SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a bit of a science and has many facets. One of which is “On Page SEO”. Whilst it is only one of maybe 12 important factors for SEO it is critical, once you get visitors to your pages. Bear in mind that if you invest in getting people to a page, it needs to be worth visiting, otherwise you will lose the visitor or potential client.
The benefits of good On Page SEO include the fact that it increases time on page by a visitor, by offering a good UX or user experience as such, to keep the visitor reading. That in turn can lead to more conversions for you, such as a visitor making a call or sending an email to you. Or they could click on a link on the page to find their way to related articles, in the same way as you may do on this page later.
The main facets of SEO include:
Keyword Research – If you are going to create any content, you want to ensure that you are targeting the keywords that your desired customers are searching for, in the first place. Then you create useful, relevant content around this keyword or phrase. Ensure that the page is fast loading, with images and video all using reduced file sizes and with a good naming convention, showing relevant Alt Tags. As part of your on page optimisation you will include internal links to other related pages and external links to useful related content elsewhere on the web.
Nowadays it goes without saying that the pages must be mobile friendly and easy to navigate even on a small screen. Whilst you can include exit popups, do ensure that they do not get in the way. And at the end of any article do include a CTA or call to action. Whether that is to download a piece of content such as a checklist or pdf or to read a related article or make contact with you. Much like Google or Facebook or Youtube, you are trying to keep the visitor on your website as long as you can, delivering useful entertaining or educational content and filtering visitors down to the ones who will want to engage with you.
In this short article, of about a 13 minute read, covering 20+ technical points, we will focus on one single technical aspect of SEO and that is the On Page SEO. Read this article to learn how to attract more leads to your website, how to qualify them, and how to deliver real value. The problem with SEO is that anyone can do it and it is therefore very competitive. But the good news is that most people do not invest enough time to do it right. Thus, there is loads of scope for you to do it better than your competitors and get on page 1 for your key phrase or term.
Ignore all the cheesy email offers that say they can do it for you for €47 a month or even €147 or €247 or even €497. This work takes serious time and investment. And no there is no magic plugin that will do it all for you. Ignore those emails too. You can use supporting plugins such as All in One SEO or Yoast as tools, but they work solely as guidelines – you still have to do the work. And there can be a lot of work initially, then it has to be kept up to date. Google algorithms change frequently.
Create a Plan
We have been doing SEO for over 20 years and even when we get really good at it, Google changes the goalposts and we have to revisit everything again, tweak how we approach SEO, create a new plan for our individual clients and for ourselves too. It is like a game where the rules change regularly. And to top it off Google does not generally tell people what changes they make or when they make them. Or why. Google does not want SEO agents to game the SEO system. When it happens they change the rules and punish the people who gamed them. The SEO agencies do not suffer, their clients do – that could be you!
Never let digital marketing or SEO agencies work on your SEO without getting a written plan of action agreed. Do insist on getting regular reports. So that you can fix anything they might do wrong that damages your credibility with Google. You would not let a Signage company put a sign up over your front door without having approved the design and size, graphics, and wording in advance. Whilst it is hard to see SEO, you can do it, if you work with a competent, trustworthy SEO agency. It is a challenging subject. Find an SEO agency who you like and trust, who has credentials, happy clients, proven results and then pay them based on results, rather than thinking of SEO as a cost that needs to be kept at a minimum. Done right, SEO can transform your advertising, your marketing, your sales and your bottom line. Read on……….
On-page SEO Tips – A Short Guide
You should optimise every page on your website for one keyword or key phrase. In order to let Google know which keyword or key phrase you wish to optimise your page for, it is critical that you use this keyword or key phrase in a number of places on the page.
This a simple guide with on page SEO tips.
Link or URL
The obvious first place to include your key phrase would be the URL- the actual link to the page which should include the keyword or key phrase. For this page, our URL will include the phrase ‘On-page SEO Tips’.
We will also call the on-page title of the article or page ‘On-page SEO tips’ because this is the chosen key phrase that we are working with in this instance.
The page title should also include the chosen key phrase and maybe the location where you are based – On-page SEO Tips from web designers in Dublin.
The meta description should include the chosen key phrase. For instance, ‘On-page SEO Tips from web designers in Dublin, who specialise on website design for Professional Services Business in Dublin. Call MEANit Web Design and get your business found’. Try to use this text to engage the reader to encourage a click through.
As we write the article we will have H1 and H2 and H3 headings and sub-headings. Thus, we will use our key phrase and synonyms in some form in these, particularly the single H1. This is a critical weighting factor for Google and the large font or bold text shows Google that these words are important. On-page SEO Tips.
Ensure that all your articles are categorised logically. We categorised this one in Search Engine Optimisation category or Digital Marketing.
Ensure that all articles are tagged correctly. This article is simply tagged SEO and Digital Marketing.
We will use the key phrase in the body of our text. It will be above the fold, ideally in the first line or two of text. We will also add synonyms. In this case, ‘on-page search engine optimisation tips and search engine friendly webpages’. Use secondary keyphrases where possible.
