While on-page SEO isn't as simple as it used to be, it is still the most fundamental aspect of SEO. It's one of the few things you have complete control over and doesn't need a high level of technical knowledge. You can do a good job if you know how to make simple website adjustments, write (or know someone who can), and do some research.
SEO is not exactly how people perceive it to be. It is not a matter of sprinkling a few keywords here and there. This is such hokum. While keyword placement is still vital, it is no longer as critical as it once was.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s dig into this on-page SEO guide to find out everything you need to know about on-page SEO.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO is an optimization that you control and incorporate into your website. It tries to increase your rank or visibility in search results like Google, Bing, etc., by making your website more useful to your users.
It is the practice of improving a web page's ranking in a search engine to generate more traffic. It refers to both the text and HTML source codes of a webpage.
On-page SEO works better when it comes to higher-rank searches. It brings more traffic to your site. Although it takes time to provide results, once it does, it has the potential to improve your online rankings.
Why is on-page SEO important?
On-page SEO helps search engines understand your website a little better. It also aids search engines in figuring out if the content on your website is relevant to search queries or not.
Relevance is becoming important in search engine results pages as search engines are getting more complex.
On-page SEO optimizes your headlines, HTML elements (title, meta, and header), and images, along with posting relevant, high-quality content. It ensures that your website has a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
On-page SEO Best Practices
Many practices might increase the traffic on your website and help you perform better on-page SEO. Some of these practices include:
- Content Audit
- Writing SEO Content
- Keyword Optimization
- Avoid Cannibalization of Keywords
- The E-A-T framework
- Meta Description
- Image Optimization
- Title Tags
- Mobile Optimization
1. Content Audit
The majority of us are so focused on creating new material that we overlook what we currently have.
This is a blunder since not everything you write will be a hit. It may occasionally fail to rank on Google, convert, or contribute in any significant way to your company’s goals.
You shouldn't just leave the page to suffer a long, excruciating death when this happens. You should go over it again, figure out what went wrong, and take steps to fix it.
Auditing your current material is important. It allows you to examine if your current content is accomplishing its objectives and providing an ROI. It also helps you determine if the information in your material is current or has become obsolete. You can also figure out which kinds of content are most effective for you.
Many content audits are focused on SEO performance, but a comprehensive audit considers the content's financial performance and value as well. Reasons why you should carry out your content audit religiously;
- Accuracy: Facts and statistics that were previously correct may become inaccurate as your content ages. Regularly auditing your content will maintain its accuracy, helping to safeguard your brand's reputation as well as your search rankings.
- Staleness: Over time, your content may become stagnant or even obsolete. But don't be too hard on yourself. It's not always your fault if your content has become stale. What was important two years ago may only require minor revisions now.
- What’s Working: If you don’t look back towards the content that you uploaded earlier, how would you find out what’s working for your website? Maybe writing three blog content a week is simply too exhausting, and it's not generating any outcomes. If you don't go back and run a content audit to discover which items work best and which perform poorly, you'll never know.
Understandably, there are more domains for you to cater to. That’s why there are SEO service providers , you know?
There is always an option to get SEO services from an expert who could audit your content and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
2. Writing SEO Content
The use of keywords and key phrases in online content is known as "SEO writing." SEO is used by copywriters and marketers to improve the organic visibility and SERP rankings of their websites. Combining high-quality material with relevant search queries is the best method for writing for SEO.
SEO writing is creating material that is optimized for both search engines and users. It is not just about keyword research and filling in spaces; it is far more than that. Producing content just for the sake of it isn't going to work. Keep in mind that you're producing material for people, so it needs to be high-quality, significant, and relevant.
The content may include blog posts, articles, copywriting, videos, guides, infographics, and directories.
The content of a website is one of the biggest SEO domains. They both go in together. Even if you write good content, if it isn’t SEO optimized, it won’t matter. Similarly, if the content isn’t good enough, the search engines will not rank it higher. So, they both need to be put together for better results.
SEO content writing includes keyword optimization as well.
3. Keyword Optimization
When users search for anything on a search engine, they input terms into the search box of their browser, and the top related results are displayed. Search engines look for relevant terms and phrases linked to the user's query on web pages. In general, the more relevant keywords you have in your piece of content, the more likely it will show up in the top search engine results for someone looking for similar material. Hence, using the relevant and right keywords is one of the best SEO practices.
The purpose of keyword optimization is to make sure that the keywords you choose are successful at generating the proper traffic to your site and that your site is ranked high enough for that traffic to find it easily.
The keywords should make it very clear to search engine algorithms what your content is about and which search queries should result in it being displayed as a top result.
Keyword optimization is the process of researching, evaluating, and selecting the best keywords to target to bring relevant search traffic to your website. Choosing the right keywords might also help you target your audience more effectively.
