It is self explanatory really, on page SEO is the optimisations that you do for your website that are performed on your website itself, as opposed to away from your website such as link building.
There are a few aspects to on page seo such as meta data, headings and the content itself. But there are also more subtle aspects to it too. We will cover all of it here on this page.
Meta tags provide information about a page via html. The information in these tags is not visible on the web page itself but can be ‘seen’ by Google when it crawls the website. Google uses this information to help with ranking and to display text snippets in the search results.
When you see a search result such as the following:
The top line is defined in the meta title and the paragraph of text below that is the meta description. Neither of these need be on the pages of the website themselves.
Rather than manually code all the meta tags across all your pages of the website you can use a tool to make life easier.
For instance if you have a WordPress site then you can use the Yoast SEO Plugin. This sets up fields on your pages which can be easily filled in for customised tags or it will automatically fill in the title and description tags using the title of your page and a snippet from the content, if you want.
It also tells you how well pages are optimised for keywords you define in the plugin. This is a good way to monitor the effectiveness of your on page SEO.
There are other tools but as WordPress is the most popular platform we have mentioned this one here.
The title tag is one of the most important tags for SEO.
Every page should have a unique title tag. It does not have to be the same as the heading of the page either. It should be keyword specific and stand out in the search results.
If your title tag is the same as all the others in the search results then why would anyone click on yours. You will just get lost amongst all the ‘noise’ on the page.
How you structure and compose your title tag will determine how good your click through rate is. The click through rate is the number of times someone clicks on your listing in the search results compared to the number of times it is actually displayed.
If you are on page one for a particular search term but your click through rate is low this can be remedied by changing the meta title and description to make them more appealing.
This tag is also important although it has little if any impact on rankings.
However, it does serve the purpose of catching the eye of a user when they scan the search results. What you put in this description will be displayed in the search results and can determine whether a searcher clicks on your result or not.
In the old days there used to be a Meta Keywords tag too so you could tell Google what your page was about. Google pays no attention to this tag anymore as it is smart enough to work out what your page is about all by itself.
Header tags are a way to structure your page so that it makes more sense to the user and to also inform Google of what is important on your page.
The <H1> tag is the main tag and should describe the overall topic of your page. Only use one H1 tag per page. This is the heading of the page and should contain your main keyword.
Subsequent sub–headings can use <h2>, <h3>…. <h6>.
In this way you can organise the page hierarchically, like a book and this also helps Google understand the subject matter better too.
Once we have the list of keywords that we compiled during the keyword research phase, we analyse the content to see if it covers everything it should.
This means we look to see if the content is comprehensive enough and contains enough references to all the keywords we wish to target. If not we start to create the necessary new content.
Each page should contain the keyword in the first paragraph. But it should also be repeated throughout the page content too. This latter aspect is called keyword frequency. But it should still look natural and not as if the words have been stuffed in there.
As in the above section, the headers should be keyword specific and cover a range of keywords that are relevant to the page subject.
Content should be scannable, as this is how people read today. This is more about user experience (UX) but still relevant here.
It is clear in these days that Google loves a lot of textual content, because it can read that and decide whether a website is an authority on a subject or not.
The way to accomplish this is to compose long form content. It’s not always easy or desirable to do this on product or service pages so a way around this is to add long content to the blog.
The day of short (250 word) blog posts is gone, Google gives no value to these anymore. Instead Google is looking for comprehensive and long content that covers a subject inside out.
A good long form article/post can be easily 1500-300 words long.
At Avatar when we come across a client who has little content on their site we advise the creation of a blog and associated long form content. If a subject is covered comprehensively Google will give authority to that content and to the website as a whole.
We have had very good successes with improvements in rankings across the board by creating long form content.
To build and push authority through to pages on a website we use a tactic of internal linking.
This linking is normally from long form blog content to product or service pages.
The linking is done using keyword anchor text. This is where the word/phrase that links out from a page to another page is composed of keywords.
Let’s use a real example. If I say here – internal linking is an integral part of any effective SEO Service.
The ‘SEO Service’ part of the sentence is the anchor text. When you click on this you get sent to our seo services page.
Now because the content on this page (on page seo) covers the subject in depth, it has good Google authority. By linking out to the seo services page we are pushing some of that authority to the service page.
If we do this with multiple pages then we can make our services page ‘stronger’ for ranking and authority.
Google will do this because it sees that we are covering all aspects of SEO on our site and it recognises that we are an authority on the subject.
All websites contain images and these can also be optimised for SEO.
Each image should have an ALT TEXT tag defined. This will describe the image in words and should contain keywords. Google cannot ‘read’ images so uses this tag to understand what an image is about.
Another aspect to consider is to ensure that images are compressed and are small in size. This will ensure the page load speed is not impacted and this will also contribute positively to SEO as page speed is a ranking factor.
This article has explained all the factors involved in On Page SEO.