The SEO world can be a confusing place and is often called a dark art to rank your website. However, like any marketing strategy, it is simply a process you follow to please your users and search engines to say what it is you do and why you should rank on the first page of Google.
There are three parts to this procedure, each just as important as the other. These are on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation, and technical SEO.
Whilst the way we do these activities has changed, you still need each of the for website success. In this article, you will find more about on-page optimisation and what key aspects you should be focusing on.
This is still the first place you should start. Figuring out what it is people are searching for and related words they are using, is the beginning of the process called keyword research.
You need to know not just the main terms you want to rank for but other related terms that whilst might not bring as many visitors, they can get more targeted and not as competitive (these are called long-tail keywords).
It is recommended to target one main theme per page. Whilst there are over 400+ ranking signals in Google’s algorithm, some of the main key on-page metrics have not changed
According to Neil from SEO company Digital Impact Solutions “I still consider this one of the most important and easiest parts of SEO to get right.” The title tag shows when users search on Google.
Making sure your main keyword appears at the front of the tag as possible and use separators such as “,”, “|”, “-“ to separate the keyword phrases. It is also recommended to always end the title tag with your brand or company name. This tag should be no longer than 64 characters long.
Meta Description Tag
Like the title tag, the meta description tag appears in a Google search when someone searches for a keyword. Whilst Google is beginning to choose the description to show here, you can still use this effectively for your benefit.
The meta description is usually a sentence or paragraph to determine what the page is about with a good strong call to action. This tag should be no longer than 160 characters long.
Again, these are important tags for your page. Not only do they help split up the content, so it is easier to read, Google does look at these tags and give them some (although nobody is sure how much) weight to your ranking score. It is recommended to use one H1 tag and split up the remaining paragraphs with H2 tags
With Google paying considerable attention to how concepts and entities are related, the words you use are massively important in Google’s eyes. Say you are writing a document about the word “apple” and you are talking about the fruit rather than the technology company. There are other related words you need to mention to strengthen the topic of your site. You may mention fruit, pip, core, other fruits, greens, types of apples, etc.
In the old days of SEO, all you would have to do is mention the main key phrase say “apple” 2-3% of the overall text and this would be the on-page work done, with the rest of SEO work predominantly surrounding building your authority score up with link building. These days, the amount of times you mention a word is nowhere near as important as the overall topic and intent behind the word.
As it has been suggested above the intent of the word is more important than keyword density (the number of times you mention a word). Say you are trying to rank for the word “buy blue widgets”.
In Google’s eyes when a user types in this work they are looking to buy something and consider it a transactional keyword. Here you would feature the “features/benefits” of blue widgets, probably in a shorter form of content with some sort of price or way to purchase.
But let’s say you are optimising for someone comparing blue v red widgets. Here this is more of an informational blog or article related intent and Google would probably expect longer-form content with headers and answering questions within the content.
How do you know the intent? Simple just do a Google search for the phrase you are trying to rank for and look at the results. Take into account the title tags, meta descriptions, content length, words mentioned, etc. Success leaves clues.
Inner linking is just as important as external link building. Making sure you are linking to pages of your site from other pages, can help forge positive signals to your topic or entity. Naturally using keywords to link pages together can be vital to search success.
We would always recommend linking blog posts to other service or product pages. After someone has read your blog post giving them a clear path on what to do next, can greatly increase conversion.
What to do about image mark-up can be a controversial topic in the SEO world. It is important to describe the image in a couple of words, bearing in mind that these image descriptions are for those visitors who are visually impaired and they will not appreciate, having lots of keywords read out to them. Use keywords but only where it makes sense.
Schema mark-up allows you a free way to tell Google what it is your page is about. Since the inclusion of Google’s machine learning algorithm, schema mark-up has given webmasters and site owners, a way to advise Google all the important metrics of the page behind the scenes such as an address, business name, types of content, main content topics, and the Wikipedia page about what the topic means and a whole range of other concepts.
On-page optimisation is part of and a very important aspect of SEO. Using the tips above will help you optimize each page individually. Not only that but also it will help you rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from the search engine.
Interesting Related Article: “Content Vs. SEO, Which Is More Important In Digital Marketing Today?“