Approximately 3.5 billion searches are done on Google daily, so the competition by websites to feature on the first page of the SERPs is extremely high. To rank pages, the algorithm considers an array of ever-evolving factors. These components of SEO can be classified into two categories: on-page and off-page. SEO on-page optimization encompasses all the directly controllable elements, HTML inputs, and other things that can be optimized on your site to improve its visibility and gather organic traffic. This piece will highlight the crucial SEO on-page factors.
Title Tag and Meta Descriptions
Displayed as the headline of a given result on a SERP, the title tag includes optimized text that gives an insight into what the page is all about. The search engine reads it to understand the page in its proper context. An ideally optimized title tag is between 50 and 60 characters long and should include the target keyword towards the beginning and (if possible within the character limit) the name of your business and a CTA. You should avoid duplicating your title tags — each page should have a unique, quality tag.
Similarly, meta descriptions are an integral SEO on-page factor. On the SERPs, the description appears right below the title tag. When writing a meta description, bear in mind that this is your opportunity to impress the searcher so they will click on your content. Be sure to include your keyword, supporting keywords if applicable, the unique selling propositions of your business, and finally, the name of your business. Remember, you are trying to stand out from the crowd, so the user will prefer to click on your content while ignoring others.
Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Usually abbreviated as E-A-T, this is a crucial SEO on-page factor that Google measures to ensure that searchers receive accurate and relevant content. Examining pages for E-A-T helps weed out poor websites that don’t provide the information users need. Google raters use these standards to recognize and reward premium quality pages, creators, and sites. When working on your site design and SEO on-page optimization to fall in line with E-A-T parameters, think of investing in reputation, transparency, accuracy, and knowledge in your field. Here are some ways we can promote expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on our website:
- To create expert content, you need to discover what your specific audience is searching for. With keyword research, you can understand the searcher’s intent and how far along each person is on their consumer journey. For someone new to your niche, create simple and easy-to-understand content that addresses questions relevant to the early stages of the consumer journey.
- When other influencers or experts consistently link to or mention your brand, then you become an authority. Another way to gauge authoritativeness is to see how many people are searching for your branded terms or sharing your content across social media platforms.
SEO Content Writing
61% of marketers say that inbound SEO is one of their top marketing priorities. All your SEO on-page factors are only fruitful if you develop high-quality, helpful, and optimized content. There’s far more to SEO than clever placement of keywords. Successful SEO content is created with both the engine and user in mind. This means understanding that you are writing to impress the search engines, but most importantly, to provide copy that solves a particular problem.
For example, every time you search ‘world billionaires,’ you will always see Forbes. Why is that? Simply because they have become the best authority on the topic, something they achieved through consistently producing well-researched and correctly optimized content that provides readers with great value.
Headlines and Header Tags
The title of your post is what the reader sees first when they click. Therefore, they are likely to move on if it is poorly executed. A great title:
- Compels and hooks the reader
- Contains the primary keyword
- Highlights the content to follow
- Ignites a high level of interest for both engines and users
Similarly, header tags are an integral SEO on-page factor as they help to distinguish headings and subheadings from other portions of the content. They make it easier for both the search engine and searchers to skim through the content.
Images go a long way towards bolstering SEO on-page optimization for search engine discovery, making the content visually appealing and enjoyable to read, especially for complex explanations like how-to content. Research shows that visual content has the potential for far greater impact than written text; after three days, recall value of visual content is 65%, while that of written text is only 10%. So it’s crucial to make the most of your images! The key ways to optimize your images are:
- Compress the images so that they don’t affect the page speed
- Add optimized alt text to help the engine access and understand your image for better ranking
The same goes for videos, for which you should include transcripts, use descriptive and catchy thumbnails and make sure the videos are deeply relevant to the rest of the content.
As an SEO on-page factor, keywords are the driving force of optimization. They can be single words, phrases, or even long-tail. As a marketer, you should take your time to search what users type when looking for your products so you can create content around them. With available tools, resources, and sufficient research, it is relatively easy to get accurate and precise keywords for your niche.
There are several common keyword malpractices, including keyword stuffing, that many marketers fall prey to. Another one is keyword cannibalization, which occurs when you target multiple pages within your site for the same keyword. This will undermine the SEO value of your site, as your pages will compete against one another. These are some of the reasons why hiring a professional agency to handle your SEO on-page optimization can be a great decision for your business.
Overlooked SEO On-Page Factors
At times, these SEO on-page factors can be disregarded. However, it is also important to account for the following:
- URL Structure: URLs are a great way to present the hierarchy of information located on a site’s page. It can help search engines discern how relevant a page is and make it more likely to appear for search results.
- Page Speed: Speed is essential when it comes to loading a website page. Users want instant access to the content on your site and will be more likely to leave if your site is too slow. You can consider using Google’s PageSpeed Tool to test if your website loads well or needs improvements.
- Crawlability: This is the ability for a website’s pages to be indexed by a search engine. Broken links make it difficult for search engine spiders to crawl and will lead to poor search engine results. You can improve crawlability by utilizing internal linking.
- Internal Linking: Internal linking is an easy way to connect multiple pages on your website. This can eventually increase the amount of time a user stays on your site in addition to improving crawlability.
- Mobile Responsiveness: Design your site with mobile users in mind. Make sure your website is responsive to smaller screens, focusing on font size and the functionality of important CTA buttons or search bars.
By correctly executing the above SEO on-page factors, you have a very fair chance of ranking higher on the SERPs. But remember that to perform impeccably well, you will need to combine all other factors accustomed to SEO. These include looking into technical areas like mobile-friendliness, page speed, and website design.
SEO is a long-term investment that can achieve tremendous results when done correctly. Running a successful SEO campaign requires a lot of input, but you do not have to do it yourself. Hiring an agency can relieve you of a lot of stress and bring immense success to your online presence. Want to continue learning about SEO best practices and how best to promote your business? Continue following our blog for tips and information on the latest trends in SEO.