Here is everything you need to know to get started with on-page SEO.
So you are now ready with topics to write on after thorough keyword research. Your next step is to start writing content that your target audience is eager to read. The only way they will find you is when your page adheres to Google guidelines and algorithm updates. Let’s begin with on-page SEO.
Topics to explore today
What is On-page SEO?
On-page or on-site SEO is the process of optimising web pages with content, keywords, headers and HTML codes to appear on top of search engines organically.
Most Important On-Page SEO Factors
On-page optimization does not depend on keywords entirely. There are other factors to consider.
A URL or Uniform Resource Locator is a website address in a readable format. A good URL structure lets Google and the user understand what the content is about.
The title tag appears on the search results when a user types any query on a search engine. In the screenshot below, the title tag is highlighted in blue.
As a common on-site SEO practice, title tags do not exceed 60 characters with spaces. They also must contain the focus or primary keyword.
These are short descriptions that appear underneath the title tag on the Google search engine. If you do not write the meta description clearly, there are high chances the reader will not click on the link.
Experts suggest that they must be between 160 and 250 characters with spaces.
Headers are also HTML elements within the body of content. They are necessary to divide the content into subheads for ease of reading. When there are no headers, the content appears as a large block of text. For this reason, readers may not read the content fully.
The same goes for search engine crawlers. They can understand what the subheadings are indicating and through that, the page is ranked higher.
In general, there are six types of header tags – from H1 to H6. But, most articles tend to have H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags.
Images are a critical component of blog posts. Just like headers, they also make it easy for the reader to read through. In digital marketing terminology, images are necessary for increasing the engagement rate and reducing the bounce rate.
Linking is a vital part of on-page SEO. There are two types of linking practices – internal and external links.
With external links to highly authoritative sites such as Google, Statista, Forbes or the like, your page’s authority increases. This is again important to get your pages ranking well on search engines.
Every page you are hoping to rank on Google or other search engines needs a primary keyword and variations of it. But they have to be placed strategically across your content. Stuffing keywords will not work and this is a well-known blackhat SEO practice.
Best On-Page SEO Techniques
Now that you know the on-page SEO factors, let’s dive into the best practices to follow/.
Go For Short URLs
Your URLs should be short and precise. It must contain the primary keyword. Having a relevant URL is not only essential for the Google crawler but also for the reader. Have a look at the URL structure of our piece on buyer persona in the screenshot below.
Write the Best Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
The title tags should contain the primary keyword at the beginning of the title. You have to make it compelling enough for the user to click on the title. Also, your title tag should not be the same as any other page on your website.
The same tactic goes for writing meta descriptions. Insert the head keyword at the beginning.
Title tags are direct ranking factors but meta descriptions are not. If you write them well, you are going to encourage more clicks.
Use Headers Wisely with Good Hierarchy
As a common practice, H1 indicates the headline of your page. It should be used only once across the content body.
Use the H2 header for the main subheads. And if you have too many paragraphs under your H2s, consider categorising the content under H3 and H4.
Follow this hierarchy.
Use Relevant Images
It goes without saying, images must be relevant. But they also must not take time to load. If your page is taking longer to load, it is because of the image. High load times lead to an increase in bounce rate no matter how good your content is.
This is not to say that the image should be of bad quality. You have to use .jpg images instead of .png ones. The former format is lighter.
Also, another practice of making images understandable by Google crawlers is the use of Alt Text on each image. This is an attribute that is available on WordPress and Google Docs.
As a good practice, do not label Alt Tags as 1, 2, 3, etc. Describe what the image is about and how it relates to your content. A one-liner is sufficient.
Never Stuff Keywords
Place keywords wisely throughout your content. They should appear as normal sentences.
So where and how should you use them exactly?
- Place the focus keyword in your H1.
- Use the same keyword once in your 100-word introduction, i.e, the first paragraph
- Use variations of your keyword that is relevant to the search intent of the keyword.
Write Compelling Content With a Focus On Readability
After writing an amazing headline, you must make the reader want to read your blog more. When your intro is weak, there is a high chance that your reader won’t continue reading. Refer to how to write blogs.
When it comes to readability, there are many tools such as Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, Yoast SEO, etc. These tools show you the readability score, generally on a scale from 0 to 100. The closer the score is towards 100, the easier it is to read your blog for a wider age group.
This is all about on-page optimization. With these basic on-page SEO factors and techniques, ranking your content on Google will be faster.
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