How to Optimize Your Website for On-Page SEO?
Important On-Page SEO Factors
On-page SEO goes further than stuffing keywords in your HTML code. Keyword optimization is only one part of on-page SEO. Factors like URLs, title tags, and descriptions finish your On-page SEO game.
As per Moz, On-page SEO contributes a lot to your page ranking. Whatever a visitor or crawler sees on the page —text, images, or videos — should be optimized for SERP. Leaving anything behind can cost you ranks.
1. Content that Fits Search Intent
Google values content that meets search intent and user demand. As far as SEO is concerned, your website's content must be linkable and have authority. Google measures the content's relevance with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
3 Steps to Create Content that Google Loves
- Establish Expertise: Establish your expertise by guest posting on relevant websites in your niche and attending podcasts. The goal is to make sure people know who you are and what you do.
- Build Authoritativeness: Website authority comes from backlinks. Create data reports and case studies so people link back to you. Reply to journalist requests on sites like HARO or Twitter to earn a link for your website. HARO shares a plethora of content requirements from journalists through emails. Below is an example of a requirement shared by journalist through the HARO platform.
- Earn Trustworthiness: Google will never rank Neil Patel's website for medical advice, even if he talks about medicine. Google wants people to read trustworthy content. You build trust over time; till then, link to trusted sources when you post content to back it up with relevant statistics.
2. Title Tag
Even Google put effort into creating perfect titles for web pages. It edits title tags to make them better for search intent. Below screenshot shows title tag of the Google keyword planner.
Improve your title tags by choosing relevant words to build on the page’s context.
How to Optimize Title Tags for SEO?
- Length: The length of your title tags is suggested to be 50-70 characters. Google measures titles in pixels. If you go above 70 characters, it will cut them. Your titles will be half-cut on SERP, like the example below.
- Don't Overdo Keywords: The title is like a CTA for the visitors. Focus on search intent and use persuasive writing techniques to invite visitors to your page.
- Align with the Page's Context: Make sure you describe your blog or page while writing a title. Metaphorical titles irrelevant to the page don't support your cause to rank.
3. Meta Description
The short snippets that appear below the title tag on SERPs are meta descriptions. It helps both search engines and users know what you offer them.
Great meta descriptions are a combination of persuasive writing and relevant keywords. These 160-character long snippets summarize what's on the page. If you use them properly, they help with rankings and increase click-through rates by 5.8% — if you use them properly.
How to Ace Meta Descriptions?
- Include a CTA: Use powerful CTAs like "Click Here," "Learn More," and "Shop Now." Appropriate verbs and adjectives persuade visitors to click through.
- A/B Testing: There can be different versions of one meta description; put them through an A/B test. Play with different keywords — use a keyword for the first and another for a second. Run both the descriptions to see which gathers more clicks.
- Make it Interesting: A SERP visitor has ten links to choose from. Meta descriptions help them decide which one to pick. Don't use the same description for all pages. It makes it difficult for crawlers to find the original page, and you'll face indexing penalties.
Wired found headlines can influence clickability by 20% to 500%. Use phrases like 'X reasons why,' 'Why you should,' and 'How to make it about the reader’. Use tools like HubSpot's Headline Generator when you're stuck with headlines. Enter a keyword or seed word, and it comes up with great headlines for you.
For instance, here’s a suggested topic for the keyword “cryptocurrency”
How to Create an Eye-Catching Headline?
- Use Number and Data: Numbers promise something specific. Numbers lead to scannable listicles that make it easy to digest the blog. Use odd numbers in your headlines as, according to Content Marketing Institute, 'the brain seems to believe them more.
- Depict Urgency: The fear of missing out or FOMO is the chief driver of marketing campaigns. Visitors don't want to miss important information. That's why words like 'limited time,' 'hurry,' 'once in a lifetime, and 'offers expires' generate huge interest.
- Use the SHINE Formula: SHINE stands for Specificity, Helpfulness, Immediacy, Newsworthiness, and Entertainment Value. Try to incorporate them into your headline to create the best version possible.
5. Header Tags
Headers are important as they help crawlers navigate through the page. They provide a structure to the blog. Users scan the page through headings before actually reading the content.
If they find headings relevant, they stay; otherwise, they leave. Heading also increases the accessibility of the page, and crawlers consider them user-friendly.
How to Make the best of Header Tags?
- Include Keywords: Google gathers page context from header tags. Include primary keywords in H1 and H2 such that they fit naturally.
- Optimize for Featured Snippets: Optimize headers for long-tail question keywords and write answers directly below them under the paragraph tag. You may have come across these quick answers which appear as shown in the below image.
- Use Single H1: Use H1 for the title as the title tag is not shown on the page. 50.76% of the time, Google skips the title and analyzes H1 instead.
6. Image Optimization
Image optimization includes presenting images relevant to the page's context and optimizing them for size and resolution. Image resolution directly influences page load speed as they make up for 21% of the page weight: balance size and quality for best results.
How to Optimize Images for SERP?
- Use Tools to Resize Without Losing Quality: Tools like Tinypng, ImageOptim, and WP Smush provide auto-optimization and self-optimization. This loads your page and images faster when users wants to access it.
- Choose the Right Format: Formats — JPEG, PNG, and GIF — have pros and cons. PNG and JPEG produce high-quality images with larger file sizes. GIF includes only 256 colors which are great for animated images. Choose what works for your page.
- Use Hyphens for Image Name: File names including relevant keywords help Google understand context, but names like seoresult456.jpg confuse crawlers. Try seo-result-chart.jpg for clarity.
Read: Image Optimization Tips (or) Image SEO tips
URLs are web addresses to a specific location on the Internet. They include domain names, categories, and sometimes subdomains. Keep a URL simple and to the point; it should provide information about the content on the page.
The below example shows how to have a simple yet informative URL for any page of a site to rank well on SERPs.
Personalized URLs also act as anchor texts when you share them in forums. Organize your content to create URLs that are intelligible to crawlers and humans.
Tips to Create Good URLs
- Keep them Concise: Some URLs contain ID numbers and unnecessary parameters, but it's better to replace them with words that comprehend.
- Use lowercase: Uppercase letters in the URL are difficult to read and open the door to creating duplicate URLs.
- Skip Underscores: Use hyphens to separate words and make URL readable. Google advises skipping underscores or spaces.
1. What Is The Difference Between On-Page And Off-Page SEO?
On-page SEO includes direct measures you take to improve rankings like optimizing title tags, URLs, and headers. Off-page SEO includes 'behind the scenes' ranking factors on your websites like backlinks and page authority.
2. What Factors Affect On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is all about explaining the context of a page to Google. It means optimizing everything with keywords to improve rankings.
Following factors influence SEO:
- Content Quality
- Title Tags
- Image Optimization
- Meta Description
3. What's The Appropriate Length For Title And Meta Descriptions?
A title should be 50-70 characters long, while a Meta Description should be 150-160 characters.
- Create content that builds your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness over time to rank on Google.
- Improve the quality of URLs by keeping them short, using lowercase letters, and using hyphens to separate words.
- Use the H1 header for the title and H2 for subheadings.
- Add numbers and statistics to create appealing headlines. Try to depict urgency to increase click-through rates.
- Avoid stuffing keywords in the title tags and align them with the page's context.
- Write persuasive meta descriptions and add a CTA. Compare two meta descriptions via A/B testing to see which one works better.