How Not to Screw Up Your On-Page SEO

Though you don’t need to over-optimize your site for SEO benefits, you still need to keep in mind a few things that allow to rank high for your keyword. I’m specifically talking about on-page SEO. Also, you want to know how to do on-page SEO because – as opposed to off-page – you can guarantee results to your boss or customers. As you probably know, it’s best if you use WordPress because it simplifies a lot of things. For one, you can easily outsource your on-page SEO tasks.

Update as of Feb 7, 2017. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when it comes to on-page SEO according to Rand Fishkin.

Before we go into details, you need to make a mental note that you need to use your keyword in the following locations on your web page:

  1. URL
  2. Page Title
  3. Page Copy
  4. Image Alt Tag
  5. Meta Data
  6. Headline (slight factor)

That’s just to give you a general idea where you need to use the keyword you try to optimize your page for. There are a bunch of nuances that I’d love to cover. Let’s get to it without further ado.

Keyword in URL


Doing so is beneficial both in terms of search engine optimization and just mere user friendliness. Both get a better idea about what your page is actually all about. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to use the right URL format in the first place. And the right format would be as follows:

Keyword in Page Title


Thing is, using your keyword in the title of the page is the most influential SEO factor – other than the actual page copy – you can implement on your site. Basically, you need to make sure that you use your keyword between the opening and closing title tags as follows:


Keyword in Page Copy


You definitely need to use your keyword in your page copy. Otherwise, search engines can take it that you’re trying to deceive them. That’s because it’ll look like your heading and the actual page copy have nothing in common.

That said, you also don’t want to go to the extremes and stick in dozens of keywords per paragraph. If you read something about keyword density, you better forget about it because it’s so 2000, to say the least of it. Thing is, it has no major influence on your rankings (if any).

Instead, it makes sense to use your SEO keyword synonyms throughout your article (post). The point is that doing that will give Google more reason to believe that your page is about the topic you stated in your headline.

Note: SEO synonyms are not identical to Grammar synonyms. In order to find SEO synonyms for your keyword, just go to Google, search for your keyword and scroll down to the very bottom of your search engine results page. You should see a list of keywords in the ‘Searches related to your-keyword’ section. Those are your SEO keywords.

Keyword in Image Alt Tag


Since Google and other search engines just can’t read images, you need to use all sorts of auxiliary things to help them figure it out.

While inserting images in your article, you need to make sure that you specify a value for the alt tag because it’s one of the main signals that Google takes into account while guessing what’s actually in your image. And if what’s in your image coincides with the topic of your article, it’ll help you rank higher in Google.

By the way, it’s also a good idea to use your keyword in the text that is right before or after your image. That factor is also used by search engines to figure out what’s actually depicted in your image.

Keyword in File Name


And one more super crucial place for your keyword. Other than using your keyword in the image alt tag, you want to use the same keyword in your actual file name. It just adds more credibility. Sure, it’ll take some time to rename your images if you’ve got quite a bunch of them, but it’s totally worth it.

On-Page SEO Screencast

The screencast below tackles the major items that you need to mention your keyword in. One caveat though, the H1 tags are not that important now.

Meta Data


Other than that, you also want to use your keyword in your meta title and description. That’s not exactly going to influence your rankings, but it will absolutely help to increase your conversion rates. If the user searches for something and your snippet got the keyword he’s searching by, odds are he’ll click on your snippet and land on your site.

Keyword in Headline


You also need to use your keyword in your headline. It’s best SEO practice to use it with <h1></h1> tags because that can give your keyword some emphasis. Note: you need to use one heading per page. You don’t want to use <h1></h1> a few times per page because it may confuse the major search engines as for which exactly is the name of your page.


Though you totally need to make sure that you get lots of backlinks from other sites, you also need to be sure not to ignore on-page SEO factors just as fine. If you stick to the basic and easy on-page SEO rules, you’ll give more clues for search engines to figure out what your page is all about. And that will make it easier to climb to that number 1 position that we’re all craving about.

Useful Links

It’s Time to Stop Doing On-Page SEO Like It’s 2012

About The Author

Vitaliy Kolos

Coming from tech support background, Vitaliy Kolos is into tons of web stuffs: WordPress SEO (his forte), web design, web development, inbound marketing and everything in between. Other than that, he's an avid audiobook reader and insatiable digital nomad.