Ever wondered why some specific websites always show up on SERP each time you search for a specific keyword?
Why do some websites take the front page of search results and others don’t?
Is Google playing a favoritism game? Nope.
It’s pretty basic SEO.
As a digital marketer or website owner, you should have at least heard the term SEO once or twice. If you have little or no idea about what it means it’s okay.
Let’s quickly walk though it now shall we?
SEO simply means Search Engine Optimization and it is an extremely vital part of your website ranking high on search engines.
The best way to alert search engines on the relevancy of your content is by optimizing your content for the search engine results page.
There are two major types of SEO;
The On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
Today, the main focus will be on the On-page SEO and the specific elements that you can take advantage of to impact your website positively and climb the ranking ladder in search engines SERP.
What Is On Page Seo?
On page SEO is a website process that involves optimizing web pages for specific keywords to rank higher in search engines for the purpose of increasing organic traffic to a website.
This means that every aspect of your website content and web page has to be deliberately worked on to attract site visitors.
The truth is a lot of people see On-page SEO as a difficult strategy to implement, in reality it is definitely not as hard as it is made out to be.
When implementing On-page SEO practices on your website, your main focus should always be to satisfy your target audience/ website visitors. It is very easy to get carried away by search engines’ requirements and pay more attention to their bots but, it can make your content look mechanical and your audience would not be able to connect with it.
Remember, while you want to optimize your page for search engines, be careful not to over optimize it. A lot of digital marketers do not know where to draw the lines when leveraging SEO practices for their websites and in the long run it can become counter productive for their brand.
The key to SEO is balance.
You have to pay attention to search engine rules just as much as you pay attention to what your target audience needs. That way, you can serve them both well.
Now that you know a little bit more about SEO let’s dive into the best SEO practices now shall we?
10 On-Page SEO Basics That Will Grow Your Website
High Quality Content
Previously, before SEO became a necessity for most website owners, creating content for search engine optimization was majorly a one step process. All you had to do was include the relevant keywords that you want to rank for in your content and allow google do the rest for you. If you are consistent in using those specific keywords, google will be able to rank your webpage/website higher on its SERP.
However, now, that has changed!
You see…a lot of people have resorted to playing tricks on search engines producing low quality contents and stuffing the contents with the keywords they hope to rank for.
The google bots have grown much smarter and are now very good at detecting content that isn’t high quality. This means that stuffing your content with the keyword is not enough. Your content now has to be high quality .
Google now rewards high quality content.
What are the landmarks of high quality content?
Your content must be relevant, useful, accurate and super easy to understand. This means that you have to be deliberate about creating content that will positively help your target audience.
Your content has to be crafted with intentionality and should be completely original.
It should have a defined structure that will be easy for your website visitors to understand.
Your content should also be free of all grammatical errors and devoid of plagiarized content.
Creating high quality content will naturally keep people stuck in your website and this will alert google that your page holds relevant information. This is a two step process; You help search engines with relevant content for their customers, in return, they help push your content to their customers which will improve your SEO rankings.
When last did you type in a keyword on a search engine? When you clicked on a specific headline, what was it about it that got to you?
Let me guess. The headline seemed to hold answers to the search queries that you were searching for, so, of course you decided to click on it.
A good headline is the best way to improve the CTR of your website. You can have the best quality of content on your website, but, if your headline is not catchy or appealing enough no one will feel interested enough to click on it.
This is why click bait contents are so popular now. A lot of website owners understand the importance of headlines and use it even when the quality of the content they have to offer is subpar.
An example is the numerous headlines on google on “how you can lose 10kg in 7 days”.
These are head stopping headlines no doubt, but blatantly untrue.
High quality content is good, but, you know what even makes it better? A great headline. That is the best way to get people to engage with your amazing content.
Your headline should always contain the specific keyword that you want to rank for so that when people type in their search queries your webpage can show up
A good headline is always beneficial to a website even if you are already ranking high because it helps you maintain your high ranking spot. If your headline is not getting clicked on regularly no matter how high you rank, google will eventually rank other websites with higher CTR above your website.
A meta description is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines.
Basicslly, the short snippet you see under a headline when you make a search query is called a meta description.
