On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, refers to optimizing website content, HTML tags, and internet links to improve search result ranking and boost traffic.
The goal of on-page SEO is to rank higher in search results. To achieve this, you need to help search engines understand the relevance of your website content to your target audience.
Optimizing your website comes with a lot of benefits, such as:
- Increased traffic
- Better click-through rates (CTR)
- Profitable bottom line
While many factors influence how search engines understand and rank your site, some elements are more vital than others.
This article covers the essential on-page SEO factors you need for your SEO ranking. We’ve also included tips to help you optimize your website in those areas to save time and resources.
1. Optimizing Content
Content is the single most essential factor for on-page SEO. You need content that provides value to your readers. The value of your content directly correlates to how well your website will rank in search engine results.
However, optimizing content for SEO is more than simply writing valuable stuff. You need to incorporate several elements into your content.
If you are serious about SEO, you need to prioritize original content. Duplicate content typically triggers red flags and can affect your SEO ranking negatively. Even if the identical contents are on your site, it will still hurt your ranking.
The best way to avoid duplicate content is to offer something new in every content. It could be a new perspective, additional information, or a more straightforward way of explaining stuff.
There are a thousand ways to be unique. Take your time to understand what you want to share and find a unique way to do so.
Suppose you end up with similar content because the topics on your website overlap. In that case, you can tell search engines which one should have more authority using canonical URLs.
● Comply with Google’s E-A-T guidelines
E-A-T means expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It is one of the ways through which Google ranks your website content.
Google accounts for most web searches, so you want to optimize your website per their guidelines.
- Expertise refers to whether you (the content creator) are an expert on the topic you are writing on. It also considers any relevant credentials you have to back up your expertise. You can become an expert without formal education or training for general everyday topics.
But for topics on health, legal issues, financial advice, skilled hobbies, and so on, you need to demonstrate your expertise if you want your content to rank well.
- Authoritativeness considers if people look to you (the creator), your content, and your website as an authority in your industry. You can develop authority by providing detailed, relevant content and by having other authoritative websites link to your website content.
- Trustworthiness means people can access honest, accurate information on your website.
Search engines know your content is relevant when words on your web page match those in search queries.
For example, suppose someone types in “Italian pizza,” and your website contains “Italian pizza” in the heading, body, or both. In that case, the search engine will consider your website relevant to the search.
As you probably know, there are at least hundreds of thousands of websites targeting such keywords, so if you want to stand out, you’re better off focusing on long-tail keywords. For instance, “Italian pizza kitchen” or “Italians pizza recipe and ingredients.”
The best thing about long-tail keywords is that you rank for both the short versions, “Italian pizza,” and the long versions.
You can extend your reach with keywords like “gourmet Italian pizza recipes”. Now you are also targeting “Italian pizza,” “gourmet Italian pizza,” and “Italian pizza recipe.” Tools such as Buzzsumo or Twinword can be really useful when trying to find the most trending keywords that people are searching for.
One more thing about keywords. It would help if you incorporated LSI (Latent semantic indexing) keywords.
LSI keywords are words similar to the main keywords you are targeting. For instance, “car” and “auto” are identical terms, so if you use “auto” as a keyword, the search engine will also rank you for the “car” keyword.
● SEO writing techniques
It is one thing to create content that helps your audience, creating content that ranks well on search engine results is another.
Sacrificing one for the other would hamper your website growth, so you have to do both, and you want to avoid keyword stuffing – excessive usage of your keyword.
Always use your keywords naturally within your article, and only use keywords where necessary to ensure your content is readable to human visitors and still prioritizes search engines.
Stuffing your keywords can make your content awkward and affect your website ranking. Instead of repeating the exact keywords repeatedly, you should incorporate LSI keywords.
Other tips include breaking your content into headings and subheadings while using short sentences and paragraphs. Using bullet lists will also make your information digestible.
● Visual Assets
Visual assets such as videos, images, and infographics make your page appeal to visitors, break text, and aid comprehension. Aside from those benefits, visual assets can also improve your SEO.
Many users search through images and videos, so you miss out on potential traffic if your content doesn’t include visual assets. Here are two tips to unlock visual asset potential:
- Make your image shareable to encourage backlinking
- Optimize your image file sizes so they don’t slow down your website loading time
2. Optimizing Website HTML
Your website HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the code that tells visitors’ browsers what to show and how to show it. It also provides information to human visitors and search engines.
Specifically, you want to optimize the following:
● Title Tags
Your tag should be eye-catching and contain your main keywords. Think of your title tag as a less than 60-character summary of your content.
If you feel lost, you can use online title tag generators to get some ideas. However, don’t sweat it.
Sometimes, Google will rewrite your title tag based on the user’s search query. Make sure you use exact matching keywords and accurately describe your content.
Like title tags, you want to pay attention to your headings and subheadings. Your H1 should contain your primary keywords and draw your audience’s attention to the main content.
You can optimize your H2 headings to contain long-tail keywords and topics you discuss in your content.
● Meta Description
We know meta descriptions are not an essential ranking factor, but they can add significant value to your site. They help Google understand your web content.
The meta description can provide information to searchers and, in turn, increase your click-through rate (CTR).
● Image Optimization
We’ve discussed the importance of visual assets, but you should pay attention to the technical details. You want to:
- Use the correct resolution and format
- Ensure they are mobile compatible
- Have SEO-optimized field names instead of an auto-generated name
3. Optimizing Links
Links from reputable websites are one way to boost your website ranking in search engine results. When a high authority website links to your website, it tells search engines that the information on your blog is worth checking out.
The more links you get from other websites, the more authoritative your website becomes. However, not all links function this way. There are three types of links; each has its importance.
● Internal Links
Internal links are links that lead visitors to other content on your website. They are easy to implement and can distribute traffic and authoritativeness throughout your site.
If you want to get the best out of internet links, you should
- Use with an SEO-optimized anchor text.
- Place when in areas that relate to your target landing page.
● Outbound Links
One way to show the information on your site is high quality, and accurate is to link to relevant, authoritative sites in your industry.
You get the most value by linking to high-authority domains in your niche. You can also link to lesser-known websites, but they won’t provide as many SEO benefits as high authority domains.
● Inbound links
Inbound links, also called backlinks, are the most important type of links in terms of SEO benefits. But they are also the hardest to implement.
You get inbound links when other websites link back to your website. Some ways to get inbound links include
- Writing guest points for high authority websites with your links included
- Sharing your website links on social media
- Offering shareable infographics
- Asking for backlinks
Inbound links are not equal. Links from very high authority websites can catapult your site ranking and are the hardest to get. Links from sources like forum posts, guest books, and link farms are cheap but can hurt your site rankings.
Search engine optimization is ultimately all about creating valuable, accurate content and ensuring that both human visitors and search engines understand your content.
Begin with the factors within your control, then look for opportunities for improvement. The tips in the article should give you great results within a few months. But remember, SEO is an ongoing process, there is always room for improvement.