SEO is one of the most effective ways to get customers. According to a DataBox survey, as many as 70% of marketers agree that SEO is better than PPC in generating sales. If you are wondering what to do to generate more traffic to your website and increase your visibility and sales – this article is for you. Find out where to start the most effective On-Page SEO techniques to achieve the best results.
On-Page SEO: What is it, and why should your company focus on it?
Before we dive into describing specific techniques, let’s explain what on-page SEO actually is.
As you probably know, SEO is a marketing strategy that helps you rank higher and get more organic traffic from the search engine. We can divide SEO activities into two main categories:
- Off-page SEO – external activities such as link-building
- On-page SEO – all actions on your site regarding search engine optimization, including text content, site architecture, HTML, and all technical issues related to your site, such as page speed, broken links, redirects, etc.
In short, on-page SEO is one of the key factors that helps search engines better understand your website.
Riordan SEO, an SEO company in Ireland says “the best way for a business owner to try and understand SEO is to compare it to the traditional world of doing business. For example, backlinks and brand mentions online are similar to referrals in the real world. The more people who talk about your brand the more popular you become. This works the same for Google as a vote of confidence. And as for the content and SEO structure on your website. This is like comparing to your in-house sales team. Your website doesn’t the talking here by educating and convincing customers to buy your products or services”
But why is on-page SEO important for your business? Today, just publishing a website without proper optimization is not enough to achieve success. Did you know that 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of a search engine? This is why companies who want to be visible online try to optimize their websites to rank as high as possible in search results.
On-page SEO is the first and probably most important step in improving your website’s search engine visibility. It allows you to influence how search engine robots score your site regarding the value it provides to users. Moreover, it’s an element of your site that you have control over (for most tasks, you don’t even need the help of software developers) and can modify whenever you want. So if you follow the proper steps recommended by Google, you can rank higher in the search engine and gain awareness, brand equity, and traction.
What elements does on-page SEO include?
On-page SEO consists of four major elements:
1. Content – a major website element that brings users to your website and shows what your company offers. If you provide quality content, include information users are looking for, and use proper keywords, chances are higher that the algorithm will recognize that your site is valuable and rank it higher.
2. HTML – the elements in your source code, including title and meta description, page headings, image elements, links, and structured markup.
3. Site architecture – the way the pages on your website are categorized and inter-linked together. This enables users to navigate faster through your website and search engines to crawl your website’s pages and content more effectively. It contains page depth and internal linking.
4. User experience – the aspects that influence how users see and interact with your website. It includes site speed and mobile responsiveness.
Each element is crucial and can affect how your site compares to the competition. Fortunately, you don’t have to analyze everything on your own because there are a lot of useful automated on-page tools, such as SEO page analysis by SE Ranking. This tool will analyze how your URLs are optimized for particular keywords, compare them to your main organic competitors, and help you understand what elements of your webpage you need to improve to achieve better results and rank higher than your competitors.
10 On-Page SEO Techniques that help you rank higher
1. High-Quality page content
Over the years, on-page SEO optimization has evolved from very schematic activities to ones strongly related to improving user experience. If you want Google’s algorithm or that of any other search engine to rank your site higher, you need to provide valuable content, consistent with your visitors’ search intent.
First, focus on choosing the right keywords and topics. You can check the most popular keywords using free tools such as Google Trends or AnswerThePublic.
For example, if you want to offer copywriting services, you can check which key phrase (“copywriter” or “content writer”) your potential customers are more likely to type. This information will allow you to choose the right main keyword for your page title, headlines, alt text, and other SEO-related elements. You also need keyword research to understand what subtopics your page should include.
Source: Google Trends
To get more advanced insights, it is worth using advanced SEO tools like SE Ranking. They will not only help you identify top keywords but also allow you to see how your website stacks up against your competitors, what keywords bring you the most traffic, spot drops, etc.
Next, you should consider how the content on each page fits into the buyer’s journey.
For example, suppose you offer software development services and write an article about the most popular technologies for 2022. In that case, your readers are probably only at the beginning of the sales funnel, so you should focus on building brand awareness rather than offering your products.
You can divide the content on your website into three elements of the sales funnel:
- BoFu – bottom of the funnel (general blog articles, reports, resources, infographics, FAQ, etc.)
- MoFu – middle of the funnel (case studies, About us page, guides, sales articles such as: “Best software houses to work with”, “Is a Ford Raptor worth the money?”)
- ToFu – top of the funnel (product pages, pricing, and contact pages)
Based on this, you should prepare the right content, goals, and redirects on your pages. It’s especially important when selling expensive luxury goods or working in the B2B sector. Then it takes more time and effort to persuade the customer to buy.
Now it’s time to create content. Focus on making it valuable, add keywords naturally, and tailor it to your visitors’ needs. Try to engage them by adding interesting graphics, videos, instructions, and more. Ensure proper internal linking to help users get to relevant content on your site.
2. Meta tags
Another crucial but easy-to-implement step is adding meta tags, which are your site’s meta title and meta description.
