Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website so that it can rank better on the search engine results page (SERP). Consumers are looking for information online and your SEO efforts can help you reach them. According to Brightedge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Moreover, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. Almost 60% of marketers rely on inbound efforts, like blog content, to generate better quality leads, (HubSpot). To ensure that your content is visible on SERP, you need SEO.
On-page SEO forms the foundation of your SEO efforts. Technical and off-page SEO are also important, but on-page SEO should not be overlooked. In this article, we will discuss what on-page SEO is and some on-pages SEO guidelines that can help you successfully implement your strategies.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing web pages to improve a website’s search engine rankings which helps in increased visibility and traffic. This process includes creating high quality content and optimizing content with the right keywords in your headlines and HTML tags. On-page SEO focuses on various elements of the web page which contribute to the visibility of a website.
Why is On-Page SEO Important?
Search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated. Google is always updating its algorithm to provide information that matches the user’s search intent. The focus is to understand the user’s search query and provide the most relevant search results. Hence, to rank better on the search results page it is important to optimize your content.
With on-page SEO you can optimize various elements on your web pages. You can focus on your on-page SEO strategies that can help optimize your content so that it is visible on the search results page. When your content is high-quality and relevant to the keywords you use, you have better chances of ranking on the first page of search results.
Here are key on-page SEO guidelines that can help improve your search engine ranking.
On-Page SEO Guidelines
Create quality content
One way Google determines the ranking of a web page is through the quality of the content. Your content needs to be trustworthy and authoritative for Google to give it a good ranking position. The content you create should be relevant to the keywords or search terms you want to target.
Ensure that your content has accurate and updated information which contributes to the quality of the content. The content should also be easy to read and accessible to your audiences and the search engine.
Use target keywords in your content
Search engines will scan the content for keywords to match it successfully with the user’s search queries. It is important to strategically integrate the target keyword into your content. One strategy is to include the target keyword within the first 100-150 words of the content. Google places more emphasis on the terms that show up early on in your content. Moreover, when audiences go through your content, they have an idea about what your content is based on.
Ensure that you do not overpopulate your content with the keyword but use it in a way that looks organic. Having target keywords in your content optimizes it so that it can show up in the SERP.
Add title tag
A title tag is an HTML tag that enables you to give your web page a title. This title is seen on the browser title bar and in the SERP. Title tag plays an important role in your search engine rankings as it gives search engines an overview of what your web page is all about.
Use your target keyword in the title tag to optimize it. Title tag must include your important keyword so that the search engine and your audiences can know that your content is relevant to the search term. You can also incorporate modifiers like “guide” or “best” in your title tag, as it can give you an opportunity to rank for long tailed keywords.
Ensure that you are not duplicating your title tag as this can have a negative impact on your ranking. Well written and optimized title tags can facilitate better ranking and present an overview of the content which can influence your audience to engage.
Write meta description
Meta description is a brief description of your content that appears on SERP underneath the title. It does not help directly with the rankings but it is useful to improve click-through rate, and enables your audiences to trust the quality of your content. Meta descriptions tell the search engine and your audiences what information your web page offers.
It is a good practice to include your target keyword in the meta description to optimize it. Write a description that is relevant to the content on that web page.
Use header tags
Header tags are HTML elements (H1-H6) which are used to organize your content with headings and subheadings. They do not directly impact your ranking but can be used to contribute to your on-page SEO efforts. Header tags enable you to organize your content and highlight the important topics. This makes it easier for your users to read your content and positively impact the overall user experience.
When you use important keywords in these headings it can show search engines the context of your content.
Avoid creating duplicate content
Duplicate content can negatively impact your search rankings. If you have multiple content targeting the same keywords or on-page elements which can lead to keyword cannibalization. Because you have different web pages targeting the same keyword, these pages compete against each other for search engine rankings.
To avoid having duplicate content ensure that you create unique page titles, meta descriptions, and headings for each web page. Similar on-page elements can confuse search engines and tamper with your rankings. Moreover, if you identify two web pages targeting the same keyword, you can combine them to avoid keyword cannibalization.
Run content audits
Having regular content audits helps to keep your content fresh and updated. It also enables you to avoid problems like the one discussed above. You may not know that you have duplicate content on your website, hence an audit can also help identify it. It is a good practice to keep a check of your content every now and then. You can evaluate how your current content is performing. With the insights gained you can further optimize your existing content to help it rank better.
With content audit you can determine which content needs updating. Maybe you need to update your content with recent statistics or new information. Audit can help you enhance your existing content and aid your SEO efforts.
Visual elements like images can make your web page more appealing and encourage engagement. Sometimes heavy files can slow down the speed of your website. Slow websites can increase your bounce rate and create poor user experience. It is a good practice to compress file sizes so that it does interfere with your website’s speed.
Moreover, using descriptive titles and alt text can optimize your images for SEO. This ensures that your images show up on Google Image Search and increases your ranking opportunities. When you optimize content don’t overlook image optimization as this is an important element of on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is important for your overall strategy. With these on-page SEO guidelines you can start optimizing your website so that it is visible on the search results page. SEO is an ongoing process where you must optimize your web pages on a regular basis. It can be challenging at times and may not always give the desired results. But by auditing your content often and making improvements can help you rank better, increase traffic and engagement.