On-Page Keyword Optimization
Okay, let’s get busy.
We divided the process of optimizing a page into 5 steps: Meta Title and Description, URL, Keyword and Text Structure, Header Tags, and Alt Tags. While nowadays only the title and your text content are the absolute crucial parts where you want to include your keywords, the other page elements we’ll be talking about are still “nice to have” and might give you a ranking boost. Use the links below to quickly jump to one of the steps.
Title Tag and Meta Description – URL – Keyword and Text Structure – Header Tags – Alt Tags
Step 1: Title Tag and Meta Description
First, you want to make sure your meta title and description are optimized for your keywords.
Go into edit mode of the page that you want to optimize. That means, on your WordPress backend, go to Pages → All Pages and click on Edit of the page that you want to optimize.
Scroll down to the Yoast SEO options of your page.
Enter the focus keyword for your page into the appropriate box.
Are you not sure about the right keyword(s) for your pages? Now is high time to do a keyword research!
Check out our Keyword Ranking Report service or our blog post. With it, you can directly see what keywords your pages already rank for. This will give you a good basis for choosing the right focus keyword(s) or to conduct further keyword research.
Next, click on Edit snippet. Here you can alter the meta title and description of your page.
Let’s start with the title.
With a maximum of 60-70 characters, think of a promising title that matches your page’s content. Make sure that your title starts with your focus keyword – if that’s not possible, it should at least contain your keyword somewhere. Remember to keep it short and simple.
Now the description.
Describe your page’s content with a maximum of around 150 characters. Use active voice and make it actionable, ergo: trigger a click! Include your target keyword here, but try not to sound too repetitive or forced. Your description should match the post and represent the real content.
Now that you’ve updated your title and description, hit Update and you’re all set.
Google doesn’t only use your meta info or your content, it also uses the URL to categorize and rank your page.
As a rule of thumb: Keep your URLs short and simple and include your target keyword.
Don’t use a random string of letters and/or numbers – but be descriptive in your URLs, don’t use capitals and leave out small filler words like a, for, the, …
If your URL structure so far included categories and/or dates, it might be best to leave these out in the future to keep your URLs short and simple.
Keep in mind: If your pages already receive a good amount of traffic, it might be best to not temper with your URLs too much. Other websites or blogs might already link to the existing URL and people might have saved it in their bookmarks. If you do decide to change the URL, make sure to implement a redirect from the old to the new URL.
Step 3: Keyword and Text Structure
Now, it’s important that your target keyword appears in your content, of course. Especially in the first 100 words. So make sure that your focus keyword is used in the beginning of your content.
Don’t overdo it, though! While in the past it might have been good practice to use your focus keyword as often as possible to get your page ranking for that keyword, nowadays Google will actually punish you if you do “keyword stuffing”.
Google’s algorithm gets better and more intelligent with every update. Google knows which keywords are related and form a topic group. Check out this blog post on Moz which shows some interesting examples regarding Google’s capabilities to understand search queries.
So instead of stuffing your content with the same keyword, write good and extensive content while using LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords that fit your content.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords are keywords that are commonly found alongside each other. For example, if your page is about the best camping spots in your area, then words like travel, hiking, backpacking or camping equipment are your LSI Keywords. Use these in your content! Most of the times, words like these will come naturally when you write about a certain topic, but at the same time some important ones might be easy to miss. So make sure to do proper keyword research!
Next up are your header tags.
You want to make sure that your target keyword and synonyms or related words appear in your header tags. WordPress automatically wraps your page’s titles in a H1 tag, so make sure to actually include your keyword there.
While the H1 tag of course is the most important one, you might also want to consider putting your keyword in your H2 or H3 subheadings.
Don’t go overboard here, though. Subheading appear to not be as important as your main heading when it comes to rankings, and you might also run into the keyword-stuffing problem when you include your keyword in your subheadings.
As a rule of thumb, include your keyword maybe once or twice in your subheadings, but mostly use subheadings that actually fit your content.
To do so, you can either use the HTML tags as shown below:
Or, depending on your WordPress theme, you can specify a title as H1, H2, … in the post editor. As an example, the image below shows how to do so in the Fusion Builder by Avada:
The last step is a quick and simple one: Make sure that the alt tag of your images contain your target keyword(s).
For one thing, it is a good idea to have alt tags on your images because screen readers for visually impaired users will read this text instead of the image. But alt tags will also tell Google what’s on an image and gives context to the surrounding text.
In HTML, adding an alt tag to an image looks like such:
However, you can define the alt tags of your images in your WordPress Media Library, as shown below. Simply add you alt tag in the box where it says “Alt Text”: