On-page SEO refers to the actions you take on your website to optimise it for search engines to gain higher rankings. It is important because achieving a higher ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) is the way to drive more organic traffic to your site. More visitors will hopefully lead to more sales so paying attention to your website’s on-page SEO is vital.
There are a number of elements to on-page SEO, here we cover the most important ones. Ensuring all these points are encompassed in your website will help search engines crawl and understand its content and whether it matches searchers’ queries.
Your URL is your page’s address on the internet. Google has explicitly stated that URLs help them better understand what a page is about. To optimise your URL, you should:
– Include your keyword for the page
– Keep them simple, using real words rather than a series of numbers
– Use hyphens in between the words to make reading them easier
2. Title Tag
The title tag is the headline that will appear in SERPs. Title tags help search engines understand what a page is about. You should take the following actions:
– Include your keyword near the beginning of the title
– Keep them short – 55-60 characters
– Give each page a unique title
– Make them compelling so that visitors want to click on them.
3. Meta Description
The meta description is what is usually displayed under the title in SERPs. While it is not a direct ranking factor, it is still important as it will influence whether a user clicks on your site or not. You should:
– Keep it to less than 155 characters
– Make sure it describes the page in a compelling way to encourage users to click on it.
Header tags are HTML elements (H1-H6) used to identify headings and subheadings within your content from other types of text (e.g., paragraph text). They help structure your text, making it easier to read for users rather than a wall of text. They also help search engines discover what your page is about. Make sure you include keywords in them.
5. Alt Tags
Alt tags are used to label multimedia like images and video. Including multimedia is important because it breaks up the text for users and can provide additional ranking opportunities, for instance Google Images. Search engines can’t read multimedia so they rely on alt tags to describe it for them.
Keywords are the words people type into a search engine as a query. You need to work out the words and phrases people are typing into a search engine when they look for products or services like yours. Then include them at the start of the page and where you can naturally within the text. Just don’t overdo it, Google now penalises keyword stuffing.
Don’t assume that you know what consumers want and how they search — do your research. The best keyword tools offer a demand score for each theme. Google Keyword Planner, Wordstream and Ubersuggest are all good keyword tools to help you.
You may find it easier to rank for long tail keywords rather than the highly competitive main keywords. Long tail keywords are the queries people type into a search engine when they are looking for something specific – for instance “smart brown women’s shoes” rather than just “shoes”. Long tail keywords make up the majority of search engine traffic.
It is important to write content that meets the needs of users. When you search for something using a search engine, an algorithm scans billions of websites to bring you the best result. The workings of these algorithms are not made public but we know that they base the rankings of a website on the following criteria:
– Relevance – How relevant is the website content to the search query. If you search for hairdressers in London you don’t want the results to show hairdressers in Edinburgh, the search engine ensures that only results for London rank highly.
– Usefulness – The user experience of a website is really important – good, clear, well-structured content which is easy to navigate will rank higher than jumbled, confusing or disorganised content.
– Authority – Google wants to know that your content has authority – if lots of others link to your website that will demonstrate that it has good, high quality content and should be ranked highly.
You should also structure your content well. Use sub-headings to break it up. Avoid long sentences and paragraphs and use bullet points where possible. You should also add new content regularly – fresh content is much more likely to be ranked as users don’t want to see outdated pages. Also, avoid duplicate content as this is penalised by Google.
8. Page speed
PageSpeed Insights will provide you with customized recommendations for speeding up your site. Compressing images and eliminating unnecessary website code will help to speed up your website.
Mobile-friendliness is how your site appears on a mobile device. This is important as more than 50% of the Internet’s traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site can’t be viewed properly on a mobile device users will abandon it. Because of this Google uses mobile-friendliness or responsiveness as a ranking factor so if your site isn’t optimised for this it will be penalised. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check your site’s responsiveness.
10. Internal links
Internal links help search engines crawl your site. They also allow users to find additional information. For on-page SEO you should include links to other pages in your website wherever possible.
On-page SEO is important as it affects where your website appears in search rankings. Ranking highly for your chosen topic will drive more visitors to your site. Paying attention to these aspects should enable you to rank more highly but it takes time and effort, you may not see results straight away.
If you need help with your on-page SEO simply call us on 01202 650 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to blog home