There is a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that we don’t know. That is, exactly what factors search engines consider and to what extent when determining the order of search results.
When there are things that we do know, we must work to improve those areas on our websites quickly.
One such example of this is on-page SEO factors.
In this post, we’ll introduce on-page SEO and what it means for beginner digital marketers. This will include a look at why it’s important to implement. We’ll then share some on-page SEO techniques to implement on your own website.
What Is On-Page SEO?
There are three type of SEO – on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
We won’t get into the latter two types of SEO today, but instead we’ll address those in parts II and III of this series.
So, what is on-page SEO?
As the succinct name suggests, on-page SEO is anything you can do on the pages themselves to improve search engine rankings. The main goal of this type of SEO is to make it easy for both search engine crawl bots and humans to navigate your website and digest the information.
Why Is On-Page SEO Important?
Google and other search engines take a lot of factors into account when deciding whether your page is the best result for specific search queries. A few of those factors include elements of on-page SEO.
If you want to improve your rankings, then on-page optimization is crucial to your overall optimization efforts.
How to Effectively Implement On-Page SEO
If you want to ensure that your website is optimized for on-page SEO, then consider implementing the following.
1. Use Header Tags Appropriately
Header tags are the tags that distinguish sections of your webpage from one another. These include H1 (i.e. the page title), H2 (main sections), H3 (sub-sections), etc.
One of the biggest mistakes that website owners make is to use header tags inappropriately, or even not at all.
A few tips to ensure you’re using header tags correctly:
- Use no more than one H1 tag per page.
- Follow a consistent format (e.g. title case, present tense vs past tense, etc.).
- Include keywords in your header tags.
2. Take Advantage of Title and Meta Tags
A title tag of a page is what appears on search engine results pages. This can be the same as the H1, but it doesn’t have to be. A meta tag is what appears below the title on SERPs. It’s a brief description which summarizes your post in a way that gets the attention of would-be readers.
This information is helpful to search engines, as it helps them to quickly discern what your post is about. It’s also a great way to “hook” readers and get them to click through to your content.
3. Optimize Your Image Alt Text
When you use images on your webpages, you often do so with the intention of “prettying up” your content. However, search engines and even some users cannot view images in the traditional sense.
The answer is to use image alt text.
Alt text is text that tells search engines and screen reading devices (used by individuals with vision impairments) what the image is. The more descriptive your image alt text, the better.
Good alt text is descriptive, specific, and offers context. And the good news is that alt text is easy to implement on most Content Management Systems (CMS).
4. Craft Your Content for Featured Snippets
Google’s Featured Snippets are a way to deliver succinct information quickly to readers. While Google hasn’t specifically laid out how they choose listings to become a featured snippet, we can assume that those listings are ones that answer user questions concisely, but thoroughly.
Since a featured snippet is so prominently displayed on SERPs, you should craft your content in a way that search engines may consider a good candidate to be featured.
One way to do so is by adding a questions and answers section to your blog posts. This enables you to ask and then immediately answer frequently asked questions on the topic you’re covering. Since this is the format that Google follows for featured snippets, it makes sense that this may increase your odds of being chosen.
Which of the above on-page SEO techniques do you think will have the greatest impact on your website?