It means using relevant keywords in the content to make it engaging and bring traffic to the website. Keywords help to rank the content better in search engines. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most important SEO writing practices.
But, people often confuse keyword optimization with keyword cannibalization, which is SUCH a drawback!
4. Avoid Cannibalization of Keywords
One of the most misunderstood SEO techniques is keyword cannibalism.
Some SEO guides might even argue that it doesn't exist, which just adds to the confusion and creates even more misconceptions. However, keyword cannibalization is a genuine problem for many websites, and it may seriously harm your rankings.
It's just not what you think it might be.
Targeting a single word over many pages might result in "keyword cannibalism," which can have severe SEO consequences. It's essential to determine whether keyword cannibalism occurs on your website and address it as soon as possible. Keyword cannibalization can cause a variety of problems and slow down your website's performance in a variety of ways.
Keyword cannibalization occurs when many blog posts or articles on your site compete for the same Google search query. Either because they cover the same topic or because you optimized them for the same keyword. When you optimize posts and articles for related search queries, you're reducing their chances of ranking. For most queries, Google will only show 1 or 2 results from the same domain in the search results. You could get all 3 if your domain has a lot of authority.
You're in competition with yourself for Google ranking if you cannibalize your keywords. Assume you have two postings on the same subject. In that circumstance, Google is unable to determine which article should be ranked first for a given query. This would hold the search engine back from identifying which of your posts should appear on the search engine result page.
Imagine how this would affect your ranking!
So, how exactly can you avoid keyword cannibalism?
To avoid keyword cannibalism, use links to lead Google and your viewers back to a major 'knowledge base' or piece of foundation content.
Additionally, you may try employing several versions of the same keyword to broaden the reach of your content.
In 2015, Google gave us an insight into what is considered a high-quality or low-quality website in Google’s book. It officially released its search quality evaluator guidelines.
Google uses this SEO checklist guideline to make sure that the information it delivers to searchers is accurate, true, and helpful.
Google uses Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) as the framework to evaluate content producers, webpages, and websites.
There is a direct link between what Google believes to be high-quality content and what shows up in search results. Here’s what E-A-T is:
- Expertise: You should be an expert in your industry. Expertise entails demonstrating the creator's ability and mentioning it in your content. Expertise isn't as important for humor or gossip blogs as it is for medical, financial, or legal websites. The good news is that any website may display expertise when its material is accurate and beneficial to its visitors.
- Authoritativeness: When determining authoritativeness, Google considers the author, the content, and the website as a whole. What kind of authority do you and your website have? It all comes down to who you are, who you represent, and how you are seen.
- Trustworthiness: It's critical to have a track record of trustworthiness. While expertise and authority might help you rank higher on Google, a lack of credibility, or rather a lack of trustworthiness, can cause your ranks to collapse. You will suffer on Google if you do not control any unfavorable attitudes towards your company.
High-quality content has long been a priority for Google. It aims to ensure that sites that provide high-quality content are given higher rankings, while low-quality content sites are given lower rankings.
6. Meta Descriptions
A meta description is an HTML tag that explains the content of a web page. This description will appear beneath the title and URL when your page appears on search engine result pages (SERPs). To be displayed on Google, your meta description should be between 140 and 160 characters long.
In the SERPs, meta descriptions, or meta tags that describe a website's content, are usually shown beneath the page title.
Recently, people thought that Google introduced a new updated algorithm for meta descriptions. In the supposed new algorithm, only meta title tags were shown on SERPs, and meta descriptions were not available behind meta titles. However, this turned out to be a bug, which was fixed later.
Google claims that meta descriptions do not influence results. Research, however, signals the indirect benefits of meta descriptions.
The purpose of the meta description tag is to act as advertising content. It is a very visible and significant aspect of search marketing since it drives readers to a website from the SERP.
The meta description of a website should cleverly utilize the page's goal keywords in a natural, non-spammy manner that entices the visitor to visit the page. In the description display, Google and other search engines frequently highlight terms from the user's query, which grabs the searcher's attention. Try to match your descriptions as closely as possible to valuable search phrases without over-optimizing them.
7. Image Optimization
"A picture is worth a thousand words," they say, and where’s the lie? Rather than words, we prefer to connect more visually. Images on websites have become increasingly important over time.
Why? That’s a brilliant question!
According to the HTTP Archive, images make up about 64 percent of a website's weight on average. If we can minimize the size of these images without compromising their quality, it will have a significant and beneficial effect on page load times and user experience on your websites.
So, here’s what image optimization helps you with;
Images are a great way to make your web page more attractive. However, not all photos are created equal, and some might even cause your website to slow down. By correctly optimizing images, you can make the most of this SEO practice.
