What Is On-Page SEO?
Category - SEO
SEO specialists pinpoint a range of different SEO tactics that can boost a page or site for search engine results pages (SERPs). A suite of factors work in harmony to get a site or page in the first 5 results in a search.
However, Google doesn’t exactly reveal everything regarding how their algorithms operate, which can be a challenge for businesses that want to be more visible in SERPs.
So, how do organisations or digital teams create a proactive, well-curated strategy that keeps pace with SERP trends and delivers results?
The great news is there are plenty of concrete actions you can take to expand your visibility and optimise for search.
A great place to start is with on-page SEO.
What’s on-page SEO?
Simply put, on-page SEO is the process of page optimisation for SERPs, focusing on a primary keyword.
The more variety and concentration around on-page SEO practices, the more likely the page will rank higher in SERPs, resulting in more visitors to the page and stronger visibility.
Difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO
On-page and off-page work together to improve visibility.
|On-page SEO||Off-page SEO|
Did you know that SEO can be divided into on-page SEO and off-page SEO? Today, we’re taking a closer look at on-page SEO. What is it? And most importantly: What are some essential factors?https://t.co/hJ7vTZrtk9#SEO
— Yoast (@yoast) March 31, 2021
10 on-page SEO Tactics 2023
1. Keyword research
A great place to start. Identify the primary keyword you want to rank for. There are multiple keyword research tools to help online. They will often suggest related keywords that may help to shape your content.
Pro tip: select one main keyword for each page, supported by related long tail keywords for reach. An example of this would be ‘keyword research’ as the primary keyword, with ‘keyword research tool’ and ‘keyword placement’ as supplementary terms.
Remember, appropriate and natural keyword placement supports your page in SERPs. There are a few places where it helps to place your target keyword:
- Page title: the title on the page
- Title tag: the title as it appears on SERPs.
- First 100 words: naturally placed in the first few paragraphs.
- H2 headings: feature keywords in a couple of these.
- Image alt text: great for user accessibility.
2. Quality content
Google doesn’t like thin content lacking in tangible value. Any scraped content or auto-generated information generally doesn’t rank very highly.
This means that creating high-quality content answering users’ questions so they are informed is key to improved rankings.
Users will react much more positively to helpful, truthful content that resolves their pain points. Their interest in your high-grade content will boost visibility, further strengthening your page’s position.
Sites that rank highly with search engines and audiences generally refresh their content on a regular basis to ensure user queries are answered and that content is moving with the times and connects to where audiences are right now in their lives.
Content freshness can make all the difference when it comes to dwell time (how long your user decides to spend on your site). If your content is no longer in line with the right here, right now, then it may be judged as old and irrelevant.
In turn, this will undoubtedly increase bounce rates, with users leaving and search engines revising any strong rankings you may have. This a situation most site owners would love to avoid!
A positive step is to have a content calendar planned out for the year, with time built in to revise and update old content to better suit user needs. Once you’re in a routine with content checking, it will only take a short amount of time to make sure what you’re showing to users will benefit them.
An essential element of on-page SEO, website page titles (title tags) let search engines and users know what a page is about. Take care to consider intent – each page should have the target keyword naturally as part of its title.
- Keep it under 60 characters.
- The title needs to be relevant to its page.
- Natural use of target keywords is best.
Headings naturally follow from your page title. These refer to the HTML element: H1, H2, H3 and so forth. Your readers and search engines will find these helpful when assessing the value of page content.
Hint: use keywords related to your target keyword in headings.
5. Meta description
Meta descriptions are essentially page summaries that sit below titles in search. It helps users to clarify page content and give further detail, therefore encouraging readers to click on and consume content.
Meta description tips:
- Keep it under 160 characters for full readability.
- 1-2 short sentences for clarity.
- Use the target keyword or related long tail keyword.
6. Image optimisation
Optimise images for improved accessibility with image alt-text. This helps search engines, like Google, to clearly ‘read’ your image, which is vital for visibility as Google provides image-based results in addition to text-based ones.
Image alt-text also helps improve accessibility for those with visual impairments, a lack of sight or other conditions that limit viewing access to online images by enabling screen readers to read image information for the user.
Image alt-text hints:
- Keep it short – no more than 125 characters.
- Be efficient with keyword use.
- Describe the image accurately.
7. Page URLs
The best page URLs are simple and easy to read for users and search engines. Additionally, having a URL for each page keeps them consistent and in the right order for your site.
Try to begin with https:// as Google uses this as a ranking factor.
8. Internal links
Creating links between pages on your site is a great way to keep visitors on your site for longer and gives users more beneficial content which answers their pain points.
Search engines also like internal links as they can crawl your site, looking for content that meets the needs of users so they can rank and index your pages properly.
All of these factors mean that your site becomes more visible and potentially may rank higher on search.
For example, linking to our SEO Services page can really help direct users who want to know more about on-page SEO but need more specialist help.
They may be looking to refine their offering and help boost visibility online so they can engage better with a wider audience.
9. External links
External links are, in many ways, just as important as internal links to your on-page SEO strategy. This is because if you link to sites with authority it can increase user engagement and trust in your site.
In fact, Google has acknowledged that adding external links to trusted sources helps to improve rankings and is a way to create real value for your audience.
How can you do this effectively? If you’re including sources from some great sites, make sure to link to these sites to build site strength and visibility, plus you’re demonstrating to users that they can have confidence in your content.
10. User engagement
If users spend more time on your site, it can be a real advantage. This is because search engines like Google take notice of how long users like to interact with sites.
When there’s too quick an exit, this can indicate something may be incorrect with the site.
Search engines, such as Google, optimise interaction data that tells them if a search result – and a site – are relevant and in line with a search inquiry.
Something called ‘bounce rate’ can support this analysis, as this data informs about user behaviour and if they leave a site without performing a specific action.
If Google takes a variety of data, such as dwell time and bounce rate into account, they can build a picture of how useful a page or site is to the audience and rank that site according to its user value.
This is where site design boosting the user experience can create valuable benefits.
If your audience has what they’re looking for within seconds, then they’re so much more likely to stay and look for helpful content to support their needs and answer their problems.
How do you achieve better user engagement?
One way is to ensure what’s above the fold on the page (what users directly see as soon as they land) has measurable value for users. It’s answering their questions with information they need to resolve pain points as soon as possible.
What you don’t want is for your users to have to scroll down for a while to find what they need, as most will bounce to find a more helpful site.
Information that’s easy to read, skimmable and simple to digest is best. Regular subheadings help direct attention and keep users focused.
Consider additional layout options, such as short paragraphs, bullet points, lists, graphics, images and pull-out quotes to help your audience find the right information to suit their query.
One more thing…
Fit for mobile
So many sites look great on a desktop but fail miserably at the mobile hurdle. If users can’t see a site on mobiles then it’s going to damage the brand. It’s reported around 50-60% of all online searches are performed on mobile.
How can you make sure your site is mobile-friendly? Try to incorporate responsive design right from the start of the site creation process so that your site will work on any screen.
Even if you do this, it’s a good idea to check that any embedded images, videos or graphics are workable on different screen sizes so that you can have confidence your audience – wherever they are interacting with your site – can access everything they need and find value during their visit.
How we can help you with on-page SEO
As SEO specialists, we listen closely to your needs and requirements. We personalise your SEO strategy so that you have a clear target-driven plan to track your SEO performance for future refinements and fine-tuning.
Whether your desired reach is local or global, hiring us to help you rank number one in search engine results is the best investment you can make. Contact us today, and let’s get started!