While you may already be familiar with what is SEO, we are here to talk about one of the types of SEO which is On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO is one the most important factor to rank your domain higher on search engines. This post will help you understand what is On-Page SEO, Importance of On-Page SEO & On-Page SEO Factors.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is a method to optimize your webpages adhering to google guidelines to get better rankings on search engines. This in turn will draw more quality web traffic your way and help you get the conversion you so desire, be it letting people know about your business/brand, having them sign up for email updates, enticing them into buying your products/services, etc. On-page SEO techniques must be executed together with technical SEO and off-page SEO tactics for the best, most long-lasting results.
Why On-page SEO is Important
People use the internet to satisfy various personal needs, be if to find specific, topical information, communicate with near and dear ones, shop, etc. and if your website does not live up to their expectations, you will quickly lose your top search ranking spot on Google’s SERPs (search engine results page). What this means is that guiding people to your website from Google’s search results page will be in vain if they are unhappy with the experience you provide on your website. While good content forms the very foundation of a lucrative business, on-page SEO is a critical component of content marketing. If you are in it for the long haul and want to build a good online reputation for yourself, you cannot afford to ignore on-page SEO.
Top On-Page SEO Factors That Affect Webpage Ranking
When it comes to offering a seamless and memorable experience to users on your site, certain on-page SEO factors are key. The following list will help you be at the top of your on-page SEO game:
Your webpage will be of no use to you or prospective users if it cannot be discovered, crawled and indexed by search engines. And in order to ensure that there are no crawl errors, you must go through your robots.txt file to check if any important pages have been mistakenly blocked from being crawled by Google bot. The Google Webmasters tool will help you keep tabs on the health of your site and avoid such problems. Additionally, deploying structured data mark-up will help webpage crawlers understand your content better and might even earn you a rich search result. If you are receiving many backlinks to a 404 page, make sure that you do a 301 redirect to a related, relevant page in order to hold visitors’ attention and not lose any goodwill.
Most people surf the internet through a mobile device whether it be a smartphone or tablet. Hence, it is very important to have a website that is optimized for both the desktop and mobile, especially after Google’s 2018 mobile-first indexing stance. While you must ensure that both versions of your site have exactly the same content, it is also crucial to pay attention to other minute details like not having intrusive pop-ups, links that are clustered close together or small font that is hard to read on the mobile version, and the likes. You can simply use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out how mobile-responsive your site design is. You can read more about such technical SEO aspects in our post about it.
The title tag of your webpage is critical to its success as it is the first thing users see in Google’s search results. Make sure that you place your primary search keyword as close to the start of the title tag as you possibly can without making it seem unnatural. The meta description carries equal weightage and must contain a decent smattering of keywords that matter. Remember to keep both your title tags and meta descriptions concise, clear, relevant and well-written. While title tags must be 60 characters long, meta descriptions can be 160 characters long – if they are any longer, they will be cut off by Google and the user will not be able to see them as a whole.
Besides the afore-mentioned on-page SEO measures, ensure that your posts’ headings and sub-headings carry the H1 and H2 HTML tags respectively so that search engines understand what your webpage content is all about. Many CMS (content management systems) like WordPress have this feature built-in to their code but sometimes, heavy themes can keep it from happening. Hence, double-check your site code to ensure that your post/page has only one H1 tag and try to include your primary keyword in it.
There are many different types of information seekers or readers on the internet, including those who prefer in-depth, long-tail content that presents heaps of relevant information on a topic of choice, infographics lovers, etc. Whatever your business/brand niche, it is important to include a variety of multimedia in your content, including high-resolution videos and images. This will help you cater to a wide variety of site visitors and keep them engaged. However, you must make sure that such multimedia is optimized to suit your Google SERP rankings and web traffic needs, including using web fonts instead of embedding text within images, making important keywords part of video descriptions/transcripts and image alt text, etc.
Keyword Research and Usage
Keyword research is a key step in achieving unpaid search ranking success in Google’s SERPs. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to conduct thorough research on the search queries that are most popular in your domain. Make sure you also focus on ranking for long-tail keywords as they are highly specific and less competitive. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, i.e. search terms closely related to your primary keyword(s), are another must-include in your list of search words and phrases to rank for. Just type in your primary keywords in the Google search bar and scroll down to the end of the SERP – the ‘searches related to…’ section will offer up valuable LSI keyword options. Besides these, you can take a look at the paid ads that adorn the top portion of the SERP for more keyword ideas. Make sure to look through the top-ranking SERP content that is already available for a particular keyword and aim to author new, fresh content that is even better than it.
Google abhors sites with thin content that serves no purpose and is irrelevant to users. It is advisable to keep your articles or posts between 1500 and 2000 words long at the very least. While the saying ‘length is strength’ holds true in this case, do not compromise on content relevancy and uniqueness and reader engagement in a quest to dish out super lengthy content. It is important to note here that long content helps you include LSI and long-tail keywords naturally, thereby giving your webpage a leg up in organic search rankings. A recent study from ahrefs tells us how content length plays an important role in Google ranking factors.
Why is it so important to post quality content? By doing so, we are satisfying a humongous demand for relevant information while also carving a niche for ourselves as an authority on a specific subject. In order to stay current, you must revisit old posts and include any new information, data or statistics that you find relevant. Remember that different types of content demand varied levels of freshness and hence, it is imperative that you give this aspect of on-page SEO ample thought. Although posting every day would be super commendable, aim to post at least twice a week if you are busy. While Google gives preferential treatment to content that falls under the breaking news category, it is absolutely crucial that there is no duplicate content on your site.
Short URLs are your best bet when it comes to on-page SEO best practices. As the first three to five words in a URL are given the most priority by Google, it makes sense to include the primary keyword close to the beginning of a URL. The URLs must have a well laid-out structure with lowercase letters and hyphens instead of underscores in between words. Although codes and ID numbers are a common component of URLs, they are best avoided. Using descriptive words to tell both search engines and users what the page is about is a better option. Besides these, appropriate interlinking within a website is another often-neglected way of drawing more web traffic while also signaling to Google about the ingenuity and intent of your page content. Simply remember to use links that are keyword rich and include at least two to five of them in every post.
Social Media Sharing
A higher click-through rate for your webpages simply means that a large number of users find your content worth reading. This, coupled with dwell time or the time they spend on your page are clear indicators of the relevancy and usefulness of your site to Google. If you constantly put out on-trend, share-worthy content that gets a lot of hits on social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., the chances of someone linking to you from their high-authority site also increase. This again may lead to an improvement in organic search rankings. Hence, make sure to include social sharing buttons prominently alongside every impactful article that you post on your site.
Summing up On-Page SEO
On-page SEO helps you build a loyal reader/customer/site visitor base with numerous repeat visits. This way, not only will word of your unique UX offering spread, but you will also be able to climb to the top of Google’s SERPs for important search keywords and stay there. If you are hungry for evermore on the latest in the world of digital marketing, keep coming back here often.