Getting to the top of search engine results means optimising various factors that Google deems important. Some of them have to do with your website and are under your control – that’s on-page SEO. Others are factors outside of your web pages that you can’t influence completely – that’s off-page SEO.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the first category.
On-page SEO refers to what you can modify on your own website in order to get more visibility and higher rankings from search engines. You can do that through various methods, such as tweaking your content, structuring your website, maximising its performance, and so on.
In this article, we will discuss the most important on-page SEO elements that can help you rank better in Google and other search engines, increase the number of conversions, and get more revenue.
As mentioned above, the beauty of on-page SEO is that you can control what’s going on your website and each element can be tested and modified according to its performance. Let’s see what are the basics of on-page SEO and how to master them.
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Optimising Your Content for SEO
Creating unique, relevant content is one of the most important on-page SEO tactics you can implement. Good content is not only original (since Google and other search engines frown upon duplicate content), but it brings something new to the table.
The most simple rule to abide by when creating content is to see what ranks the highest for certain keywords, then create content that is better than what can be found in the first results. Before publishing any blog post, article, or landing page, do thorough keyword research.
Matching search intent is one of the goals of search engines, and it should be part of your own marketing plan as well. You should base your SEO strategy on matching the queries used by searchers. That doesn’t necessarily mean including those keywords word-by-word, but rather having your website organised by topics and offering answers to your visitors’ needs, questions, and preferences.
Besides publishing new content, you can also find out what web pages on your website are underperforming and improve their content. This creates new opportunities for getting new visitors and improving your overall conversion rate.
Optimise Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
When you do a Google search, you get results in the form of a title, the URL of the page, and a description of the content. If you don’t set them yourself, Google does it automatically, and it will select what it thinks is more relevant for its users, but it won’t be optimised more than that.
Adding meta tags and title tags is always a good practice and it should become a routine whenever you edit your web pages. Be sure to include your keywords in the titles and meta descriptions by putting them as close as possible to the beginning of the text.
When writing your meta descriptions, keep the text between 155 and 300 characters long, so that it doesn’t get truncated in the search results.
Optimising your content for SEO should also focus on how to provide an excellent user experience since many ranking factors refer precisely to that. For example, a page loading too slowly would offer a poor user experience and drive visitors away from your website altogether.
Search engines will lower your page ranking to avoid showing their users unwanted results. Optimised web pages load fast, are organised neatly, and easy to navigate through.
Web design is also part of providing a good user experience. Hire a professional web designer to create or redesign your website. A lot of design elements have an important role in engaging visitors and keeping them on your website for longer.
Use Structured Data and Schema Tags
Schema is a vocabulary of tags that you can add to your HTML code to help search engines understand better what your content means and represents. Using schema markups is beneficial for your SEO as it enables your web pages to be shown as rich snippets in SERPs (search engine results pages).
The type of information you can classify through schema markups includes: names, phone numbers, ratings, publication date, etc. A search result that displays these elements will definitely pop out.
Use Internal Links
Search engine crawlers will have an easier job indexing all the pages of your website if you build a strong internal link network. By linking to other pages on your website, you’re not only making them more visible, but you’re encouraging visitors to spend more time on your website.
Proper internal linking means reviewing which pages need more ranking power, and including relevant keywords in each anchor text you are using. This gives both users and crawlers a better idea of what they will find by following your link. Link building also helps you rank better by structuring your website by related topics and categories.
Optimise Images on Your Website
Images on your website impact SEO in several ways.
They can impact the loading speed of your website, which is why you should use image compression without compromising the high quality of the images.
Another aspect to take into consideration is how your images are “read” by crawlers. Since crawlers only process text on a website, you should write alt text descriptions and alt tags for each image on your website. They help crawlers and users with visual impairment know what’s in the image.
Optimise Your URLs
Since Google and other search engines will display the URL of a particular page on your website, you should also optimise it for SEO. The URL structure should give information about the topic by including the most relevant keyword from the content of the page.
It’s also recommended to nest your pages in appropriate topic folders. That gives searches an indication of what they’re going to find on the landing page as well as what else they can find on your website.
When evaluating your internal link network, look for any errors that might damage your website’s ranking. Errors like broken links or unfound pages are to be avoided, which is why you should perform an error check every time something is moved or removed from your website.
Use a Secure Protocol
One of Google’s recommendations is to have an “HTTPS://” protocol for your website, which indicates a secure protocol. You surely noticed how browsers display tags like “not secure” in the address bar when you’re visiting certain websites because it’s a message that attracts negative attention.
To prevent your visitors from abandoning your website because of that, get a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. It’s a certification given by a third party authority, for a fee or for free, for which you have to provide information about your website’s domain and technical characteristics.
On-page SEO comprises a great deal of the tactics that improve your search engine rankings and make you more visible to your target audience. The above aspects are meant to become routine tasks in your marketing plan.
Learning more about simple actions like writing your own meta descriptions, making your content easier to find and more relatable to searchers, optimising your images, or linking internally to related pages on your website will all contribute to a better performance in terms of SEO and ranking.
SEO does take practice and shows results in time, but it’s the most effective, cost-efficient method of getting your website in the top results of search engines. If you feel like your SEO strategies should be handled by professionals, look for an agency that’s focused on results, and has a strong portfolio.
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