The meta title and meta description are the information about a particular page that displays in search results:
Each of your sub-pages or blog articles with separate URLs can have different meta tags that grab the audience’s attention and let them know what they will find on a particular page. Adding these elements is your chance to improve your rankings and attract as many visitors as possible, so you should focus on creating inviting titles and descriptions that will bring you the best results.
Below we have listed some tips on creating effective meta tags:
- Include the main keyword as close as possible to the meta title and use a long-tail variation of your focus keyword in your meta description.
- Do not exceed the specified number of characters because the search engine will not display all the text. The meta title should be around 55-60 characters and the meta description around 150-155 characters.
- Use a CTA (Call To Action) and show the value your website offers. Especially when you are positioning yourself for a popular keyword, you need to try to encourage your audience to click on your link.
If you use WordPress, you can install a free plugin like Yoast SEO, which allows you to add meta tags easily, shows a view of your site’s SERP results, and assesses whether a provided text is the right length.
Heading tags are another element that affects not only SEO but also user experience. They help users find the information they need faster and make your text clearer. On top of that, they let Google’s algorithm know what information you provide and how your page content is structured.
If you create more extensive content, differentiate headings with H1, H2, H3, and even H4. But remember to set the heading tags in your HTML code in a logical order, meaning from smallest to largest:
Lastly, don’t forget to add relevant keywords in the headers. Try to make them different and add phrases other than the main keyword you used in the page’s title.
4. Page URLs
The next step is to set up the appropriate URLs for each page of your website. Focus on making them simple, easy to understand, and related to the topic of the page. It’s also a good idea to add a keyword related to the content users will find on the page.
Moreover, try to use universal names that you will not have to change later. For example, if you are creating a list of the most necessary sales tools for 2022 and you plan to update your list a year from now without creating a new source, don’t add the year in the URL.
It is also important to remember consistency and hierarchy when creating subpages, blog articles, etc. Always try to start with the most general pages before moving on to more specific ones.
Also, use HTTPS instead of HTTP, as Google recommends it.
5. Optimized images
Optimizing images for on-page SEO is a way to provide search engine robots with information about what your image includes. It gives you a chance to get traffic not only from text-based results but also from image-based results.
To optimize your images, you need to add alt-text, which is the text that appears to users when they cannot load an image. It’s also the element in the HTML code that tells search engines what’s in a particular image.
If you use WordPress, the feature to add alt-text is available in in image editing mode within the WordPress content editor:
When optimizing images, be sure not to add large files as this will increase page speed and negatively impact SEO and user experience.
You can compress the size of images using free browser tools such as TinyPNG or install a plugin such as Optimole, which will allow you to compress files directly on your site.
6. Page load speed
If two pages both have good content, Google will probably rank the URL that cares about user experience higher. Therefore, another factor you should pay attention to is page speed, especially for mobile devices.
”Page load speed is important for websites because it directly impacts the user experience. A slow loading website can frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates. In addition, search engines take page load speed into account when ranking websites, so a fast website is more likely to appear higher in the search results. Plus, faster pages can also lead to lower hosting costs, since server resources are used more efficiently” says Jon of 1st On The List.
To check if your page loads fast enough, you can use advanced SEO tools that offer page audits or check this metric in Page Speed Insights.
These tools provide insightful tips on what you can do to improve your site’s performance– like utilizing caching, minifying your JS and CSS, improving server response time, etc.
7. Mobile Friendliness
Did you know that the mobile version of your content is what Google uses for indexing and ranking your website?
Therefore, you should optimize your website for mobile page speed and take care of mobile responsiveness. Make sure the mobile version of your site is readable, easy to navigate, and error-free. You can check it using the Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google Search Console.
8. Internal Linking
Internal linking is one of the most popular and effective SEO activities. It involves adding links from one page to others belonging to your website.
For example, if you are writing a blog article comparing two tools, and you previously wrote a dedicated article focused on one of them, it is a good idea to include a link to the previous article in the current one.
When choosing links to add, consider what other content you have that might interest visitors to a particular page. To make internal linking effective, you also need to use relevant anchor text.
This solution will help you retain the user longer. Moreover, internal linking can help increase your site’s conversions and turn visitors into buyers.
9. Schema Markup
Schema markup is the code you put on your site to create more engaging content suited to search engine algorithms. It enables search engines to find all relevant information and show it directly in search results. As a result, the results include additional data and can encourage more people to visit your website.
An example of schema markup
To create schema markup, you can use the Schema.org vocabulary. It will help you create relevant schemas and modify your content into code that search engines can process.
10. Optimizing for conversion and content sharing
Each of your pages should have a specific purpose. It could be a broad one like meeting your brand or using your content to get an answer, or something more specific like downloading an ebook, signing up for a subscription, scheduling an appointment, etc. Leverage the potential of your site by setting up relevant banners, pop-ups, or creating engaging CTAs. A good tactic is adding social media sharing buttons that allow your visitors to share your content easily. It is your chance to get new leads.
On-page SEO – a way to increase your business results
As you can see, on-page SEO optimization can benefit your business in many ways. The SEO techniques we’ve listed will improve user experience, help you stay ahead of the competition, rank higher in search results, and increase sales.
What’s more, you will be able to follow most of our tips on your own, without the help of software developers. Get started as soon as possible and maximize the potential of your website.