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A Detailed Guide to On-Page SEO

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Search engines like Google, Bing, etc. are the most commonly used sites by people. People often use keywords or phrases to search for a particular topic, product, or service. 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This type of digital marketing is all about cleverly incorporating and optimizing frequently used keywords and phrases into your web page so that they rank higher on the SERPs. It comes under the umbrella of organic marketing as unpaid traffic is targeted rather than direct or paid traffic. Based on the search query type, different elements like maps, images or videos might be included on the SERPs by Google. Tools available online like Google Keyword Planner, Bing Webmaster, Moz, etc. can help with SEO solutions.

Analyzing competitors’ backlinks as well as developing your own is crucial for optimization. Tools like Ahrefs, BuzzStream, GroupHigh can be used for competitor analysis. Almost all forms of digital marketing campaigns, channels, and platforms need SEO in one form or the other.

The types of SEO include; On page SEO (optimizing the content on your web page), Off-page SEO (what doesn’t happen on your web page), Technical SEO (enhance user experience through actions performed to help search engines crawl your web page), and local SEO (rather than national or international, it focuses on a specific area).

Complete Guide to On-Page SEO

What is On-page SEO?

On-page SEO which is sometimes referred to as on-site SEO is the process of optimizing the content of a webpage for search engines. The final aim of on-page SEO is to speak the ‘search engine’s dialect’ and help engine crawlers understand the meaning and context of one’s page.

Why is On-page SEO important?

On-page SEO is important as it supplies search engines with several signals to assist them to understand what the content is about. Search engines try to associate web pages with keywords and search terms that users type into the search box. This is carried out during the indexing and ranking process. 

It is through on-page SEO elements that you can guide them as to which keywords you want your pages to rank. As a bonus, on-page SEO includes any optimization changes made to a webpage that’ll contribute to a better user experience.

Steps to optimize your on-page SEO

People won’t find your content on Google if you don’t optimize it. At the same time, optimizations shouldn’t be made for search engines only. You need to focus on both the users and search engines at the same time. 

Understanding of Google’s Criteria and Algorithms

Google’s algorithms are a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible results for a query. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver web pages ranked by relevance on its search engine results pages (SERPs). Google had made only a handful of updates to its algorithms in its early years. Now, it makes thousands of changes every year. The algorithms mainly work based on the meaning of the query, relevance of pages, quality of content, usability of pages, context, and settings. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs such as;

Fred; Intrusive Interstitials Update; Mobilegeddon; RankBrain; Panda; Hummingbird; Pigeon; Payday; EMD (Exact Match Domain); Page Layout Algorithm.

Titles and Subtitles in H1 and H2 tags

A page needs proper formatting. The report needs to have a heading – H1 and subheadings – H2. Each page can have only one H1 tag. When using WordPress, the title of a page is wrapped into the H1 tag by default. It’s important to keep in mind that results are displayed on a search engine based on the title tag and not the h1 tag. You can either choose to have the same title and h1 tag or provide an alternative title for the heading. 

Concerning subheadings (h2, h3), the things that need to be kept in mind are that you must avoid using only a single word for a heading. Make them interesting and useful for users that like to skim read articles. Use headings and subheadings hierarchically i.e. the first heading tag is the H1, followed by H2, H3, H4, and so on. Subheadings are a great place to use related keywords in your content.

URLs Optimization

Optimizing one’s URL is very important for maximum on-page SEO score. There are two parts to it. The first is URL optimization and the second is the URL structure. A permanent link (called a slug) is the unique URL of each page. Ideally, URLs should be less than 255 characters and use hyphens to separate the various parts. The page title and SEO-friendly URL should be short, descriptive, and include your target keyword and the URL structure should mimic the actual structure of a website. By using categories, group the pages into categories to help users and search engines find what they want faster.

And when using sub-categories, it’s better not to go over two levels. For example, a good category structure is;

                     Homepage > Social Media > Instagram > Article

                     Instead of,

                     Homepage > Social Media > Instagram > How To > Article

A breadcrumb menu is helpful as it allows users to navigate your website in a structured way since they always know where they’re and how far from the home page.

Title Tag Optimization

A title tag is a piece of HTML code on your page that tells search engines like Google which titles they should use for your page on their SERPs. A well-optimized SEO title tag helps search engines and readers understand the unique value that your page offers, which is why they’re so important for ranking well on Google’s SERPs. Once you’ve mastered the art of title tag SEO, you increase the likelihood of getting searchers to click through to your page. Other than the SERPs, title tags also appear at the top of a web browser. 

Your goal with the title tag is to produce a page title that’s both enticing and descriptive of what your page offers.

Here are a few basic rules to help you do so

  • Aim for titles with no more than 50-60 characters. Any extra may get cut off by Google with an ellipsis, ruining the readability of your title.

  • Make your title tag unique on your website and the SERP so everyone understands the purpose of that page and why anyone would want to go there.

