12 Basic On-Site SEO Tactics for Optimized Results

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There are many aspects of off-site search engine optimization that almost every SEO is familiar and aware of, including link building, blog commenting and social bookmarking and tagging for external meta data. Let’s not forget however, that there is an entire practice of site structure, keyword density and on-page factors as well.

There are many tactics one can work with to optimize site pages for on-page SEO which may result in a higher rank for each of your site’s web pages.

Here are the following tactics of on-page SEO :

  1. The Meta Keywords, Description and Robots tag — Google used description copy to market your site in its results, treat this as optimized sales copy. Make sure your sitemap.xml page is CONSTANTLY called up to the search engines
  2. The Title Tag – The MOST important aspect of on-page SEO, just take our word for it.
  3. The Body Text (focus on the body text in bold, for this denotes strong emphasis to the search engines)
  4. The first sentence in the body text and the first words used per sentence are the most important ones for advanced on-page SEO necessities (Make it humanly readable and SE readable — The words used in the first sentence are most important due to the implementation of Google’s LSI algorithm)
  5. The URL — The subdirectory folder and page of content should be SEO’d (i.e. http://domain.com/real-estate/real-estate-marketing-ideas.com would fetch a high ranking for a page dedicated to real estate marketing ideas – especially with many highly authoritative, relevant, deep in-bound links)
  6. The H1 and H2 Texts are highly important – Why? They show the search engine the main subjects and Table of Contents for the content to be indexed. Make these keyword friendly and reflective of your page’s title tag.
  7. Same Site Link Texts — The links connecting the pages of your site together must have your targeted keyword terms in them as well as all links throughout the site — even though it seems excessive, having variations to your targetted keywords would also help when linking out to other pages within your site.
  8. Same-Site Link URLs — Not only should you be using your keywords to describe pages within your site, those URLs you link to must have SEO URLs ( eg: http://domain.com/your-keyword.html)
  9. Outbound Link Text — Resources you link to must be SEO’d – If you are an internet marketing site and are linking to an email marketing company (email marketing software in this instance), you would use “Put your internet marketing on auto-pilot and use the best tool for internet marketers today – internet marketing email software. Then just use other variants to internet marketing.
  10. IMG Alt Tags — Your images should be described via ALT Tags with the keywords you are optimizing for – If your image is hosted on your web-host, the file name of the images should also be SEO’d — If you have an image about polar bears have it be polar-bear.jpg in your images folder.
  11. Keyword Density — 8% is excellent and doesn’t seem spammy, if you have a 500 word article, then 40 of those words should have variances of the search term you are targeting, if this seems excessive, lower the keyword density down to 5% and you will only need to add 25 variances/instances of your keyword. And that’s just a start… (Keyword prominence is big, but not worth a discussion).
  12. Lastly and surprisingly, Your HTML comments should have your SEO terms in them (!!) — As a question to the relevancy this has to your ranking, I am unsure, but most of the large sites have html comments connected to their search terms. If you end up doing an analysis of your on-page content, you can find out if the high ranked sites for your keyword use HTML comments tagged to the keyword(s) being targeted.

Imagine the resuts when you are capable of having your pages SEO’d to the point of perfection with inbound, highly authoritative links from relevant sites coming to your “perfected” article. After this on-page optimization is complete and your articles or blog posts are written in a “viral”/quality-like way, the best course of action is to build links and links. I’ve left a compiled list of link building techniques in another post.

