Is your website’s on-page SEO optimised? Without having solid SEO foundations, such as a fast page loading, high-quality content and a well thought out website design and navigation, your website will not reach the lofty 1st place on the search results pages (SERP). You might as a beginner need some help with some Amazing On-Page SEO Tips!
All the factors above are a part of the overall SEO topic, and they fall into the category known as on-page SEO.
But, as a beginner, what can you do to carry out on-page SEO on your website?
So today, let’s look at some top tips that are good for a beginner at SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is, in simple terms, the optimisation of your website and webpages to a certain set of guidelines. Things that can be physically changed within you website itself. Whether that is visible items such as pictures or navigation, or more ‘in the background’ optimisation such as page loading speed or technical optimisation.
These guidelines are what SEO experts use to make changes to websites. Partly based on the Google Webmaster Guidelines, and partly through trial, error and experience. Because, we don’t know the details of algorithms that Google uses to rank websites, they keep these a secret.
But as many studies show, these On-Page SEO tips, will also help your audience or website users. This is because many of these tips are designed to make your website more user friendly, and that’s a major factor for Google.
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
Google Webmaster Guidelines
9 On-Page SEO tips
From keywords to user intent and how to get your website running faster. All these optimisations will improve your website’s overall On-Page SEO.
So, In this section, hold tight as we go through some of the best tips for ranking your website higher in the search engine results pages (SERP).
When a person is looking for something using Google, the person will enter a set amount of words, to make up their search query. Be it a question like ‘ what is the best computer? ‘ or ‘how much exercise per day?’. These are phrases made up of keywords, more on keywords later. But, more importantly, you have you think why the person is looking for it, what they actually mean, and what they want to see in the search results. Then you can ensure you have the right content to optimise your website with, and have the answer the user is looking for.
Search engines have moved on considerably in recent years. They are now able to understand user intent, to a certain degree. Previously search engines would simply match the keywords you type in, to websites containing those words, ignoring ‘insignificant’ words such as ‘is’, ‘the’ etc. It’s become clear in recent years that these ‘insignificant’ words can be hugely important in helping search engines figure out what the user wants to find. This is especially relevant in longer, more complicated searches or questions.
Page Loading Speed
Having a quick website, that loads fully in less than 3 seconds (ideally) is a massive plus into today’s overcrowded market place. Many businesses are online and if your website is sluggish then the potential customer will bounce from your website and go to a faster loading competitor’s website. Google and other search engines will recognise this ‘bounce rate’ and move your website lower in the search results.
If you own a WordPress website (approximately 50% of websites globally are now powered by WordPress), here’s a few things you can do to speed up your website:
- Compress images and / or serve them in next gen. formats (Smush is a great plugin for this)
- Delete unused plugins and look at which plugins may be consuming a lot of website resources when loading
- Use a CDN (content delivery network) such as Cloudflare. Cloudflare’s servers, which are placed globally, store and serve your content from the server closest to the user.
- Use a theme which is well coded. Some ‘code heavy’ page builders often have a notable effect on page load speed
- Use plugin such as W3 Cache or WP Rocket to cache / preload your website
UX & UI
UX/UI or User Experience and User Interface are one of the most important types of On-Page SEO. If a user struggles to navigate around your website because of a hidden navigation bar or hard to read content, again your website will have a high bounce rate. Meaning, the user clicks back, or away from your website within a certain time frame.
Keywords, as we mentioned before are important for getting your website to rank for specific terms and queries. For example, if you run a small online bakery, you could choose keywords like, ‘beautiful wedding cakes Kendal’. This keyword is location-based but more importantly, it is a long-tail keyword. Keywords such as ‘wedding cakes’ are broad and hard to rank for due to massive competition. Large brands will have the monopoly on shorter search terms, and can be a waste of time and money trying to compete with a small or new website. Long-tail keywords, whilst having a lower search volume, generally also have a much lower competition.
Keyword density is where you place the keywords within the content of your website. Google and other search engines need to see enough keywords or phrases to know what your website is about. But, too many may suggest your website is poorly written or perhaps a high spam content.
Here is a shortlist of the best places to put keywords:
- Page titles – Your page title displays in search engines, as is a ranking factor. Use your main key phrase here, but don’t repeat it within the title.
- H1 – This is your main heading and describes the topic of a page. It’s a good idea to apply your keywords or phrase here.
- First paragraph – Try to include your keywords or phrase in your first paragraph or text. It makes the topic clear to search engines.
- Add more of your chosen keywords or phrase within your text, but not too many. Once or twice for every 100 words is a rough guide to use
Having an SEO friendly URL is essential. This will help the Google crawl bots to determine what subject the page is covering, and the search engine can then determine the relevance for indexing and ranking.
Bad URLs are lengthly and misleading for search engines:
Good URLs use a simple structure and the topic is clear:
As you can see, in the example above, the shorter URL is better to read for users too.
Meta descriptions are the small descriptions that you see on the SERP. Take a look at this example below:
As you can see, you have the website title, in this case, it’s Google. Beneath this, you have the description of the page. Google doesn’t use Meta Descriptions in ranking, so use this to sell your page! Be descriptive and don’t overuse keywords.
Note: Google won’t always use your provided meta description. If the search engine concludes that there’s a better fit in the content of your page, then Google may use that as your meta description.
Image ALT Tags
Image alt tags are tags that are attached to images on your website. These tags are very important because people using a screen reader will be able to hear what the image is about. From an SEO point of view, Google uses image alt tags to index and rank images in its image search tab.
As in the example above, If you add words to the image, optimised for keywords from the page you are trying to rank for, then the image will rank in google images.
You have to be careful here though. Try not to use just keywords in the alt tag. The alt tag has to describe the image, and if you can add relevant keywords too, that will help with SEO.
Schema markup or Structured Data, is additional code added to a page to generate ‘rich results’ or ‘rich snippets’ in search engine results pages. This help generate authoritativeness for a company by making the result stand out from the crowd. Google provides guidelines on how to use Schema Markup properly. It is also used to provide search engines with basic company information and to tell them which your core page are. For example, Schema can tell Google which pages are web pages, which are blog posts, and which pages represent your About, Contact and FAQ pages.
Schema is not known for being straightforward. Some WordPress plugins will allow you to add structured data easily or automatically. Here’s a couple of examples of rich results in the SERPs:
On-Page SEO Tips – Conclusion
As we have discussed in the article above, on-page SEO is very important to carry out and perhaps should be the first step on your SEO journey.
From Schema Markup to User Intent and other important factors that help to rank your website, these 9 Amazing On-Page SEO Tips will give your helping hand.
if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Studio 36 Digital.