Search engines like Google have hundreds of ranking factors in their algorithms. While some of them are out of your control (like the ones listed in off-page seo that relies on audience perception), some factors you have full control over.
On-page signals, including the content on your site, HTML behind the pages, keywords, images, and many more, can all be optimised so you can have a better chance at the top spot.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page search engine optimisation refers to the set of practices that aims to improve a page’s search engine rankings. It specifically involves optimising on-page elements, including—but not limited to—the following:
Domain Name – Much like the giant sign above a storefront, the domain name is one of the first things visitors look at when visiting a site. Search engines also use it to decide the legitimacy of a website.
Content and Keywords – Keyword-rich content has a major impact on your rankings. Optimising means making sure you have 2 to 3 keywords on each page of the site, as well as in the meta titles and meta descriptions.
Links and Anchor Texts – Optimising your links provides better navigation for site visitors. Use good anchor texts when linking to other people—make sure they give the link meaning and value.
Title Tags – This sends search engines a strong relevancy signal, as it helps them understand the topic of the page. This should be short, but concise and descriptive.
Meta Tags – Meta tags should contain a brief description of your site focusing on your products, services, and areas. If customers find it appealing, they will be more likely to click and visit the site for more information.
Header Tags – These are not only used to make fonts appear in different sizes; header tags are also used to differentiate the various sections of a web page, helping search engines know what it is about. It is important to include relevant keywords in the H1 tag.
Site Loading Speed – Fast-loading sites rank better, and more importantly, potential customers will never stick around to browse through a slow site. This is why it is important to make sure your site loads in two seconds or less.
Where to start?
Customers visit business websites or e-commerce sites because of their products and services, but the content is what makes them stay.
If you cannot produce interesting or relevant content, customers may not be inclined to stay on your site long enough to complete a sale.
Without quality content, appearing on the first page is near impossible. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts has repeatedly reminded website owners that quality content is the key to Google rankings. Duane Forrester of search engine Bing, also said that all SEO ranking signals revolve around content of some kind.
Here are the key elements of an effective web copy:
- Quality – Search engines want compelling and fresh content that embodies authority and professionalism.
- Uniqueness – Search engines love information-rich content, but there is always a special place for content that is truly unique and does not appear anywhere else.
- Relevance or Value – Search engines reward priority SERPs placement to websites with content that readers find informative, engaging and useful.
Implementing on-page SEO strategies requires a diverse skill set. You need to have an understanding of Google Analytics, write great copy, understand CSS and HTML—and that is only the beginning. You need to be informed about new developments in the field, test out new ideas, conduct research on the keywords to target, and so on.