Miles Price

Miles Price

Miles Price is the publisher of the iMarketingGuru Search Wiki and President of iCluck SEO Services, a Buffalo, NY based search marketing firm.
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  • http://foxadv.blogspot.com/ suresh

    Hi Nice post.
    What do you think of having links from our clients Site. Like if I have a client and I build and Market their site. Should i use Keyword in the Link Something like: Web Site Design By xyz Web design company (City) . Does it matter ? i had a conversation with one of my friend who is a designer and I want him to know the importance of the Keyword in the link. He disagrees on this
    Thank you

  • http://www.vandesign.ca vancouver seo

    I would add few other things:

    13) Internal link structure, I mean fully qualified URL’s plus link titles
    14) design itself: avoid using java, table-less layout
    15) including key phrase in bold, strong, underline and italic font
    16) navigation should be read after unique content page

  • http://www.searchmarketingsales.com Frederrick Abrugart

    Yes I totally agree with the points above. A good seo basic that all webmasters should follow. But as for me, thematic optimization technique which I recently develop will be the optimization process I would implement for my clients

  • http://www.singlegrain.com Sujan Patel

    Great List. This is great for people that are just starting out with SEO.

  • http://www.hallme.com Fred

    I agree — nice coverage of the basics.

    Re: suresh and the “Web Design by…” issue. Yes, it would be better for you, strictly speaking, to have keywords in a link in to your site, but I for one think this process is a little unprofessional. It always seems a bit self-promotional and I think Google is also a little suspicious about links that appear site-wide.

    I also recall there being some discussion that this kind of link was being considered a “sponsored” link. Thoughts, anyone?

  • http://free-iphone-apple.blogspot.com mark

    Never knew about the keyword in a comment. Thanks for that tip.

  • Marcel mouta

    Nice post!
    I have a question, we would have to use link in headings?


  • http://www.weboptimist.com Richard Burckhardt

    Uh, didn’t engines start ignoring keywords in HTML comments in like 2003 or something? Can anyone confirm that they are now paying attention again?

  • http://blog.krefftwerk blog.krefftwerk

    Totally agree on that list, plus the things vancouver seo added, especially 13) and 16). These are the very basics one should follow.

    The MOST important thing though is that there actually is content worth optimizing. Spend lots of time on your texts, or let professionals write them.

  • http://www.seosmarty.com SeoSmarty

    I have written a similar article a few days ago. A few thing to add:

    – use no-follow link to the page you don’t think is important to SE (e.g. contact page)
    (Matt Cutts explained this tag in his recent interview:

    – don’t use js, drop-downs or images for the navigation menu – just plain text links (using your kwds);

    – use 301 to redirect non-www version to www version (or vice versa);

    – keep my js in the external file.

  • http://grammology.com Dorothy Stahlnecker

    Thanks for the reminder of the importance of keywords in the comment section. Sometimes a gently reminder goes a long way. Easy reading great information for even me the novice..and of course the expert…..

    Look forward to more…
    Dorothy from gammology
    remember to call your grandma

  • http://www.arielis.com Dave

    I’d be careful with keywords in alt tags. The alt tags need to accurately reflect what the image depicts, which may or may not have anything to do with your keywords.

  • Heywood

    I hate to say it but I think your are off target on some of your comments. Quite frankly it doesn’t seem like you know what the hell you are doing.

    There is no golden KW density percentage. People who follow that advice are fools.

    Keyword stuffed URLS are rediculous and I’d love to see some actual proof it it positively impacting rankings for any keyword that means anything.

    Sitemaps are pretty much uncessary if you have any idea of how a Searchbot works and can deduce how to set up a decent linking structure.

    Sad to say, but another instance of the blind leading the blind in SEO and recieving tremendous accolades for the shit content one comes up with.

    Try harder and get your head out of your ass.

  • Robin

    Heywood, it sure would be nice if you’d give us your SEO tips.

  • http://www.clearsense.nl VB

    Miles advice is accurate and sound…..
    Heywood wouldn’t know shit from clay, so Heywood get your head out of your caly pot and provide some constructive critisism.

  • http://www.seointoronto.com Dave

    Heywood don’t hold back, just tell us what you’re thinking!

  • http://quirkyalone.blogspot.com quirkyalone

    VB, How do you know Miles advice accurate? I think Heywood may have a point here. I am unsure about the points:

    5. The URL
    10. IMG Alt Tags

    Do you have any data to support your claim this parameters are important?

