Ever wonder what makes some pages appear higher on the search engine results page?
The reason usually has something to do with on-page SEO, which determines whether the content a web page is relevant to the search inquiry.
On-page SEO is comprised of the main content, meta tags, keywords, headings and titles, URLs, and more. All these elements decide how easy it’ll be to find any website when searching for it.
Optimizing your website for on-page SEO can improve your ranking in search engine results.
We’ll take a look at the basics of on-page SEO and outline how it can increase traffic to your website.
The Basics of On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is a general term for all the mechanics of search engine optimization on individual web pages. It includes elements like:
- The placement of keywords within the content.
- The use of meta descriptions to tell search engines what a page is about.
- The proper use of headings and titles to make sure your page is easy for users to navigate.
When done the right way, on-page SEO makes your website easy to read, aesthetically pleasing, and easy for search engine bots to crawl and index.
Web crawlers will understand what your website is about and rank it accordingly so that it appears higher in search engine results.
These rankings are determined by things like:
- How well-structured the page is.
- Any technical problems on the page — major problems can throw off your rankings completely.
- The presence of meta descriptions, titles, and headings.
- The page’s user-friendliness.
- Keyword usage and placement.
- Internal links that lead users to other pages on the website — this shows good organization.
On-page SEO requires the use of both technical and creative elements to make sure that your website appears higher on search engine results pages than your competitors.
At Single Origin, for example, we make sure to follow the best practices for keyword research and placement to greatly improve your chances of being found online.
Title Tags — The Big Draw
A title tag works something like a newspaper headline.
It’s a short summary of the page that’s used by search engines to determine what your web page is about and where it should be ranked.
Title tags are also the first thing users will see when they view your website in SERPs, so make them enticing enough for potential visitors to click on your link instead of a competitor’s.
To optimize your title tag for SEO purposes, use language containing your target keywords that accurately convey the content of the page.
You want to include words and phrases that people might type into their search engine when searching for information related to your website or business.
Using Appropriate Heading Tags
These will include both H1 and H2 subheaders.
Your subheads act as mini titles for sections of your webpage, and they should be used to create a hierarchy that makes it easy for readers to skim through the content on any page.
Heading tags are also a great way to draw attention to keywords you want search engines to recognize.
Prioritize skimming and scanning.
Use headings to break up chunks of content and make them easier for readers to digest. It helps keep them engaged with your page for longer.
You can also use headings to introduce new topics, summarize ideas, and create a smooth flow of information.
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Writing Meta Descriptions That Work
Meta descriptions are all about brevity and persuasion. You only have 160 characters to summarize the page, so it’s important that your meta description is clear and concise, while also providing enough information to draw users in.
Start by researching which keywords you want to use in your meta description.
They should relate to what users will find on the page and be relevant to their query.
Once you’ve identified those words, include them in the first few sentences of your meta description, as this helps search engines understand more about the content of your webpage.
Keep in mind that these words don’t have to be exact matches for what’s on the page; variations of similar phrases work just as well.
Remember also that meta descriptions are a singular opportunity to grab users who might not otherwise click on your page.
They’re like a miniature advertisement for your site, and you should use them to give potential visitors a taste of what they can expect when they explore your company.
It’s a good practice to include unique benefits, exciting offers, or special features in your description.
A well-optimized website image is one that has been edited to a smaller size without sacrificing too much quality.
This helps reduce page-load time, which is especially important for mobile users who don’t want to wait forever for images to appear.
You can start by selecting the right file format for your images.
JPEGs are ideal for photographs, while PNGs are better suited for illustrations or vector graphics.
In addition, make sure the resolution of your images is appropriate. If they’re too low-res, they won’t look good on high-definition displays (such as the kind many people use today).
Using Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the part of the Google search results page that directly answers a query.
They’re usually pulled from the top of the first page of search results and feature a small “snippet,” a chunk of text that summarizes the answer, along with an accompanying link to the full article.
To make snippets for your own content, start by researching the kinds of questions people search for in relation to your topic.
Once you have some ideas, create content that specifically answers these queries.
Write clearly and concisely, in a way that Google can quickly recognize and understand.
Snippets are great ways to promote your content, but only if you structure them correctly.
Appropriate Use of Keywords
On-page SEO isn’t all about keyword placement, but using the right keywords does make an important difference in how your website appears in search engine results pages.
To maximize the potential of your site, research which keywords are most closely associated with the topics you’re writing about, then use those words throughout your content.
When it comes to keyword placement, include the keyword in any headlines and subheadings you have on the page. But don’t just stuff multiple keywords into a sentence.
Break them up into separate phrases that flow naturally with the rest of the text. You may even consider adding internal links to other relevant pieces of content on your site whenever possible.
It could help increase users’ time on your website while also boosting its overall SEO performance.
Get the Most Out of On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is necessary for ensuring your website’s visibility in search engines. It’s one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for:
- Improving your website’s rankings in search engine results pages.
- Increasing the visibility of your content for potential customers.
- Getting more qualified leads.
Using the tools and tips discussed above, you can easily optimize the pages on your website to take full advantage of the benefits of on-page SEO. It may take some extra time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it.
And if you need help, consider reaching out to a team of professionals like Single Origin Media. We’re always here to assist you in creating an SEO-optimized website that stands out and succeeds in a crowded marketplace.