Throughout the article we will highlight the phrase. Maybe make the key phrase bold or make the font larger On Page SEO. Do what we can to let Google know that these are our keywords or this is our key phrase. Emphasise that this is important to us.
We will link out to other articles on the same subject probably to external ‘authority’ websites. Whether that be publications, newspapers or experts. The external links may be to Wikipedia or BBC or in this case to SEO Roundtable or Moz. Always set external links to ‘open in new page’. Otherwise you are encouraging people to ‘bounce’ from your page.
Any of the external links will have anchor text, so, rather than have ‘click here’ we would have ‘see this article about on page SEO tips in Moz’.
Every page on our website will include some photos or images. All of these images need to be given a logical name and an alt or alternate name when they are added to the media library. Each image on this particular page will be suitably named and part of that name will be ‘on-page-SEO-tips’, complete with the hyphens as part of the ‘naming convention’. The Alt tag will describe the image, such as SEO Guide or Search-Engine-Optimisation-Guide. This is not a critical ranking factor for Google, but it improves accessibility for people with any visual impairment.
All images or photos file size should be sized for web, less that 100 kb and fast to load to avoid unecessary delay.
Page load speed
This may be one for your tech guys, but the website and its various pages should ideally deliver in under 3 seconds each. Google rightly prioritises page load speed somewhat, so that they deliver the fastest results for visitors. Having said that, whilst Google does encourage load speed, but 5 seconds is fine if your page delivers the right content to answer the search query. Browser intent satisfaction is rightly more important than simple page speed.
We want to optimise the page or article, so that it gets found in search. We also want visitors to spend time on this page, reading what has been written. It needs to be of value to the reader to keep them on the page. Invest time and energy on getting this right to answer the search query well. Done properly your answer could become a featured snippet in a Google search, which will put you at the top of the results SERPs.
Refresh rate – updating pages
Content should be kept updated and refreshed. otherwise Google may deem it to be old or irrelevant, once people read less of it. Showing an ‘updated’ date rather than a ‘published’ date can be a good signal for Google. That is IF you do update your content.
Video is so popular nowadays that it is always a good idea to add a video to support or explain the article. Make sure the videos are named well. And ideally they will have subtitles. Host them offsite on Youtube or Vimeo etc.
Location – Geo Location
If you want to optimise for a particular location, use it in your article, so I will add Ireland, Dublin and Donegal here, to emphasise an Irish angle, because our market is predominantly Irish professional services businesses, such as solicitors, accountants, architects and builders. See our own short guide to Local SEO with 20+ tips on getting found locally.
We also want to include Internal links, to other relevant pages in our website – IF they are indeed relevant. This is to encourage a visitor to visit more than one page. The linked pages will be related to the subject or be the obvious next step. In this case it could be to an article about ‘What is SEO’ or ‘SEO tools’ or Backlinks etc. Again the anchor text should use relevant words rather than just ‘Read more’ or ‘Click here’. Bear in mind that every link is giving away some of your page rank, diluting it with every link. Keep the links small in number, perhaps just one.
Promoting the article
Once we have created the article or page and done all this on page optimisation, we can then publish and promote it. We generally share the link through our social channels- Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. You could pay to boost or advertise the article if you want to increase visitor numbers.
What is SEO?- What is Search Engine Optimisation? If you are not sure what it involves, then read our much longer foundational article: What is SEO?
The object of the exercise is to have Google rank this article on page one, when people search the term or key phrase ‘on page SEO tips’. This could be and in this case is a competitive space. Depending on which key phrase you are using. So, if you want to find out what you need to do to compete, do a Google search for the term ‘on page SEO tips’ or whatever is your own chosen key phrase.
Tip: Use allintitle: ahead of a term. Look at the results and check how the articles are written, how many words, images, links (internal & external), videos etc. In order to rank your article on page number one in search for your chosen key phrase you will need to be better than at least one of these ten organic websites or results – it is that simple. It is much like reengineering based on a proven template. However if we make our term ‘on page SEO tips Ireland’, this very post could be on Page 1 right now. However, this is a Guide for our own clients.
Rinse and repeat
Repeat this exercise for every page or article on your website, giving one key phrase per page. Start by listing all the keywords or key phrases that you want to rank for. Then create an article for each. Use at least 500 words in your text, but ideally 5000, without fluff. Include relevant, well named images plus relevant or related internal and external links. Make it easy for visitors to navigate your website by clicking on the related links.
This particular article is too short to rank on page one globally, but may rank locally in Ireland. This simple guide is to support one aspect of one of our bigger 15,000+ word Skyscraper articles called What is SEO?
You want to optimise for the visitor and for Google. So include all the tips above, but first and foremost ensure that it is easy for humans to read and navigate. Google may rank the page well initially to check what visitors do when they get there. If visitors bounce away after a few seconds, the article will drop down the rankings very quickly. Google will continue to rank an article highly, if visitors stay and read through the it. If visitors click on related internal links, the article will rank even better. Therefore, it is ultimately the human visitors and their intent who decide how well the article will rank. Intent is critical.