What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimising each web page, so that it ranks higher in search engines, and attracts more relevant traffic organically.
It’s in Google’s best interest to maximise their user’s experience.
They want users to find the pages that ACTUALLY answer their questions and provide them with the information that they need.
These things include but are not limited to:
- High-quality, relevant content
- A well-structured website & content
- Outbound links to relevant but non-competitive websites
- Keyword in the title tag
- Keyword in the h1 tag and other h tags as appropriate
Essential things to consider
Here are some essential things you need to consider:
#1: The speed of your site
When it comes to page speed every SECOND counts!
It has been observed that a slower page loading time results in higher page abandonment.
Put it this way; if you opened up a page and it took more than a few seconds to load up, you’d swiftly click off the page and find an alternative on from the list of other search results.
So will your page visitors! On average, a page that loads at three seconds or slower a quarter of users will bounce. Therefore, a site that is fast will end up with more conversions because they are more apt to stay on the site and complete their transaction.
There are a few different factors when addressing page speed:
- Load time – this is the time it takes for the ENTIRE page to load. This includes all the file and script, along with all the HTTP requests being filled.
- Page size – with a page fully loading, these page elements include images, scripts, code elements and any other file type that may be on the page.
- Time to first byte – this is determined by the time it takes for the first byte of information is returned to the server after the browser requests the page.
- Round trip time – round trip time is the total time it takes to for a complete request for information. This is the time it takes for a browser to make a request, for it to return to the server and then the time it takes for that response to return back to the browser again.
There are free tools online that you can use to test your page loading speed.
If it’s not up to par, there are several things that you can do to increase your page speed, and in turn, improve your on-page SEO.
#2: Meta tags
Meta Tags are snippets of information that is visible to search engines. Having a fully optimised meta tag set helps improve:
- Click-through rate
- The overall perception of the search-result quality
- The overall perception of what your website has to offer
The purpose of them is to make it easier for search engines to find web pages that are relevant to the user’s query.
There are 4 main types of Meta Tags:
Title tag: this is the name of the page. It should be short (50-60 characters), clear, and concise.
If the title tag exceeds 60 characters, the full title will appear like this:
Meta description tag: this is a summary of the content that appears on your page.
On your organic listings, meta description tags look like this:
The meta description is what search engines use to get a sense of what the topic of the content is about, and what type of audience it should send to that page.
Again, it needs to be clear, descriptive, and short (160 characters in length).
Meta Keywords Attributes: Your keywords chosen for your description need to be relevant to the content and site.
Meta Robots Attributes: Your meta description needs to be optimised in a way that bots know what to do with the page.
#3: Your Content
Your content needs to be strategically designed to attract organic traffic. Content is king, and excellent content is the determining factor for that. Excellent content attracts users as people want to read something worthwhile. This is also important as good content is also linkable.
Being able to drive traffic to sites from a user standpoint and from links is critical to keeping up referral traffic.
Ultimately, you’ll want to have an SEO-driven content strategy.
This will involve using certain keyword phrase components that include long-tail anchor words.
So remember, just E-A-T it. Focus your site and content around Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
Your keywords also need to be at the optimal level. You must be sure to avoid keyword cannibalization. Keyword cannibalization makes you compete against yourself and can make your site feel spammy if the same keyword combination is used again and again.
Within your content, also be sure to allow for social sharing. This is a great indirect way to get more links back to your site; every share is a potential link.
#4 Make sure that your website is accessible to search engines
If you are using WordPress, you can easily check if your website is crawlable. Do this by clicking on the privacy tab in the settings, and making sure that under the site visibility heading the following is selected: ‘Allow search engines to index this site’.
Within accessibility is also ensuring that your URLs are fully optimised as well. URLs allow for users and search engines to see the overall hierarchy of the website and helps improve the overall user experience.
Overall there are a few major tips that can apply to any CMS platform:
- Be sure that your headlines are properly set with the right form. (H1, H2, H3, etc.).
- Provide a map with a schema map so search engines can crawl your site.
- Provide transcripts for video and audio files. Bots can’t crawl these like written content, so providing transcripts allows them to be easier crawled.
- Allow PDFs to be accessed by search engines by making them accessible with optical character recognition (OCR) and doing so allows these images to be crawled in the same manner transcripts allow video files to be crawled.
#5: Ensure That Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Most people are using Google on their mobile devices. The desktop version of your site may not be mobile responsive, which poses a big issue.
You can make sure that your website is mobile-friendly by implementing:
- Responsive web design
- Dynamic serving
- Separate URLs
Use Google’s Mobile-friendly test to make sure that pages on your site meet the “Mobile-friendly” criteria on Google Search result pages.
Your site must also be sure that it is just as fast on mobile as it is on desktop. Site speed is highly important, no matter the device being used to explore your website.
#6: Image Optimisation
If you have included images on your web pages, be sure to optimise them by making sure that you put your keywords into the alt tag of the image.
If you haven’t included any images on your web pages, I’d recommend that you consider adding in some images that are relevant to your content and optimising them.
This will help to improve your on-page SEO and will break up large blocks of text, making your content easier for the reader to digest and remember.
Under optimised images also gum down your site and rob you of optimised site speed.
For a glossary of SEO related jargon check out this page!
Check out this 14-day video SEO course that has a section specifically designed to help you to build an SEO-driven strategy easily with step-by-step guidelines. ?
The course also helps you to do more effective SEO by covering topics such as:
- Link building
- Local SEO
- On-page SEO
Need help with your on-page SEO? Check out Pearl Lemon, which specialises in SEO.
Also, I’d be SUPER grateful if you could check out our Quora page. It’s managed by Rajesh (pronounce Raa-Jesh lol), one of our SEO specialists based in London.
There you will find even more tips and advice for achieving your digital growth goals!