  • VB

    On 5 & 10, there is no data to support alot of this stuff, these are just best practise SEO techniques whether its makes a significant difference does not really matter, you should just do it. You can choose to follow best practises or not, if you don’t believe then don’t bother, look for other marketing alternatives

  • http://quirkyalone.blogspot.com quirkyalone

    Best practise – “best” in what sense? If they still do have an effect on SERPs, show some data to support the claim, and if they don’t, why would I do it? (And yes, my observation seems to suggest that they don’t).

  • VB

    Why don’t you show the data then if you have all the answers

  • http://quirkyalone.blogspot.com quirkyalone

    I don’t have all the answers, and I also don’t write articles giving SEO advice. And…I don’t have nothing against you tagging your imgs, if you believe it will help.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/wordpress/ Michael Martinez

    What a load of crap.

  • http://icluck.com Miles Price

    lol – So much fighting, so little time — These are just best practices and the comprehensive guide to on-page SEO, if you have more ideas, hit it up on here or the wiki.

    Remember, constructive criticism is better than destructive. Enjoy the articles

  • http://www.yourbillbuddy.com vidosh

    On 5 & 10, there is no data to support alot of this stuff, these are just best practise SEO techniques whether its makes a significant difference does not really matter, you should just do it. You can choose to follow best practises or not, if you don’t believe then don’t bother, look for other marketing alternatives

  • http://quirkyalone.blogspot.com quirkyalone

    Hi vidosh, I am not doing my SEO on the basis of “believing” something, as that doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I am running rather big news server site, so I need to do some on-site SEO, but there is a large number of articles coming in every day, so I don’t have spare time to do steps which do not provide results, “just in case”. But if you have a blog or a small (or automatically generated) affiliate site, by all means do all your best practices sutff, I am not against it.

    I just wanted to know is someone don’t have some empirical evidence I can lears from, nothing more..I didn’t want to offense you guys.

  • Robin

    I’d still like to hear Heywood’s SEO tips.

    On a related matter, typically, “best practics,” to become “best,” have at least a large body of corroborative anecdotal evidence, if not actual research. One should always provide attribution and details about their methodology when providing “best practices” and research results. This is rather basic. Lots of bad info out there, and how can you easily separate the good from the bad.

  • Jesse

    Why don’t you guys just try it on a few pages and see your results. You can try other plans of action on other pages and see what works best for you.

  • Jesse

    I forgot to ask, what are your thoughts on SEO in regards to regular updating of information on pages and the age of the pages themselves. I don’t seem to find info on time oriented SEO

  • http://webtoolsandtips.com web tools

    nice informative post. Will definitely help me.

  • http://marketplanb.com Tom Lindmeier

    This is a nice, well-written summary of conventional best practices. Too many SEO bloggers cannot write, cannot cannot spell and have trouble getting to the point. This is one of the exceptions.

  • http://www.ezbusinessneeds.com SEO Web Design

    Here is a very detailed report on various tags and how they affect SERPs. It is done by a German SEO company and summed it up here : http://www.ezbusinessneeds.com/view-web-book.php?record=63&cat=se

  • http://www.rakris.com Seo Company India

    Thanks Miles,
    I am new in seo and your this article are very help full for me. Now i can optimize a site better.
    Thanks again

  • http://www.ongoingprofit.com/idevaffiliate/pages/201969.php Ishfaq Muhammad

    This is nice article. It provides a lot of information for SEO learners.

  • http://www.costudio.com costudio – Custom Software Development!

    this is just what I’m looking for, every useful and updated. Thanks.

  • http://www.hashe.com Hashe Computer Solutions

    Thanks for sharing excellent and basic on page SEO tips. I would like to know about the off page SEO….

