SEO has a lot of rules and it is problematic if you get to the point of over optimisation. Overoptimization not only entails heavy penalties but also extremely hard to detect. You might even come to a point that you want to pull your hairs out and still can’t find which parts you did too much of.
On-page SEO is the usual route people take with their news and blogs to make sure everything works out and traffic moves straight to pages you want. Since we’re here to help you figure things out, here are 6 of the simplest rules of thumb when working out on-page SEO.
Avoid Using Your Keyword Twice on the URL
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are stringent with over optimisation. Always avoid using your main keyword twice on the URL, either by accident or by design. SERPs are sensitive when seeing repeated words on URLs and sets up red flags on your pages due to keyword stuffing, slapping an outright penalty to your page.
Your Meta Title Should Contain Your Main Keyword or a Contextually Related Keyword
Page titles typically contain the primary keyword that the page is trying to rank for. If the title does not have it, make sure that your meta title has the main keyword, otherwise use something contextual or synonymous. That allows you to take care of the SERPs and tell it you are trying to rank for that keyword.
Even then, remember that titles should engage your audience, draw a click and be unique for each page.
Optimize your Headings with Your Keywords and Their Synonyms
Headings are important to segregate important portions of your page. H1 title tags should contain the main keyword, while H2 tags should contain contextually similar keywords. This maximises the places that you can use your keywords without having to write the same keyword more times than necessary, avoiding keyword stuffing.
Utility Pages Should be Listed as NoIndex
Utility pages like categories, tags, about the author and member pages should be listed as noindex. These pages are bound to have repetitive words, identical content and bad keyword densities, so you wouldn’t want to be penalised for pages that do not drive traffic and are only there to make your website more user-friendly.
Keep Meta Keywords Empty
Google has officially killed the meta keywords in 2009 by excluding them in any metrics for ranking. Yahoo and Bing as followed suit and they have even specified that, due to the nature of meta keywords, that anyone who improperly uses them will be penalised due to their ability to be red flags for spam. This is due to the fact that most spam sites utilise meta keywords as a way of doubling down. Just keep away from it and be safe.
Meta Description Should Have Your Main Keywords
If you’re noticing a trend, SERPs are making sure to reward pages that do not overly rely on SEO to keep their pages relevant but rather with quality content. As with meta descriptions, make sure that your main keyword shows up and shows up only once. Anything more will, again, count towards penalties for over optimisation.
Search engines want pages to become portals of information for their audience and not simply fake-outs for a quick buck. On-page SEO values quality over quantity and if you try to follow these rules of thumb, you’ll have additional elements towards your quest for a high-ranking page.