On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.
On-page SEO involves tackling low-hanging fruit that anyone who writes new content for a webpage can execute. In other words, you don’t have to be a SEO whiz to do these. Some of our clients in Melbourne are not large businesses and don’t always have the resources to hire a SEO specialist to muscle their business up on rankings. So these are some easy wins we like to share!
This is a checklist we encourage all marketers and content publishers to use. All you need is a basic understanding of your content management system (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Wix or Squarespace).
First, Do Your SERP Research
- Successful SEO requires a proactive approach.
- Start by researching the SERPs. Enter one of your new page’s keywords (key terms you want your page to appear on search for) into Google and see what comes up.
- The results will show you what Google thinks are the most relevant results for that particular search term. Examine the first few results to get a feel for what is working – the URL, title, featured snippet, etc.
- More importantly, look for any gaps you can fill. If you think there’s a question about your keyword that isn’t being answered in the search results, it may be an opportunity for you to create content that has a great chance of ranking.
- Think of who your audience is – split them up into smaller sub-groups based on different needs and interests. Why? Because different people in your target audience will search for different things, and you want to cover all your bases.
- Take into account all possible questions your content is expected to answer.
- Narrow down to top 3-5 keywords you identify as the most important.
The URL – Short & Descriptive
- Aim for your page’s URL extension to have 3-5 words.
- Always make sure your URL contains what you deem as the main keyword and an accurate portrayal of what the page is about. If Google doesn’t know what your page is about, it won’t be able to crawl it effectively!
- These are what search engines crawl, and like URLs they use keywords in the title tag to determine the intent of the page.
- Try to include 2-3 keywords within your title, and keep the main keyword towards the front of the title.
- Max length: 55 to 60 characters.
- H2 tags are your subheadings.
- Unlike H1’s, which should only be used once per page, you can use multiple H2 tags throughout your page.
- Try to include your target keyword in ever 3-4 subheadings.
Its purpose is to explain to search engines what a page is about. Aim for 160 to 320 characters and include your top keyword/s. Do not leave this empty or use duplicated meta descriptions!
Relevant, Longform Content
Pages with an average volume of 2000 words have a high likelihood of scoring well on SEO. While this may not always be achievable with any page, this is a statistic to keep in mind.
Image Alt Tags
This is a major component of multimedia SEO. Alt tags are intended to describe the appearance and purpose of an image on the page. Further, these are what will appear if an image doesn’t load properly, so you want to make sure they accurately represent the image.
Don’t do this:
<img src=”chocolate_cake.png” alt=””>
<img src=”chocolate_cake.png” alt=”cake chocolate cake best cake icing dessert food best cake ever cake recipes find chocolate cake”>
At least do this (as a bare minimum):
<img src=”chocolate_cake.png” alt=”chocolate cake”>
For best results:
<img src=”chocolate_cake.png” alt=”rich chocolate cake with strawberries on top”>
Add Internal Links
If there is some content in your page about Theme X, and you also have a page elsewhere on your website about Theme X, add a hyperlink.
- Noindex: You are telling Google not to include that particular page in its list of search results.
- Nofollow: an element to instruct search engines that the hyperlinks within should not influence the ranking of the link’s target in the search engine’s index.