Search Engine Optimization is a strategy utilised in digital marketing to rank your page as highly as possible in search engines. Basically, you’re trying to be best mates with Google. Off-page SEO relates to external factors such as social media attention and other websites providing links to your page. On-page SEO factors are those which are directly related to your individual pages- and which we have more control over. Below are 3 of the main ways in which we can optimise our websites using on-page SEO:
Content refers to any text, image, video or sound which is present on your page. Put simply, the content on your page needs to be useful. The average internet user spends less than 15 seconds on a web page which means you have less than 15 seconds to convince the viewer that your content and service/product is worth sticking around for. Ask yourself ,‘Is this content what the user came to see?’. If the answer is, ‘Yes! Most definitely!’ then you and Google are going to get along pretty well.
It is also vital to ensure that your content is linkable. If your content cannot be shared, linked elsewhere or perhaps if you need a login to view the content- as far as Google is concerned, that piece of content may as well not exist.
- Key Words
An important aspect of on-page SEO is including keywords in your content, but also making sure that you are using them in the correct ratio and places. Whilst 1-3% can be used as a general guide when considering the keyword density on your page, there is no exact or definitive amount which will work across all pages. Use of keywords should feel natural and be easily integrated into your content without feeling like a blatant advert. Below is a list of areas where keywords will be most effective on your page:
- Title tag
- Content of page (first 100 words specifically)
- Image alt text
For more information on how to do keyword research and build a keyword list, check out this Yoast blog.
2) Title Tags
HTML meta tags sounds like the kind of thing that you might need a degree in coding to understand. In actual fact these tags are basically a handy way for you to give Google a quick run down of what your page is all about by using a few concise and accurate words. This tag is also the first thing that search bots, as well as viewers, will read or know about your page.
In the example above, the first two lines of grey text is the meta tag for the Margin Media website. Your meta tag is not only displayed in Google and search engine result pages but also in web browsers, tabs and various social media platforms.
How Do I Write a Good Title Tag?
- As of April 2019, the optimal length for your meta description on Google is 120-158 characters. If your description is too long, then Google will cut it off which may make it hard to read.
- Use a good ratio of keywords. Keywords in your meta description will tell Google and your viewers what your content is about and therefore will help your page rank higher. However, if you simply saturate your title tag with keywords unnecessarily and overwhelm the viewer, Google will penalise you.
- You should also use important keywords as close to the beginning of the tag as possible. This will impact search rankings but also, research shows that some users will only read as little as the first two lines of a sentence on a search engine results page.
- Write unique title tags for every page. Create titles specific to your product/company/service and always avoid generic tags like “home” or “page five”.
3) User Experience
UX is a vital factor in on-page SEO. In the age of Information Technology, users will not tolerate a website that is difficult to navigate or where they struggle to find the information they need. And if users will not tolerate it, then neither will Google.
Headings like <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc. will make for an easier user experience. They will inform readers and search engines of the specific content topic for a certain section of a page while establishing a clear and organised hierarchy of content.
Ease of Navigation is another important factor in UX and SEO, one which is still surprisingly overlooked. A lot of viewers will arrive at your website through pages other than your homepage. This means that you need to have a concise menu list on your website which is clearly organised and structured in a way that makes sense.
Below is an image of a website for a company named Gates N Fences which features a confusing navigation system:
The menu on the left-hand side has long, unclear page titles which don’t fit into the menu buttons. The overload of content and disorganisation of the page would leave any user feeling disorientated and frustrated.
Mobile experience should also be considered a part of UX as so many consumers are now viewing websites on their mobile phones or devices. In fact, Google’s algorithm now considers your mobile website your ‘main’ website. Make sure to optimise your content with mobile-friendly margins and ensure that your website navigation is just as simple on mobile devices as it is on desktop.
On-page SEO is a great and effective way to take control of how your pages rank on all search engines. Transform these three areas of your company website and you are sure to see your page rising to the top of Google’s result pages, giving you a greater volume of traffic and higher ROI.