With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics right around the corner, a good analogy for on-page search engine optimization (SEO) is comparing it to running splits in a marathon. From a high-level perspective, SEO isn’t a sprint, but rather the small steps taken to improve a company’s search engine ranking and, in return, make it far easier for customers to find that brand’s product and/or service in search results.
In simple terms, SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of your website’s traffic in order to increase brand awareness through popular search engines such as Google or Bing. If your site can rank higher on those search engines, it will lead to more visitors on your site—thereby strengthening your search engine ranking.
SEO is the marathon, as your site has fully embraced optimization. On-page SEO should be the mile markers to help the runner, or business, get to their ideal destination. In short, the best way to have great SEO is through developing a repeatable on-page SEO strategy.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing webpage content for both site users and search engines. By sprinkling your brand’s targeted keywords strategically throughout an individual webpage, you can strengthen your content, while also demonstrating to search engines that your page should be the page for a user to visit for a particular keyword.
Although it’s certainly crucial for your content to be informative and engaging for site users, it’s equally as important to remember that Google crawls through your website to take inventory of site content and then ranks each webpage’s relevance based on those targeted keywords.
An easy way to optimize your website through on-page SEO is by incorporating targeted keywords throughout key areas on each individual webpage, including the URL, title tag, body text, meta description, H1 tags and image ALT attributes.
6 Ways to Put On-Page SEO into Practice
Because SEO is a marathon, there are many different factors that play a role in developing a robust on-page SEO strategy for your website. Below are six key ways to improve the on-page SEO of your company’s website:
By adding keywords into your URL structure for each webpage, this allows site visitors and search engines to easily identify what they can expect by clicking on the link and rank it based on its relevance to searched keywords.
For example, a blog post that highlights why marketing automation is beneficial to B2B businesses should include keywords such as “marketing automation” and “B2B business” in its URL structure—thereby increasing its search engine ranking.
2. Title Tag:
Another key component of on-page SEO is the title tag, which is the main heading that shows up in search results and in the title bar at the top of your browser. In fact, according to a report that analyzed 11 million Google search results, Backlinko discovered a correlation between title tags and a webpage ranking on the first page of Google’s search results.
One strong example of this in action comes from Evolution Capital Partners, which has optimized its site with the title tag “Evolution Capital Partners | Private Equity for Small Businesses.” As a small-business private equity firm that invests in micro-market companies, this title tag speaks directly to both search engines and site users. If an entrepreneur is interested in partnering with a private equity firm, Evolution’s title tag would rank higher in search results because of these targeted keywords.
3. Body Text:
Another key way to improve your on-page SEO ranking is by incorporating targeted keywords throughout the body text of each webpage. As the main content on your webpage, the body text is the most important place to include keywords because it contains the bulk of the information your visitors are searching for online.
According to this article that explains Google’s algorithm, “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.”
For example, this blog post is clearly targeting the keyword “on-page SEO,” which is why it has been incorporated several times throughout the page content.
4. Meta Description:
Meta descriptions are also another valuable opportunity to optimize your on-page SEO, as they appear in search results and provide a short summary about a webpage. If your meta description includes your target keywords, your webpage is more likely to rank higher for that keyword in search results.
5. H1 Tag:
Your H1 tag should also include targeted keywords. As the main heading that users will see when they visit your webpage, the H1 tag clearly indicates what the page will entail. Not only does this provide a focus for the page content, but it further optimizes a given webpage for higher ranking through Google and other search engines.
6. Image Alt Attribute:
In addition, don’t forget to add keywords to your image ALT attributes, which provide alternative text to describe your images in the event a user is unable to view them. These attributes are shown as a tooltip when you hover over an image on a webpage.
Once you’ve optimized your site for search, it’s critical that you continue to regularly monitor its performance using analytics tools like Google Analytics to determine which targeted keywords or traffic sources are producing the most conversions. This information will help you implement a content strategy that achieves the best results.
By having a solid on-page SEO strategy in place for your website, you will gradually improve your company’s overall search engine ranking. This is an ongoing process so, in addition to new content, be sure to continue updating older webpages on your site to help improve SEO.