On-Page SEO plays an important part in any online marketing campaign. These days, uploading your site’s URL to multiple online directories isn’t enough. You have to apply certain techniques on your webpages if you want to achieve a better ranking in the search results. This topic is complex and difficult – countless website owners have failed in implementing On-Page SEO techniques on their site/s.
This article will teach you the most important aspects of On-Page SEO. It will provide you with practical tips and effective tricks in applying this powerful strategy on your web pages. If you’re ready to experience a surge in your overall site traffic, read on:
Choosing the Right Title
The titles of your web pages have a huge impact on On-Page SEO. That means you have to be careful in choosing a title for your new pages. As a general rule, you should create unique titles for each post and webpage found on your site. Also, make sure that you’ll include the main keyword/s of the page in the title.
For instance, if you’re writing a webpage about buying used cars, you may use this title: “The Things You Need to Remember When Buying Used Cars”.
By including the main keyword/s in the webpage’s title, you will improve the overall search results ranking of your site.
Adding Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions can help you attain better search rankings. Most search engines consider meta descriptions in classifying and ranking websites. If you’ll include the keywords of a webpage in its meta description, that page will have better chances of showing up in the search results. Unfortunately, many people don’t use meta descriptions when creating new content.
The following example will help you to understand this concept. As you can see, it’s the meta description for the imaginary webpage discussed earlier:
“This article will help you find the best-used cars on the market.”
The meta description given above is an excellent example. It is concise and full of related keywords.
Using Body Tags Correctly
According to SEO experts, you should divide the content of your web pages into short sections and paragraphs. This approach enhances the readability of your web pages. To implement this technique, you have to use “body tags” (i.e. H1, H2, H3, etc.).
In general, you should use H1 for the main title of your web pages. Then, use the subsequent body tags (e.g. H2, H3, and H4) to divide the content into smaller parts. Search engines consider body tags in ranking websites. That means this simple technique can help your site in getting better search rankings.
Selecting the Right Keywords
Keywords play an important part in SEO. Actually, most online marketers consider keywords as valuable assets: they’re willing to pay large sums of money just to get high rankings for certain keywords.
The following tips can help you determine the best keywords for your content:
- Use descriptive phrases – These days, you can no longer use simple keywords (e.g. dog food, used cars, fine jewellery, etc.). Thousands of websites are using these keywords so it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to reach the first search results page.
If you want to attract lots of online traffic, you should use phrases that describe what your webpage is about. Descriptive phrases (e.g. used cars in Virginia, natural and healthy dog food, fine jewellery from France, etc.) are more effective than simple ones when it comes to boosting a site’s online presence.
- Don’t use “vanity” keywords – Vanity keywords (i.e. keywords that are popular yet ineffective) won’t help your online marketing campaign. These keywords are too general, which means they are being used by thousands of websites. You won’t experience any improvement in your search rankings even if you flood your content with such keywords.
It would be best if you’ll focus on specific keywords. For example, instead of using “wristwatch” (a vanity keyword, since it is being used by countless websites), you may use “Rolex watch for men”.
- Write based on your chosen keywords – Choosing the best keywords isn’t enough. You must create online content based on those keywords. By doing so, you will make your website consistent and informative.
Keep in mind that online searchers will visit your site because of your selected keywords. Thus, if your online content is inconsistent with those keywords, your website visitors will hit the back button and look elsewhere.
Important Note: You may use other keywords if the current ones are too complex or difficult.
Implementing Schema Markup
Basically, schema markup is a code snippet that helps search engines in understanding online content. It is designed to improve the accuracy of search results.
Important Note: Schema markup explains what your content means, not what it says.
To implement this powerful technique on your web pages, you should:
- Visit this site: https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/u/0/.
- Choose the kind of information that you want to “mark up.”
- Enter the URL of your webpage.
- Hit the button that says “Start Tagging”. The screen will show you an interactive workspace – you can use it to tag specific items in your content.
- Highlight the words/phrases that you want to use.
- Hit the button that says “Create HTML”.
- Go back to your webpage, access your CMS (i.e. Content Management System), and add the marked words/phrases into the correct areas. The yellow lines on your toolbar will help you in finding the marked items.
- Before saving the changes, you should copy the HTML code from your CMS and visit this site: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets. Then, hit the “Preview” button. The screen will show you what your page will look like once schema markup becomes active.
Boosting Your Site’s Load Speed
Google (one of the leading search engines today) considers “site speed” in ranking websites. The term “site speed” refers to the time needed by a webpage to display all of its contents. If you want to have excellent search rankings, you should boost the load speed of your site. Here’s what you can do:
- Keep your site simple – Make sure that you are using a single analytics program. If you are using multiple monitoring programs, your website might experience long loading times.
- Implement caching (whenever possible) – When users visit your website, their browser will get all of the text, images, codes, etc. from your site’s server. Web browsers store these pieces of information in a local directory called “cache.” That means you can boost your site’s loading speed by sending webpage applications to your users’ cache.
This way, their web browsers won’t have to re-download online applications when loading new web pages.
- Use “PageSpeed Insights” – With this tool, you can analyze and improve the load speed of your web pages. PageSpeed Insights, a powerful tool offered by Google, analyzes web pages and provides tips on how to improve loading speed.
Writing Great “Alt Text” for Your Videos and Images
Basically, “alt text” is a combination of an anchor text and a title tag. Alt texts can boost the effectiveness of your images and videos. To write excellent alt texts for your web pages, you should:
- Avoid “keyword stuffing” – Instead of helping you, keyword stuffing will actually drag your search rankings down. Limit yourself to just 1 or 2 keywords per image/video. This way, you can prevent search engines from penalizing your website because of keyword stuffing.
- Keep it short – Long alt texts can be distracting and confusing. It would be best if you will use short descriptions for your images and/or videos. Your website visitors will know what they’re looking at – you don’t have to include 100-word explanations.
Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Devices
These days, most people run online searches using mobile gadgets (i.e. phones and tablets). Because of that, search engines reward websites that are optimized for mobile devices. Do you know what the reward is? You guessed it right! Good rankings in search results pages.
Mobile optimization plays an important role in modern SEO strategies. To apply this technique on your website, you should:
- Improve the load speed of your webpages – Mobile device users often experience connectivity and hardware issues. Because of that, they are more sensitive to long load times than those who use personal computers.
Aside from optimizing videos and pictures, you should minimize codes, implement caching, and lessen page redirections.
- Avoid using Flash – Many mobile phones don’t support the Flash technology. That means some users won’t enjoy any Flash-related content on your website. If you want to add some spice into your webpages, you should use HTML5.
- Avoid using pop-up windows – Closing unnecessary windows can be frustrating, especially when you are using a mobile device. That means you should avoid using pop-ups when creating webpages.
- Make sure that your buttons have the right size – Users might make accidental taps/clicks if your buttons are too big or too small.
- Include “local elements” – You may include local SEO elements (e.g. phone numbers, the name of city/state, postal address, etc.) in your web pages. By doing so, you’ll optimize the mobile version of your site for local users (i.e. the people who are near your location).
Securing Your Website
For Google, security is an important part of a site’s ranking. This is the reason why Google gives high rankings to websites that have SSL certificates.
According to Google, this ranking benefit aims to encourage website owners to apply for SSL certificates. With this benefit, Google tries to protect website users from fraudulent people/organizations.
This article discussed the most important techniques involved in On-Page SEO. By following the tips and tricks given in this article, you’ll surely notice some improvements in your search results rankings.
Article by Equill Media, SEO Agency based in Manchester