  • http://www.itroika.com/en Russian Crafts

    Hi Miles,
    I Had a lot a fun reading the criticisms in the comments. I take in account these was writen in 2007. I have a lot of sites well ranked, and yes, I systematically applied what you teache, it’s a no brainer, and have a lot of evidence that this works well. Obviously, the results greatly depends of the competitiveness of the niche and the keywords. For small competitives keywords, you only need these on site best practices. For competitive keywords, it’s a lot of an other story, but you can’t afford to squeeze this on site stuff, anyway. Period.

  • http://publishingmedium.com/ Publishingmedium

    Hello this is cool post in search engine ranking factor, although seo experts have different perspective in ranking factor but I advice you to get the good point of view in seo..

  • http://www.wordtrotter.com jane

    thank you for sharing these useful tactics. Well, for me title tag is the most important. Using its targetted keyword on your title tag can give you an additional point to get your keyword rank on serp.

  • http://www.sem-advance.com Clint Dixon

    OMG this has to be some of the worst SEO advice ever. SEJ don’t you care about your brand & reputation???

  • http://cloudtap.com Miles Price

    lol dude…the post is from 2007

  • http://www.worthview.com/ Sethuram

    How abt the first link on the page?

  • http://www.lipofit.si Hujšanje

    So many great points! But keyword density about 8 %?? I had a lot problems with articles above 500 words. So I think 5 % and down is limit.

  • http://www.fourpx.com FourPx


    Cool article for SEO Learners….. Will recommend this article to others………


  • http://www.huwrowlands.co.uk H Rowlands

    Nice list as im learning SEO.


  • http://www.novak.si Hladilniki

    Good point about keyword density. It depends on how many words your article have. I recommend lower than 5 %. You can still achieve a good SEO results.

  • http://trafficcpanel.com Cristian

    Given the respectable age of this article, I’ll make some comments with the latest trends in the matter 🙂
    As you know…
    -meta keyword is useless in Google and detrimental in general due to piggybacking habbits of your competitors;
    -LSI is it real or fiction? From so much debate I remained caught in the middle;
    -ALT text, again, not considered for Google algorithm;
    -keyword density, best practice for today’s web dictate 2-3% concentration.

    If you care to read a younger on page checklist , here’s one I wrote about 3 months ago 🙂 :

    Hope it serves you well!
    Until next… time,

  • http://douse.web.id waro

    Number 5 should be placed at number 1, without it search engine can’t even read any pages.

  • http://hightechreality.com alex

    Very good list. It’s complicated these days to comply with web standards.

  • http://www.buytoletproperties.net/ buy to let properties

    Not sure if meta keywords still have any impact in SEO

  • http://hackingalert.blogspot.com abhinav singh

    really informative post. It opened my eyes as how small things can also improve my search visibility.

  • http://www.ebusinesssubmit.com Sheldon Lobo SEO

    I must say this was the lifeblood of SEO :).. Every SEO’s must know about these basic tactics for optimization.

  • http://www.CulturedLiving.com Lorena Johnson

    I am a novice at this so I hope no one minds the simpleton question. Can you use 2 popular search terms to combine in 1 URL. Say I am selling Black Candlesticks but they are a Pair. “Black Candlesticks” and “Pair of” are two popular search terms. Can I then have a urls that says “http://www.example.com/pairofblackcandlesticks”? If anyone could answer this, I would appreciate it.

  • http://www.livingwellbamboo.com Marlin Brown

    More great info here. My site’s been up for almost a year and I’m still working to fine tune it. Appreciate the information about pic names. Will have work to do there.

  • http://www.nethority.com/ Nethority

    Amazing post, As you mention in your blog about SEO on-page Tactics, It’s very important to learn for Optimizer which is just started SEO process or fresher in the SEO profile. As google ( Panda & Penguins ) updates optimizer want to learn more about on-page optimization.
    Thanks for posting such like information.

  • http://www.enkonversations.in elena

    I have doubts regarding meta tags.I think they are hardly of any use now

  • http://www.technikant.com/ shubham

    According to me 8% density of keyword will be high.It should be around 2-3% only as adding too much keywords will make post spammy to the search engines.