If you’ve heard the term on page SEO before, but are not quite sure what it means, relax. Most business owners have heard of it, but other than it’s ‘something to do with keywords,’ we’re often not too sure what it is.
When it comes to search engine optimisation, there are two different categories: on page SEO and off page SEO. Today we’re going to discuss on page SEO. This refers basically to everything you can see when you look at web page. It helps not only website visitors read and understand what is on your web page, but also helps the search engine robots too. By having great on page SEO, search engines can index your pages easily, navigate within your site and understand what your site is about. There are seven key areas we’d like to talk about in depth.
7 Key Areas of On Page SEO
There are seven areas of on page SEO which we believe are important to get right. They are:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Heading Tags
- Page Content
- Alt Text for Images
- Internal Links
Let’s explore each of these seven areas in detail.
Using Title Tags Within Your Website
A title tag is a piece of HTML code which gives each of your web pages a title. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the code which your website uses to show which font size, colour, headings and hyperlinks appear on each page.
Your title tag is what is shown on search engine results pages (SERPs). It is the clickable heading above your meta description and tells people what the page is about. In a Google search, between 50-60 characters are shown in SERPs, so be sure to keep it below this to avoid your title being cut off.
Title tags are used in three places:
- Web Browsers
At the top area of your screen when you are on a PC, you can see the title tag in the page tab area.
- Search Engine Result Pages
The page where a search engine displays the results to your query.
- Social Networks
When you share a link on a social media site, you’ll see the title tag.
The key things to remember when writing title tags for on page SEO purposes are:
- Include your keyword
- Write a unique title for each page on your site
- Put the important keywords first in the title
Tips on Writing Meta Descriptions for Your Website
A meta description is the piece of text shown under the title tag on SERPs. Also a piece of HTML code, your meta description is what you use to convince people to click the link and visit your website. This means it needs to be interesting, accurate, descriptive and relevant to the page topic. While Google doesn’t use meta descriptions as part of its ranking algorithm, it does affect the click through rate to your website.
Here are some tips to follow for when you’re writing your meta descriptions:
- Include your keyword
- Think of it as an advertisement
- Ensure it is accurate
- Keep it between 135-160 characters long
- Write a unique meta description for each page
Writing Website Page URLs
It’s important to include your keyword within your page URL if you can. But whatever you do, don’t go and change your old URLs. Most likely this would destroy any ranking your page already has. Just keep it in mind for the future.
Creating Fantastic Page Content
Great content is loved by both search engines and by your website visitors. The content on each page needs to be useful. Someone reading it needs it to solve their problem! Google can measure if it is or not by:
- It’s click through rate or CTR
- How long someone stays on the page
- Where the visitor goes after they have visited the page
- The links to and from that page
- Keywords used
What makes the actual content great? It needs to be well written, in a logical order, free from topic and grammatical errors, has headings, images and be well researched. It’s like having a conversation with the people reading your page. We suggest writing naked, or in other words, writing like you were speaking.
You also need to prove to people that you know your stuff, that you’re the thought leader or authority in your industry. This will show them how you can help them and encourage them to seek you out again.
Using Alt Text for Images
Your website should have a spot for you to add alt text to your images. This is where you’d describe the image in a short sentence which includes your keywords. Search engines need the alt text added because they can’t ‘read’ graphics, only text. The alt text helps the search engine to further understand what your page is about, helping it to rank higher in SERPs.
Alt text which is well written helps search engines to index your images. This makes them far more likely to appear in image search results too. Alt text is also used for web users who have impaired vision. They can click on the picture and their software will read aloud the alt text. A search engine will also show the alt text if the image cannot be loaded.
Including Internal Links in Your Web Page
An internal link is a hyperlink which points to another page on your website. Internal links are useful because they:
- Help people move easily around your website
- Spread link juice or ranking power around your website
- Show the importance of specific pages on your website
The best practise for using an internal link is to use it within a sentence, also known as anchor text. You can link images, but make text your main way of linking. The actual text you use should explain what the page you are linking to is about, if possible using one of your keywords.