On-page SEO | What is On-page SEO
9th September 2018
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO is the optimization of a variety of factors on a webpage to improve rankings on search engines so you can earn more not just more traffic, but attract visitors who are truly interested in what you’re offering. On-page SEO is made up of both HTML source code and the content – your messages, whether in words, photos, videos or infographics.
What are the benefits of on-page SEO?
By optimizing individual pages on your website you will be able to improve your search rankings and as a result, increase organic traffic to your website. It also provides an opportunity to target specific keywords so you can capture an audience. This will increase the likelihood of visitors taking action on your website.
Good content matters. According to Moz, good content meets a need or a demand and is linkable.
Good content will provide users with what they want. It provides value for the reader and is easy and enjoyable to read. It makes the reader feel they are getting something of value – and that builds your authority, as the business to turn to for a service.
Content can come in a variety of formats such as text, image, video, or sound. It should be engaging and informative, not just promotional.
Good content is also linkable, if it can’t be shared then it is likely it will not rank. Examples of this content would be pages that require users to log in to view it. If the content is not accessible then it can not satisfy the demands of users.
What is a meta description? A meta description is a brief summary of a web page. These are displayed on search engines to help users understand the content of the page. While no longer a ranking factor, meta descriptions draw readers to the website. Having a well-written meta description can improve the pages click-through-rate and increase traffic.
Use a Friendly URL Structure
It is important that your pages use a hierarchy for the URL structure. By using a logical URL structure it helps search engines understand the relevance of the page.
A good URL would generally follow the following structure:
We can use the NHL website as an example of this:
This works because it follows a logical path. We can understand this is the roster for the Maple Leafs without visiting the page because of the URL structure.
A bad URL would look like:
This does not work as well as we can not understand what the page is about and have no way of knowing without actually visiting the page. This is the same for Google; a logical URL structure helps the bots understand the topic of the page.
Title tags are essential in helping search engines understand the content of the page. The title tags are used in three places: search engine results pages (SERPs), web browsers, and social networks. In order to write a good title tag, there are a few things you should do.
Title Tag Length
Keep your title tag between 50 and 60 characters, as this is the maximum number of characters a search engine will show. If you go longer, there is a chance your page title will not be entirely visible on search engine results pages.
Title Tag Format
An optimal title tag will include your primary keyword, your secondary keyword, and your brand.
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
H1 Headings will often contain the same copy as your Title Tag, or at least be very similar to it. The difference is that the H1 tag is visible within the content of the page and it is often the largest heading on the page.
H1 Headings are an excellent opportunity to use keywords. We recommend there only be one per page. If you have multiple titles on your page, consider moving some of the content to new pages.
Like Title Tags, page headings help users and search engines quickly identify what is in the page content. H2 Headings provide an additional opportunity to use your keywords which can help improve your rankings on search engine results pages.
Keywords: Use Them ASAP
When you are publishing your content, use your target keywords within the first 100 words. This ensures search engines discover and highly rank the content. Using keywords high on a page – and often – also helps search engines understand the content and topic of your page.
Using internal links within your content helps Google understand your site’s architecture and helps establish an information hierarchy. When you link your new content to older content, Google is able to understand where it belongs as the topic is more clear.
Internal links also enhance the user journey and increase the time they spend on-site, which is also a ranking factor for Google.
Including outbound links within your content will help Google understand your page’s topic. It is a good idea to link to high authority (well respected) sites as it shows Google your site uses quality info. This is important to Google because the sites your provide links to, reflect on you. The company you keep does have an impact – even if that company is digital!
Use a Variety of Media
Not all of your content needs to be text. Sometimes using photos, videos and infographics can help make your message not just more engaging and entertaining, but also makes it easier for users to consume. Listicles are another easy-to-read option that’s very mobile-friendly.
Including well-produced content on your site keeps people on your site longer and can reduce the bounce rate, both of which move you up in the Google rankings. And of course, the longer someone spends on your site, the more likely they are to become a customer!
Remember the old adage – a picture’s worth 1,000 words? Using images within your content is always a good idea. Images help search engines understand what the content of the page is about. This is done by using your keywords in the images file name as well as the alt text. And in a search result, an image looks good!
Match Your Users’ Intent
Over the last few years Google and other search engines have become smarter, and as a result, they can better understand the content within the page. No longer are sites able to stuff keywords and rank well on search engine results pages.
Today your content needs to match the users intent. By that we mean your content needs to be focused and solve their search query. The more informative your content is and the better it solves the user’s question, the higher you will rank. For example, if a user is searching for the “Best Sports Cars in 2019”, they won’t want to find an article about The Best Cars in 2019 or The Best Sports Cars in 2018. Neither of these solves the query. What solves the user’s query are comprehensive articles that list the top choices for sports cars in 2019 and explain why each car is included.
Time To Begin!
There is a lot that goes into on-page SEO but as we can see everything here helps the user solve their search. When you are posting new content or planning your new webpages, imagine yourself as the user and why you are here. Make sure your content is easy to find and solves the users’ query.
If you have any questions about on-page SEO Digital Giants is happy to help. You can contact us here.