On-page SEO allows Google to understand what your website is all about. In turn, that improves ranking, which leads to better and more organic traffic.
Google constantly updates and changes its algorithms because it aims to create one of the smartest search engines in the world.
Although it constantly improves, it’s not perfect. Therefore, you can help Google understand the content. That’s where SEO (Search engine optimization) can help.
In this article, we’ll tell you more about 9 on-page SEO techniques that are essential to your overall optimization strategy.
On-page SEO – what is it?
On-site or on-page SEO represents the practice of optimizing webpage content. The process is meant to improve traffic, get better rankings and conversions. It’s one of the most important SEO branches that boost your website on search engines.
The term “on-page” also refers to changes made to your webpage that encourage a better user experience on your website.
In 2012 Google introduced a new algorithm named Penguin. It led to more complex link building, which increased the use of SEO services. On-page SEO is used to rank your website better and provide quality content to search engines.
It’s essential to use good on-page SEO techniques if you want to rank on the first page of search engines. When it’s done right, on-site SEO helps search engines understand your content. Then, your pages can rank higher for certain queries.
When search engines index pages and rank them, they look for associations between keywords and search terms. The search terms are the words users type in the search box when they look for something.
The right on-page SEO elements can help guide users to your web pages when they’re looking for certain keywords.
Remember that you do not have to be a professional in this field at any cost, so no worries, there is always an option of custom web development to bring the on-site SEO process to the top shape.
Indispensable On-Page SEO techniques
Here are some on-page SEO techniques used to optimize web content that you should know about and implement in your online projects.
1. Keyword research
Keywords are essential to search engine ranking. They can greatly improve your chances at higher search engine ranking if you use them well.
The keywords you choose to use are the ones that predict whether you’ll rank high or not. Random keywords are not necessarily going to bring you to a top spot in searches.
Choose the right words, the ones that work best for what you’re promoting. Keep in mind that it’s possible that the same keywords you use won’t rank better than competition webpages using the same keywords.
Before optimizing your content, look for competition for keywords you want to use. Go for the lower-ranked keywords while still maintaining a focus on the main keyword.
Choose long-tail keywords, especially when you’re new when it comes to on-page SEO strategies. The competition is lower, and the words are just as important for content ranking.
2. Keyword placement
Try to use your target keyword as soon as possible on the page. Some say it’s best to use it within the first 100 words of an article. This step shows Google that’s the main topic you’re debating.
People usually look for things on the internet by typing keywords that describe what they want. Once they see the results, they click on them, scan the page and immediately leave if they aren’t pleased with the results. An interesting and on-point intro can keep them on your pages for longer periods of time.
The rest of your keywords are important too. Finding the right ones is one step of the journey. The other step is placing them in the right spots to rank the page as high as possible.
Optimize your keyword placement by:
Using H1 or H2 tags with keywords in them.
Distributing target keywords and secondary keywords throughout your article.
Placing keywords within the first paragraph, in the first line, if possible.
3. Page titles and Meta descriptions
Search engines go through your content when they review pages. Among other things, they check your page title and meta title. This step is necessary for understanding what the page is about.
Then, it cumulates this information with off-page SEO and domain authority, and it ranks your content for some keywords in a certain position. Together, the page title and meta description improve your rankings and offer prospective viewers some useful and enticing information.
It’s useful to implement some of the following tips:
Try to implement keywords at the beginning of your page title – search engines will understand faster what your page is all about.
Short but descriptive titles are preferable – the average Google search result displays up to 60 characters.
Add powerful words and numbers – titles are more interesting when you include numbers and words like “amazing” “incredible.”
Don’t include your domain in the page title – Google does this automatically.
The meta title is that description that appears on the search result pages. It’s a short description of page contents, in most cases. It’s also an opportunity to advertise your content and persuade users to click through your content.
Try to use your own descriptions because auto-generated descriptions can be meaningless. It’s also an opportunity to add some keywords that will be highlighted by search engines like Google.
