On-Page SEO – A complete guide for top rankings
There are almost 200 factors that search engines use to finalize your rankings in the search results. Among them, the On-page SEO factors are the most important ones.
This post will discuss what On-page SEO is, its importance, and how to implement different on-page SEO techniques to achieve higher rankings.
What is On-page SEO?
Optimizing the content as well as the source code of the webpages of our own website is known as On-page SEO. It is also known as On-site SEO. It’s done to boost the user experience as well as to achieve higher rankings.
In on-page SEO, we optimize our website. While in off-page SEO, we optimize the external links and other signals on someone else’s websites.
On-page SEO is important because it helps the user and the search engines decide the relevancy and the quality of the content. As a result, the webpage rankings are decided by the search engines.
On-page SEO factors
G o o g l e has released several algorithm updates over the years. Different algorithm changes have been observed. However, one thing which has been common in each update is the user experience. It is as important for search engines as it was in the last decade.
Following are some proven on-page SEO factors which can do wonders for you when search results rankings are considered.
- Increase Website speed
There is nothing more important than the faster web speed. It has been observed a user navigates to another website if a website doesn’t load in under 3 seconds. That’s why Google made web speed a ranking factor in 2017.
The question arises on how to increase the website speed?
Well, the answer is it’s a combination of different factors. We can increase the website speed by:
- Use a good server to host your website
- Optimize the images
- Decrease the total web page size
- Remove unused files
You can use the Pagespeed Insights by Google to check the loading speed of your website.
- Add Unique content
Everybody loves to read new and meaningful content. Duplicate and spun content does not make sense. So, it’s not favored by the users. Since search engine bots continually crawl the web pages, they have all web pages in their records. Furthermore, the duplicate content is not indexed most of the time. So, unique content is a major ranking factor when On-page SEO is considered.
Did you know that duplicated or spun content can lead to a manual penalty by Google?
- Prefer Well-researched content
A well-researched content always contains facts and figures. Furthermore, it also contains external links to the resources. It can be a manual, list of resources, case study, or latest information. It increases the interest of the users and hence less bounce time. That’s why it is a proven SEO ranking factor.
- Write easy to read content
Good content is always easy to read. It helps people with average vocabulary to understand everything. Nobody loves the content which is difficult to read. So, always write the content by keeping the user in mind. Make your content easy to read, interesting, and well-written. Always look to solve the user’s problem as it increases the interest and hence engages the user.
- Go for synonymous rich content
Synonyms can help us explain the topic properly. We can get rid of keyword stuffing by writing synonymous rich content. It makes our copy look natural and better. However, we should avoid those synonyms which are not commonly used as they will make our content difficult to read.
For example, if we are writing on a topic weight loss diet, we can use terms like
“Weight loss food”
“Weight loss menu”
- Add multimedia in the content
Multimedia like images, infographics, and videos can increase your chances of higher rankings. It also allows our website to appear in image and video searches. Furthermore, it helps the user understand the topic and discussion easily.
- Add alt tags to images
Alt tags help the crawling bots understand the content inside the images. We can use our keywords as the alt tag of the images. It further enhances the chances of getting more traffic.
- Use featured image
Google and other search engines have started to show the image beside the article. It increases CTR. A featured image is also used as the display card when the website link is shared on social media. So a high quality featured image with proper alt tags increases the number of visitors on your website.
Every theme has a different size for the featured image. So, add it according to the dimensions instructed by the theme developers.
- Use your own images
Mostly, stock images are used by many people. It can result in plagiarised or duplicated images. We should create and use our own images to keep everything unique. Lastly, it was proved in a study that original images can outrank the stock images.
- Make URLs short and simple
Long URLs don’t make sense. Since Google shows the URLs in search results, it’s a good practice to use short URLs. You can insert your main keyword in the URL. Furthermore, the title of the post can also be used in the URL. However, remember to keep it short and simple.
Avoid: rankmove.com/on-page-seo- factors-and-guide-which-worked-for-me
- Wrap post title as H1
The post title tells a lot about the body content. H1 tag can help the search engines to understand the body content effectively. It’s not mandatory to use H1 as a title tag, according to Google. However, it can help you stand out from the crowd by properly tagging your posts.
- Utilize power words in the title
Emotional or powerful words offer a great boost to your traffic. You can use the power words like immediate, unusual, outstanding, etc., to achieve this. It was shown in a study that posts with emotional value resulted in more clicks and hence more shares. Content with 40 power words outperformed the content with fewer power words.
You can complement the power words with year, no. of iems, or timeframe.
- Ask a question
Question queries have ben increasing over the years. The trend shows that there has been an incredible increase of more than 100% in question searches.
