Do you have an online-only business or a brick-and-mortar store with an eCommerce storefront? Are you a brand trying to reach a larger audience?
You can identify what makes you stand out from competitors, but still, you may not be getting noticed to the extent that you’re satisfied with. The problem is that often your website simply isn’t appearing at the top of search engines, and therefore isn’t easily available to view for potential customers.
On-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. Understanding what it is and why it matters will help you take the necessary actions in order to help your website rank more successfully.
What Is On-Page SEO
Essentially, on-page SEO allows customers to find you by increasing your ranking on search engines through optimising your web pages by featuring relevant keywords and content. The end result is that your page ranks towards the top of search results achieving better visibility to your potential customer base.
Making changes to your site to incorporate SEO best practices can increase your page’s visibility dramatically.
Search engines like Google constantly change their algorithms for determining website rankings, and it takes more than good content to increase ranking and visibility. Content and keywords need to be strategically incorporated into a website so that search engines can find your content efficiently and effectively. As an analogy, we need to leave breadcrumbs for search engines in order for them to show up on your website.
9 Ways To Improve On-Page SEO
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what SEO is, how can we improve your SEO strategy?
#1 Content – Relevance & Quality
Have you heard the phrase “Content is King?” This is certainly true, but we like to add our own personal touch to this phrase by saying “Relevant & Quality Content is King”. Content is one of the core attributes for a successful on-page SEO strategy. It is the foundation for an excellent website as it provides useful information to customers whilst also working behind the scenes to help rank your website higher on search engines. The better-quality content of a website, the more likely your traffic flow through rate will be higher which inevitably will result in search engines like Google recognising your website and ranking you accordingly. It is important then that the content you include on a website is of relevance, sound structure and proper quality.
A page title should be such that it is evident to the customer what your page and brand is all about. Titles are important from an SEO perspective as it provides valuable information to visitors as to what the page or website is all about. This is also important from a search engine perspective as websites like Google frequently scan titles to understand the page and evaluate patterns within the wording of the title. This can result in better rankings for your website meaning higher volumes in click through rates.
SEO keywords are words or phrases that appear in your websites content which have been specifically chosen to attract people to your website via search engines. Keywords and SEO are correlated and fundamental for a high ranking, organic traffic driven website.
#4 Meta Description
Meta descriptions and tags are words and phrases that provide a snapshot of your page or content. A Meta Description should be 160 characters long, it should include your target keywords and it should be specifically written as a description of the page. Meta Descriptions should not be just a snippet of the page information, but an apt description of the content of the page. Once applied, meta descriptions can have a significant influence on SEO practices.
#5 Well Structured HTML Tags
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) tags are snippets of HTML coding that help assist search engines to “read” your website content. From a SEO perspective, by managing and structuring HTML properly, a websites visibility can be improved drastically.
So how do you structure HTML tags? Well first one should understand that there are in fact a variety of tags to consider that include – Title, Meta Description, Header, Alt Tags.
Title Tags – This is probably the most important of the HTML tags as it labels your content and assists Google in ‘seeing’ your page. Titles should be fine-tuned to your topic and provide clear and concise information to the reader. Including keywords is beneficial too.
Meta Description Tags – This is the snippet of text you see under the title on a search engine like Google. It helps provide a bit more information for readers about your website and landing page. Adding the same keyword that was use in your title to your meta description is also recommended.
Header Tags – Header tags are the various titles you see within a page of content. There are varying header tags that are categorized by numbers from H1 to H6 with each serving a unique purpose and giving search engines valuable information about the page.
The H1 tag is deemed the most important as this is the page title which helps to rank a page by telling search engines what the page is about.
The H2 tag acts as a subheading, similar to chapters in a book. These tags help to subdivide a page’s content into logical sections. For instance, the title of this blog is “What is on-page SEO and why does it matter for my business”. To separate the content for better optimization, two H2 tags could be incorporated by subdividing the content into two sections: “What is on-page SEO” and “Why does it matter for my business”.