4. URL optimization
Google itself recommends keeping URLs simple. It helps the search engine understand what your page is all about. How can you optimize your URLs? You can try these things:
a) Use a keyword in your URL
b) Place your keywords as far to the left as you can
c) Keep real words in your URL
d) Keep your URL short
e) Use categories to group your content
f) Separate words with hyphens to make the URL easily readable.
5. Page loading speed
Visitors care a lot about loading speed. It’s an important part of user experience. And it can impact your conversion rates. When you add too many functionalities, aesthetic elements and more content, page loading speed can suffer.
Visitors care much more about loading speed and functionality than all the widgets and aesthetics you add to your website. And loading speed is even more important for search engines and search engine rankings. Every second counts.
Kissmetrics says that 47% of those questioned in their study expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds. Conversion rates for slower loading pages drop by 7% for each 1-second delay.
Google is trying to make the web faster, so every second counts. Therefore, loading speed has become one of the better-known ranking factors. Faster loading sites can rank higher based on this information. Plus, a faster website can mean better conversion and retention.
6. Mobile friendly websites
Mobile searches are getting more and more popular among users. Around half of the worldwide traffic consists of mobile users. A little over 54% of global website traffic in 2021 was generated by mobile phones (excluding tablets).
This means that your website must adapt to mobile interfaces if it hasn’t already. Or else you’re going to lose possible visitors. If you’re not sure how you can improve your website, use Google’s mobile friendly tool. Use its recommendations to fix eventual problems.
Test your website on mobile to confirm any errors are fixed. When you have a responsive website there’s little chance you need to worry about mobile-friendliness.
7. SEO copywriting
Content is an essential part of your website. Therefore, the right content can bring in more viewers who want to stay. But they have to be pleased and engage with your content.
SEO copyrighting tips enhance content marketing directed at users. Implement some of these guidelines when writing content to engage with visitors and retain them:
a) Focus on introduction. Write a compelling paragraph that your target audience can understand. Articulate the topic and your solution clearly.
b) Avoid writing long paragraphs and sentences.
c) Add keywords naturally throughout your content.
d) Write with your readers in mind.
e) Use subheadings to break apart longer sections, if necessary.
f) Align your content with the targeted keywords and search intent.
8. Search intent
Google is keen on showing users the content they’re looking for. You can separate content according to search intent. There are four distinguishable types of search intent, namely:
Commercial – users research before a purchase
Informational – users look for information regarding a product or service
Transactional – users actively try to make a purchase
Navigational – users look for a precise page.
You can find out the intent behind a certain keyword by looking at the first results. If you find words like how or methods, you’re dealing with informational intent. When the keyword is surrounded by words like top or best, it’s clear users are looking to buy something.
Knowing this, you can adapt your content or craft new content that satisfies intent. Provide relevant information and optimize your product pages to get a better ranking.
9. Readable text
It may not be directly linked to page ranking, but text is part of your on-page SEO strategy. Google and users prefer texts that are easier to read.
If a text is too difficult to comprehend, users will leave. In turn, this action signals to search engines that the content is not appreciated or valuable, so it can get a lower rank.
Try the following tips to make your texts more engaging for the general public and search engines:
a) Break up your content into smaller, easier-to-read paragraphs and sections.
b) Use headings and subheadings to separate ideas.
c) Use bullet points for your lists.
d) Add visuals like images and graphs.
e) Use clear and simple vocabulary.
f) Keep in mind some of your readers will come from mobile. Try to make it easier for them to skim through.
Keep in mind that on-page SEO techniques take time to create and implement. Develop your website with the tips above in mind and you’ll be on your way to getting more traffic and better organic rankings on search engines.
When you don’t have the time or knowledge to do it yourself, go for a custom web design company with a developed portfolio. They’ll help you spiff up your website by using the best SEO strategies. You’ll achieve your goals in no time!
Danny Wilson is a digital marketing specialist and a content writer at DigitalStrategyOne.
Focused around SEO, he is also dedicated to creating high quality content for social media and marketing in general.