There are several on-page SEO factors that can help boost your website search visibility. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones that will affect your rankings.
By now most everyone has heard the phrase “content is king,” but what can be difficult is determining what content is actually going to drive traffic to your website. More than merely blog posts, content should be in-depth and valuable, and varied. I love Neil Patel’s advice on this when he says “…try throwing in a new type of content. I predict that you’ll immediately see a difference — fresh traffic, targeted visitors, higher conversion rates, and better SEO.” Along with providing a variety of different types of content, all your pieces should have two things in mind, which is to be highly linkable and they should be written with a specific user in mind.
Think about it, if people can’t link to your content, search engines will be unable or at least unlikely to rank it, and as a result the content won’t drive traffic to your website. But creating linkable, user centric content will inherently attract a targeted audience, who are more likely to share your stuff with other users in a network of like minded people (that, assumably, you’re trying to attract). When this starts to happen, you’ll see your SEO improve, which can help accomplish many common business objectives such as brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention, and so on.
The title tag defines what is on your web page. They are used in search engine results to preview a snippet of what’s on that page. Title tags should be accurate and concise as to what’s in the page, both for the benefit of the user and search engine alike. For best results, make sure the title tag contains your keyword.
The meta description is the text snippet that appears below the search result on a search engine result page. It’s what search engines use to determine what subject you’re talking about and what users to send to your page.
Make your meta description helpful, descriptive, and short – 160 characters or less. If it’s longer than 160 characters, only the first 160 will show on a search result page. This is another important area to include your keyword to increase search rankings.
Using the keyword in the URL or “slug” is a common practice for search engine relevancy. This means including your keyword in the portion of the URL that comes after .com/.
Optimizing images for search engines is an easy piece of low-hanging fruit that can help improve rankings with little effort.
Loading times are an important part of the overall user experience, and therefore are super relevant to SEO. The faster the site, the easier it is to visit and index a page. Images have a huge impact on loading times, especially when you force a page to load a huge image only to show it really small, like using a 2500×1500 pixels image and showing it at 250×150 pixels size. The entire image will still have to be loaded, so reduce the image to the size you want to show it.
Image SEO starts with the right file name. Of course this is yet another location to use your keyword. Without even looking at the actual image, you want Google to know what the image is about. It’s simple: if your image is a red sports car, the file name shouldn’t be DSC78469.jpg, but red-sports-car.jpg. Google will find your keyword “red sports car” and index your image, boosting that page’s ranking.
Linking to trusted external sources builds credibility for your website with search engines. The only reason you would send one of your visitors to another site is they could truly get more information about whatever topic you’re discussing. This act creates trust between your site and Google, and can improve your SEO juice based on Google’s search algorithm.
Conversely, internal links, which are links to other relevant pages within your own site, pass SEO strength between those pages. Moz has a great breakdown of how to optimally link internally for any given page.
I talked a lot about why having a responsive website is so important in an earlier blog post, but to drive home the point, Google penalizes un-responsive websites and rewards responsive ones via search rankings. Back in April 2015, the newest algorithm seriously dinged websites, even major ones like Ebay if they weren’t mobile friendly. Make sure every page is optimized to be responsive for the best SEO results.
Have you tried any of these on-page SEO hacks? If so, how did they work?