One of the focus areas of my job is on-page SEO optimization for various clients. Out of all the SEO tactics, this practice has proven to be the most beneficial for search engine ranking, time and time again.
What makes it so fruitful, you may wonder?
Well, according to Backlinko, Google alone takes into account over 200 factors when ranking a website. The exact weightage of each factor is not clear. But one fact we can state with certainty is that content and the performance of a website are among the top ranking factors.
After all, all websites that rank highly on search engines tend to feature highly optimized content, meta tags, as well as high page speed and smooth navigation. This is because search engines prioritize the user experience and relevance of a given site to a search query when reflecting search results.
Therefore, implementing SEO on the various pages of your website is a must. Here are the top ten ways you should consider while doing so.
URL: The neglected child of on-page SEO
There are a lot of onpage SEO factors that have garnered a lot of attention and hence implementation by the masses. Sadly, URL is not one of them.
The key is SEO Friendly URLs, or the URLs that can give users and search engines a sense of the page content. There is a hoard of websites that has a URL filled with mind-distorting special characters. This is probably the result of using ill-suited CMS.
The idea is to create SEO-friendly URLs containing real words instead of special characters; so that the users, along with the search engine bots, can easily read and understand it accordingly.
You can implement the steps mentioned below for URL optimization.
- Avoid using capital letters.
- Pick hyphens over underscores.
- Create a mobile URL and add it to your sitemap.
- Incorporate your primary keyword in your URL.
- Add 301 redirects for broken URLs.
On-Page Content: It’s still the king!
One on-page SEO method which will probably never go obsolete is content. In fact, Search Engine Watch reports that content is among the top three ranking factors!
The content length, style, and the reaction of the targeted audience are a few SEO aspects that are debated a lot. However, everybody concurs that content quality is crucial for on-page SEO.
The concept is to develop content that snaps the user’s attention, so that they get ready to convert.
A great way to develop such content is to use various forms, including videos, blogs, infographics, and on-page descriptions. Make sure to use high-performing keywords in them.
For instance, see how Open Hallway makes use of a distinguishing call-to-action, a video, and crisp product description to relay its point across. There are plenty of other examples for the content quality, this being just one.
Site’s Speed: The Higher, the Better
In today’s digital world, people have limitless choices but very little time. So if your website is slow and loads with a delay, then the chances are that people will stumble on to your competitor’s website rather than waiting for your website to load.
To put things into perspective, statistics reflected by Hobo show that when a page load time increases from one to six seconds, the bounce rate spikes by a whopping 106 percent!
Having a perfect site is extremely crucial to save your lead and gain credibility for the search engine. If you haven’t prioritized that aspect of your branding, you are likely to lose potential business.
Here are SEO onpage optimization steps for a fast-loading website:
- Create a simplistic and clean website with minimal clutter.
- Compress your image sizes.
- Remove unnecessary redirects.
- Use browser caching and AMP.
Page title: the first thing site visitors see
Take the old-school SEO techniques and then pick the modern world of on-page SEO. There is one aspect that hasn’t changed, and that is the significance of the title tag.
The title tag is crucial because it gives both the search bots and the users an idea of its content.
This tag is featured on the search engine page and hence the first thing that users see. A poorly written and optimized title tag can hamper your ranking.
You have a 70 characters limit on Page title, so always keep the length in mind when crafting titles. It is better to stick to 50-60 characters because beyond this; the title tag is truncated by the search engine.
Here are some examples of title tags done right! Observe how these come up as top search results.
Rel Canonicals: A savior for eCommerce
A canonical tag is actually used for search engines to direct the original content of the page. This is crucial to ensure that no content gets duplicated.
It is an important element because it ensures that your original link does not get lost among the extensions and duplications of the same link.
This is among the popular on-page SEO techniques for eCommerce stores where one is trying to sell one product from different pages. You can use tools like MozBar to gain canonical information about your website.
Redirections: The cure for broken links
Among SEO elements, broken links are considered a grave mistake. Not only is it penalized by Google crawlers, but it also prevents users from experiencing a positive experience with your website.
Multiple types of redirections are used across a website for different purposes. If you are dealing with a website having lots of pages containing a 404 header status, then, in that case, using 301 to targeted pages will be a perfect option. Still, in some cases, you should use 302 as the redirection is not permanent.
Internal Linking: Having A Go at Two birds with one stone
Internal linking is one of the areas that are highly misunderstood by many people in the SEO world. The number of internal links and exactly matching anchor text doesn’t really matter. What matters the most is how valuable they are for your targeted audience and how that link can help enhance user experience.
Internal linking is also a great link-building tactic. For instance, if you link other websites within your content, they are likely to link back to you. Not to mention that it signals your credibility, trustworthiness, and authoritativeness.
Quality Server: A solid foundation
Quality Server for a website is very important because if you go to any cheap and unfavorable server that has an issue with their uptime, chances are you will lose your search engine visibility as well as users who are willing to convert and bring business to you using your website.
Usually, it is best to go for a hosting company that has a good name and has given almost 100% of uptime to its users. Try to take VPS hosting instead of a shared one in order to extra-secure your business.
Below is a short list of factors to keep in mind when looking for a quality hosting provider.
- Guarantee of high uptime.
- The location of the server should be in proximity to most of your site users.
- An accessible and responsive support team.
SEO friendly Design: First impressions matter
According to WebFx, a staggering 94 percent of site visitors form the first impression of a website based on its design. Therefore, a poorly designed website is likely to be abandoned before your other SEO methods can be effective.
It is important to have an SEO-friendly design that includes everything from usability, experience, and code optimization. Suppose your design is not according to the search engine standards or it is not engaging and appealing to the targeted audience. In that case, you will probably lose your clients even after coming on to the website.
The idea is to have a search engine-friendly website design that is simple enough for users so that they can easily convert. This will also help you gain better search engine visibility.
Crawlability: My last point and your first consideration
Last but definitely not least is crawlability.
This came right from my favorite personality in Mozplex. Jennifer Sable Lopez highly emphasizes the crawlability of a website because whatever you are going to do for your website, it will mean nothing if your website is not crawlable by a search engine. Thus, all your efforts will flush down into the gutter.
The idea is to make your sites crawlable before implementing any other strategy on the website.
The right SEO tactics can make all the difference. When you supplement these with off-page SEO strategies, you will likely create a holistic SEO strategy for your brand. In other words, there won’t be anything stopping you from gaining a respectable ranking in different search engines.
Each of these on-page SEO methods should be the Holy Grail for all those wishing to improve their online visibility. Regardless of who my client is, I implement some iteration of these recommendations when optimizing their pages.
If you have a specific problem you feel is not being addressed by my list, don’t hesitate to comment below, and we can see how your unique issue