm talking about all the different types of keywords that you have identified based on the long tail, the keyword density, the keyword funnel, relevancy factors, etc.

Based on the research that you have done, you have a set of keywords that are out there.



Content Strategy


The search engine is like a librarian, the librarian should be able to see which books are the best or which books are related to which subjects and only then the librarian will be able to provide these books to somebody who's asking for the subjects.

Similarly, the search engine, say for example Google, here uses a crawler. Crawler should be able to seamlessly go and see what the website is talking about and understand what the website is talking about.

Only then the search engine will be able to understand the website, index it properly, and then provide it as a relevant output to the kind of keywords that the customer is looking for. So there are a lot of things that we have to do in order to make sure that the search engine is able to identify what content we provide apart from keywords.

Now the first and most important thing that we need to do is to make sure that the content we provide is up-to-date, relevant, and something that will interest the customers.

Many a time there is this notion that search engine optimization is only about how the website is coded, how you have meta-tags, how keywords are identified, etc.

But ultimately think about your website. Your website is a vehicle wherein you're trying to reach out to customers. This vehicle is what the customer has in front of them to identify, to understand, and to purchase your product.

Now you have to be extremely careful to understand what kind of content goes into the website. The content should be extremely up to date.

Try to make the content in such a way that it becomes evergreen or content that is always going to be relevant.

Don't have content that is only going to be talking about a certain scenario that might not be relevant in a few days' time or a few months’ time because in many cases when you start doing such things, your website might not find relevancy and website might not be ranked very high in the search engines.

So up-to-date content, content that is extremely clear to understand, content that is very fast to load, content that doesn't have a lot of complexities that the search engine might find difficult to go through. All of these are the first elements that you have to understand.

Style and the Structure of the Website


Now, every website has a collection of different pages. You might have a main homepage of the website. You might have different sections of the website.

Say, for example, if you're a company that is involved in web designing services, you might have an “About Us” page.

You might have a page on services. On the services page, you will have different services that you do.

You might have a page on web design, you might have a page on search engine optimization services, you might have a page on content design, you might have a page on search engine marketing.

You might be training other people, so you might have a page on that. You might have a different tab on the home page that talks about previous projects that you've done for clients when you talk about white papers, examples, etc.

You might have a different tab on the homepage that talks about social activities where you'll link it to a lot of YouTube videos that you have done. You will talk about examples which you have done etc.

You might have another page that talks about contact us where you'll have a web form that the customer can fill it up and you can reach out to the customer for the queries they have.

You might have a form where you have addresses provided to you.

It might be embedded with google maps where customers can find your office etc.

Now you have to be extremely careful in identifying a structure and a style of the website that is very easy, very simple, not just for the search engine but also for customers.

So this clear structure is extremely relevant for customers.

The customer will spend time on your website, your bounce rates will be low. The search engine will also find it very easy to understand what kind of structure you have.

The second thing is to have sitemaps. The sitemap is basically all the different pages on your website which are matched up and which are provided in a clear structure.

Google search console

So there is a tool called the Google search console is a very effective tool for webmasters to identify what kind of elements are missing in the sitemap strategy or what kind of elements are missing in the whole website.

So if you're going to have the sitemap, like we discussed earlier, we provide it to the google search console.



Performance and Compatibility of the Website


Another important element of on-site or on-page optimization is the performance and compatibility of the website.

Like I mentioned to you, slow websites are generally not very effective because slow websites don't provide the customer with the kind of value that they're looking for.

So your website should be fast enough, it should be as fast as possible.

Your website should be compatible with different operating systems, different browsers, different digital devices, etc.

Performance and Compatibility of the Website
Performance and Compatibility of the Website

And of late, search engines have started giving a lot of importance to websites which are also mobile compatible, websites which are also tablet compatible, websites which can be dynamic enough to change themselves when you're moving from a landscape to portrait orientation on your portable device.

So, all of these compatibility and site performance indicators should be taken care of.

URL Optimization


The next element is how you're going to term the URLs.