The H3 tag further subdivides and simplifies your content within each H2 tag. Using our aboveexample, under the H2 tag “Why does it matter for my business”, one might list several reasons for the importance of on-page SEO with each being a H3 tag.
The H4 to H6 tags can further help to organize your content and simplify the flow of your page.
Alt Tags – Imagery plays an important role in engaging with your audience. Staggeringly, a webpage with images gets 94% more total views whilst 60% of customers to eCommerce websites saying that the inclusion of quality images is important in their buying decision. Because search engines can’t determine what an image is trying to convey, Alt Tags are used to provide a description of the appearance and function of an image. This significantly helps with image exposure and proper image indexing.
Images should always be included to a website as it helps to engage readers and separate text heavy pages. There are various considerations to factor in when adding an image to your website for best SEO practices;
- Choose the correct file format
- Depending on what you need your image to do you can use formats that range from JPEG and PNG to WebP and SVG.
- Image sizing
- Large, dense images can slow your website down so ensure you resize images appropriately. Compressing images can work wonders without compromising quality.
- Use responsive images
- This simply ensures that no matter the device that your website is viewed on, the images will perform fluidly and act responsively by maintaining the composition of the page.
- Add captions
- Captions are text that accompany an image. Captions are ideal for those who scan websites for information as their attention will be directed to the image and the text attached to the below.
#7 Internal Links
The use of internal links serves several purposes. Internal links are any links from one page on your website to another page on your website. Both users, and search engines, use these links to traverse through your website and find the content they initially came for. Internal linking is important from a search engines perspective as it helps to discover a websites content and therefore rank it accordingly. A website with poor internal links will inevitably rank poorly due to difficulty navigating the website.
WordPress automatically creates URL’s for your pages based upon the page title. But did you know you can change this to be more SEO Friendly?
First of all let’s talk about why this is important – not only does a relevant URL make it easier for search engines to crawl your website, it also reinforces the content of the page when users see it listed in search results.
Try including your keywords or key phrases, and attempt to keep it short but relevant. As an example, say you are a Cleaning Business in Brisbane and you had a page that was simply titled “Services”. You could structure the URL for this page to be “/cleaning-services-brisbane” instead of just “/services”.
Keeping URLs simple, relevant and precise that focus on your core business offering can benefit your rankings greatly and help customers seek you out easier.
#9 Mobile Friendly
Search engines now place a significant emphasis on whether your site and content are mobile-friendly. Half of the worlds web traffic now takes place on mobile devices meaning websites must be mobile friendly. To prevent being penalized by search engines, websites must be mobile optimized from perspectives ranging from site design, speed, responsiveness and configuration.
Why Is On-Page SEO Important?
On-Page SEO Helps with Ranking
SEO is vital because it helps a website rank higher on search engines. A website with excellent SEO means better exposure and the likelihood of greater amounts of organic traffic. The best part is this traffic is free! By having a website that makes it onto page one of a search engine, you are likely to attract over 90% of a search results traffic.
On-Page SEO is an essential part of a growth strategy
The higher your rankings, the greater your visibility will be which means more traffic to your website. The greater frequency of potential customers that can easily find you online, the more potential sales and meaningful interactions you will have on your website, resulting in a growing business.
Similarly, as your brand shows up more often in the top search rankings, the more traffic your site will get. The more traffic your site gets, the longer customers stay on your page, the more your ranking increases.
Let’s Get Your Website Ready for 2021 and Beyond
At Strong Digital, We handcraft user-driven website design, honing in on audience-relevant detail to increase lead generation and enhance your online presence.
Whether you’re just starting out on your digital journey, or you want to take your existing digital presence to the next level, we partner with your business to help you grow. We’re in this together, on the same team and shooting for the same goal.
Got a burning question or need some guidance about your web design or digital project? Drop your details, and we’ll organise a discovery session.