Do you want to generate more organic traffic to your website, rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs), or become a leading source of information in your industry?
For our previous SEO series, we have covered some of the fundamental topics to set the basis for your website optimization, even how to build a strong keyword and link-building strategy. For the fourth part of the series, the focus will be on what the experts call the easiest part of building an SEO strategy - On-page SEO. Though easy to make and understand, it still represents a core part of a successful optimization strategy and plays a major role in strengthening the foundations of it all.
This article features all you need to know to master on-page optimization and use it to increase your website’s success. Let’s get to work!
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO, commonly also referred to as On-site SEO, represents the process of optimizing content present on a web page for users and search engines. The more optimized the content, the higher it ranks in the search engines. Even more simply, you can think of on-page optimization as all the measures that can be taken directly onto your website to improve its performance in search rankings. How’s that? Common on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, content, and URLs among others. No worries, we’ll cover all that later on in this article.
Why is On-page SEO important?
Since the concept of website optimization started trending, many things have changed, including strategies and what are considered best practices. In 2021, on-page SEO remains a relevant and big part of a good SEO strategy, that makes a difference. Even though considered a more traditional technique, you mustn’t oversee even the tiniest details because, with SEO, every word counts, and, as we’ll see later on, quality always conquers quantity. If you read Google’s best practices regarding how to make your content rank in their search engine, you will see that even though the tips and tricks we’re about to share may seem basic, they always work. Quick wins are the best - when they also offer long-term ROI they are even better - who doesn’t want that?
On-page vs Off-page SEO
Before we move on, confusion between these two approaches is more than common. You need to know that the main difference between on-page and off-page SEO is that: one occurs ON your website, while the other happens OFF or externally to your website.
A common example of off-page SEO is represented by backlinks, from other websites. And if you haven’t become an expert in backlinks yet, you can always get one step closer to it by looking at our blog on this topic.
What you need to know is that the main difference between on-page and off-page SEO is that one occurs ON your website, while the other happens OFF or externally to your website.
On-page SEO factors - what you need to know
There are quite some factors you should be aware of when talking about on-page optimization. However, for starters, we are going to focus on the most important ones in this article, the ones you can fix yourself with just a little bit of research and a knack for writing. Industry connoisseurs argue that, despite becoming more developed over time, on-page SEO remains one of the simple parts to implement a successful optimization strategy.
Why? For starters, you can independently control this one, you don’t need any technical expertise. With just a little research, practice, and writing magic you can have your cake and eat it too!
When writing content for a website, it is important to be aware of and follow these four tips:
Remember that quality always wins over quantity, this is one of the golden rules for SEO. Here, content is king - if you have everything else pinned down but your content is bad, that’s not going to work out. Always keep in mind to create content Google wants to rank. This is the place to make use of your keyword research.
Keywords have been and always will be one of the main factors to take into consideration for a successful website optimization strategy. As we mentioned, content is where you can make use of the extensive keyword research we have been talking about. A good industry tip is to try and use a keyword in the first 100 words of your content - just try it out, and see how it goes. Keep in mind, and we cannot stress this enough, quality over quantity, avoid stuffing your web page with keywords, leading to poor-quality content.
The title tag is the title of a webpage. It might seem like a small detail, but the meta-title is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. For maximum optimization, it is advisable to keep title tags under 65 characters and make them concise and straightforward. When looking at the search results Google brings up for you for, say “Minite”, the title is the first one to be featured on the results page, just like in the shown picture.
The meta-description is represented by the short description of a page that pops up when you search for something on Google. These are used to describe the content of that specific page (you can always add a keyword here if possible) and they help the content or web page stand out from thousands of search engine results (SERPs). Again, for maximum optimization and full display on the search page, always try to keep meta descriptions under 160 characters.
Search engines can only read text. Many websites today feature a lot of visuals and that becomes a problem. That’s why we use the “alt-text” feature to ensure a website's complete optimization. To make sure that search engines can “read”, crawl, and index visuals on a web page, we add “alt-text” to them - a piece of text describing the visual for the search engine. For example, if we have the image featured below from the Minite website, we’ll add the following alt-text to it to make sure that this visual will rank for these words in the search images results: “group of Minite students”
Keep in mind that a good and effective alt-text describes the image for what it is, is short, as specific as possible, and concise, ideally having fewer than 125 characters.
Search engines can only read text. Many websites today feature a lot of visuals and that becomes a problem. That’s why we use the “alt-text” feature to ensure a website's complete optimization.
6. URL structure
Lastly, in addition to the factors above, URLs also play a role in on-page SEO optimization. If you can make sure to have structured, short, targeted, easy-to-understand URLs then you are all set. Try to avoid complicated URLs - these are no good for your SEO strategy:
Try to add primary keywords that are in line with the content of the page the URL refers to, this will give your extra SEO points!
Now that we gave you the tools to start doing on-page optimization for your website, it is time to get to work! At Minite we think SEO is a very exciting opportunity for all businesses to grow their online presence and we will update our blog with new guides and actionable steps regularly.
Start planning your next SEO step today. And should you need help along the way you can post your project for free on Minite to find a highly qualified student freelancer to join your team.
Meet Erik, our High-Flyer of the Month in June.
Marcel the director of sales and marketing of talks about their collaboration with Minite