The internet is a competitive platform for businesses. While it provides many benefits like global markets access, information affluence, and lower transaction costs, what can’t be denied is that currently, there are more than 1 billion websites out there constantly vying for viewers’ attention (according to Netcraft’s May 2021 Web Server Survey). The math behind the tussle and rapidly evolving marketing strategies is pretty straightforward.
Now unless you’re a popular brand like Amazon, Wal-Mart, or eBay, most visitors to your website will come from search engines. This implies that a user will search for keywords relevant to your brand and the search engine will include your website on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the top few websites on the first SERP will get the most traffic since they will have the best visibility. If you’re not among the few entries at the top, you’re losing potential customers to your competition.
So how can you ensure that your website lands on the initial few SERPs, or in other words, ranks higher on search engines? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you can achieve high ranking! SEO is an umbrella term used to refer to the different techniques that can help you improve your website’s online visibility. The strategy includes several elements like on-page SEO, off-page SEO, backlinking, PPC, and much more. On-Page SEO is one of the crucial elements that we will discuss in this post.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing web pages to attract organic traffic and improve the website’s ranking on SERPs. It generally includes optimizing Metadata (Meta description, Meta title, and keyword density), URL, the page’s internal links, and HTML along with posting relevant content and images. When you implement these improvements altogether, you get an improved webpage that’s valued more by search engine bots and users alike.
According to SEO experts, On-page SEO includes every element of the webpage and the strategies implemented to improve each element. It is responsible for ensuring that a website earns credibility, authority, and a high level of expertise in the business niche it belongs to.
Why is On-page SEO Important?
The search engine bots that index websites store information about the content they find on such websites. On-page SEO helps them analyze such content so that they can show a website in the search results if a searcher’s query matches that content. Search engines like Google and Bing are always updating their algorithms to gain a better understanding of searcher’s intent and offer search results (information) that satisfy user needs. It is understandable that as search engine algorithms evolve, so should your website. As we stated earlier, this is a process that is constantly evolving.
A website and its content should be visible to the search engines (through relevant HTML and metadata) and users (through content, media, and images). It should be optimized according to the latest indexing practices employed by popular search engines. This way the engines can better understand what your website contains and rank it accordingly.
Whether your business is large or small, you need to optimize your website’s on-page SEO for better visibility to your target audience. It’s one of the mainstream digital marketing strategies implemented by SEO specialists that’s hugely popular, reliable, and gives you a good return on your investment. According to experts, it’s relatively low-cost (in comparison to any other digital marketing strategy) and offers long term benefits like bringing passive traffic for years that helps your website grow.
Another reason for its importance is that nearly 50% of website traffic and 40% of online revenue comes from search engine traffic. And the position of a website on the search results page determines the amount of traffic it gets. For example, a website that appears as 1st result on Google’s SERP gets 32% more traffic, and the first SERP grabs 91.5% of the total traffic for the targeted keywords. Needless to say, on-page SEO can help your website stand out.
Now that we’ve set the premise, let’s proceed with understanding the elements of on-page SEO. This will help you implement it in the best way.
Key On-Page SEO elements
As mentioned earlier, on-page SEO strategies involve optimizing the key on-page SEO elements for success of your websites. Here’s a list of these key elements:
Metadata is present in the HTML code of your webpage. It refers to information about Meta elements like Meta description and page’s title tag that is used in the search results to list your page. When a user searches for a query and your website has relevant information, the search engine will display your website in the search results. It will list the page title and Meta description that will tell the user what the page is all about. According to SEO experts, you need to optimize your Metadata with detailed content and good keywords so the search engine and the user know what your page offers.
2. On-page content
Well-written content is crucial to achieving a higher ranking on the search results page. Besides keyword enriched metadata, the on-page content should be also optimized with relevant keywords that will help search engines understand what your page offers. It is necessary that the on-page content has proper keyword placement to reassure the search engine that your website contains the information the user is looking for. It should be expert, authoritative, trustworthy, and focused on the intent of the target keywords.
3. Site Structure
The website structure is of great importance, and it’s important that search engine bots are able to crawl your website to index your pages and content easily. Some of the elements that are considered search engine friendly are anchor links, navigation bars, and footers that allow search engines to link the user to a page that is relevant to his query. If your website is difficult to navigate, search engine crawlers will face difficulties in indexing and analyzing the pages. The end result would be your website not appearing or ranking very low on SERPs for your target keywords (despite being relevant to the user queries and offering high-quality content).
Now, let’s find out which on-page SEO strategies can bring success to your business.
What On-page SEO strategies should you use?
While you can’t have control of all aspects of off-page SEO, on-page SEO is a different thing altogether. Here we’ve listed on-page SEO items that are under your control and can be optimized for higher search engine rankings.
Use SEO friendly URLs
You should choose SEO-friendly URLs to make the website search engine friendly. In simple words, the URL should have target keywords and it is better if they appear at the beginning. You should avoid using long and cluttered URLs as short URLs have a definitive advantage in search results.
The Title Tag should start with a keyword
The title tag holds crucial importance in the page ranking factor, particularly in the targeted keyword placement. SEO experts mention that the keyword should appear at the beginning of the title since it receives more weightage from search engines that way. The length of the title is also an important aspect. The title tag should have a length between 50 and 60 characters that will ensure it is not shortened in search results.
Add Modifiers to Title
Using modifiers like review, best, checklist, fast, current year can help your website rank high for long-tail versions of the target keyword. These modifiers can increase your click-through rate (CTR)
Use <H1> tag to wrap Page Title
The Page Title is the top attribute of your page. Though Google does not limit the number of H1 tags on pages, experts mention having one H1 tag per page helps. Make sure the H1 tag contains the target keywords. The presence of an H1 tag on the page helps Google understand the page structure while indexing your website.
Use <H2> tags in Subheadings
The subheadings should have <H2> tags with target keywords placed in them. Subheadings are valued by both users and search engines as they break up the content into sections and make it easier to read. You can use multiple <H2> tags on a page.
Include images on every page
A picture speaks a thousand words and can deliver your message much faster. SEO experts mention that including images and videos on every page helps reduce bounce rates. It also increases the user time spent on your site that gives you more opportunities for conversions. Images and videos also break up the content and allow you to place target keywords in the image’s alt tag. The file name is an overlooked element during on-page SEO optimization. Make sure you give a brief description of the image in the file name.
On-page SEO is crucial if you want to increase your website’s ranking on the search results page. It is not a one-time thing that you can do and rest, but an ongoing process where you apply different strategies to find out what works and what doesn’t. To bring your website to the top of the webpage for targeted keywords, you need to optimize all on-page SEO factors on a regular basis and you will notice an improvement in organic traffic, search engine rankings, and conversion.
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