Onsite SEO: 5 Supercharged Ranking Tactics
Onsite SEO refers to the optimisation of web pages, titles, tags, and overall structure of a website.
If you’ve read our blog post on our top off-site tactics to maintain a high Google ranking, then you’re probably on the road to ranking success.
Although your off-site efforts are hugely important, there are also several important on-site considerations that need to be addressed.
We’re talking a make or break, so it’s probably in your best interest to read on.
Does Hummingbird, Panda, or Penguin mean anything to you? We wouldn’t blame you if you missed the various named versions of Google’s algorithms, there have been a few over the past couple years. If you haven’t noticed the names, we can bet that you have noticed some changes.
Whenever an update occurs, there is every possibility that the rules surrounding website structure may also change or evolve. In some cases, this will directly affect your onsite SEO efforts.
What you need to understand first and foremost, is that any change or update made to Google’s algorithm is in the best interest of the user. They want to create the most seamless search experience possible, with the most valuable and intuitive results.
Google wants to provide the user with the answer to the question they hadn’t even thought of yet.
In this case, take a moment to think about what makes up a good experience for you when you land on a new landing page.
Do you value websites with easy navigation, visually stimulating images, easy to read and consume copy, descriptions with relevant information, and super-fast page load times?
Well, you’re not alone there. These are the key characteristics of best practice on-site SEO, and it’s time you get familiar.
There is no reason to be shy when it comes to onsite SEO. We’ll make sure we make the introductions easy.
Onsite SEO: 5 Supercharged Ranking Tactics
1. Loading Times
Before the user has the opportunity to judge and feel their way around the design of your website, they will have to wait some load time. With 47% of users expecting a website to load in under 2 seconds, this is a huge onsite factor needing consideration. Although Google has stated that load times only make-up a ‘small part’ of the algorithm factors and distribution, the fact that they have acknowledged load times is reason enough to get a website running swift and fast.
D concerned about your website’s load time performance? Among Google’s offerings are insights for website performance, which include PageSpeed Insights.
You will also find other websites, such as Pingdom, which provide more insights into page speed, as well as DNS health checks.
2. Tight Tags
Regardless of what your website is built with, there will be an area in the backend of your control management system where you can input keywords, titles, and descriptions for your various pages – we call these tags.
What we mean by ‘tight’ tags is that you want to make sure you are writing in keywords that are very relevant to the content on your pages, nothing too loose or irrelevant. This includes the meta description, titles, image alt titles and text, and main body tags.
Meta Description Tag
A meta description is a HTML element that is the description use for your page when it appears in search engine results. This is especially important for onsite SEO as it provides a brief summary of the page’s contents, making use of keywords. An effective meta description will also create a good, clear user experience.
The title appears on a webpage in search engine results. This is especially important for onsite SEO as titles are crawled by search engine bots (including Google) for best-fit or matches to search phrases. When creating titles, it’s best practice to place the keyword at the very front and to avoid common stop words. It is said that stop words, such as ‘the’, ‘of’, ‘or’, interfere with SEO efforts.
Basically, if you want a user to click-through to your page, you’re going to need to be smart when crafting your page titles. Page titles need to be SEO-savvy, and at the same time, these titles may have to be luring or bait the user into clicking through. Just like a lot of things in this world, you need to apply the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ to creating your title tags.
Image Alt Titles and Text
Although this doesn’t provide a huge benefit if you already apply best practice to other tags, why not strengthen your page even further?
Strong alt-attributions will be crawled and work to improve your webpage’s accessibility and ranking.
Main Body Tags
This tag function is necessary for several reasons, not just those directly impact search engine ranking. When writing content, or more specifically, copy, on web pages, body tags work to create breaks in text and create the following benefits:
- Consumable Information
- High Readability
- Highlight Important Areas
Main body tags consist of H1, H2, H3, and H4 tags. You should reserve H1 tags for headings or page titles, and focus on using H2 tags to create sub-headings that include the webpage’s keyword. These tags are read by a crawler in priority order, so it will be understood that an H1 tag is pointing to a heading and an H2 tag is pointing to the main areas of importance within the page, generally the sub-headings. H3 and H4 tags often assigned to smaller headings within subheadings to creating an even easier level of readability of the user.
3. URL Structure
The structure of your URL is integral to your overall onsite SEO efforts. By structure, we’re referring to the way you style the text that follows your website’s main domain. This text that follows the category in the domain is called anchor text.
The ideal URL structure will include the keywords within a page title, if not the entire page title.
Anchor text should be kept short, be descriptive, and not include any stop words.
Although this all may sound fairly straight-forward, it’s often over-looked, resulting in poorly structured URLs.
If you’re a visual person, like 67% of users online, you will want an example, so here is one we prepared earlier:
Bad URL Structure
Good URL Structure
URLs that are descriptive, yet short, featuring keywords, allow for heightened web page performance.
As discussed in our blog SEO Management: Tactics to Ensure a Page 1 Rank, linking out and the process of building organic links that point to your website are important tactics for offsite SEO.
Let’s take a moment to think like the user. If one of your pages is describing one topic, then takes a moment to point out another topic, if that additional topic interests me, I may want to discover more information about it. Now, wouldn’t it make sense for there to be a handy internal link waiting for the user? The likes of Google think so.
Internal linking is the process of including links to one or more of your webpages (with the same route domain) within another web page. By providing relevant links to other web pages, you are enabling easy navigation of your website, and this equates to a good user experience.
For example, this blog is about onsite SEO tactics, however, you (the user) may also find it interesting and relevant to read our blog on offsite SEO tactics, which you can read in our linked blog above (Offsite Tactics to Ensure a Page 1 Rank).
5. Awesome Content
At the end of the day, any of the above tactics could be applied to a website with any quality level of content. However, it’s the content you create and place on your web page that will bear the most effect.
If the content you create lacks wow-factor or looks low-level, this may result in a user to leave your site after mere seconds. We call this bounce, and if this begins to occur quite often, your bounce rate could skyrocket, and your search engine ranking could consequently fall quite dramatically.
All your efforts are interconnected, you can’t hide, and Google sees all.
There’s more: 61% of users rely on unique, interesting, and custom content to make a buying decision.
The content you provide on your website needs to add value to your audience’s journey, as well as solve their query.If your website requires a lot of copy, make sure it’s all unique and written in a tone that resonates with your brand and audience. Make sure to place images where you can on your websites, after all, content with relevant images gets 94% more interaction.
Other content marketing ideas that could benefit the effectiveness of your web pages may include:
- Compare Tool
If you’re starting to realise there is work to be done on your website, don’t sweat it – the reality is that no matter how polished a website looks, there is always work to be done.
As soon as you start implementing these tactics and general best-practices, the sooner your website is going to rank high.
If you need help getting started, get in contact with us at www.Contevo.com.au/contact.
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