It plays a vital role On-page SEO. Your meta description should always be crafted to arouse curiosity. It should be helpful but also interesting enough to make people want to click on your headline and read your content.
A compelling meta description has the power to drive massive organic search results to your website. This means that a lot of the people who see your page in search results will feel more Inclined to click on it.
What best to link the pages on your website together than linking them to each other?
This amazing SEO element is a great way for you to get more than one content in the faces of your website visitors.
Internal links are links attached to a content on a webpage that connects it to another webpage. The best part of internal links is that you can have a lot of internal links in your content which means your website visitors can engage with a lot of your other contents if they find it interesting enough which makes them stay longer in your page.
When your visitors stay longer on your webpage, this is a good signal to google that people find your website contents relevant. This will of course impact your seo positively.
Internal links can be in the form of images, buttons and of course anchor texts.
When you link your web pages to each other, you are able to create a better experience for your website users. This is particularly true for newbies and people who come to your website seeking information. You can connect them to previous contents so that they get a better grasp and understanding of the answer they are searching for.
Finally, internal links makes it so much easier for google to discover new pages as well as crawl your website. This will help your websites visibly and increase your chances of showing up on search engines ERP.
External Links are hyperlinks that connect a web page to another website entirely. When you click on external links, it takes you completely off a website and lands you in another website.
External links are a great way to improve the credibility of your website. You have to make sure that you are linking to sites that are trustworthy and have authority because in the long run they can help your SEO game improve and also improve your SEo authority .
Don’t just link to high ranking websites because you have to. The content you’re linking to must be incredibly helpful to your website visitors or else your website stands a chance of losing its credibility.
Header tags, also known as heading tags, are used to separate headings and subheadings on a webpage.
Header formatting is what gives your web page structure. It makes your contents more readable for your visitors.
Header formatting can be divided into 6; H1 to H6
They rank in order of importance, with H1 usually being the title.
This is what header formatting are used for;
* H1 — This is the title of a post. They contain the keywords and the major idea that the page or post is focused on. This title must be curated to appeal to a reader’s curiosity .
* H2 — These are known as the subheadings. This is usually the first subheading in the overall body of content. Subheadings are important because you can separate the major points in a content by dividing them in sections and generally making the post more readable and understandable.
* H3 — These are known as subsections that follow after the H2. They are used to further understand the points made in the H2.
* H4 —These are subsections that clarify the points made in the H3 further.
How important can a URL be? Definitely not more important than a title or other parts of On-page SEO right?
A page URL can be a very powerful tool to achieve SEO success.
You have to include keywords in your URL so that website surfers can understand what your page is about.
Image- Alternate – Text
Every single time you search for something on google..anything at all…rarely does a picture not accompany the search results.
These pictures most likely show up on the SERP because they have an image alternate text.
What are image alternate texts?
This is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen.
This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.
To create the best user experience for your website visitors or internet surfers in general, you have to optimize your website’s content to always include alternate text on your images.
A slow loading website should rank really high in the list of world’s most annoying elements.
It can get frustrating when you have to wait long seconds for a web page to open. A lot of people do not have the patience to wait that long and so they immediately look for an alternative web page that answers their questions but loads faster.
It’s nothing personal. Everyone is really just looking out for faster ways to satisfy themselves..
If your webpage/website is optimized for speed, you will be able to increase the views on your page. Website speed is an important metric for google’s page rank.
If your website loads really fast, you will be able to increase the conversion rate of your site because you have created a comfortable environment for your visitors to take action.
A faster page load time of even a couple of milliseconds will significantly increase the conversions, which demonstrates that improving site performance is a huge part of conversion rate optimization.
A fast loading website also decreases your bounce rate which signals to google that your page is helpful to its visitors.
Over half of the searches carried out on the web come from mobile devices. This means that if you are not0 optimizing your website for mobile users, you are making a very huge mistake.
Your website should be designed to naturally fit into screens of mobile users so that anybody can easily access and engage with your content.
Websites designed to fit on mobile screens are said to benefit from a ranking boost over sites that are only optimized for desktop.
If a user visits a site that is hard for them to navigate, they will leave immediately and this will only increase the bounce rate of your website.
When your bounce rate is high, google will be unable to rank your page for relevancy since nobody is spending time on your website.