This post was first uploaded on 15th Aug 2017 and updated on 17th Feb 2021.
What Is On-Page SEO? (And How to Do It)
Anyone with a website will likely have heard of SEO. You might have an SEO campaign running and going, or maybe you have engaged someone else to optimise your web page for you.
However, how well do you understand a website’s SEO process?
What is On-Page SEO and how does it work?
In addition to publishing relevant, high-quality content, on-page SEO includes other aspects of optimisation. This can include rewriting your headlines, editing your HTML tags and renaming your image files. All these combine to give your website a higher level of trustworthiness and ranking metrics in the eyes of search engines.
Search engines take into account various aspects of a webpage when ranking it. Improving these metrics, through on-site SEO would give your website better visibility and traffic in the search results.
Why is On-Page SEO Important?
As search engines improve and evolve, there is a higher focus placed towards the matching the relevance of content and questions. Search intent is becoming more and more important, and having a proper SEO framework in place is important in keeping your business ahead of the digital marketing race.
On-page SEO is important as it is an aspect of SEO that you have total control over. Changes to your website can be implemented and made swiftly, as long as you know what to include. With proper on-page SEO campaigns, you can make your website more usable and valuable.
Higher search ranking could be increased traffic to your site and allow you to attempt converting your visitors into paying customers.
What On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Should I Optimise for?
It is crucial we examine the on-page SEO techniques Google common uses to access a page’s SEO score.
We have broken the on-page SEO factor down into 6 critical factors that search engines have strong emphasis on.
Your URL is like your mailing address. It is your website’s address. URLs for websites should aim to provide brief descriptions for your page’s topic. Not only is this helpful for internet bots, it will also be helpful for your readers.
For example, if you are running a blog on pet-friendly cars, it will be helpful to have a www.yourwebsite.com/pet-friendly-cars-models.
A glance at the URL and you would understand the site is likely to be about car models that can meet the demand and needs of pet owners.
However, it is important to not overload your website’s URL. No one likes a long URL, especially not one that is spelled out like
Including your target keyword in your URL text, instead of a long string of numbers and alphabets, also makes your site easier to navigate and gives visitors a better view and idea of your website’s infrastructure.
Having a clean organised URL helps improve your website’s search ranking result and first impression.
Google loves useful and resourceful sites which benefit the readers. They are looking for sites which can engage their audience and answer their questions with quality content.
But what makes good content?
From an SEO perspective, good content means that the website’s content must meet a demanded enquiry. Good content needs to be able to be a form of answer or discussion to a enquiry or topic that is filed to Google through the search bars.
Example of quality content can be in the form “how to” articles or guides to educate the readers on a common topic of enquiry. Aim to write about specific benefits or knowledge which readers can apply to and enhance their lives. Actionable and helpful content is always appreciated by readers.
Avoid generating content automatically. Automatically generated content is not optimised for your business and may deviate your SEO strategy away from your target audience in the long run.
Duplicated content may also hurt your site. You should generate your own content, information and knowledge to establish yourself as an authority of your industry while following closely with Google’s SEO guidelines.
Starting A Blog
With content, you need a cetralised location for it to be placed on your website. And there is no better way than having an organised blog.
Blogs need to be frequently updated for it to be relevant and useful. You need to entice readers to want to read your articles, and that can only be achieved by uploading articles consistently.
Having multiple blog articles and a strong content foundation will also help with your site’s growth, through internal links and content marketing oppurtunities.
Through email marketing, you can mail out your blog updates or blog articles through newsletters, to drive in regular organic traffic.
If you are having trouble with churning out consistent quality content, you can consider hiring copywriting services.
Keyword density refers to the number of times a related keyword appears in the website. While keywords are always welcomed, having too many keywords is not exactly a good thing.
Keyword stuffing is also a practice that is frowned upon by many in the SEO industry. It involves the forced repetition and insertion of words.
Google has recently been placing lesser emphasis on individual keywords and more emphasis on search terms. Search terms, specifically, are a few words that hint to Google what your business is about.
Stuffing and repeating those keywords on your website would do more harm than good. Instead, use those search terms for your competitor analysis to know how other sites are doing. Take note of what practices that those ranking first are employing and seek to duplicate their success by following a common formula.
Meta Data – Title Tags, Headings Tags
Meta data or meta description are aspects of your website that can help you with your on-page SEO optimisation. Often referred to as technical SEO, meta data are description of your websites that usually appear in the search engine result pages.
