Getting the on-page SEO correct is extremely important to get a high rank for your blog posts in search results. SEO methods have changed in the last few years and the old methods will definitely not work in the current scenario.
Google has rolled out a number of updates in the recent past to fix the loopholes and slap the black-hat SEO methods so that users don't play around with the system.
Repeating the keyword number of times throughout the post used to work a few years ago but now if you stuff your keyword unnecessarily it will not only affect the particular post but your site as a whole. So, how you use your keyword is more important than how many times you use the keyword.
Same thing with the backlinks, the quality of the backlinks you create is a lot more important than the quantity of the backlinks. However, in this post we will discuss only the on-page SEO techniques, not backlinks and other off-page SEO methods.
Now, before we move ahead with the article; we need to understand why on-page SEO is important?
On-page SEO is the most important factor these days to get good rank in search engine results page because Search engine like Google well always check if your post is well formatted and reader friendly.
As you publish a new post the quality of the content will determine the placement of the post in search results because off-page SEO like social sharing and creating backlinks will start later, of course, few parameters like domain age and authority also matter to a certain extent.
As we are talking about on-page SEO for WordPress blogs, it is important for you to select an SEO optimized WordPress theme with clean code and all necessary parameters like quick loading time, clean typography etc, because a good SEO optimized blog post may not do well if your basics are not correct.
Also, we have published an article about the best SEO plugins where you can get more details about those plugins. However, I would recommend you to stick to WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin because it's a free and a perfect plugin for on-page SEO.
Writing SEO-Optimized Articles in WordPress
Write for Human
That's right, through we are talking about optimizing your site for the search engines; you need to make sure that the content is for real humans. Your visitors should understand your flow of thoughts, if you stuff your keywords at the places where it doesn't make any sense; your site will get slapped by both your visitor as well as the search engines.
The flow of your article should be natural and easily understandable, use as simple words as possible and make it as if you are telling a story or just talking to somebody and making them understand something new.
The pragraphs of your article should be thin becausre people doesn't like to read long paragraphs; it becomes really boaring to the reader. So make sure that the paragraphs are as short as possible and flow of thought is intact.
Length of Article
The length of your article is a very important factor these days, and the comprehensive articles tend to get high rank in search results. However, there is a difference of opinion as far as the length of an article is concerned, here is a nice discussion about what should be the length of your article in Quicksprout that will provide you more insight about the topic.
Yoast SEO plugin suggests you to have more than 300 words in your article, I would recommend you to have at least 500 words.
Using Your Keywords
How and where you use your keyword is a lot more important than how many times you use your keyword. It is extremely important to have a natural flow which is easy to understand and reader friendly and not wrote only for search engines.
Your keyword should make sense within the post and bring in a meaning to your article. Some of the recommended placement for your keyword are the title of your post, the permalink, the start of the post (within first 100 words), subheadings, end of the post etc.
Post Title and SEO Title
You can write a title which is a little descriptive and easy to understand for your users and you can write a separate title specifically for the search engine. Because sometimes the title of your post may not make sense for the search engines if that doesn't have the keywords in it.
The title of your post carries huge value as far as search engine ranking and on-page SEO is concerned, because if you can write a nice title with keyword which is relevant to the content the search engine most likely to pick up your article and rank it nicely
Search Meta Title
If you don't specify the SEO title in the SEO settings section while writing the article the system will pick the title which you have written for your article.
The SEO meta description section is one of the most important part of your post, you must write a nice description about your post with keywords in the SEO section because search engines read your meta description to identify the relevance of your post to search terms.
You can write a description up to 160 characters which are good enough to attract the visitors and make them click on your post to read it. You must place the keyword strategically in the description and keep it relevant to the sentence you write.
Post permalink is another important parameter as far as on-page SEO is concerned, most of the users use their default title as permalink, but that is not the correct way because search engine prefers clean and short permalink.
WordPress gives you very easy option to edit the permalink while writing the article and you should take it very seriously because one the article is published you will be able to change everything but not the permalink.
H1, H2, H3 Headings
The headings of your blog post are extremely important not only for search engines but for users as well because the heading can help to write a well formatted post that keeps the flow going smoothly. The headings also help to separate different topics within the post.
A well optimized WordPress theme by default uses the H1 tag for the title of the post, and you can insert the other relevant tags H2, H3 etc according to the need of the post.
Internal links are another important part of on-page SEO because the internal links make it easy for the users to find other important and relevant articles of your blog and it helps the search engine to re-visit those old article and update them.
If you see this post we have linked to some of our old blogs posts at the start of this article to best SEO themes and plugin which are relevant topics to this particular article. You can link to old article to keep your users as well as the search engine engaged.
Using a related post plugin is great way to show links to old and related posts, we have already listed the 10 Best WordPress Related Post Plugins here.
Optimize Post Images
The images inside your blog post can bring in a lot of traffic if you optimize them properly. Many users search images in Google and if you optimize your images with proper alt tag and other relevant tags your image will appear in the search results and bring you traffic.
When you place any image in your blog posts it will take a few extra seconds to insert the tags for the post but the return could be huge. So you should never ignore this aspect, also if you place images without the required tags you blog post will never be considered as well optimized by search engines.
If you want to automate this process, I recommend you to use SEO Friendly Images plugin that will insert the required tags for the images. We have also published an article about how to optimize images of your WordPress blog.
Comments are another very important part of on-page SEO because the comments can keep your post alive for a long time. Also, search engine like Google like engaging content and the engagement is defined by the number of comments to a large extent alomng with other parameters like social sharing.
But, no comment is much better than bad quality spam comments. Make sure that you on;ly approve the quality comments which make sense to the subject article. To attract more comments for your blog posts, you can keep your article open ended so that the visitors can post their thoughts about the subject in the comment section or you can ask for your users point of view at the end of the post.
Read: 10 Best Anti Spam Plugins to Knock Out Spam Comments
If you are using Yoast SEO plugin, that will show you how well your post is optimized with their defined parameters and that's an amazing tool for proper on-page SEO especially for the newbie WordPress users.
Obviously there are number of other parameters which can affect the on-page SEO such as the quality of ur post, correct grammar, spelling, relevance of keyword with content, the flow of the article, the length of paragraphs etc.