Officially, the definition states that on page SEO is the practice of optimising individual webpages in order to rank higher. However, the common misconception is, that this is just done through simple keyword research and placement, that I am sure you are already familiar with.
Keeping Google happy with good SEO
It comes as no surprise that as the search engines become more complex, so must our techniques to rank highly with them. The way websites like Google and Bing are developed mean that the aforementioned simplistic keyword approach has some obvious pitfalls, the main one being it doesn’t work as effectively as we are led to believe but also because it ruins the visitor’s experience of our page.
How can we convey our message if our mind is preoccupied with using the same words as often as possible? And guess what? If your visitors don’t hang about, the bounce rate of your page goes up and that is just another algorithm that will be calculated and negatively impact your carefully curated masterpiece.
So the key is finding the balance between all of the elements covered under the term on page SEO. By this I mean HTML code, metatags and of course, keyword placement and density.
There are several starting points I can give you, on each of these elements.
Crafting a well optimised page
Let’s begin with keywords whilst we’re on the topic:
- Once you’ve done your research, pick your primary keyword. Then use it in the following ways:
- Always include the keyword in the first 50-100 words of text on your page
- Include the same keyword in the title
- Feature the keyword in at least ONE of your subtitles
- Use LSI keywords throughout – these are keywords which are related to your primary keyword
- Make sure your image file is saved with the keyword as the title
- Attach modifiers to your keywords – modifiers are popular words you can add to your primary keyword which can range from adjectives to colloquialisms to verbs – examples are ‘2017,’ ‘Review,’ and words like ‘Best’ or ‘Top.’
- Ensure your primary keyword features in your URLs which are also short and snappy – Google gives more attention to the first 4 or 5 words in a URL, remember that.
- In summary, when it comes to your keyword it is undeniably one of the most important elements. But remember, the nearer it is to the beginning of the page, the URL etc, the easier it is for a search engine to source it and consequently rank it.
The technical side of SEO
- Wrap titles with h1 tags
- Wrap subtitles with h2 tags – sounds simple but not all templates do this automatically and Google looks for them!
- Include social media sharing buttons – more shares = more views (that’s simple maths).
- Length of posts should be considered – whilst short and snappy is recommended for parts of SEO like URL length, it is the opposite for the main content.
- Longer content ranks higher, but it has other benefits too. The longer and more engaging the piece is, the more likely the user is going to spend more time on the page in order to finish the piece. This helps to decrease bounce rates and once again, Google’s algorithms will pick up on that.
- Links – both to other pages within your site and to external websites play important roles in increasing your ranking. Links to outgoing sources, help Google decide what topic your page is and decide when it is and isn’t relevant to rank it. As for internal links, we can recommend 2-3 per page.
- With these links, keep the title of the page and the hyperlink in your piece the same. The common error is ‘Click here to learn What On Page SEO is’ and the “click here” is the hyperlink, not the title of the article. It’s all about consistency in that respect and helping the search engines decide what is relevant and where.
Other things to consider for good on page SEO
Making sure your site is optimised in all areas will result in search engines being happier with you. Google happily penalising any webpage that isn’t mobile friendly, for example.
Think about user experience too. Would you return to a website that was taking a long time to load or is hard to navigate?
And lastly, think aesthetics too. For example, engaging images and videos have been proven to dramatically reduce bounce rate and increase the time someone spends on your website. These are two big indicators for Google when it’s making the call on how to rank you.
What to do now
This article is just the beginning of optimising your website, but I hope you can take some ideas away from it to start implementing immediately.
Start as you mean to go on and you will only continue to reap the benefits that the internet has to offer. Start in a mess, and I’m afraid you’ll making up for it and going a lot of tidying up for a long time to come.