On-page search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for anyone looking to move up the search engine ranking pages (SERPs) and increase traffic in 2021. We’ll break down what on-page SEO is, why it’s important, and share several tips to help you implement the proper On-page techniques for your site.
What is On-Page SEO
Sometimes referred to as “on-site SEO,” on-page SEO involves optimizing pages so a website can improve its search engine rankings and attract organic traffic, or traffic that comes directly from searches performed on search engines such as Google. This is done via several elements, which we’ll discuss in a minute, that make your website appear trustworthy, authoritative, relevant to a given topic, and filled with expertise.
By adding together elements of on-page SEO, your website and its accompanying brand, business, or service, can gain better visibility through the search results.
Why is On-Page SEO Important
While improving a website’s visibility makes on-page SEO important to the site builder or owner, here’s why it’s essential to search engines: It helps them understand your site and the content on it so they can determine if it’s relevant to what the user is searching for.
Search engines have started to focus on semantics and relevance in SERPs more and more as time has passed. Google, for example, now has tons of algorithms that help it understand a user’s intent when they type a query. And whether that user is looking for informational, navigational, or shopping purposes, Google now does a better job of delivering results that the user desired thanks, in part, to the search giant’s understanding of on-Page SEO structure.
You’ll need to keep this trend in mind when developing your site to avoid being buried in the SERPs. And you’ll need to pay more attention to the elements of on-page SEO to ensure they’re aligned with modern best practices.
Elements of On-Page SEO
The following are some of the most important elements of on-page SEO in 2021. By optimizing them on every page of your website, you can produce a significant impact when it comes to your rankings and traffic, especially in comparison to competitors that may or may not be optimizing their on-Page efforts.
Title Tags and On-page Optimization
Each webpage has a head section with a title tag. It’s an HTML tag that gives insight into what subject matter is on the page. You can find the title tag as a clickable link in SERPs and at the top of the browser window.
By themselves, title tags won’t have a massive impact on your organic rankings. Still, you shouldn’t overlook them, as any that are poorly written, duplicate, or missing is just poor SEO best practice.
You can find meta descriptions in SERPs listed beneath a page’s title. They are meta tags that tell the searcher what the page is about. While they currently play no actual role in SEO from an algorithm standpoint, they do help a user determine whether or not to click-thru to your web page and are therefore incredibly important. They also play a role in your website page’s bounce rate, because if the meta description does not accurately describe the page the user is visiting, they are likely to “bounce” off of your website and look elsewhere for their information, service, or product.
Headers and Header Tags
Header tags run from H1 to H6. These HTML elements provide structure and hierarchy to the content on your page.
Headers identify headings and subheadings that differentiate from paragraphs and other types of text. In doing so, they give readers a chance to quickly scan and see what the page topics are about or find the exact information they’re looking for.
Headers should always include relevant keywords for your page’s topic(s). Not only do keyword-rich header tags make for a better user experience, but they also give search engines context about your content and its purpose.
Header structure runs from general to specific. Every page should have an H1 header tag, along with H2 tags that describe main categories. You can then get more specific and include subheaders as you move on to H3, H4, etc.
- H1 = Men’s athletic shoes
- H2 = Brands
- H3 = Nike
- H3 = Adidas
- H3 = Reebok
- H2 = Types
- H3 = Basketball shoes
- H3 = Running shoes
- H3 = Training shoes
- H2 = Brands
Images can offer both good and bad results for SEO. They can instantly make a page more appealing to the eye, which can keep boredom and eye fatigue from setting in. But at the same time, they can slow down your site’s speed, which can negatively impact the user experience. By optimizing your images, you can reap their rewards without suffering from their drawbacks.
Be careful when selecting images for a page. They should support the content and be relevant. Make sure they are sized appropriately for your site’s layout and are not too large in size in terms of megabytes, as large images make your page take longer to load. They should also have descriptive titles and alt text. In making sure your images are up to snuff, you can enjoy faster page loading times, an ideal user experience, and more ranking opportunities by appearing on Google Image Search.
When creating content for a page, keep these three letters in mind: E-A-T. They stand for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, which is what Google uses to rank content quality. The higher the quality of your content, the higher you’ll surge through the rankings. And out of all of the on-page elements that affect rankings, quality is king. Here are some tips that can result in good content:
- Make sure your content is authoritative and trustworthy.
- Avoid duplicate content and make sure everything is original.
- Cover topics that people will want to read about.
- Encourage user interaction with the page.
- Get readers to click on or click-thru to other pages.
- Make your content intriguing enough that people will want to share it across the Internet and social media.
There are a number of search engine optimization tools and SEO software that can help you analyze the structure of your website’s on-Page SEO and give you great feedback for other elements of your website’s SEO, all in an effort to help you rank better and gain insight into your visitors. We have a great article covering the best SEO tools for 2021 that you should be sure to check out.