Search engine optimisation, as we all know, is quite a vast concept with branches stretching all over the place.
One such branch is On-Page SEO. It’s important to understand the importance of on-page SEO, as it’s one of the most crucial aspects that should not be overlooked when devising and executing an SEO campaign.
So, what exactly is On-Page SEO? Read on to explore the world of on-page SEO and how it can help your website reach its full potential.
What is On-Page SEO?
When you say on-page SEO out loud, you immediately think it must be what’s going on “on a page.” But what does that entail?
On-page SEO refers to any activity carried out on a website’s pages. Whether it is the home page, product page, or blog post, all the optimisation activities that take place on the pages are considered on-page SEO.
What Does It Involve?
In order for on-page SEO to actually make a difference, it must involve the following elements:
- content & keywords
- internal linking & site structure
- URL structure
- image alt-text
- user engagement
- page speed
- schema markup
Let’s dive into each of these elements so that you can understand how they work in unison to create a successful on-page SEO campaign.
Metadata is split into two categories – title and description.
A meta title plays a huge role in on-page SEO, as it is the first thing people will see when they enter your website into a search engine.
For example, if you were to search for Starbright on Google’s search engine, it would give you this result:
Can you spot the title tag? That’s right – the “crafting amazing brands” part. It’s important to have a title tag that is both attractive and relevant to potential customers. This might be a great way to get more clicks on your website.
A meta description is just as important as the title tag. It helps search engine spiders understand what the page is about in more detail.
Have a look at Starbright’s meta description below:
Can you see that the meta-description we put there tells viewers straight away what they can expect from our website?
Note that although metadata isn’t a ranking factor, it is still highly important if you want to achieve successful on-page SEO.
Content & Keywords
Content on a website’s page or pages refers to the copy written there. This can include text, images, videos and other forms of media.
Content is important when it comes to on-page SEO as it helps search engine spiders understand what your web page is about. Imagine clicking on a digital marketing agency website and finding absolutely nothing that tells you what it does. Chances are, you would click out of the website straight away.
The purpose of having content is to provide information about the topic at hand and also make sure that your web page is SEO-friendly for search engine spiders. Writing keyword-rich content can help with this.
What is keyword-rich content?
Keyword-rich content is where an SEO specialist or a copywriter performs keyword research. This will help them to find out what words or phrases people are likely to type into a search engine when looking for a service or product.
For instance, typical keywords you’ll want to have on a digital marketing company’s web page are:
- digital marketing agency
- SEO services
- social media marketing
- SEO content writing
- google ads advertising
- web development services
- web design services
- user experience services
- and so much more
Once the keywords have been researched, the content writer or SEO specialist will input these into the copy of the website.
But that’s not all. The specific keywords can’t just be placed wherever and however.
The content has to make sense, and to achieve that, professionals follow this guideline below on how to apply the best on-page SEO practices.
Internal Linking & Site Structure
Google loves nothing more than a website that has a structured internal linking system. An internal linking system allows the web crawlers to go through each page and index them properly. An internal linking system also helps with improving website navigation and user experience.
An example of internal linking would be this very blog post you’re reading. Everywhere in this blog post, we link out to other blog posts or service pages on our website.
A site structure is also very helpful in the SEO process. A site structure includes having a proper hierarchy of pages to make sure that there’s a clear path for the Google bot or web crawlers to follow and index each page. It also helps with website navigation, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for when trying to get information on your website.
So, if you want to achieve a proper internal linking and site structure, make sure to follow these steps.
1. Set up a sitemap.
2. Determine the focus of each page and set up a hierarchical site structure.
3. Link out to other pages within your website.
4. Make sure all links are working properly and don’t lead to 404 errors.
5. Review the link hierarchy from time to time for maintenance purposes.
6. Use breadcrumbs (if applicable) to help with navigation.
If you follow these steps, you will have a better internal linking system, which will help your website structure and SEO. Or, if you want professional SEO services to help you with this, we’re just a phone call away.