  • Follow basic writing etiquette and be honest. Also, use keywords in your title tag where appropriate.

 Target Keyword in First Para

Keyword prominence is essential. The focused keywords should always be present at the beginning of an H1 tag and included at least once in your first paragraph. It would be even better to have that targeted keyword in the first sentence. You can use bold or italics on the keyword to highlight it, making that keyword more critical on the page. Use it 3-5 times in your content to help crawlers find you easily and understand what your content wants to say actually.

Internal linking and outbound linking prioritization 

It’s important to link to pages within your website for SEO as linking is kind of like building your own web. A search engine spider follows the links they find on that page (both internal and external) once the searcher discovers a page. It’s a way to let search engines know about your other pages. The visitors or consumers will land on those pages too, so employ this technique to tell search engines about pages of your website that they’ve not yet discovered. 

Internal linking is one of the ways to point out the most integral pages by sending them to more internal links. Apart from all these advantages, it’s a way to increase the time users spend on your site. 

Here’re the best practices for internal linking

  • Do not use keywords just for internal links.
  • Add the internal links only when they’re useful for your consumer.
  • Add the links in the main body of your webpage and avoid them in the footer or sidebar.

Now, let’s talk about external links. It’s a link pointing to a page outside your website i.e. on a different domain. For the website that links out, it’s an external link and for the website that receives the link, it’s a backlink. External links to related pages help Google figure out your page’s topic. It also shows Google that your page provides quality information. It’s important to link only to the websites you trust and have unique as well as original content. You could use a ‘nofollow’ tag for external links going out to websites you don’t fully trust.

Update and enhance Meta Description 

The search engine results page (SERPs) shows the page description. It has to be descriptive, up to 150-200 characters, unique for each page. It must be kept in mind that search engines don’t always show the custom Meta description. Many times they use an automated description if they believe it’s more useful for the searcher.

The two most important Meta description optimization tips are:

  • Avoid auto-generated descriptions: It’s best to avoid using auto-generated descriptions that for many instances don’t make sense.
  • Add target keyword(s) in the description: Search engines still highlight the search terms both in the title as well as description. So, adding the target keyword makes the description more relevant and appealing to the searcher.

SEO On-page Content- Write and Revise

Content SEO is a part of on-page SEO and has to do with optimizing the actual content for target keywords. Before publishing a piece of content (text, images, audio, or video), the first step is to do keyword research. Thus, it’s necessary to find out what search terms users are typing in the search box and create content that will satisfy their intent.

Once keywords are targeted, create a list of related keywords (LSI Keywords), long-tail keywords, and use them in your titles, descriptions, headings, and page content.

The easiest and fastest way is to take advantage of three features provided by Google;

  • Google suggests
  • People also ask for, and
  • Related Searches. 

Image addition and Optimization

Images are integral for presentation purposes. They’re crucial to making a page more interesting and easier to translate. However, the biggest problems with images are that search engines don’t recognize them and also add to the loading speed of a web page. 

Mentioned below are the best practices for on-page SEO optimizing images

  • Use original images. The source must be referenced if taken from the web.
  • Optimize the size of the image. The smaller (in bytes) it is, the better.
  • Use an ALT tag to describe the image. It helps search engines understand what the image is about.
  • Use descriptive file names. Don’t just name the image ‘image2.jpg’.
  • If you’ve got a lot of images on a single page, use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) service to help it load faster. 

 UI/UX Optimization

User Interface (UI) optimization focuses on the elements of a website people use to navigate and glean information. Improvements to UI can make users more likely to spend longer time on your site and thereby more likely to make a purchase. UI optimization also reduces the number of users who have issues as a result of mistakes or confusion.

The User Experience (UX) optimization on the other hand focuses on the overall enjoyment someone may have when visiting a website. Graphics, layout, and technical elements like page load speed and all affect this experience both positively or negatively. UX optimization, therefore, mainly focuses on turning the website into a seamless and branded experience that meets the modern user’s expectations. Improvements to the UX can raise brand sentiment, enhance customer loyalty, as well as make website visitors more likely to convert.

When should you do on-page SEO? 

To achieve maximum exposure in the search engines and keep users happy you’ll need both off-page SEO and on-page SEO. On-page SEO is more important (for new websites at least). If you’re running a website for a small business and you need to get local customers to search for various terms on Google then on-page SEO is all you might need to do. 

Want to increase SERP ranking – Contact a good SEO Agency

Looking for professionals to help boost your SERP ranking through SEO services? Or just want a good online marketing company for the best on-page SEO service?

SEO services offered by banyanbrain

Various agencies specialize in providing personalized internet marketing solutions. One of the best digital marketing service providers amongst them is Banyanbrain. We’re amongst the top SEO and SMO service providers, providing optimized digital marketing services specifically designed to cater to your business needs, whether it’s appearing more often in organic searches, paid advertising, social advertising, or designing attractive UI. 

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