Skip to main content

SEO in Nutshell Part 1: On-Site Optimization

By May 25, 2016May 7th, 2018Web Design

There are lots of articles out there about search engine optimization. However, few of them really break down each step of the process into simple, easy-to-understand steps that the average website owner can understand and incorporate into their SEO strategy. This article series is intended to do just this – “In a Nutshell.” This part specifically talks about On-Site Optimization.


On-site optimization should be the first step in any search engine optimization road map.  You’ll want to start by making a list of 5 to 10 keyphrases you want to target.  A general rule is to choose one keyphrase for each page of your site. Then you’ll want to carefully optimize each page of your website for your target keyword for each page.


Title Tags and URLs

There are several key elements you will want to make sure you address on each target page.  First, and possibly the most importantly, make sure the title tag contains your keyphrase.  If possible, try to structure your URL for that page to also contain your keyphrase.  Many content management systems such as WordPress make it very easy to customize your URLs to read exactly how you want them to read.

Page Content

The next part of the process is to structure your page content.  You’ll want to ensure that each page contains at least 300 words of good content and several instances of your keyphrase throughout the body copy.  It can be tricky to write your page text in a way that flows naturally, yet also contains those valuable target key terms.  Next, make sure to add an image images and include ALT tags for each that contain your target keyphrase or something similar to it.  It’s important to note here that you don’t want to obviously overdo the use of your keyphrase.  The use of your keyphrase should be deliberate but yet subtle.

Images and Meta Descriptions

The most important aspect to remember about internal and external links – if you have excellent content, the links will follow. Simply put – your links need to match content. Internal links navigate from one page on your website to another page within your site. Within the structure of your site, it is important to consider hierarchy or a clear order of your links. Search engines love clarity with regard to internal links. External links lead from your website to another site. This is important for identifying your site with a community that is relevant to your content.

Navigation Structure

When structuring your site, it is extremely important to consider the user experience. Clear navigation throughout your site is crucial for good SEO. Effective navigation structure should align with your internal linking system. Use categories to separate key pages and always use the keyword for each page within the title. Do not forget to implement your navigation structure for all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Depending on each device, the structure may need to subtly shift to make the site accessible.