Most people think that SEO is all about putting keywords here and there in the content. But that’s not true! Understanding Google search algorithms and on-page optimization are crucial for the organic search success of your company website.
On-page SEO is the most important part of SEO and digital marketing strategy. Effective on-page SEO improves search engine visibility and draws organic traffic to your site. If you want your pages to rank higher on search engines, you have to invest in the services of an SEO company to help you with on-page optimization.
Before we start with the detailed guide to on-page SEO, let’s understand its definition and importance in search engine rankings.
What is On-Page SEO?
It is the process of optimizing the pages of your website to improve its rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Each page is ranked for specific keywords, which means when searchers use those keywords on Google, your page will appear in the top results of Google or any other search engine.
You need to understand the search intent of your potential audience to determine the specific set of keywords to be used for your on-page SEO.
Various on-page SEO elements require an expert’s attention and efforts for optimization. These include title tags, page content, headings, images, website format, internal linking, meta descriptions, and page URLs. We will go in-depth into these on-page elements in the next section of our blog post.
Why on-page SEO is important?
Undoubtedly. Google is the absolute leader when it comes to search engines. With over 90% share, Google dominates the search engine market. After Google, it is Bing, Yandex and Yahoo with negligible percentage shares compared to their leader.
And the search algorithms in Google are constantly changing and evolving. Hence, businesses need to keep a track of the updates. In the last year, there were around 10 confirmed updates on search algorithms on Google.
The search algorithm is one of the ranking factors and hence, you need to be watchful regarding all the latest SEO trends and updates by Google. And with proper and effective on-page SEO, you can help Google bots find your content easily and bring it to the top on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the on-page SEO factors that every SEO professional needs to look after to rank higher on search engines.
9 Fundamental Factors of On-page SEO that Impact Website Rankings
Enhancing the on-page ranking signals can increase the probability of higher ranking in Google search results. Let’s delve deeper into each of these on-page SEO elements so you can begin implementing the necessary modifications to your content.
Quality of the content matters
Focussing on content is necessary if you want the best results from your SEO efforts. The more informative and meaningful content you publish, the higher the chances of getting found by Google.
Also, simply posting good content will not bring any fruitful outcomes until you place appropriate keywords in appropriate places. Putting primary keywords in the first paragraph of your content is always a great idea to make your content SEO friendly.
In particular, you need to remember that every content that goes live on your website should be 100% original and not copied or rewritten from somewhere else.
People trust Google, and Google is extremely smart in determining if it’s plagiarized content. Once it recognizes your content as poor or stolen, it will either result in a penalty or lower your site ranking.
Besides being unique, your content should be well-structured and grammatically error-free. Readers should find your content insightful, and it should add value to their knowledge.
Focus on Title Tag
The title tag is the first thing you see on search engines whenever you look for something on the web. Simply put, the blue title of your website or webpage that appears on the SERPs is the title tag. An example is shown below.
When you put any query or keywords in the Google search box, it immediately brings you a list of sites. And the title tags of these sites catch your attention first. Searchers, on the basis of title tags, decide which page to click and read.
In other words, readers scan through the article titles (which is the title tag) that Google brings to them to find relevant content for their search purpose. And the title encourages a searcher to click and land on your website. So, you need to ensure that all the title tags of your pages are relevant to the searches of your target audience.
Here are a few simple hacks to optimize your title tag:
- It should be less than or equal to 60 characters.
- Use only one or two keywords
- Write in Title case (avoid using All caps or Sentence case)
- Add numbers or eye-catchy words to grab the attention
Meta Description shouldn’t be ignored
The way title tags are important for on-page SEO, so are Meta descriptions. The summary of your webpage or the article that appears below the title tag is the meta description. The information and keywords used in meta description influence the chances of users clicking the site.
Including the most significant and impactful keywords on your Meta description help Google search algorithms find your content easily. Also, it gives an idea to the readers about what topic your page is about.
Effective meta descriptions are vital in on-page SEO optimization. It encourages more clicks which can help your page rank higher on Google and other search engines. Meta description should be short, to the point, and simple to understand. It should not exceed the character limit of 160.
Providing accurate information in the meta description and making it interesting will ensure more clicks on the title. Also, readers hate being misled. So, never promise something else in your description that your article doesn’t deliver.
Headings – The most interesting part of your content
When it comes to on-page SEO techniques, heading and subheadings play a crucial role.
Optimizing heading tags would help the search engine understand the relevance of your content according to the search intent and boost its rankings.
The structure of page content or article relies heavily on your headings. Simple and easy-to-understand headings give your content a consistent pattern and help readers to find information quickly. Especially for long-form content, headings hold great value in enhancing a reader’s experience.
Also, do not forget about the heading format. In total, there are six types of heading, named H1, H2, and so on, based on their emphasis on content. H1 has the highest impact and so the font size of the H1 tag should be kept the largest. As we move onward to H2 and H3, the font size reduces.
Moreover, keyword inclusion is a must in every heading that you write. Using the right keywords on header tags helps search engines recognize your content faster and rank it higher.
