Optimizing on-page SEO elements ensures your website will be able to rank well and attract the right visitors.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cornerstone of digital marketing success. The better your website ranks for search queries on major search engines, the more likely you are to get the right kind of visitors on your website.
SEO helps business owners gain a constant stream of potential customers. The better your strategy is, the more carefully you can define and target those customers.
Done right, this can turn your website into a self-contained sales platform that generates significant revenue all on its own. But getting there takes a bit of work.
What is On-Page SEO and How Does It Work?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the structure and content of your web pages to earn higher search rankings. Marketers distinguish it from off-page SEO, which focuses on factors that aren’t part of your actual website.
For on-page SEO, everything that’s visible on your website counts. That means web content, images, and formatting elements like headers and tags.
The most important element is the keyword, which refers to the search query that users type into search engines to find your website. A major part of good on-page SEO involves finding and utilizing the right target keywords.
Target Keywords Explained
Target keywords position your website to show up when users search for specific queries. They are the specific words and phrases that people input into search engines like Google. There are two broad types of keywords:
Short-form keywords include things like “Men’s shoes”, or “WordPress website builder”. They generally ask for information about a specific topic.
Long-form keywords like “Men’s Nike AirMax 97 in Grey, size 11, on sale in Brooklyn”, or “White Label WordPress providers in Boston, Massachusetts” are more specific. People who type these queries into Google know what they’re looking for. They are far more likely to buy your product than someone who is looking for general information.
Identifying the right combination of short-form and long-form keywords is key to optimizing on-page SEO. Let’s look at some of the specific things you can do with that information today.
10 On-Page SEO Tips for Your Website
- Insert Target Keyword In the Title Tag
Your target keyword should be included in the title tag of your page. This 60-character tag is one of the first things that someone will see in search results, right next to all of your competitors’ websites – make it count! Adding the target keyword at the start of the title tag helps your page stand out to potentially interested customers.
- Insert Target Keyword In the First 100 Words
Every webpage and blog post should feature the target keyword in the first 100 words. This helps visitors and search engines to understand the topic of your content. You can also add your target keyword a few more times naturally throughout your content.
Don’t overdo it, though. You’re not trying to completely fill your page full of the same words. For example, in a 3,000-word article, you wouldn’t want to use your target keyword more than 5-6 times.
- Optimize Your URLs
Make sure your pages and posts use simple SEO friendly URLs. A shorter URL that includes your target keyword will tend to perform better in the search engines than a longer one. less descriptive URL.
For example, if your target keyword was “shoe repair”, then your URL would be better as /shoe-repair/ rather than /learn-more-about-our-shoe-repair-services/. But either one is better than a complicated non-descriptive URL like /services/page1/1gyRFspXL.
- Write Unique Meta Descriptions
Make sure every page and post on your website has a unique, well-written meta description. These display in search engine results as the descriptive text beneath the title. Meta descriptions give you the perfect opportunity to encourage someone to click through to your page and read more of your content. You have up to 160 characters to use here, so use them to show visitors why your website is the right one to click on.
- Write for Humans, Not Search Engines
Your content is going to be read and enjoyed by human beings, so make sure you always consider them first. Yes, there are tips and tricks you can use to help the search engines understand your content better, but you must write for humans.
Search engine bots don’t read the way humans do, and search engine providers know it. That’s why they also factor in visitors’ on-page behaviors when assigning rankings. Trust them to know what makes a good website and focus on putting your customer first. The search engine should be a close second, at best!
- Make Your Content Engaging
It only takes a few seconds for the human eye to get tired when reading large passages of text. Your website should not look like a 19th-century scientific textbook, with thousands of words per page and not a single picture.
Use images, illustrations, and videos to break up your content. Capture visitors’ attention and keep them on your page. This has the added benefit of increasing dwell time, which is a metric that measures how long someone has stayed on a page after clicking through from the search results.
- Consider Search Intent
Before you create content that targets a specific keyword, take a few moments to do some research. What sort of results is showing in Google for that keyword already?
If you’re looking to write an article for your target keyword but none of the top 10 results in Google are blog articles, it suggests people may not be looking to read articles. Always make sure that the type of content you want to create is already ranking highly in the search engines. Then, make your content a little bit better, more comprehensive, or more engaging than everyone else’s.
- Include Internal Links
Internal linking is one of the most important parts of on-page SEO. An internal link is a link that takes a user to another page or blog post on your own website. It’s perfect for linking them to further useful information on a particular topic.
Every page or post of your website should utilize internal linking. This helps your readers navigate your website and it encourages search engines to assign higher rankings…
- Scout Your Competitors
When you’re looking to create a new web page or blog post, look at what’s currently on the first page of search results for the corresponding keywords. Your content is only going to outrank whatever is already there if it is better, deeper, and more comprehensive.
Look at the top-ranking web pages for your target keywords. If the average number of words across the top 10 results is 2500, then you need to be writing at least this many words in your article. It’s a simple thing to check, but it can make a significant difference in the quality of your content the way search engines choose to rank it.
- Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
Last but not least, you need to make sure your website loads quickly. This is beneficial for your visitors, and it also matters to search engines. People are fickle and impatient with websites. They bore easily and will bounce away from your site if it doesn’t load in less than two seconds.
Run a speed test using GTMetrix. If the result is more than 2 seconds, your website needs professional load speed optimization. This will improve the user experience and help drive customer conversions.
Invest in On-Page SEO for Your Website
Many of the tips in this list are things that you can do on your own. It doesn’t take great technical knowledge to create compelling content, scout your competitors, and optimize URLs.
But some of the most important ways you can boost on-page SEO do require technical expertise. If your website doesn’t load quickly, there could be a dozen different reasons why – and it’s not always obvious what that reason is. Contact our expert white label WordPress development team to find out what’s keeping your website from loading as quickly as your competitors’ do.