It's easy for your brand’s voice to be drowned out in the crowded space that is the web. With millions of blogs, businesses, and platforms vying for attention, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered to have your site noticed by the right audience. Search engine optimization is key to getting the right eyes on your page and your message.
Most SEO activities for your page fall under two main umbrellas, on page and off page. While off-page SEO focuses on backlink building and site promotion, on-page SEO techniques focus on the aspects of your site that hinder or help your search rankings. More specifically, on-page tactics refer to the optimization of content, HTML source code, and tags on each of your web pages.
When executed correctly, the best on-page SEO techniques can have drastic effects and boost your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Not only does this increase the visibility of your site, it also ensures that the most relevant traffic is directed toward your page.
Google constantly upgrades and shifts its algorithms with the aim of providing the most relevant search results for its users. The following on-page SEO tips and tricks will help you keep your site in great shape when it comes to the SERPs.
Optimize Your Images
Image use on your website is great for breaking up the monotony of text and providing an aesthetically pleasing user experience for visitors. Images can also give context to your content and add cohesiveness to your brand messaging.
While the images on your page can add to the overall user experience, they can also be optimized for SEO and help boost your ranking in the SERPs. Search engine bots can’t see photos, so you have to include some text to help them understand the images on your site. You can accomplish this by adding alt text and descriptions to your images.
Alt text should be as descriptive as possible and explain in detail what the image is. You don’t want to oversimplify here. For example, you would want your alt text to say more than just “pet” if you have a picture of a dog riding a skateboard. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your description, as well.
Pay Attention to Page Titles
Title tags are often the first interaction someone has with your page and possibly even your brand, so they’re extremely important to your SEO efforts. Your title tags will tell users and search engines what your page is about, so make sure they’re unique and accurate in their description.
Your title tags can be found by users in three different places:
- Search Engine Result Pages
- Social Media
- Web Browsers
On SERPs, your title tag appears as the clickable link that users see when they perform a search query. Most social media networks display your title tag when your page is shared on their platform. Web browsers use your title tag in the tab display.
Google usually shows about 50 to 60 characters on the title tag line, so it’s a good idea to keep your tags under 60 characters. Anything more than this won’t be seen by searchers. You should include relevant keywords, but they should fit in the context of your title. Avoid stuffing your title with keywords, as this can create a bad user experience.
Elaborate with Meta Descriptions
Meta description tags, while not tied directly to SERP rankings, they still have an effect on click-through rates, which can sway your rank positioning. The meta description is the bit of text that falls below your title tag on the SERP. This is your chance to convince users that your content is relevant to their search.
Keep your meta descriptions to 150 characters or less and as unique as possible. Include relevant keywords, but just like in your title tag, avoid packing them in. Again, the meta description is for the searcher, not for the search engine. Write your description with your ideal site visitor in mind.
Keep Proper Page Formatting
Be sure to format your site’s landing pages, articles, and all other content properly. Break down your content into smaller subsections to increase readability for your users. Use heading tags in your HTML code. Many sites fail to include the proper title tags. Use your H1 tag for the main title and then H2, H3, and so on for your subheadings. They’re not exciting or glamorous, but neglecting title tags can be a big mistake.
These tags will tell the search engine crawlers which portions of your content are most important. Shy away from basic generic headings and use the opportunity to include relevant keywords in your titles.
Utilize On-Page Internal Links
Link building is often thought of as an off-page SEO strategy, but links can be used as part of your on-page SEO strategy, as well. Including internal links to pages within your own site is a powerful tool you can leverage to improve your SEO.
Internal links increase user experience by providing useful information, as well as simplified site navigation for visitors. These links are also a great way to ensure that search engine bots crawl all of your available content. You can use free tools, like the link checker from ScanBacklinks.com, to monitor and manage your links.
You can include these links directly in your content and use them cohesively to give context to and expand on certain topics. This especially powerful for bloggers and can be used to move new readers through past content quickly.
The above tips are just a few of the many ways you can improve your on-page SEO. On-page tactics should be your first line of attack when it comes to your overall SEO strategy. These tricks can ensure that your site is thoroughly crawled by search bots and that the right kind of traffic finds your content. When implemented as a cohesive plan, these tactics lay a solid foundation for off-page efforts.
SEO techniques are constantly changing. If you’re vigilant and adjust your efforts to keep up with these shifts, your SEO strategy will be effective in 2017 and beyond.