A URL is the content that follows after the domain name, and it’s very important in SEO. A URL’s structure must be short and simple.
For example, the URL on our website - "https://starbright.co.za/what-is-content-writing" is more SEO friendly than a URL with lots of numbers and symbols.
An SEO-friendly URL should be easy to read, contain your keyword, and shouldn’t have any stop words like; “the”, “of”, or “in”. So, instead of a long URL that’s hard to read, the best practice is to create a short slug or SEO-friendly permalink that includes the keyword.
You should also pay attention to your URL structure and make sure there is no duplication of content. If you have two pages with similar content, it’s best practice to choose one page and redirect the other to avoid duplicate content issues, which can harm your SEO.
An image’s alt-text (alternative text) is the description of what is displayed on an image. When a search engine crawls your website, it can’t read images like we do, so having a descriptive alt-text for each image helps to indicate the content of that particular image to search engines.
If you want to post an image about, say, a “cat drinking water”, you should give the image an alt-text like “cat drinking water out of a bowl.”
If you hover over the image below, you'll see the image's alt-text pop up:
Search engines will then be able to understand the image better and index it accordingly. This helps by improving your SEO, as search engines would know exactly what is displayed on the image.
User engagement refers to how a person engages with your website.
Search engines like Google, measure user engagement through the amount of time someone spends on your website, which is also known as “dwell time”. To increase dwell time, you should focus on having quality content that will keep people engaged and stick around to read or watch what you’ve created.
Apart from text and visuals, the technicalities of your website, such as the page speed, site structure and navigation, also affect user engagement.
Having a smooth, navigable website with high-quality content attracts more visitors to stay on your site for longer. This helps in improving your SEO by increasing dwell time and showing search engines that people are spending more time engaging with your content.
It’s estimated that most users will bounce off a website if the page speed takes longer than a blink of an eye. This tells us that your website NEEDS to be fast.
Having a slow website will not only result in visitors leaving, but it can also adversely affect your SEO rankings. This is because search engines have stated that page speed is an important factor when it comes to ranking websites.
So, if you want to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP), make sure your site loads quickly for your visitors. This can be done by compressing image sizes, minifying codes and using the right hosting provider.
Schema markup is a type of microdata that helps search engines better understand the content on your website. It can be used to identify key elements such as the address of your business, ratings and reviews of your products or services, and other similar details.
For on-page SEO purposes, you want to add schema markup to your web pages. This helps search engines understand what your content is about and what the main takeaway of the page is. With concise and accurate schemas in place, search engine crawlers will be able to easily navigate through your website and index it quicker for better rankings.
That’s it for the on-page SEO elements!
Now that you know the basics of on-page SEO, let’s get into why this particular branch of SEO is so important.
Why Is It Important?
On-page SEO is important because the times have changed. And we know you might hear this a lot, but it's true.
Gone are the days when people drove around town to look for the best product or service or flipped through magazines to find the answers they needed. Today, people use search engines like Google and Bing to find what they need.
That’s why it is important for your business to be properly optimised for search engine results pages (SERPs). You want searchers to land on your website when searching for specific topics or terms related to your industry.
Improve Your Website’s On-Page SEO Today!
After reading this blog post, are we correct to assume that you are now well-informed about the importance of on-page SEO?
We hope so! After all, there is no sense in having a website if it won’t be seen by search engine crawlers. Make sure to implement the SEO basics of on-page SEO, and also consider hiring an experienced SEO specialist or digital marketing agency (like us) to do it for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What's the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimising individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to influence your rankings within search engine results pages.
2. How long does it take to see the effects of on-page SEO?
The results of your efforts with on-page SEO can be seen almost immediately. However, it may take several weeks for search engine crawlers to fully index and rank your website in the SERPs.
3. Does on-page SEO require an ongoing effort?
Yes, it does. You must continuously monitor and adjust your on-page SEO efforts to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition in terms of search engine rankings.