On-Page SEO: What is it and why do I need it?
What is On-Page SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization is the practice of tailoring a website so that it appears most accurately in web searches. This practice is most useful for driving traffic and ensuring that the website content appears in relevant keyword searches. SEO comes down to two main categories On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. Lets take a look at On-Page SEO.
On-page SEO focuses on individual web pages and their ranking within a search engine to earn relevant traffic. On-page SEO relates to the content and HTML source code of the page. This is in contrast to off-page SEO, which focuses on links and external signals that can affect keyword searches and relevant traffic. The easiest way to think of it is on-page SEO you have control over it as it relates to the content and coding used on your web pages, where as off-page SEO you do not always have control over.
On-page SEO is very important to ensure the search engine crawlers understand the content you are delivering to your visitors. The search engines will rank your content in result according to the relevancy of the content on your individuals web pages with users searched term and on the basis of a few other factors which make up their ranking algorithm.
5 Main Elements of On-Page SEO:
There are five main elements that make up on-page SEO. Each area focuses target content so that the site appears and ranks highly in search engines, achieves a high traffic flow, showcases content worthy of sharing, and builds the brand, which converts casual users to frequent visitors. The following elements are what make a page optimized:
1. Uniquely valuable
For a webpage to be fully optimized it has to have unique content, which is content that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the Internet in that exact wording or phrasing. In addition to the content being unique it also needs to be uniquely valuable. Unique value means that visitors find the information useful and interesting, which leads them to wanting to share the link in other locations on the web.
2. Provides phenomenal UX
UX, or user experience, plays an important role in how often users visit a website and how long they stay. For the best user experience the website must be easy to understand and navigate. The site should also showcase content and make it easy for users to move from one article or page to the next. Users don’t just visit on a computer, but also on mobile devices so the website should load quickly no matter the device or the browser. Lastly, for a phenomenal UX sites should be visually attractive and dynamic.
3. Crawler and bot accessible
Search engines use what are called bots to “crawl” or search the web for content and information. As a website it’s important to allow these bots access to the site so it can be indexed and ranked reliably and accurately. In order to optimize a site for bots, site content should only appear on one page and have a specific URL. If the content is on more than one page, the URLs must be linked. URL length should also follow their static or dynamic requirements and be included in either RSS feeds or an XML sitemap. If a site requires some privacy from bots plugins can be used to limit what is seen.
4. Keyword targeted
One of the basic components of SEO is keyword. These are words or phrases that queue searches and search engines into the content on a website. While keywords and keyword density can impact search engine rankings, it’s important that keywords not affect the usability, user experience, or natural writing flow within the site. Keywords do still play a significant role in a few places within an article or page. These locations include:
• Page title: keyword should be included once and as close to the start as possible
• Headline: the headline should match the headline seen in the search engine
• Body text: content should be useful, relevant, and comprehensive to the keyword
• URL: the keyword helps with search engine relevancy and as anchor text
• Image: each page should have an image and the image title, filename, and text should be keyword related
• Meta description: this shows up in search results and should help users choose the site link. Keywords also get bolded in the meta description
5. Built to be shared
In order to drive more traffic to the website, the content should be worth sharing with the rest of the Internet. Social media is a great place for sharing links to articles and useful pages, which can help search engine rankings through exposure. To make social media sharing as easy as possible by including sharing buttons for the most visited social media sites and keep URLs short so they can be shared easily with copy and paste.
Now that you have learned about On-Page SEO and the five main elements that make up on-page SEO, lets see how your website site doing. Before you make any tweaks or changes based on the what you have learned, request your free website audit. Once done making your changes request another audit, then come back to this article and share your before and after scores with us in the comments below.
Kevin Fairbanks is the managing partner at RANKFoundry located in Syracuse, NY where he develops the customized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy plans each client’s unique business needs. In his spare-time he is either spending it with his family or tinkering with electronics.