On-page optimization is an integral part of an SEO strategy. It implies optimizing your site content to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). The goal of this practice is to create highly relevant and useful content that meets users' needs.
In this article, we'll explain why on-page optimization is important, consider its elements, and share some useful tips.
Why is on-page optimization important?
According to BrightEdge, 53.3% of all site traffic comes from organic search. This makes business owners pay special attention to their on-page optimization since it plays a crucial role in understanding the user's intent.
The first reason why you should do on-page optimization is that it helps you realize what your target customers want. Analyzing keywords in your industry, you will find out which queries they use for navigational, informational, or shopping intent.
Secondly, on-page optimization allows you to provide users with valuable content that answers their questions. Knowing their search queries, you can produce different types and formats of content that will fit users with various needs. As a result, you can grow your authority and credibility.
Thirdly, search engines reward sites that people like. The more users click on your links in the SERP, the higher your page will rank. Hence, your domain rate will increase.
Last but not the least, occupying the highest positions in the SERP increases your conversions. People tend to trust the first three search results. So, if they manage to find on your page what they are looking for, you'll get more sales.
To benefit from on-page optimization, you should know its core elements.
Key Elements of On-Page Optimization
In this section, we'll uncover the main areas you need to work on to do on-page optimization.
- Page content. This is the most important element since search engines check everything you publish. Content should be unique and high-quality. Google uses the E-A-T framework to assess web pages. E — expertise, A — authoritativeness, T — trustworthiness. Although there's a need to optimize content for both users and robots, Google wants site owners to create customer-oriented pages that meet the needs of customers.
- Title tag and meta description. They are HTML tags. When a user types a certain search query and sees the SERP, title and meta description are the first thing they pay attention to. Their main goal is to drive attention and motivate people to click the link. With a correct title and meta description, you can significantly increase your page CTR. So, they should be relevant to the page content.
- Heading tags. They are responsible for the logical structure of your page content. There are 6 heading tags and they look the following way: H1, H2, H3, etc, where H1 is the most important and H6 — the least important. H1 is the title of your page, so it should be informative and relevant to a user's search query. H2-H6 are used to highlight your heading and subheadings. Headings help readers better comprehend the structure of your article and navigate to the necessary section.
- Internal links. To improve your website engagement, don’t forget to interlink relevant articles. This will help readers learn the necessary information in a logical order, step by step. When adding a link, pay special attention to the anchor text. To drive user attention, it should be relevant to its destination page and include the corresponding keywords.
These are the main elements of on-page optimization. Now it’s time to consider some tips that will help you master on-page optimization.
How to do on-page optimization?
- Optimize title tag and meta description
- Create high-quality content
- Optimize images
- Take care about internal linking
- Use SEO-friendly URLs
- Create categories and tags
Since on-page optimization requires following the practices to meet the needs of both users and search engine algorithms, we’ll share some tips for you to create a killer SEO strategy. Title and meta description are the first elements a reader sees when googling, so we’ll start with that.
Optimize title tag and meta description
Their goal is to attract user attention and tell them that this page provides answers to their questions. Although these elements don’t influence your ranking much, we advise you to optimize them for better performance. For this purpose, include your primary keyword in both title tag and meta description. Use modifiers to inform clients what they will see following the link, for example, a checklist, guide, case study, video, infographics. This way, you increase your chances to catch their attention.
Keep user intent in mind. If it’s informational, use the corresponding modifier, for example, “What is Email Marketing”. Take into account the length of both tags. Google is always updating its algorithms, so check them. To stay on the safe side, avoid too long titles and descriptions since they will look poor in the SERP. Make your meta description support the title. Use active voice, keywords, and motivate users to follow the link.
Below you can see an example of an optimized title tag and meta description. Both elements include the main keywords (seo, search engine optimization), title tag modifier (a simple step-by-step guide) and meta description encourage users to follow the link to learn what to do for Google to like your content.
Create high-quality content
High-quality content is about producing original, unique, expert articles. This will help you improve user experience, meet their intent, decrease bounce rate, boost CTR and conversions accordingly.
To create valuable content, start guest blogging. Find experts in your niche and offer them to write an article that will help your audience solve their problem. Be ready to regularly update your content to keep it fresh. Provide new strategies and techniques. For your content to look visually appealing, mind paragraphing, numbered and bulleted lists, tables, images and screenshots.
Use keywords organically. Define your primary and secondary keywords and use them naturally when writing your piece of content. Avoid stuffind your page with keywords because Google can penalize you for that.
Create unique images and don’t use stock photos. They bring little to nothing value to a user. Remember that the goal of adding images is not only making your page more visually appealing but informative. Each image should tell its story, help reveal the topic, and be useful. Compress images before publishing them, otherwise, they can weigh too much and can load for ages when users open your page.
Help Google understand what your image is about. For this purpose, create descriptive names instead of IMG_123456 since robots don’t understand this.
Always write an ALT text for images. Sometimes browsers can’t properly render images or they fail to load, so having an ALT text is your airbag. It’s useful for both readers and robots. People with disabilities can use their screen readers to listen to the text describing an image. So, if an image doesn’t render, an ALT text describes what this or that image is about. Besides, having ALT text you can rank higher because it’s associated with images.
In addition, we advise you to pay special attention to the structure of your email files. Don’t place all your images into one folder. Create separate folders for different categories. For example, if you have an eCommerce business, you can have the following files “Men”, “Women”, and subfolders “Jeans”, “Dresses”, “Swimsuit”, etc.
Take care about internal linking
We’ve already mentioned internal linking. It helps both users better navigate through your site and understand the topic, and it helps YOU to boost your new pages or pages that have little traffic. For this purpose, create a list of your most authoritative site pages that perform well and choose those which touch upon the topics related to this one that needs promotion. Then, place links to your low-authoritative pages and include relevant anchor text. This way, you’ll share the value of your best page.
Check out an example of internal linking from SendPulse. In our glossary, we define internet marketing terms and consider the most important issues. In our blog, we cover the same topics but more in-depth. So, we often advise our readers to study the topic better in our blog.
Use SEO-friendly URLs
URLs should be concise, clear, and informative. For this purpose, include your primary keyword in the URL, make it reflect the title of your page, avoid using special characters and unnecessary words. These words can make your URL too long which is a bad SEO practice. So omit the conjunctions, prepositions, articles.
Create categories and tags
If you have a blog and cover different topics, we advise you to develop some structure. It will help readers better navigate through your blog and search engines — understand your topics. Group all your articles by categories and tags.
Congrats, now you know pretty much about on-page optimization, so with this list of tips at hand, you can create outstanding content that will meet your readers’ intent and tell search engines that it deserves high ranking.
Last Updated: 07.07.2021