Google will bold user search terms that appear in your meta description, which has incentivise many others to optimise their site for it.
Using proper headers also make your content much more easily readable for users. With core keywords in headings, the search engines understand your context more.
Headings – H1, H2, H3
Properly formatted headers make it easier for web crawlers to understand your website. This could lead to better indexing and ranking of your website.
Following the hierarchy of headings is also important. H1 headers should take precedence, with the following H2 and H3 headers acting as guiding signals, for algorithms and readers to understand the web page and content better.
However, it is important to avoid keyword stuffing when optimising a website for SEO. Instead, your keywords should be used sparingly, to indicate what a section or paragraph is about. This will give readers an understanding of what to expect.
The type of content available on your website can also directly your other metrics. Google looks to measure engagement, a non-tangible metric that can allow it to understand how the website interacts with its visitors. Hence, engagement as a metric is common proxied by using bounce rates and the time an average user had spent on the site.
If a site’s bounce rate is high, chances are the page is not delivering the result that web users are searching for. To Google, this means that your page lacks value. Google deems websites with high bounce rate to be irrelevant to search terms.
Simply put it, pages that are useful and provide content beneficial for target audience members would benefit from Google’s search results. This is because a good website can help retain visitors in the site.
The time a visitor spends on your page tells a lot about the relevancy of your site to their needs and interest. A long time spent on your site simply signals to Google that your site is providing useful content that is worth engaging, and Google loves sites with such characteristic.
High bounce rate is a worrying symptom that deserves a closer look. To monitor and remedy this issue, you can consider opting for a page audit.
Page Loading Speed
Google ranks page loading factor as a factor the same reason it measures bounce rates. It wants to know how people view your site.
Apart from tracking how long your visitors spend on your site, it also measures how long you make your visitors wait.
Does your site turn people away?
Does your site take ages to load?
How often do people wait for your site to load?
Not only does page loading speed place a burden on your page’s SEO standings, it is also harmful to your page’s conversation rate and organic traffic. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
as one of the key components for a page’s SEO. No one likes a slow loading website, and this may lead to increase in bounce rates and fewer visitor engagements. These statistics point to Google that visitors are unhappy, and without a doubt, this will negatively affect your SEO ranking.
if your audience does look around your site and visit more subpages in your site, Google will see your site as relevant to the needs of the customers or beneficial to the customers as users are moving deeper into your site, hunting for more useful information.
This is also when proper URL infrastructure can help with your page’s ability to retain visitors.
Content marketing strategies are important to not only plan, write but also structure your content for visitors to see and read.
Google loves sites with a good internal linking system – it shows how well organised the site is and how easy it is for visitors to navigate around the web. It makes search engine understand the site better.
As with the case for URLs, internal links makes the website’s infrastructure much more clearer.
This enhances user experience and as such, Google will prefer your page over others that are difficult to navigate around as a result of a bad internal linking structure.
Ways You Can Start Optimising Your Website with On-Page SEO
Write Content for The Human Eye
Google wants your pages to be made for readers, not solely for SEO purposes. They penalise pages/sites heavily if they determine the site to be made with the intention to rank at the top of Google. Hard and fast black hate SEO methods to rank higher would result in a terrible fate, as far as Google is concerned.
Google may blacklist the page and remove it from the web search result index completely.
Hence, you should create pages with meaningful and beneficial content for your target audience and not solely for search engine ranking purposes.
Aim to capture the audience attention and search intent genuinely. Not only will these help you gain a customer base of better-quality audience members, but it will also help you build a better foundation for your website and SEO efforts.
Rename Your Image Files – Use Alt Text
Rename your image files such that it tells people more about your image. Include your website’s name in the image itself and a corresponding title or caption.
Alt text is also a setting in the properties of the picture that you can amend. Adding it is the first principle of web visibility and can be considered as the golden rule for image upload. Alt text is used to tell search engines what the picture is about. Using it properly would help Google understand your site better. It provides better context to search engine crawlers, allowing them to index, and rank an image properly.
Search engines respect the alt text function. Having images placed correctly will greatly boost your SEO.
Whilst on-page SEO factors are important, keep in mind that there are also off-page SEO techniques, which plays an equally, if not, more important role than on-page SEO factors.
Maximise your efforts to start seeing the best results for your website and business today.
Contact us today for an SEO audit.