Use Images, to grow the interest of your readers
A bland content structure with no images increases the chances of visitors leaving your page immediately. Relevant and high-quality images are effective in keeping your page visitors engaged. Images break the lengthy and boring blocks of text and improve the experience of the readers.
Research shows that pages with images get 94% more traffic than pages without visual content. Further, using unique and meaningful images boost on-page SEO. And if you do not have original images, you can source images also.
Images should be well-positioned and of good size and quality. Exceptionally large or high-quality images may slow down your page loading speed.
Another smart hack to influence search engine results through images is by naming the image appropriately with keywords before uploading. By telling Google what the image is about, you can also draw a significant amount of traffic from Google image searches.
When incorporating images into your website, include an ALT text in the image tags. This will provide additional information about the images to search engine crawlers and improve accessibility for visually impaired users.
Page URLs should be well-composed
The next big on-page SEO factor that must be considered is the website URL. Whether it’s a page or an article, the URL must reflect what the content is about.
The structure of the URL is important because search engines, through URL, understand the relevance of the content and bring in the SERPs when similar search terms or keywords are used by users.
Google focuses on the first three to five words of your URL and so, you should keep it short and precise. Also, if you can incorporate the focus keyword, it increases your chances of discoverability on search engines.
Below are a few examples of Good URLs and Bad URLs.
Good URL: https://www.webgentechnologies.com/services/search-engine-optimization/
Bad URL: http://www.example.com/hotels/USA-hotels/north-america-hotels/florida-hotels/orlando-hotels/
On-page SEO often overlooks the importance of internal linking. However, establishing an internal linking system becomes essential as your website expands. This is because internal links aid search engines to discover and comprehend the context of different pages on your website and allow them to access new content.
A lack of internal links on your pages can negatively impact a user’s ability to find useful content on your website, which in turn, can decrease your conversion rates.
To enhance your on-page SEO with internal linking, consider:
- Incorporating links to relevant existing content in new posts
- Adding links from related existing content to new posts
Every website’s internal linking strategy is unique, but for optimal results, aim to include at least two to three links per new page.
Valid Schema to help Google crawl better
Schema markups help search engines understand better what your content is about.
Although the process of adding schema is challenging, it is quite effective in boosting your page rankings. Nowadays, several tools are available to generate codes and also certain CMSs provide in-built support for generating valid schemas.
The results from schema markup take time, but a good and valid schema can result in an increase in your website click-through rates. This will further increase organic traffic to your page.
Responsive design is what you need right now
With the accelerating growth of mobile phone users, it is important to make your site mobile-friendly. Mobile responsiveness, thus, is important to ensure that your on-page SEO efforts do not go in vain.
More than 60% of the population access the internet through their mobile devices. Therefore, Google has also started prioritizing sites that are mobile-responsive.
Hence, responsive web design is the key if you want a site to perform well in mobile search rankings. Having a mobile version will affect your site’s performance on the SERPs.
Smart On-page SEO Techniques to Boost your Website Rank
Merely focussing on the fundamental on-page SEO factors is not enough to secure your place at the top of Google’s first page. You should know the techniques that contribute largely to a website’s ranking in search engines.
Here, we’ve curated an on-page SEO checklist for you so that you don’t miss out on any of the points.
- User Intent – The primary thumb rule for SEO is to concentrate on your user intent to understand their specific demands and what they are looking for on the web. By comprehending your visitors’ needs, you can choose your keywords and optimize them. Google considers user experience on your site as an essential factor in ranking algorithms. Hence, you must ensure that your visitors find what they are looking for and stay on your page for longer.
- Search intent – Apart from user intent, the search intent of your users also holds significance in on-page SEO. You need to understand whether they are searching to find a location, or buy a product/ service, or gather information about a particular topic. Search intent is helpful for writing better title tags, heading tags, and meta descriptions with effective keywords.
- Keywords – Keywords are your main ingredients when we talk about SEO. Choosing relevant and targeted keywords improves your visibility and helps your audience find you faster. Moreover, keyword placement also needs to be done strategically to make your page rank higher. Overstuffing keywords is also a big No!
- Content Audit – Conducting an audit on your website content helps you to assess the quality of your content and identify the areas of improvements. Content audit is crucial if you want to draw organic traffic to your website.
Also, there are many on-page SEO checklist tools to evaluate your website performance, check the content quality, analyze keyword usage and other SEO basics.
SEO is an ongoing and multifaceted process that requires time to produce fruitful results. And all these efforts are made to achieve only one thing – organic traffic.
The best way to attract quality leads to your page is by providing information-rich content to your searchers. The more user-friendly and valuable your content is, the higher the chances of your website appearing at the top of search engine results.
So, wait no more and start implementing these on-page techniques to make your SEO effective. Also. if you need any help with your website audit and SEO strategy, we are here for you! We are a full-service digital marketing company in Kolkata with a team of highly experienced SEO professionals, content writers and digital marketers. Connect with us to get started!