What Is On-Page SEO? How to do On-Page Optimisation in 2024
On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, refers to optimising individual web pages to improve their search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic. It involves various techniques and practices that optimise the content, HTML source code, and elements within a specific webpage to make it more search engine-friendly and user-friendly.
- Quality Content: High-quality, relevant, and engaging content is essential. It should be well-written, informative, and fulfil the needs of the target audience.
- Keyword Optimisation: Keyword research and optimisation are crucial. Incorporating relevant keywords into the content, headings, meta tags, and URLs can help search engines understand the page’s topic.
- Title Tags: Creating unique and descriptive title tags that include the primary keyword can improve click-through rates and search engine ranking.
- Meta Descriptions: Writing compelling meta descriptions that summarise the content and include relevant keywords can encourage users to click on your link in search results.
- Heading Tags: Use proper heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content and signal its hierarchy to search engines.
- URL Structure: Creating clean, descriptive, and readable URLs that include keywords can enhance user experience and search engine optimisation.
- Image Optimisation: Optimising images using descriptive alt text and compressing them to improve page loading speed.
- Internal Linking: Linking to other relevant pages within your website helps users navigate your content and distributes link authority.
- External Linking: Including outbound links to authoritative and relevant sources can provide additional value to your readers.
- Mobile Optimisation: Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and responsive, as mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor in search engines.
- Page Speed: Optimising your page for fast loading times, as website speed is a critical factor for both user experience and search engine rankings.
- User Experience: Enhancing the overall user experience by improving page layout, readability, and user engagement.
- Schema Markup: Implementing structured data markup to provide search engines with additional information about your content, which can lead to rich snippets in search results.
- Content Freshness: Keeping your content up-to-date and relevant can contribute to higher search engine rankings.
- SSL Certificate: Ensuring your website is secure with HTTPS, as search engines favour certain websites.
- Social Sharing: Encouraging social sharing of your content can help increase visibility and traffic.
On-page SEO is a fundamental aspect of search engine optimisation and plays a significant role in determining how well a webpage ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is essential to regularly monitor and update on-page SEO elements to maintain or improve your website’s search engine rankings and provide a better user experience.
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On-page SEO vs. off-page SEO: What’s the difference?
On-page SEO and off-page SEO are two distinct categories of search engine optimisation techniques, each focusing on different aspects of a website’s optimisation and online presence. Here’s a breakdown of the critical differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO:
- On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, pertains to optimising individual web pages within a website.
- It primarily involves optimising the content, structure, and HTML source code of a webpage to make it more search engine-friendly and user-friendly.
- Critical on-page SEO elements include keyword optimisation, content quality, meta tags, heading tags, URL structure, internal linking, image optimisation, and more.
- On-page SEO is directly under your control, as you can make changes to your website’s pages and structure to improve search engine rankings.
- Off-page SEO focuses on external factors that influence a website’s search engine rankings and online reputation.
- It encompasses activities and strategies that occur off your website but impact your website’s authority, trustworthiness, and visibility in search engines.
- Vital elements of off-page SEO include link building (acquiring high-quality backlinks from other websites), social media marketing, influencer outreach, online mentions and citations, and online reputation management.
- Off-page SEO relies on the endorsement and trustworthiness of your website as perceived by external sources, making it less directly controllable than on-page SEO.
In summary, on-page SEO involves optimising the content and structure of your website’s pages to make them more attractive to search engines. In contrast, off-page SEO involves building your website’s reputation and authority through external means, such as backlinks and social signals. Both on-page and off-page SEO are essential components of a comprehensive SEO strategy, and a well-balanced approach that addresses both aspects is crucial for achieving higher search engine rankings and attracting organic traffic.
What on-page SEO ranking factors should I optimise?
When optimising for on-page SEO, there are several ranking factors you should focus on to improve your webpage’s visibility in search engine results. Here’s a list of key on-page SEO ranking factors that you should optimise:
Content Quality and Relevance:
- Ensure your content is high-quality, well-written, and provides value to your target audience.
- Use relevant keywords naturally within the content.
- Address the user’s search intent and answer their questions effectively.
- Perform keyword research to identify relevant keywords for your content.
- Use primary and secondary keywords strategically in the content, headings, meta tags, and URLs.
- Avoid keyword stuffing, and maintain a natural and readable flow.
- Create unique and descriptive title tags that include your primary keyword.
- Keep title tags concise (around 60 characters) to maximise visibility in search results.
- Write engaging and relevant meta descriptions that summarise the content and encourage click-throughs.
- Use the primary keyword in the meta description.
Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.):
- Use heading tags to structure your content and signal its hierarchy to search engines.
- Include relevant keywords in your headings.
- Create clean and readable URLs that include keywords related to the content.
- Avoid long, complex URLs with unnecessary parameters.
- Include links to other relevant pages within your website to improve navigation and distribute link authority.
- Optimise images by adding descriptive alt text to improve accessibility and include relevant keywords.
- Compress images to reduce page loading times.
- Ensure your website is responsive and user-friendly on mobile devices.
- Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, and a poor mobile experience can negatively impact rankings.
- Optimise your webpage for fast loading times by minimising unnecessary code and using browser caching and content compression.
- Faster loading pages improve user experience and search engine rankings.
User Experience (UX):
- Enhance the overall user experience by improving page layout, readability, and user engagement.
- Focus on user-friendly design and navigation.
- Implement structured data markup (schema.org) to provide search engines with additional information about your content, potentially leading to rich snippets in search results.
- Regularly update and refresh your content to keep it relevant and up-to-date.
- Google often rewards fresh and current content with better rankings.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL):
- Use an SSL certificate to secure your website with HTTPS, as secure websites are favoured by search engines.
- Encourage social sharing of your content to increase visibility and traffic from social media platforms.
How to evaluate your on-page optimisation?
Now that you have learned about on-page SEO, it is time to evaluate your website’s performance. You can either use a tool to audit your website or go through individual pages manually, depending on what you prefer. If you do it manually, you can use these criteria as a foundation for on-page optimisation.
- Are you using keywords for every page? Have these keywords been delivering visitors? If they haven’t been, why are you still using the keywords?
- Are you linking pages on your site to each other? Could this help visitors get from one point to another with only a click or two?
- Does your site load quickly? Or do some pages take a long time to load? If you’re having problems, find out where the issue lies. A slow-loading website is something neither human nor bot visitors enjoy!
- Does your site have fresh content? Has it been more than one or two years? Has anything changed, or is it all still relevant?
How to check a competitor’s on-page SEO?
To stay competitive in your industry, it is crucial to identify your strongest competitors who are using on-page SEO tactics similar to your own. By understanding who your competitors are and how they are optimising their online presence, you can gain valuable insights and develop effective strategies to improve your own SEO efforts.
If you’re looking to enhance your skills and knowledge, it’s highly recommended to explore the websites of your competitors or peers in the industry. By researching their web pages, you can uncover a wealth of information and gain valuable insights into their strategies and practices. Even if they don’t disclose all their secrets, you can still learn a lot from their website content and design. Therefore, it’s crucial to take the time to analyze and evaluate their online presence in order to improve your own performance.
Examining your competitors can be beneficial in identifying ways to improve your own website, which can enhance the overall strength of your business. By concentrating on your on-page SEO, you can give your site a boost in page rankings over the following weeks and months.