According to Search Engine Journal, in this year of uncertainty SEO became the top priority as a marketing channel for brands and business. Studies and research shows that almost 70- 80% of the users are focused on organic search results and they tend to convert into quality leads when compared to the paid ads. So, is it all about organic traffic these days? Yes, with reduced marketing budgets, organic traffic is key to getting new sales and leads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a major role in your customer journey because it helps grow your organic traffic.
For your website to gain visibility in the search results, you need to implement the on-page SEO elements making it easy for the search engines to understand, recognize and rank the content. To make this easy for you we are taking you through the important aspects of on-page SEO. Let’s dive in. If you are in a hurry, you can always bookmark this article for the future.
What is ON-PAGE SEO?
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your website for better visibility in search engines to rank higher by driving quality traffic. To get the best results for your website the on-page implementation should be supported by some technical SEO strategies.
The ON-PAGE SEO Checklist
The on-page SEO starts with the keyword research and finding the right primary keyword that needs to be mapped along with the relevant – content. Once you choose your primary keyword;
- Assign that keyword to a specific page on your website
- Make sure you don’t assign that keyword to any other page of the content. Keyword cannibalization is something that can hurt your ranking in the SERP.
2. Optimize for the Titles & H1
Once you have assigned the primary keyword to a specific page, the next step is to optimize your title and H1 with the primary keyword that you have chosen. The title should be catchy enough to grab the attention of the search engine and the audiences. Add the primary keyword in the beginning and -get your audience with a hook telling why you should not miss the content.
3. Optimize the URLs
Every page of your website should have a unique URL that differentiates it from the other pages. The URL should be clean. Clean? Okay let me simplify this:
- The URL should include your primary keyword
- Avoid using special characters
- Keep your URL short this makes the users and search engines to remember your URL
4. Focus on your Meta Description
Never ignore the Meta Description. What is a Meta Description? Defined by Moz, the meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results, which can influence the users to click through. – Include your primary keyword in the first few words of your meta description which helps create anticipation, and builds relevancy for the audience who is about to click through.
5. Body Content
Make sure that you have enough in your body content for Google and other search engines to understand what you are offering. The word count of the page depends on the purpose of the page and depth of the content. For example, if it is a blog, -you cannot have thin content. Based on the purpose of the content, if you are planning to write a long form,- it is recommended to have a word count more than 800 words.
If it is the service page it is recommended to have a minimum of 300 words with the primary keyword positioned around the first 50 words and supported by strong semantic keywords. However, it is important to remember to not “stuff keywords.” You should avoid that at any cost.
6. User Experience Matters
With all the updates Google has made, it is clear that only one thing matters – the users. Are they finding the relevant information they need? It is important to provide a seamless experience to the users who visit your website. How can you make this possible? Here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure your content is easy to understand
- Ensure that there are no broken links
- No one likes a slow loading website, improve your website speed both for mobile and desktop
- Make the website responsive
7. Provide High-Quality Content
Providing high-quality content means not to exhibit your flamboyant grammar skills. Make it as simple as possible. A good yardstick is that even an eighth-grade level reader should be able to read and understand it. Avoid jargon. Create content that provides value for the users. Evergreen content plays a major role in the SEO strategy.
8. Make the Content Scalable
Content that is easy to scan and understand usually performs better in search engines. Once you are done creating the content; go through it and make sure the content is in a scannable format making it easy for the reader to understand.
- Break the content down into subheadings
- Use short paragraphs
- Use bullet points to list the features and information as much as you can
9. Internal Linking
What is internal linking? Internal linking is the process of linking your content to other pages or articles within your website. It is the best way to hook your audience to the website and encourage them to stay longer and explore. -This increases the over-all dwell time on your website.
Use relevant and descriptive ‘anchor texts’ to make the reader understand what the content and internal link is all about and how relevant it is.
10. Add External Links to High-Quality websites
External links leading to other quality sites helps the search engine to understand the content and also enables search engines to give context. So, do not feel bad to include highly relevant and quality external links leading to high-quality websites where you mention the name of the resource within the content. In the process of doing this, you do not want your users to exit your website. Set each outbound link to open in another window with the goal that your site stays open regardless of whether the user visits another site.
11. Do Image Optimizations
Always make the content more visually appealing by adding images. But the job is not done yet. Make sure that you do proper image optimization.
- Add the primary keyword to the image file name
- Add the primary keyword to the image title
- Add the primary keyword to the image alt tag
- Make sure to compress the image properly
12. Is it a Blog Post?
If yes, make sure to add relevant categories and tags to it to organize the content better. This helps search engines to understand the topic -You also need to be confident that the title tags and categories are relevant to the content.
13. Implement Schema Markup
Schema markups help in organizing the data structure that enables search engines to read and rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Referred to in MOZ, Schema.org is the result of the collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help you provide the information their search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding a Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets that are displayed beneath the page title.
14. Include Social Sharing
Content distribution is as important as content creation. Your content must reach the right audience at the right time. There is no place better than social media channels for better visibility for your content. Add the social sharing buttons to make your content easily sharable.
15. Page Speed
Research- shows that 50% of the users will exit the page if the page doesn’t load within 3 seconds. In this age of instant gratification, users are searching for answers and they want it really quick.
Page speed also contributes to one of the important ranking factors for Google. Make sure that the website loads faster to get better visibility in the search engines.
Find your page speed insights here.
These are some of the most important on-page SEO factors that you should start with your optimization. Always keep in mind that SEO has moved a long way from where it began. Always prioritize the target audience not Google and other search engines. The best way forward is to focus on trying to satisfy what you think your users need-By doing this you should definitely see quality traffic to your website.
Do you think that any important elements were missed out? Let me know in the comments.