What Is On-Page SEO? Strategies to Optimise a Page
What are the reliable best practices you should use to position yourself for higher organic search rankings?
From writing guest blog posts to attract high-quality links back to your blog, to posting your blog content on the social media platforms your target audience frequents, there are a variety of tactics you can use to get your content seen by those who matter.
Regularly promoting your content will help you rank as fast as possible, but where brain beats brawn, you need to make sure you’re hitting all the right marks in how your content is constructed.
There is a lot of confusion about which on-page SEO tactics are the ones most likely to bring traffic to their website. These are the tried-and-tested methods that First Page has used over the years to bring success to hundreds of clients.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the process of making a website’s content more friendly to search engines. It’s also referred to as “on-site SEO”.
By assisting the search engine crawlers in understanding the context and meaning of your website, you increase your likelihood of ranking higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
What does on-site SEO mean for your website? More clicks to your link mean more people achieving the goal of your website, whether that’s picking up the phone with your sales team or checking out their ecomm cart.
On-Page SEO Is a Key Part of SEO
By adhering to on-site SEO best practices, you can pepper your content with signals that help search engines get a better grasp of the purpose of your website.
It’s called “on-page” optimisation because you make modifications to your website pages – like updating content or improving the design – that will lead to a better overall user experience while making your page more attractive to SERPs.
What about on-site vs off-site SEO? On-site optimisation works together with other aspects of SEO, which include off-page and technical SEO. Each of these components is important. What that means is, to have the best website you could have, you need to follow our on-site SEO best practices.
Make Your Meta Tags Do the Heavy Lifting
When creating a web page or blog post, meta tags are brief text fragments used to describe its subject matter. There is the meta title, which has a greater SEO impact, plus the meta description, which is important to be informative to the reader.
The purpose of meta tags is to briefly explain the topic matter of a web page or blog post.
Meta tags help search engines to determine exactly what your particular article or page is about. Search engines can accurately discern the subject matter of your website or post thanks to meta tags.
Have a URL the Search Engines Can Use
Creating a strong URL is a significant on-page SEO tactic that can be implemented easily.
Never leave the URLs of your web content to their default values! You would be losing out on a significant SEO ranking feature that search engines value greatly. The URL path you use is a critical tool in optimising your site as they are a way to let search engines know what value a page is giving a user. They are also a way to organise the content on your site. Using the correct URLs can boost your overall SEO and therefore bring more traffic to your site.
Take care to ensure that each web page or blog post has a URL path that reflects its content, and will bring in the people who are the ideal audience to read the content.
All you need to do is make sure your keywords are incorporated into your URL. Avoid any extraneous digits or symbols in a URL that may be detrimental to your on-page SEO rating.
Use a Bold Headline that Catches the Eye
It is impossible to overstate how crucial a compelling headline is for your blog content.
If you optimise the title for search engine rankings, it can have a great impact on how well you rank for SEO.
One of the most important factors that search engines use when determining whether an item is pertinent to a searcher’s query is the headline. Because of this, you need to be careful about how you write and organise yours.
It’s not just about SEO though; headlines also help to draw readers in.
The vast majority of your readers will just read the headline, and not enter the actual content itself. If you want your readers to read more of your material than simply the title, you must master the art of writing captivating headlines. It’s an artform to pique their interest.
Put the Keywords at the Start
Just like your URL, you need to use keywords in your webpage and blog titles.
Your title should feature your target keyword phrase prominently, right at the beginning of the title. This signals to search engines how essential the concept is to your content. Search engines are likely to interpret this as your website being useful in answering user queries, so as a result, it will rank higher on the SERP.
Again, it goes beyond SEO to the readability and usability for the end-user. Putting your keyword up front makes it easier for readers to instantly know what you’re writing about. It increases clicks since readers realise your topic is relevant right away.
With so much advertising in the world today, people’s attention spans for attention-grabbing bait are more limited than ever before.
And, with so much competition online today, you can’t afford to let this aspect of your SEO strategy fall to the wayside. A user will go on to another blog article that prominently highlights the search term if they don’t notice it right away in your headline.
Open the Headline with a Number
Having a number in the headline has been shown to result in higher click traffic to the link. Numbers show your prospective readers that your information is already broken down into parts, so it is easier to scan and digest the information.
Now that readers know they’re not getting into something that’s more than what they asked for, this encourages click-throughs. A high click-through rate to your link can be seen by search engines as evidence that your material is quality and merits being placed higher.
