IMPORTANT: always make sure that you have integrated Google Analytics on your website so that you can compare the results before and after optimising the OnPage elements. Make sure to do this at least two weeks before you start improving your website!
In this article, we’ll go through OnPage SEO tips that you can implement yourself on your website. After reading this article you’ll know exactly which factors are important and how to improve them.
But what’s OnPage optimisation in the first place? OnPage SEO factors are about the factors influencing your organic position in Google for different keywords. Organic search result example below:
OnPage optimisation helps you to start ranking higher on Google. However, it’s good to know that this is only 1 part of an SEO campaign. So if you plan to only work on OnPage SEO and expect to get found at the top on Google for your most important keywords, that’s not gonna happen.
Next to OnPage SEO, we’ve got an initial analysis of your website, extensive keyword research and OffPage SEO. You’ve to work on all these different things to get the desired results in search engines. The final step, OffPage SEO, is a never-ending process. When you decide to stop, it takes a little bit of time before your rankings tank and your competitors take over.
During the OnPage optimisation phase, you measure the extent to which your website performs well on various OnPage factors.
Keep reading to discover OnPage SEO tips that are important to have Google understand what your website is all about, so Google can make sense of it and start moving you up in the search results.
#1. What keywords do you want to rank for?
Before you start doing any SEO, you want to know for what keywords you want to be found for. Did you or someone else work on your website’s SEO before? If so, it’s a good time to re-evaluate the keywords that were selected, the results you got and to adjust where necessary.
Not sure what keywords to go after? Try to get in your customer’s head and imagine what they search when looking for your products and services on Google. After that, it’s important to determine how likely it is to rank for the keywords you’ve selected.
So you want to use a tool that shows you the number of monthly searches as well as the “keyword difficulty”. Though, that’s a whole different topic and not discussed in this article.
Just when you’ve selected your keywords, make sure to have a look at the monthly search volume and the top 10 competitors ranking for the keyword.
From that point, you want to determine the level of competitiveness and what’s needed to beat these competitors (tip: look at the number of backlinks the competitors have). And if it turns out it’s too competitive, go ahead and pick another keyword. Or keywords.
When using a keyword research tool, don’t just copy the keywords that your competitors rank for. It’s really important to do the research and find out how likely it is for you to rank for the selected keywords.
#2. Titles and meta descriptions
Most likely, your page titles aren’t optimised as they should be. The titles of your pages help Google understand what your page is about.
If they’re not optimised in the right way, then Google just can’t understand what your business is about. And that’s not gonna help to rank your site.
Next to Google, potential visitors will also see your titles on sites like Google, but also social platforms as Facebook, Twitter etc. So it’s important to make sure everything is up-to-date.
Each page must have its unique title and describe what a visitor can expect when clicking your link. It should invite a visitor to click on your link by making it look appealing while adding a sense of curiosity.
Remember, it’s also important to include the keywords you’ve selected in your titles. If you can, try to mention the keyword at the beginning of the title. But always write the titles with your customer in mind, that’s priority numero uno.
When writing your titles and meta descriptions, you can use a tool like Title & Description Pixel Checker to make sure you’re not using too many characters.
As an example, I’ve included an image of the title and meta description of the post you’re reading. You can see that we’re not exceeding Google’s limits and still have a few characters left. Make sure to go through the different pages on your website and check whether your titles and descriptions aren’t too long.
#3. URL structure
URLs on your website describing your pages should be both SEO-friendly and user-friendly. For search engines, it should be easy “to make sense” of your website. And for visitors, they need to understand what a page is about while only looking at the URL.
The search term has to be mentioned in the URL. In case you’re using multiple search terms, make sure to separate the words using a dash (flower-delivery-amsterdam).
Avoid URLs that are too long. The shorter the better.
Are these SEO optimisation tips helpful so far? If yes, keep on reading, there’s more!
#4. H1 and H2 tags
Header tags are another element to help Google understand what your page is about. You can compare heading tags with the structure of a book. A book has a title, chapters and sub-chapters.
The same structure can be used for heading tags. The H1 tag is similar to the title of a book. It’s important to only have one H1 tag per page.
