- 1 Boost your site speed:
- 2 Get your page titles right:
- 3 Outbound and internal links:
- 4 Create content that answers questions
- 5 Optimize headings, tags, image descriptions, and URLs:
- 6 Don’t let your old content die:
- 7 Remember that ultimately, the quality of your content will always be the biggest ranking factor of all:
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130705762@N03/19661230868/
On-page SEO is all about making sure the SEO ranking factors you as a website owner have direct control over – i.e. the content and structure of your website itself – are optimized to their best potential. This includes both technical considerations, like using headers, page descriptions and tags appropriately; as well as the more creative aspects like media and content creation. While building a presence on social media and getting other websites to give you backlinks takes time and depends on assistance from outside parties, on-page SEO is something you can get started on right away and manage internally.
Boost your site speed:
As a rule, modern internet users are an impatient bunch, and many won’t wait longer than 4 or 5 seconds for your page to load. Google and other search engines also use your page’s loading time as a ranking factor, so if your site is on the slow side, you may want to consider switching to a faster hosting platform and compressing images. Not sure how your site is doing? There are various free tools you can use to get an idea of how your site compares.
Get your page titles right:
Every piece of content you create should have a main keyword that you’re aiming at ranking for – and that keyword should appear in your title IF it makes grammatical sense for it to do so. If using the keyword as is in the title is going to turn it into gibberish, people aren’t going to click on your result even if it does rank. That said, it should be possible for most pages.
Try to keep titles below 60 characters in length, as this is what Google typically displays in results. Make the title attractive to people too – using descriptive terms and adjectives like ‘best’, ‘amazing’, or ‘ultimate’ that help it stand out, and numbers if possible, such as ‘10 best tips for XYZ’, ‘5 amazing places to travel with kids’, etc. People like lists!
Phrasing that indicates the nature of the piece, for example a tutorial, checklist or how-to guide can also help encourage the right visitors to click through as they know what to expect from your content.
Links help search engines better understand the topic and purpose of a piece of content. Outbound links to relevant sources of further information, ideally high-ranking authoritative websites, show that you’re genuinely trying to educate and inform the people who read your page. Internal links help them see how the topic fits in with your website as a whole andare also a valuable tool for ranking – so try and include at least two in every piece of content, so long as they actually relate to what you’re discussing in the post!
Create content that answers questions
If you’re trying to come up with content topics, Google has a few very simple features that can help. You may have noticed the “People also ask” section that appears when you conduct a search, as well as the suggested, autocompletes when you start typing in a phrase in the search bar. These are both good sources for the kind of queries people are actively looking for answers on, and therefore good ideas for content topics. At the bottom of a search results page, the “Related searches” box is similarly helpful. If you’re new to SEO, these are dead simple ways to get started before you delve deeper into thorough keyword research and analytics. If you don’t have the time or inclination to get into the more technical aspects, getting a reputable SEO services company on board at this point is a good idea.
If your content relies heavily on images, then make sure you follow Google’s advice on optimizing them. Following best practices for optimizing technical aspects like headings, H1 and H2 tags, and URLs are all important on-page ranking factors.
Don’t let your old content die:
Apply what you’ve learned to older pages, updating them with new information, checking technical aspects, and making them relevant again. When you update old content and republish it, it gets re-indexed by search engines as new, and fresher content is generally given higher rankings than content which is several years old.
Remember that ultimately, the quality of your content will always be the biggest ranking factor of all:
A highly informative, helpful, engaging or entertaining piece of content (or website in general) can easily outrank one with bad content – even if virtually zero search engine optimization has been performed on it. If your content just isn’t appealing or useful to people, then no amount of SEO is going to get it to outperform content that is. Ideally, of course, you want a combination of great content and best practice SEO. Do that, and search engines will reward you handsomely!