On-Page SEO and Keyword Usage

On-Page SEO and Keyword UsageI give my blog spam folder a quick look now and again to make sure that non-spam comments don’t get relegated to spam limbo. Sometimes the spam comments are totally absurd, such as this one: Nice tips. It is actually incomprehensible opinion now, but also from general, that usefulness in addition to significance is usually overwhelming. Thanks once again and all the best.

And then there was this one:

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings. You now NEED On-Page SEO.

So what is good On-Page SEO? First your keyword must appear in the title. Then it must appear in the URL. You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1, H2, H3 tags in your article. Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword. There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….

Considering that this was posted by someone trying to get me to subscribe to their Search Engine Optimization company, and considering that the comment actually made sense (or would, once I translated the jargon) and considering that my website domain provider has been trying to get me to buy SEO Visibility to the tune of $36.00 a month, I decided to research the topic a bit.

I started with “keyword.” Obviously, it’s the key word in the post or web page, but more than that, it’s a word or phrase people use when searching the internet. There’s no doubt that using the exact search terms adds to one’s search engine visibility. I often check the terms people use to find this blog, and then use those search terms as topics for articles. I made sure to use the search term in the article and in the title, since it stood to reason that if people were looking for such topics, I should make it as easy for them to find as possible. (A few of those articles are among my all-time most viewed posts: Describing a Scene in an Interesting Way, Describing a Winter Scene, and What Do You Say to Someone Who is Grieving at Christmas?) Apparently, although I didn’t know it, this was good On-Page SEO.

Luckily, I never had to worry about the keyword being in the URL — if the keyword is in the title of the article, WordPress automatically adds it to the URL of article. I used to try to write cute titles, such as Writing to the Extremes for a post about hands and feet (the extremeties), but not surprisingly, that post didn’t get many hits. So I try to keep the cuteness to minimum. (The key word here is “try.” Sometimes I let my attempts at cleverness get the better of me.)

Also, the title of the post uses H1 — Heading 1, so that fulfills one of the requirements for H1, H2, H3 tags. Since I try to follow good essay styling when writing, I generally include the keyword (the topic) in the first paragraph and then bring things full circle by referencing it in the last paragraph. I’m not going to worry about H2, H3, bold or italics in the body of my posts — I don’t want to lose the stream-of-consciousness flow that so many of my posts have by kowtowing to SEO.

I have recently begun to use an internal link in all my blog posts as a hedge against content scraping and plagiarism. And now it turns out to be good on-page SEO usage. I also use an image for each post, as suggested by WordPress in their articles about how to get Freshly Pressed, so now all I have to do is add the keyword to the alt tag. (When you upload an image, there is a place for Alt Text. I never knew what it meant, but apparently, if for any reason the image can’t be displayed, the alt text will be shown.)

Which brings us to the final point — Latent Semantic Indexing. Search engines have the capability to scan articles to see what they are about. A page with both the keyword and semantically related terms has a higher search enging ranking than one using only the keywords. (In this article SEO, search enging ranking, search engine visibility, and Search Engine Optimization are semantically related terms.)

Whew! All that research because of a spam comment! I learned something tonight, and I hope you did too. (Hmm. I might have learned something, but I didn’t follow through — there was nothing about SEO in the first paragraph, and until this sentence, nothing about SEO in the last paragraph. So perhaps this article is really about spam!)


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

9 Responses to “On-Page SEO and Keyword Usage”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    You actually look at those spam comments? I just look to see if a comment might’ve accidentally been put in the spam folder when it shouldn’t have been before I permanently delete it.

  2. John w Howell Says:

    I have receive several of these over the past few days. Thanks for your research and information

  3. shadowoperator Says:

    Thanks, Pat, for taking the time to try to explain what you learned. I still don’t fully understand all of it, but I can see where to make a few changes to the way I do things. By and by.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Instead of ‘keyword’ think ‘topic’. Make sure the topic is referenced in the title, in the first paragraph, in the middle somewhere, and at the end. That’s all search engine optimization means when it comes to blogging.

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