On-page SEO is one of the fundamental strategies for boosting website traffic. By implementing best practices and optimizing your content, you’re helping search engines discover and rank your content. The goal is to deliver the most-appropriate content for a user’s intent. The greater your site’s expertise, authority and trustworthiness, the higher your page ranking. Given that 95% of users never search beyond the first page of rankings, here’s how to fix the factors affecting your on-page SEO.
Your On-Page SEO Checklist
On-page SEO is not the only factor affecting your search ranking, but it’s one of the most important ways to get traffic to your website. We can typically identify 7 key pillars of an optimized page.
- Unique value — stand out from the more than 1.7 billion web pages online by offering unique, valuable and authoritative content
- User experience — easy to load, scan and navigate
- Targeted — with content built around precise keyword terms
- Dynamic — mobile-ready and responsive
- Shareable — has URLs that facilitate social sharing
- Crawler accessible — key page and site elements enable search engines to crawl and index
- Meta data — descriptive keywords encourage click-through
Ultimately, the task is to create original content that is clearly signposted. That starts with the key page elements.
Optimize Keywords in Headlines and Tags
The majority of visitors to any website spend only a matter of seconds before bouncing. HubSpot calculates that your site has just 15 seconds to capture attention. Visitors often leave a page because they cannot tell at a glance what it’s about. Your primary keywords, therefore, should be included in the:
- Title tag — often the link that features on search results; missing or duplicate tags affect SEO.
- Headlines — should be optimized; write several versions and test using a tool like CoSchedule.
- Header tags H1 to H6 — should feature your primary and long-tail keywords.
- Domain — but only where it is relevant; you can’t just hijack a keyword, create the domain and neglect the content.
What Are Some Examples of Metadata?
To purchase your favorite soda, you follow a hierarchy of cues and signposting to pick out the appropriate store, aisle, section and brand. Metadata work the same way — the results are the supporting information for your content. The key difference is that they’re visible only to crawlers, and not on the page itself. Make sure your pages are optimized to include:
- Meta description — the text that is featured below your page on search results; should be around 160 characters and include primary keywords.
- Meta tags — title (50 to 60 characters) on every unique page with author, date of publication, category and tags.
Poor Content Affects SEO
Your on-page content should be written with the user’s search intent in mind, resolving questions with relevant answers. Avoid writing for search engines rather than readers. Use a tool like SEMrush to identify the keywords you’re currently ranking for, but don’t stuff keywords into mediocre, unfocused content.
- Avoid repeating keywords in multiple pages in your site.
- Use canonical URLs for similar content to tell search crawlers which content is more authoritative.
Using Images in the Website Design Process
Search engines have no idea what each image on your page depicts until you label them with Alt text and descriptions. Make sure you optimize your images for the web, too — large files will slow down your loading speed and affect your SEO. A one-second delay in loading time can reduce conversions by 7%.
Usability and SEO Website Design
If page loading speed is a huge factor for SEO, so is making sure your site is optimized for mobile. More sites are now accessed on mobile devices than on desktops. Aim for an uncluttered design with moderate use of images to keep loading times fast.
How to Speed Up Your SIte
- Web hosting plays a large part. If your host is consistently slow, switch hosts.
- Enable browser caching and configure cached pages with a plugin.
- Optimize images for the web.
- Limit external scripts (ads, font loaders).
The Importance of URLs
Any duplicate content is problematic for SEO, so URL masking or cloaking should be avoided. Set up a permanent 301 redirect instead and use static URLs only (no dynamic parameters). Make it easier for bots to crawl your pages by implementing a clear hierarchy for your URLs, using categories, subcategories and keywords instead of strings of numbers or letters. Ideally, each URL should be no more than 90 characters.
Internal, inbound and outbound links are all important in building up SEO. Wherever you are linking to an internal page or authoritative site, ensure that the anchor text is relevant and keyword-focused. Finally, include a robots.txt file to instruct search engines which pages to crawl in your site, and an XML sitemaps file to list all the pages and URLs in your site.
Learn more about how a service like EasyRedir can help your company redirect URLs and make an impact on your on-page SEO.