So when you have the website, there are going to be a lot of links that you provide and you might have seen that there are some websites that are very easy to understand.

There are some websites that are not at all easy to understand because there are URLs that are very complex in nature.

You might have a lot of extra symbols, a lot of characters that you don't understand, a lot of characters which are very complex and make the URL extremely complex.

You should make your URL as simple as possible.

You might be talking about certain keywords that are essential on the webpage that you're talking about.

So your URL should try to identify which is the most important keyword in this page and the URL should carry at max the keyword that you're trying to offer.

There are many cases you would see; there are % symbols, there are these numbers, there are these complex symbols like @ symbol, etc. that you'll find in URLs.

All of these things make it very difficult for customers to understand where they are, or the URL that they are going to, or which is the page that they're going to.

Thereby many customers don't want to click on such links. On the other hand, it also doesn't give the right kind of image or right kind of structure to the search engine, so the search engine also finds it difficult to understand if the URL is complex.

The customer also finds it difficult if the URL is complex. The customer cannot memorize the URL at any time.

It is also very difficult because many customers feel that such URLs that are very complex are going to spam or are going to carry some kind of threatening content, so hence they're not going to click on it.

So for both these reasons, your URL should be simple. URL should not be extremely long, it should not be longer than what it is required to be, etc.



Meta Tag Optimization


Now, there are different tags that you can use to tell the search engine what the page is all about.

There are four different tags that we'll talk about.

There is a description tag, there is a title tag, there are meta-keywords, and there are heading tags.

The title tag, of course, is going to talk about what the title of the page is.

The description tag is a small description of what the page is. It is kind of a small summary, a very short summary of what the page is all about.

There are meta-keywords that you can provide which are specific keywords relevant to that page.

Then your page will have a set of headings.

Say for example, if you're writing a page, which is about a mobile phone that you're trying to sell.

Now, this mobile phone will have different features. The main heading tag could be the name of the mobile phone.

If it is a Nokia 3310 mobile phone, the main heading would be a Nokia 3310.

Now there are different elements that help you organize content around this mobile phone.

So there could be something about the display, which could be one subheading.

There could be something about the battery life, which could be another subheading.

There could be something about the charger type, which could be a third subheading.

There could be something about the connectivity options, fourth subheading.

And if you remember the new Nokia 3310 models that come out, which have cameras, so that could be another heading that you're providing.

So all of these tags can be provided in such a way that it is easier for the search engine to identify what is the structure, what are the keywords in each of these places, which is the kind of description of the page, what keywords directly are related to this page, etc.

So by using meta-tags from HTML, which basically is the kind of tags that the crawler is looking for in different parts of your website, you can also make your website much more relevant to the kind of keywords that you're looking for.

And always remember that you are using a lot of keywords here. So the title tag, the description tag, the meta-keywords, the headings, etc. should somewhere or the other be related to the keywords that you're using.

Don't overuse keywords. Many of the search engines don't want excessive use of certain keywords, just because they want to be top on the search results page.

So try to do it in a way that is very organic, in a way that is very natural rather than trying to overdo a lot of these things which might end up in a problem.

Use of Anchor Tags


Now there are some things also known as anchor tags. You might have seen that in many pages, there are these links to other pages maybe within your website, maybe to another website.

Say, for example, we are talking about the service's website that you had, the company that you were running, you had the landing page, you had the “About Us” page, the “Services” page, the “Experience” page where case studies were provided, the “Social” page, the “Contact Us” page, etc.

Now on the “Services” page, you might have a lot of text written about the services that you are providing.

One of the services that you're providing is basically the web design services that you're doing.

Now, when the customer is reading through the services that you're providing as part of web design, you might have a lot of things written down that you have such and such engineers who have such and such capabilities who are doing such and such things.

And later on, at some point, you might come to a place where the customer can be shown a case study, which is part of another page that you have on your website.

You might want to connect this customer to now go and read that case study, which is in the other part of your website.

Now, how is that you can connect this customer to the other webpage. One option is to say, “For a case study click here” and “click here” will be the tag that you're providing where the customer can click and go to this webpage.

