Search Engine Optimization has become a more dynamic field than ever before.
Google, the most popular search engine, regularly updates its algorithms in its quest to provide relevant content to users. That means there is no single rulebook for digital marketers and SEO specialists to play with. What may have got you ranked on Google's first page a decade ago may not get you anywhere near it today.
To succeed in this field, you need to focus on all elements of your web pages, i.e., on-page and off-page technical aspects.
What is On-Page SEO?
Many SEO specialists today focus on the off-page elements of SEO, such as building links to internal pages and external sites. But the on-page elements are crucial towards a holistic approach to get your content ranked up high in the search engine.
On-page SEO focuses on the elements that are on your page which need to be optimized for improving search rankings. Improving on-page factors helps Google understand and find your content better.
On-Page v/s Off-Page SEO
As mentioned above, On-Page SEO involves optimizing elements on your web page that you can control. Off-Page SEO, on the other hand, includes activities that take place beyond your websites, such as building links to other sites and guest blogging.
|Keyword Optimization||Guest Blogging|
|Page Speed||Social Media Marketing|
On-Page SEO gives you control, as you're optimizing your available website that contains your original content. But in off-page SEO methods such as guest posts and social media signals, you need to build relationships with other content creators and bloggers organically to have those links on their platforms point towards your website.
The On-Page elements of SEO
There are several factors which you can optimize in your website for SEO purposes. These factors range from the content that you create down to the meta tags and meta descriptions that search engines use for better clarity.
To excel in search rankings, you'll need to optimize all of these elements on your web page:
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has had a taste in SEO. This is the most important on-page element of SEO, which will be the prime variable to affect your rankings.
SEO Copywriting is all about providing relevant, trustworthy content to your users while also taking steps that make them a hit for search engines. If you've just begun as an SEO professional or content creator, here are a few things you should keep in mind for creating SEO-friendly content:
You can determine user engagement based on the bounce rate of your page. If the bounce rate is high, it means that users are leaving your site without engaging or taking any action within the page.
Keywords drive search engines. Keywords are among the primary metrics that help your page rank whenever a user searches for the same.
But incorporating the right keywords go beyond the list that paid tools to provide you instantaneously. It also doesn't guarantee results if you stuff in lots of keywords on a single web page.
You should keep in mind the semantics and intent behind every keyword, i.e., the reason for which the user would search for a particular keyword. Use long-tail keywords to bring relevance to your content.
Rather than stuffing in multiple keywords for every page, it's advisable to create content optimized for relevant keywords and have them grouped to make it convenient for users to search for them.
Title Tags are the first thing that tells search engines and users what your page is about. When a user performs a search, the clickable link displayed by the search results is derived from the title tag of your web page.
But title tags are more than just links to your web page. It should introduce the topic at hand or the content contained within that web page.
Apart from the topic, the title tag should also contain your focus keyword for the page and should be unique to the page's contents. E.g., If you're selling something, the product name should be included in the title tag.
The meta description is the explainer that appears below the title tag on the web search results. Meta description elaborates on the title of your page; it gives users additional information about what your page is about.
The meta description can be 150-160 characters long. Ideally, you should not exceed this limit so that users can find out in a single sentence whether the information they're looking for is on your page. A good meta description will drive more traffic and increase conversions on your site.
URL is another indicator that informs search engines what your page is about. URLs should also contain your primary keyword and should follow a hierarchy.
If you have an e-commerce page that is selling shirts, your URL should be structured like: www.example.com/shirts/mens-casual-shirts/
As you can see, the category your page refers to is shirts, while the specific page has a listing of men's casual shirts. With this URL, Google will understand that your page is about shirts with various other pages related to specific products or brands.
Page Speed, or how fast your page loads upon the user's command, is another major factor that affects your search rankings. Page Speed is considered a basic necessity for rankings by search engines due to it being a vital building block for user experience on your site.
Your users will not stick around if your web page takes too long to open or respond to any other command. As per studies, it has been found that users have an attention span of 2-3 seconds when it comes to page speed. If your page takes longer than that to load, the chances are that the user has moved on from your website to that of your competitor.
You can access various online tools that offer their services free of cost to test your site speed or specific website pages. These tools can also inform you about the elements you need to improve to enhance your page speed.
As of 2021, 92.6% or 4.32 billion people worldwide access the internet via their mobile devices. Needless to say, you don't want to miss out on a significant chunk of users due to the non-responsiveness of your site on mobile devices.
Mobile-friendliness refers to the number of people viewing your page on their smartphones. Due to the sheer volume of users, Google considers mobile responsiveness as one of the primary integers in their rankings.
Mobile-friendly design means incorporating a site that can be viewed on a smartphone the same way as it is on a desktop. If your page is not mobile-friendly, users may face issues like non-functioning buttons and images and texts being unclear or too small to see.
Once again, you can take the help of various online tools to find out if your page is mobile-friendly or not.
Heading Tags are HTML codes that inform users and search engines about your content. Every web page should have H1 and H2 tags that categorize the information contained therein.
Header tags differ from title tags. The latter is visible in search results on which the user clicks to enter your page, while header tags are visible on the heading of the web page and not on the search results.
Heading tags introduces your audience and Google to the next section of your content. Heading tags are a bit of HTML code that helps search engines and users understand what content is on a page at a glance.
With these tags, you should also focus on hierarchy. The structure of the header tags should flow from general to specific. Structuring your tags this way assists in better understanding of your content by users and search engines.
Alt Tags are assigned to the media on your page, like images and videos. These alt tags also tell search engines about the information contained in pictures and videos.
Since search engines can't read what your images and videos are about like texts, assigning alt tags becomes all the more critical in this respect. Other factors considered, when you assign the proper alt tags to your multimedia files, they show up on the image section of search results when a user enters the specific keywords.
On-Page SEO matters
On-Page optimization is a detrimental factor in ranking your website organically. Though it is right to focus on the technicalities and off-page elements of SEO, improving your on-page elements is also a necessity to implementing a successful SEO strategy.
Remember, doing one aspect right does not compel search engines to rank you high. Search engines will only prefer your content over others when you holistically approach SEO.
Many factors listed herein dependant on the other, mobile responsiveness and page speed affects user experience. You can't focus on just one and expect results from Google.
A collective effort towards optimizing all these factors, along with the off-page elements will improve your organic rankings, lead to more website traffic and increase conversions in due time.