Search Engine Optimization is one of those pain areas for digital marketers that always remain sore. Why we negatively talk about SEO, is because it is ever-evolving and what’s working for you today might not be the best practice. However, there is no denying the fact that On-page SEO is integral to a website’s success and higher ranking on SERPs.
On-page SEO is the attracting power that draws new visitors to your website and offers you a chance to engage and convert. How you utilize this power of on-page SEO is completely up to you. Whatever you do, you need to ensure your on-page SEO is on point after every Google algorithm update and you need to do it a lot because we all know- Google loves change.
Regardless of whether you already have an ongoing on-page SEO campaign or are about to start one for a new website, you must have your doubts about improving on-page SEO. In this post, we shall answer all your doubts and also share 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your On-Page SEO
The ultimate guide to on-page SEO
On-page SEO is all about you trying to rank a keyword that works for your business. You need to direct your efforts to optimize your web page in a way that Google perceives you as a first-page business. On-page SEO is how you get started with your keyword placement, ranking, and secured position on the world wide web.
Considering that we have a mix of novices and experts in our reader base, we would like to brush up on our SEO basics before we touch the more complicated part- ways to improve on-page SEO in 2023.
Here are the topics that we will discuss in this article.
What is on-page SEO?
Also known as on-site SEO, On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the pages on your website to secure and maintain a higher rank on search engines. The optimization includes working on both front-end and back-end aspects of the website to stay on top, attract more traffic and improve the conversion rate.
With on-page SEO, our prime focus is on three areas- content elements, site architecture elements, and HTML elements.
Why on-page SEO is crucial for your website’s success?
Before we answer that, let us first understand why you must be a top-ranking business on Google.
Firstly, data suggests that the first five organic results on the SERP secure 67.60% clicks whereas the next five get 3.73% and the rest probably nothing. Secondly, the click-through rate of high-ranking websites is amazing. Finally, over 93% of internet users visit a business the same day they read about it on Google’s top ranks.
How do you rank higher? By working on your on-page SEO and making friends with Google.
Yes, Google is the supreme authority when it comes to search engine results. If you want your website to be on the front display, you must adhere to the site and content guidelines of Google. Since these guidelines change recurrently, you are on a never-ending cycle of assessment and update. On-page SEO comprises strategies that help you maintain pace with every Google algorithm change without losing your hold over the web.
What are the different elements of on-page SEO?
Google’s priority is to offer user-relevant data on top search pages and if you are on top of your on-page SEO game, yours is the content that the user finds first.
However, on-page SEO is not limited to content alone and includes several other elements divided into three main categories:
- Content Element
- HTML Element
- Site architecture element
Here is a brief on all three elements of On-page SEO:
As the name discloses, this element is all about the content you have on your website. The prime objective is to create high-quality content that offers an exact answer to the user’s queries. Google closely observes what you post on your website and cutting corners in the quality or richness of the content is a big NO!
Here we talk about the source code of your website. Some of the core factors that demand your attention under this element include Page titles, headers, Meta descriptions, Image Alt-text, and structured markups. You must be up-to-date with each one of these factors to ensure you are ranked higher on Google search page results.
Site Architectural Elements
The site architectural elements talk about the composition of your website. The better it is the easier it is for Google to crawl the web pages and the content on them. The factors included in Site Architectural Elements include Page URLs, Internal Linking, Mobile responsiveness, and site speed.
5 ways to Improve Your On-Page SEO?
With on-page SEO elements explained, you might have got a rough idea of what areas you need to focus on-to to maintain your web rankings. But, if you want to secure quick results from your efforts with on-page SEO, you must know the key areas to hammer on.
1. Begin with the Content
Content is the reason search began in the first place.’ If you have great content, it finds its way to the top of google search results. But what defines great content?
For Google, it is E.A.T. or Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness that lays the foundation of great content. If your content shows these markers, it is approved for a great place on SERPs.
Keywords are super important
A relevant search result is what answers the query of the user and this is determined by how you place your keywords. An ideal answer would have the keyword used in the query all over the content body including headings and explanations.
Picking the right keyword is essential to creating great content. Depending on your target customers, you can work with classic keywords or move on to more long-tailed keywords.
For example, if you deal in lights and fixtures, you will use words like hanging lights, central lights, and up and down lights as your focus keywords. But, if you deal in vintage lighting products, long-tailed keywords like classic European style vintage lighting or Ethiopian vintage chandeliers.
Practice Search Engine Optimized writing
While focusing on content quality is important, you must not forget the aim- to drive more relevant traffic to your website. You must satisfy the needs of Google but at the same time fetch quality leads and conversion, which, BTW is an art.
Your content copy should be flawless to read and at the same time comply with SEO guidelines. Effective SEO writing must focus on readability, optimally utilize keywords, divide content into short and crisp paragraphs, include headings and subheadings, create bullet lists for more clarity, and always focus on delivering quality to the reader.
Enhance Visual appeal
Images, videos, and infographics play a significant role in making your page visually appealing to the site visitors and at the same time contribute to your web ranking. Images from the website that appear on SERPs encourage the user to click and view, creating relevant and ongoing traffic to the website.
2. Optimize the site for speed
Although not a core SEO element, speed plays its role in enhancing on-page SEO. If you have a slow-loading website, your business is doomed to fail. Users have a very low span of attention and if the site fails to load in time, you have lost the customer’s interest. For websites that take longer than three seconds to load, there is rarely any scope for high customer engagement because the finicky user does not wait for anyone.
