You have likely read hundreds of articles on SEO, attended seminars, and even paid – or overpaid – for the so-called SEO audits. You have also watched hundreds of hours of YouTube videos on the subject. While doing all this is fine, the success of whether your website ranks high on search engines depends on you. It depends on whether you have achieved success on on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategies. This article explains all you need to do to optimize your site for on-page SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is generally the strategy of optimizing all your web pages to ensure that Google finds them and ranks them higher. It entails everything you do on your web pages to facilitate this. On-Page SEO is different from off-page SEO, which is the concept of building backlinks. It also differs from the technical SEO elements like page speed, structured data, and mobile readiness that affect SEO. On-page SEO elements are categorized into content elements, HTML elements, and site architecture elements.
Content is very important when it comes to on-page SEO optimization. This is because Google and other search engines want to give their visitors the best answers to their queries. As such, they try to rank the most relevant content at the top.
To develop the best content, the first step is to conduct research and selecting the best keywords for the page. You can start doing this by searching Google on certain keywords and using other keyword research tools that are found online for free. You can also search your competitors to determine the keywords that rank high on their websites. After this, you should consider how the content falls within the reader’s journey. This is categorized into awareness, consideration, and decision. After doing this, you should now sit down and come up with the content. As you do this, you should ensure that:
Each web page should have its own HTML elements. These are elements in the source code that Google crawler and Bingbot uses to provide a ranking for your website. As you use the modern-day Content Management Systems (CMS), you don’t need to know how to code these elements into your website. The most important of these elements are:
The title page, also known as the title tag, is an important SEO element because it tells the readers and the search engines what you can find in the websites. A rule when coming up with the page title is to ensure that the focus keyword is there. Other best-practices for this are:
As with word documents, headers are important because they help keep your content organized. They also help the search engines to determine the most important parts of your content. The best way is to incorporate the most important segments of your content in the H1 and H2 parts of the headers. In WordPress, you can select the headers as shown below.
Page description is a small paragraph that appears when you do a Google or Bing search. While it is not always an official determinant of the search rankings. They are also copied to the social media pages or anytime people share content to your site. As you develop your meta descriptions, you should ensure that it is not very long. Ideally, you should keep it between 160 and 220 characters long. You should also include your entire keyword or keyphrase on the description and avoid alphanumeric characters.
Image Alt Text
As mentioned above, having images on your web pages is very important. It is essential because it helps make your content more appealing. In addition, Google’s image search is an important way for ensuring visibility for your website. The image alt text should have the specific keyword for the page. The description too should have the keyword and should be a maximum of 125 characters.
Site Architecture Elements
Finally, in on-page optimization, the site architecture elements are essential because they help to keep the hierarchy in order. This aspect includes a few things like:
Website Pages URL
In most CMS platforms like WordPress, the default URL structure is not well-optimized for SEO. Therefore, as you create pages, you need to ensure that the URLs are well optimized. Most importantly, they should have the keyword you are optimizing the page for. For example, having a URL like this: https://www.softwarecy.com/seo-cyprus/ is better than having one like this https://www.softwarecy.com/125458/. This is because search engines will know what the page is all about by using the proper structured URL.
Internal linking is the process of adding a number of links on the page to the other pages of the website. The importance of this is that it helps the users move to other pages of the site and therefore stay longer. It also helps tell the search engines that the content on your site is useful.
Most website users come from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Therefore, search engines are now using what is known as mobile-first indexing. As a website owner, it is essential that you ensure that all your pages are optimized for mobile devices. You can do this by conducting the free mobile-friendly test.
Website Speed Test
Since Google want to provide the most relevant content to the users, they also want to ensure that they rank faster websites first. Therefore, you should ensure that your site speed is maximum. On this, you can use the free Google Pagespeed insights tool to see whether your website speed is good for the search engines.
Finally, search engines want to refer their users to highly secure websites. Therefore, they prioritize websites that have an SSL security feature. While this might be costly, it will help you have a better ranking, which will mean more leads to you.