You can ask a question in your SEO title to increase the click-through rate. Questions raise curiosity, which can lead to more clicks.
- Use the Main keyword in the post title
For better on-page SEO, it’s important to mention the main keyword multiple times. We can use the keyword in the post title to reflect the post’s topic. Since all the search engines want to show what’s really important for the people. The keyword in the title helps to achieve the purpose perfectly.
- Insert keyword in the first paragraph
The keyword in the first paragraph increases the relevance between the post title and the content body. It shows that the content is according to the topic. It also grabs the reader’s attention, which results in less bounce rate and more welling time.
- Add keyword in subheading H2
SEO is all about optimizing the content for the visitors as well as the search engines. Keyword in subheading H2 is essential as most of the subheadings are usually wrapped in H3. So, H2 serves as the 2nd title of the content.
- Use Long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords help us avoid keyword stuffing. These keywords also help us in content expansion. Furthermore, these keywords can be used to cover the given topic completely.
For example, if our main keyword is: “Weight loss diet, “we can use these long-tail keywords to cover the topic completely.
“Weight loss diet for men”
“Weight loss diet for women”
“Weight loss diet for beginners”
“Weight loss diet for kids”
“Weight loss diet for vegetarians”
- Distribute keywords evenly
Keywords should always be distributed evenly in the content. Inserting keywords in the beginning and at the end of the article doesn’t make it SEO-friendly. The keyword’s distribution should be such that it should appear in the title, heading, body, and at the end of the article. However, we should avoid keyword stuffing.
The general rule for keyword distribution is that it should look natural and even.
- Add external links
External links help the search engines decide the topic and category of the content. These links also help the search engines to check the quality of the content. That is why we should use external links to high quality and authority websites. Furthermore, the external links should be highly related to the topic.
- Don’t forget internal linking
Internal linking helps the bots to crawl other pages on your website. It increases the crawl depth of your website. Ultimately, it results in more pages appearing in the Google results. Following are some guidelines for internal linking:
- Link the pages which are related to the topic
- Do not use the main keyword of the other pages. Use related keywords. Otherwise, it might confuse the bots to rank whether the same page for the keyword or the other page.
- Add 2-3 internal links. However, it depends upon the entire length of the content. If it is more than 2000 words, you can add more internal links for better crawling and hence good on-page SEO.
- Check broken links
When search bots crawl your web pages, they need the working links to crawl from one page to another. If the links don’t work, these crawlers stop the process. Ultimately, the crawling depth of your website is reduced. Always make sure that links, whether internal or external, are working. If they don’t, your chances of ranking are reduced.
- Keep the content fresh and updated
Nobody likes the outdated, old, and boring content. So do the search engines. If you wrote a guide in 2010 and expect that people will read that in 2020, you are mistaken. Google loves the fresh and updated content. If you use the year in your post title, make sure it reflects the current year.
- Add meta description
A meta description is a small part of your article text which appears in the search engines. Following are the characteristics of a good meta description:
- It reflects the topic of your article.
- It is properly crafted to increase the CTR.
- It includes your main keyword.
- It should not be more than 160 words.
- Insert powerful excerpt
An excerpt is the short portion of your article, which appears on the homepage, social media, and wherever the webpage link is shared. The excerpt has one more advantage. If you forget to add the meta description, excerpts can appear in the search results serving the same purpose.
You can change the excerpt length in wordpress or any other CMS easily.
- Add related schema
Nowadays, Google displays different result types for different search results. For example, if you search for a recipe, it shows a recipe card with ratings and time required to make that recipe. If you search a question, it displays related questions. Basically, these results are known as rich snippets, and they are a result of the schema.
Schema is usually in the form of a code added to the website to guide the crawling bots about the type of information an article carries. You can add FAQ or review schemas to increase your chances of winning a rich snippet.
If you have a schema code, you can test it on Google rich results to validate the code.
- Structure the content properly
We all want quick answers to our questions. On-page search optimization is all about making things easier for both people and the bots. That’s why the structure of your content plays an essential role in the rankings.
Images should be added inside the content. Do not add an image, infographic, or video at the beginning of the article. They will push the content down, making it difficult for the user to find the answer he is looking for. Ultimately, it results in a bad user experience.
- Make your content voice search compatible
With the advancements in technology, voice searches are growing. To get answers to their questions, people prefer to do voice searches. You can add questions and answers to your content to qualify for the voice searches.
71% consumers like to search the products by voice.
We have explained the 27 factors which affect the on-page SEO. Remember to spend some time optimizing your content before you hit the publish button. Once your website has optimized pages, you are going to enjoy the top rankings.
At RankMove, we help you move your website rankings.
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