Make that Number a Year
Adding the current year to your headlines helps your content appear much more timely. And if it seems relevant, people will want to read it more.
Since the world moves so swiftly, knowledge soon becomes antiquated. A fantastic method to let readers and search engines know that your blog article has up-to-date and pertinent content is to include a date in the title.
Break Your Headline Up with Brackets
It’s not just numbers. The use of brackets is another headline trick that might improve the SEO of your written content.
Brackets contribute to the aesthetic attractiveness of your title, so it sticks out to your target reader. And as we all know by now, if your title is more likely to be clicked on and read, it’ll do better with its SEO rankings.
Choose the Correct Search Category
On-page SEO isn’t just about what’s directly on the page; it’s also about how that information is organised and categorised.
This means you need to make an informed choice about your information architecture or the structure of your website. It might seem a little obvious, but the structure of the page is important to the optimisation of a webpage or blog post for the best possible SEO rating.
For example, the categories that each of your blog entries is organised into is a part of on-page SEO that is often either overlooked or carried out incorrectly.
This informs search engines such as Google and Bing about the topic of your blog, and therefore how pertinent your blog content is to readers.
Specifically for the leader of the pack, Google, there was a recent announcement that user experience (UX) will be a significant ranking factor starting in 2022. Taking a small step such as having clear topic categorisation in place makes it easier for users to navigate to the content they want on your website.
If you want to improve your on-page SEO, get started by assigning a category to each of your blog entries today. Ideally, a blog post would only have one category assigned to it, as this makes it very apparent what subject matter it belongs to.
Set a Strong and Appealing Thumbnail Image
The “thumbnail” picture of your blog post is its featured image, and it should act as a visual overview of the information your blog article will include.
The thumbnail will show up in some natural search results as well as when your content is shared on social media. So it goes without saying, you need to choose a featured image for each of your blog entries that is visually appealing as well as useful.
Choose a thumbnail image that could help to drive buzz online. After all, people will see the featured image before they read a word of it, and that’s especially true when your readers share a link to your page.
Depending on the nature of the search query, Google may occasionally place photos at the top of their SERPs. Search engines may prefer displaying your image first if it stands out from the competition – so you should never choose a stock photo!
Write Content That People Will Want to Read
At the end of the day, there’s no point following all the on-site SEO best practices, if you’re writing content that no one will actually want to read.
With or without on-site SEO optimisation, a website with poor content will fail. With or without optimisation, a website with excellent content will do well – though it may struggle to be found.
Keep Your Content Practical
The key point of your content should be to offer value to your website’s browsers. If it doesn’t serve some kind of common user purpose, there’s no point in publishing it.
Which search intent does your content fulfil? In general, the people who are sitting there typing into the search bar are there for 3 reasons. They may be trying to navigate to a specific website, find out information on a given topic, or buy a product or service.
The task of your content team isn’t to blast out information stuffed to the brim with keywords, but to understand what kind of material your target audience wants to consume, according to their search intent.
Use Content that’s Original
Your content should be yours and yours alone. Articles, videos, infographics, comments – all text and images on your website should be original.
Avoid plagiarised or duplicate content. Even if you produced the content, if it has already been published on another website, don’t add it to your site unless you know how to correctly specify the origin of the piece of content using a canonical tag.
Text with Images Together
Have your textual and image-based content work together. Search engine crawlers can’t decode what’s in an image or video. Alt-text is really important as it tells crawlers exactly what is in the image or video you have posted on your site.
On top of that, you’ll be helping visually or aurally impaired people in navigating your site.
So, if you publish videos or photos on your website, include a caption or text explanation as well.
Write for Readers, Not Bots
Is your content well-researched and detailed? Is it simple and delightful to read? If you want to set yourself apart as a thought leader, your content needs to offer a potential alternative perspective on an issue in a way that isn’t currently being addressed by material that already exists online?
Lower rankings are inevitable if you fail to produce material that meets the search intent. The key goal of your content is to keep your readers satisfied, and that means meeting the wants and needs that drove them to your website in the first place.
Turn to the Experts
Want to dig deeper than our on-site SEO checklist? We can make sure your website gets the traffic and engagement it needs.
If you’re ready to start your on-page SEO strategy, the skilled staff at First Page Australia know how to produce the best outcomes.
Are you prepared to put these on-site SEO best practices into action? Find out how your business could benefit by speaking with one of our digital marketing strategists.