Image optimization is a significant ranking factor that provides more ranking opportunities. It also provides a more friendly user experience, and faster web page load times. So, they should not be a last-minute consideration.
According to Jumpshot statistics from 2018, Google Images accounts for over 20% of all web searches in the United States. Both SEO beginners and experts agree that optimizing images for your website is time well spent.
Image optimization has several benefits, including improved user experience, quicker website load times, and increased ranking possibilities. It's a function that's becoming increasingly essential.
SEO-friendly URLs are those that are created to cater to the needs of both users and search engines. URLs that are optimized for SEO are often short and keyword-rich. An SEO service provider makes sure to keep the URLs short.
And why do they do that?
Search engines use your webpage's URL, together with your title tag, link anchor text, and the content itself, to figure out what your content is about.
An intricate URL gives people and search engines an easy-to-understand indicator of the content of the landing page. When assessing the relevancy of a website or resource to a search query, search engines employ URLs as a minor ranking component.
- URLs should be accurate but brief. A user and search engines should be able to get a fair notion of what to anticipate on the page based on the URL alone.
- Use hyphens to separate words where needed for clarity. To separate words in URLs, do not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters.
- - To ensure that both your users and search engines understand your URLs, keep them as clear, relevant, captivating, and genuine as possible.
You wouldn’t want this to work against you, would you? So, create your URLs wisely.
9. Title Tags
When consumers click the link, they need to know what they can expect to discover on your website. The robots (crawlers) rank your page and its content based on a variety of variables. The title tag is one of the most essential SEO ranking signals.
The title tag, which is an HTML tag found in the header of each webpage, serves as an initial context for the subject matter of the page it is on. Because the title tag has minimal influence on organic rankings on its own, it's often neglected.
Title tags are important for search engines to comprehend what your website is about. Moreover, they are often the first impressions visitors have when they find your page through organic search. Title tags are used in three locations
- Search engine result pages (SERPs)
- Online browsers
- Social networks.
Since title tags are usually the first impressions, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind to write a good title tag. While writing a title tag, you should;
- Watch your title length: it shouldn’t be too long for people to read.
- Don’t overdo keywords: Avoid titles that are just a collection of keyword phrases or many versions of the same keyword.
- Write for your customers: In addition to SEO and keyword optimization, it's critical to consider the complete user experience while developing title tags.
- Put important keywords first Keywords at the start of your title tag may have a greater influence on search engine results.
- Unique titles give every page a different and unique title. Unique titles make search engines understand that the content on your site is valuable, and they drive a higher click-through rate.
Mobile devices account for more than half of all Internet traffic, having a mobile-friendly website is extremely essential. If individuals using smartphones and tablets are unable to access your site, your search engine rankings will suffer a great deal. Mobile-friendliness or responsiveness is a ranking criterion used by search engines such as Google. This means you're losing out on key leads and profits if your site isn't mobile-friendly.
Mobile SEO Best Practices
- Video Compatibility: Make your videos compatible with mobile devices by optimizing them on your website.
- Scrollable content: Instead of forcing consumers to browse through numerous pages, which might be difficult on mobile, make content scrollable.
- Downsized images: Even when downsized to fit a smaller screen, your images should be high-quality and carefully cropped to optimize clarity.
- Screen Buttons: Any buttons on the screen should be simple to operate for mobile users.
- Optimize Loading Speed: Optimize your website’s loading speed by compressing images, using lightweight themes, lazy loading images.
- Separate mobile URL: Another alternative is to develop a separate, mobile-friendly site. This enables you to generate content that is unique for mobile users. Most parallel mobile sites utilize an "m" subdomain to minimize URL conflict.
- Desktop and Mobile Content: Make sure all content is the same on desktop and mobile devices.
- Responsive web designs: Responsive website design utilizes CSS3 media queries to offer the same content to mobile and desktop users. They use a fluid grid and flexible designs to adjust to the size of the user's screen automatically.
Mobile optimization is no longer an option. It's a must-have, especially if you want to get discovered for your keywords. When Google ranks your website, it takes mobile compatibility into account. Low compatibility leads to a low ranking. The development of a responsive site is frequently the focus of on-page optimization for mobile-friendliness. You have a single site with a responsive website, which makes it simple to edit and add new content.
Google’s algorithm works to extract material after a search query and provide the best possible result to the reader. The search engine uses a certain algorithm to rank the content and show the required result when people add a search query.
So, to keep the quality of the content intact when any of the algorithms are updated, it’s important to do search engine optimization SEO. The aforementioned practices help in producing good and desired results when it comes to on-page SEO. All these practices, one way or the other, influence on-page optimization for any brand or business.
All in all, On-page SEO can certainly (not to mention single-handedly) either make or destroy your company’s online presence. It is THE ultimate SEO champion that would help you understand your brand better, so, you could make changes that work in your favor.