Graphic of on-page SEO metrics.

What is On-page SEO and How Does it Affect Your Website?

If there’s anything we enjoy talking about, it’s search engine optimization, or SEO. Why? It’s arguably the most important component of websites. No SEO (page ranking), no web traffic. Plus, we like to stay on top of trends and best practices then pass that information to you.

Today we’re taking it a step further with SEO best practices. What is on-page SEO, and how can you optimize your site for the best search results? As part of your digital marketing strategy, you should incorporate some practices that will help make on-page SEO the best for you.

Content Marketing

On-page SEO (aka on-site SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to improve its search engine rankings, as well as how visible it is to searchers. On-page SEO factors come together in a sort of routine or formula. Your content should have structured data: everything should be tagged accordingly.

The better your on-page optimization is, the easier it’ll be for Google’s algorithm to crawl (find updated pages) and index your site for search and for crawlers (aka bots) to understand what your pages are about.

In other words, on-page search engine optimization is all about helping Google understand your website, and how relevant the content on the page is to a specific search query. On-page SEO boosts your site in search engine rankings, as well as how visible it is in SERPs (search engine results page).

Throw in some relevant internal links to help give Google an idea of what your content is about. It’s a bonus that it helps users get familiar with your content, too. Not only will users see you have high-quality content, but so will Google bots. When humans read through your content, they’ll see your interactive anchor text, or the clickable text that leads them to a link.

Crafting a “Theme” For Content

For each piece of content (like a blog or podcast) on your own website, relevant keywords should be placed throughout. Incorporating target keywords into headlines and subheadings is crucial because it’s easier to read, easier to organize into a high quality blog. Choose a keyword or two by keyword research.

An important factor to consider is keyword density, or how many times a certain keyword shows up on a webpage. Stay away from keyword stuffing. It’s just throwing a bunch of keywords into content without any formatting so that if someone types in some combination, your site populates in search engine results.

Here’s a warning: If you do this and the search engine police find out, you’ll get penalized.

Tagging Your Content

How many times have you clicked on a search engine result because it best summed up what you were looking for? The sites displayed are organized from title tags and meta descriptions. Both are pieces of HTML code (computer language) in the header of a web page. Alt tags are used, too. URL structure doesn’t exactly impact SEO ranking, but these tags should be short and catchy but concise. Use words readers can understand, too.

    • Title tag – A title tag is the name of the content. This is a fancy way of giving a web page or document a page title – for example “Who We Are” to meet the Lift team. In HTML, the title tag is between the opening and closing head tags.
    • Meta description – A snippet of text that’s about 160 characters. It’s a summary of the content on that page it links to, and includes the main keyword.
    • Alt tags – Concise information about an image. Search engine crawlers pull information from these tags, as well as for screen readers. Alt tags are also for people who have vision issues.
    • Image tags –  A more detailed description of an image, using relevant keywords.

Note: The image and alt tags should mirror each other.

Together, all of these tags help improve click through rates (CTRs). It’s like offering amazing customer service, but digitally. Make sure users quickly identify whether or not they’re looking at the right page before clicking through to it. Sounds like it makes for a great user experience, right?

You Should Care About Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO goes hand-in-hand with on-page SEO. It’s everything that isn’t included directly within your site. As people share and visit your website, Google and other search engines see that your website is relevant.

    • Link building – when other sites include a link to your site in a piece of content – is an example of off-page SEO. When someone links to your page, it’s a backlink. As you incorporate an external link to another page’s content, that’s a backlink for that other site. Make sense?
    • Social media – Every time a link to your site is shared on social media, it helps with SEO.
    • Local SEO – Local listings that show up in a Google search.
    • Mobile friendliness – Does your website load well on mobile devices? Google will tell you. Just ask it and it’ll prompt you to type in your web address.

There’s also one other area of SEO to mention. Technical SEO is anything that on-page and off-page SEO doesn’t cover.

    • Site speed – The faster the load time, users see and interact with your site. Slow and steady doesn’t win the SEO race. Take it a step further and consider page speed, which is exactly what you’re thinking: how fast each page loads. And not just the homepage. Take an in-depth look at your site.

Call Lift Marketing to do Your On-Page SEO Checklist

It’s always better to go the extra mile and make sure everything works. Don’t be lazy and settle for “good enough” when looking at your ranking factors.  Give Lift Marketing a call before you get to that point so we set you back on track. If you’re looking for more of a comprehensive or step-by-step guide, or a schema, so you know what on-page SEO is, let us know.