The H1 tag is the most important one and has the biggest format. When it comes to SEO, we only really use H1, H2 and H3 tags. The H2 tag is de subtitle of the page. Make sure to mention your keyword in your H1 tag.
Again, only use one H1 tag per page. You can use multiple H2 tags though. This way you can divide your page into several subtitles using H2 tags.
#5. Text formatting
What should you know about text formatting? There are a few different things to keep in mind when helping Google understand your pages.
For example, a list will bullet points is a great way to make it easier for Google to understand what your page is about. When you mention keywords throughout your text, you could consider making the text bold. Do not ever do this for all the keywords though or it will look spammy. Just decide where it looks natural for both your visitors and Google.
Ask yourself: what text or search terms are important for your visitors to see? Keep in mind, it’s not only about search engines. In the end, your visitors are the people that put in time and effort to learn more about you on your site.
#6. Internal linkbuilding
Internal links point to another page on the same website. Having a clear link structure helps your visitors and Google to easily find different pages on your website. Maybe you’ve got pages that aren’t shown in your menu? Then you want to make sure you link to those pages from other pages on your website to make sure Google can find and index them.
It’s also good practice to link to the pages you want to get found for. If you want to rank your homepage, make sure to link to it. Make sure everything looks natural and not overdone in terms of the number of links. Just a couple of links per page assuming there’s enough content.
Images make a website visually appealing. A site without images isn’t attractive and doesn’t feel “lively”. However, when it comes to search engines, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
Images aren’t so attractive to search engines because they’re heavy in size resulting in a website to load slow. Also, search engines just can’t understand images unless you optimise them (which most people don’t).
So what can you do?
Reduce your file size by compressing your images. You also want to add alt tags so search engines can “read” your images and understand what they’re about. As long as it’s relevant to the image you can add a search term. But if your image doesn’t have anything to do with the search term you want to use as alt tag, then don’t do it.
We love using this tool to compress images: Compressor.io.
To check your alt tags, you can use an online tool like Varvy. Paste your website’s URL and search for “Descriptive alt attributes”.
What’s the result? Did you optimise all your alt tags? Make sure to add a description of the image as well.
Another thing to mention is to have a clear description of the image file name.
www.dutchclickmedia.com/images/screenshot.png = WRONG
www.dutchclickmedia.com/images/screenshot-visual-composer-social-media-dashboard.png = RIGHT
#8. Website speed
The speed of your website is very important for both search engines and your visitors. Think about it. What do you personally do when you visit a slow-loading website? If you are like most people, you leave the page and proceed to the next (without ever going back). A slow website is a real conversion killer!
There are a few different tools that can help you to find out how fast or slow your website loads.
Here are the ones we like:
SEO optimisation tips summary:
- Google Analytics must be integrated before you start improving your website’s OnPage SEO;
- Select the search terms you want to rank for;
- Provide attractive titles and descriptions that include your search terms;
- Every page on your website must have a good URL structure including search term(s);
- Make correct use of H1 and H2 tags;
- Text formatting: process bold/italic search terms in your pages and make lists in which you place the search term at the top;
- Make internal pages link to pages you want to rank for;
- Provide images with alt tags, descriptions, a clear file name and ensure that your images are compressed;
- Speed counts: slow websites result in visitors leaving your website and dissatisfied search engines.
Make sure to implement the things you’ve learned today and start reviewing your website as soon as you can. After all, implementation is what’s gonna get you results, and knowledge is just that, knowledge.
I hope that these SEO optimisation tips will help you get started with OnPage SEO yourself. Many business owners want more highly-qualified leads on their website resulting in more appointments and sales. With the right SEO strategy that’s something that can be done. The tips and tricks explained in this article are just one small part of an SEO campaign.
We’d love to hear if this article helped you out. If you’ve got any questions we’d love to answer them for you.
If you’d like to have us review your website for free to see what’s going on, please click here.
Maybe you’re looking to get help with your online marketing but not with SEO? No worries, we offer a few different services so we might still be able to help you out. Just send us a message and we’ll get back to you.
P.S .: Are you already using our FREE Social Media Dashboard? It is made for local businesses. Read more on our information page: https://dutchclickmedia.nl/social-media-dashboard-gratis/!