That is not a very effective practice. Rather than having “click here”, try to incorporate that link into the text.

You can basically say, “case study on web design services” and link it to that particular text which makes it much more effective.

The reason is that now when Google is looking for this anchor tag when Google is looking for this connection or this link which is internally connected to another page, Google knows exactly that this is a case study.

So google can identify this to “case study on web design services” as the keyword. Google can automatically connect to it.

So that is why anchor tags are extremely relevant, which also helps to increase your on-page optimization.



Images and Multimedia Optimization


There is a lot of other content that you will find. Say, for example, images that you put on the website, videos that you put on the website, etc.

Now, not all search engines can very seamlessly go and read through what images are out there, what videos are out there, etc.

So there are a lot of alt texts that we provide or alternate texts that we provide about images and multimedia content that we give.

So every time you're giving an image file or you're giving a picture onto your website, make sure that an alternate text is provided, describing what that image is all about because many a time you would have seen customers go to google images and start searching for things and when they go to google images and start searching for things, you might have observed that these customers see images of certain elements and then they decide to go to that page because the image is something relevant to what they're looking for.

So the keyword that the customer is using in the google images search page should be relevant to the alternate texts that you have used for the image that you're providing on your website.

By doing so, you'll be able to now get hold of the customer and the customer finds your website extremely relevant.

Similar is the case with videos. You might use a description tag for the video. So that google or any other search engine now understands what the video is all about.

Because many times it is very difficult for search engines to actually get into multimedia content.

If you have flash content, it becomes very difficult for the search engine to understand what the content is all about.

If you provide content within a pdf file, the google search engine might be finding it difficult to understand what it is.

So many times HTML tags or meta-tags are going to help you understand what it is.

Use of robots.txt File


These are different ways in which you can do on-page optimization, but in some cases, you don't want the search engine to go through some pages.

There might be pages that are test pages. There might be pages that you're not ready to show to the search engine as of now.

So you might use something called a robots.txt file in your root folder in your website, which basically is going to list down all the pages in your website, which the search engine should not index or you want to restrict the search engines from indexing all of these things, which again is important.

You don't want the search engine to throw up a link to a page that you don't want customers to see yet. It might be a page that you are not ready to show.

In many cases you might have lost a page, a page might be broken, and if the google search engine has not crawled, not indexed this page and not gone through your website, again, it might still show that link on the search results page.

So what happens if a customer clicks on a page from google and doesn't see the page appearing, it might be a case where it might show up as a popup message.

The browser might automatically say, page not displayed or page not available, server didn't respond, etc.

This is extremely annoying to customers. They might immediately hit the back button or they might close the page altogether, which might end up creating a situation where your bounce rates are high, your relevancy score, and you're page scores go down and thereby you might now not have better search results.

So in order to reduce such problems, many websites out there use an error page, 404, content not found, page not found, it escalated quickly.

That kind of page is used so that the customer knows that this page doesn't exist, but the customer is not completely out of track as to what he or she should have been receiving.

The customer still comes to your domain, the customer still sees your website, and the customer still has the option of clicking your logo or clicking your homepage and gathering more information here.

He might not necessarily go back to google, but come to your homepage and try to navigate within the page rather than having seen a “page not displayed” or “page not available” or “server doesn't respond” kind of a message which makes the customer extremely annoyed.

So all of these are different things that you can do on the website itself, on-page to optimize the results on the search engine.

Summary of the Definitive Guide of On-Page SEO 2020


So, half of it is to understand the keywords to use. Half of it is to make sure the website is organized and structured extremely well. Half of it is to do with respect to identifying which are the places where you should update these keywords like the meta- tags, etc., and some of it is to be extremely sharp in identifying what kind of content are you trying to provide because the content is the king.

If you have really great content, you are extremely relevant to customers, customers will come to your page. The search engine will, of course, show your page as really great.

So these are the on-page SEO techniques you can do on your page for higher rankings in 2020.

We hope this SEO guide will be helpful for you.

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