Success in organic search today requires optimising a combination of ranking factors that search engines consider essential. These include technical SEO, on-page and off-page. Over the years, we’ve seen a significant increase in off-page techniques like link building, content marketing and other technical aspects. But the truth is that off-page SEO won’t do much good if your website does not pay attention to the fundamentals of on-page ranking factors.
A Smart SEO practitioner will know that on-page optimisation should constantly be on the list. And because the search engine landscape is ever-changing, ensuring your on-page SEO knowledge and content are up to date is essential.
So, in this post, we will look at what on-page SEO is, why it matters so much, and ten of what we feel are the most important on-page SEO considerations for website success in 2020.
On-page SEO (or on-site) refers to optimising your web pages or blog posts to improve search engine rank in Google and boost organic traffic. It’s not just about publishing relevant, quality content. It’s also about making sure your website has a good level of expertise, authority, and trust. On-page SEO also includes optimising headlines, HTML tags (title, meta, and header), and images.
It considers over 200 aspects of the webpage that, when added together, will improve your website’s visibility in the search results and allow your target keywords to rank higher.
On-page SEO is crucial because it allows search engines to understand your website and its content and identify relevance to a searcher’s query. As search engines become increasingly sophisticated, there is a greater focus on relevance and semantics in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google is now better at understanding what users search for when they type a query and delivering search results that meet user intent. Its algorithm is ever-evolving, and this is where an experienced SEO comes in and constantly follows these changes.
Adapting to these algorithm updates is essential, and you can do it by making sure that your website and its content, both what is visible to users on your webpages and also elements that are only visible to search engines like HTML tags, structured data, etc. are always well-optimised and up to date. If you put your effort and budget into on-page strategies, you’ll see a boost in traffic and a rise in your search presence, together with a focused off-page approach.
So, let’s look through what we think the most important elements of on-page SEO are. Focusing on these ten areas will help improve your content and authority, increasing your rankings, traffic, and conversions. This is what we want for our business!
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. It’s part of the framework that Google raters use to assess content, webpages, and websites. The industry is still unsure whether this is a major ranking factor or how Google and other search engines apply this algorithm. Google has always put a premium on high-quality content. It wants to ensure that high-quality content sites are rewarded with better rankings and that websites containing low-quality content are less visible. Obviously, there is a clear relationship between what search engines consider high-quality content and what appears in the search results. E-A-T plays a role in Google’s organic search results, exactly how nobody knows, but you can be sure E-A-T must be implemented in your SEO campaign.
There is an art to writing solid SEO content; it is more than just keyword research and filling in the blanks. SEO writing is creating content with both search engines and users in mind. Merely producing content for the sake of it won’t do. Remember that you’re writing content for people and want them to spend time reading it. Therefore, that content must be of good quality, substantial, and relevant.
Most SEO content creators focus on creating new content and often forget to audit clients’ existing content. And this is a mistake.
Auditing and updating your existing content is essential because it helps you:
Content audits can significantly help your SEO strategy and should be done regularly. As an SEO agency, we check all content every month.
The title tag is an HTML tag that exists in the head section of each web page and provides an initial context for the topical subject of the page. It is featured prominently in the SERPs and the browser window. The title tag does not impact organic rankings but should not be overlooked. Missing, duplicate and poorly written title tags can impact your SEO results, so ensure you’re optimising for this element.
Since the beginning of SEO, meta descriptions have been a vital optimisation area. Meta descriptions are meta tags describing what the page is about, displayed in the SERPs below the page’s title. While Google maintains that meta descriptions don’t directly help with rankings, there is evidence that better descriptions help and boost CTR (click-through rate). Optimising meta descriptions correctly allows your pages to stand out in the SERP, so use this valuable real estate and use it wisely.
If you want your website content to perform well in search? Then, it would be best if you started writing good, compelling headlines. A great headline can often distinguish between a click and an impression. That’s why it’s essential to create them with this in mind. Your headlines need to spark interest for them to stand out to potential users on SERPs and, in turn, make them click through and continue reading the rest of your content.
Header tags are HTML elements (H1-H6) used to show your website’s headings and subheadings within your content. Header tags aren’t as crucial for your site rankings as they used to be. However, these tags still serve an essential function for your users and SEO. So you still need to pay attention to these as they can indirectly impact your rankings:
Targeting a specific term across multiple web pages can cause “keyword cannibalisation”, which has disastrous consequences for your on-page SEO. When several pages rank for the same keyword, your website competes with itself, as search engines will not fully understand which page to rank. Identifying whether keyword cannibalisation exists on your website and resolving it as soon as possible is essential to help the correct pages rank for the target phrases.
Adding images is an excellent way to make your web pages more appealing. However, not all images are created equal; some can even slow down your website on mobile devices. Your website CMS often resizes when adding images, so the ratios are not too big if the image will only be displayed as a thumbnail on your website. Optimising images with no empty alt tags and good titles will help you make the most precious SEO asset. Image optimisation has many advantages like additional ranking opportunities (showing up on Google Image Search), better user experience and faster page load times. Your images should not be an afterthought. Make sure to incorporate images that enhance your content and user experience, and use descriptive titles followed by keywords in your alt tags.
Enhancing your website’s on-page SEO elements, in all honesty, is only part of the battle. The other focus is ensuring that users will not bounce; instead, they’ll continue viewing your content, interacting with it, and hopefully, coming back for more. Retaining engaged users is one of SEO’s biggest challenges. To boost user engagement, focus on site speed, user experience, and content optimisation. Allow easy navigation and internal linking to allow your users to discover new content by linking to other relevant articles and pages.