This is why you must maintain a quickly loading website and ensure better SEO results.
Let us deep dive into the topic to gain a better understanding.
Google’s top priority is to offer user satisfaction. Now, if you have a slow-loading website, user satisfaction is the last thing you should expect. The long waiting time makes a user impatient and loses interest and this is what Google claims to be a critical shortcoming and takes into account while assessing your website rank.
Additionally, the loading speed of your website directly influences the bounce rate- the rate which measures the percentage of single-page sessions on your website. Higher the bounce rate, the lower the ranking on Google.
It is critical to work on your site speed and here are a few ways that will help:
- Make sure you have the right-sized images.
- Do not add unnecessary code to the website.
- Utilize browser caching.
- Minimize server response time.
Using these measures, you can easily speed up your website and offer a better user experience which ultimately contributes to an improved on-page SEO.
3. Create better links
Google uses E.A.T as a fundamental stick to evaluate the credibility of your website. These E.A.T. rules apply to all aspects of SEO including Link building. You need to prove that you have expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to get into the good books of Google and link building is a reliable way to do that.
There are three types of link-building practices you need to focus on:
- Internal Links: These links connect you to another page of your website.
- Outbound links: These links direct the user to another website or domain and are also referred to as External Links.
- Inbound Links: These are links from another website that direct the user to your webpage. They are outbound links for someone else and are also known as backlinks.
From the SEO point of view, inbound links are the most important link-building practice. You need to get credible inbound links to your website to boost your credibility and authoritativeness. To do so, professionals recommend using a mix of methods including backlink requests, guest posting, shareable infographics, social media, and much more.
Here, it is important to note that not all links work the same way. Vague links are coming from forums, guest farms, or poor websites that are there to deceive Google. However, Google is one step ahead of us all and can easily detect such foul link-building practices and can penalize the website owner for SEO malpractice.
4. Optimize Page title and Meta descriptions
We slightly touched on this topic under the Content heading but here we have explained the need for Page Title and Meta description optimization at length.
Page title optimization
A unique and descriptive title is a must-have for all your web pages. The title tag contains the page title and the title tag itself can be found in the head tag of the page.
<head> <title>Example Title</title></head>
How the title appears on the search results and flashes on the web browser is at Google’s discretion. Because the page title is the first thing that a user would look at about your website, writing a creative, catchy, and meaningful page title is very important.
Here is how to write an impressive page title tag that attracts users to the website:
- Optimum keyword usage
You must use the right keyword and place it at the beginning of the metal title as it catches the eye at the first glance. While writing the page title, make sure that you have both readers and search engines in mind.
It is best practice to keep the length of the page title short- a maximum of up to 50-60 characters. A longer page title is replaced by an ellipsis which negatively affects the users.
- Focus on branding
Your page title must always end with your Brand name. This practice helps in creating brand awareness and increasing the CTR of the website.
Meta description optimization
Meta Descriptions are a short synopsis of what the page contains. They are also found in the head tag:
<head> <meta name=” description” content=” Description of page here.”/></head>
The more powerful your meta description will be the faster google will pick you for the search results. However, Google can always mold the meta description that you have added to the website and use a different and improvised version.
Meta descriptions again affect the website’s click-through rate and become very important from an on-page SEO point of view despite that Google doesn’t believe the same way.
When writing Meta Descriptions, you must keep two points in mind:
Length: Ideal Meta description length is 150-300 characters. If the meta description exceeds 155 characters, it is often altered by Google for better efficacy.
Relevance: The meta description should efficiently describe the content on the page. This means it should be highly relevant and an accurate summary of the webpage’s content.
5. Focus on image alt-tag optimization
High-quality, relevant pictures increase the attractiveness of the page. Especially if you are writing a descriptive article, adding images helps keep the reader intrigued. The visual-to-content ratio is an important consideration and if you are producing a lot of content, you must pay attention to it.
<img src=”grumpycat.gif” alt=”A hungry dog looking at a bone with greedy eyes”>
The more you optimize the alt tag, the better will be the user experience and thus the ranking. However, while adding images, you must remember that images can make or break the website. They are large and can negatively affect the speed of the website. High-quality images are large and must be compressed before adding to the website.
These are the 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your On-Page SEO and boost your web ranking. However, to ensure that you are always on top of your SEO game, you must have an SEO checklist readily available to check and act on other on-page SEO needs concurrently. Have a look at the on-page SEO checklist.
Must-have on-page SEO checklist:
- Conduct an SEO audit to define the site structure, especially after every Google update.
- Use relevant keywords, a mix of short and long-tail keywords.
- Keep your alt tags, meta tags, page titles, and meta description optimized.
- Work on SEO-optimized writing and place the keyword across the page including title, headings, and subheadings.
- Do not overstuff the keyword and always maintain the quality of the content.
- Focus on delivering customer satisfaction through content.
- Add images to make content more interesting and boost the CTR.
- Add new page titles and meta descriptions in due intervals.
- Redefine your target audience.
- Build quality links to establish your authority and credibility in the domain.
- Optimize for better conversion.
- Finally, always keep a close eye on Google updates.
Optimizing all the on-page SEO elements is important to get the best results. We provide you with a 5-step plan to work on your on-page SEO and secure your website among the top rankers. We hope that this article must have answered all your concerns and queries about on-page SEO. However, if you have any more doubts to clear, feel free to connect with us and we shall offer you the best help.