Sometimes I sit and reflect at the end of a long day and come to the conclusion that it is easy for someone like me (an SEO for nearly 4 years) to take for granted the skill set I have; with that being said being able to look at a website and diagnose what it needs to establish itself as a market leader and get to Page 1 of Google is a skill set that I appreciate and am very grateful for, however to the average business owner or just the average Joe who has no SEO skills whatsoever this whole world of getting sites to rank seems like wizardry, witchcraft and sometimes pure magic but let me assure you it is far from that.
This article will help you get your head around one of the 2 terms you will come across the most in the world of SEO…On Page SEO
I will try my best to relate this to real life examples, whilst providing a grounding of knowledge that should allow you to go away feeling confident you know what I am going on about.
On Page SEO typically relates to everything that is on the website. For example if you owned a Builders website would you focus your websites content around science museums? NO. You would make sure the website in question was about Builders. Now let’s say this website was based in Cardiff (My Hometown) would you mention London on the website? Again NO!
On Page SEO needs to refer back to what it is you actually do and where you are, this subsequently allows Google and the other major search engines understand what it is your website is focused around and simply what you are all about.
If you owned a Builders website would you focus your websites content around science museums?
That leads on to my next point, which is content. Some business owners believe that a website that looks great needs to have as little content as possible but you can make a website look very good with content and having little amount of content can actually hurt your chances of ranking your site for the keywords you want to be seen for. At LaunchLocal SEO Cardiff we recommend you have anywhere between 500-1000 words of real human written content on your websites pages in order to rank effectively and allow the search engines to understand what it is you do. Content on your website is like an indicator or a signal and leaving these signals out will mean a harder time trying to rank.
Gone are the days of stuffing your content with the same keywords, in order for your website pages to rank properly you need to be as natural as possible.
I looked over someones site a couple of weeks ago and noticed <H1> and <H2> tags scattered all around the place, for big blocks of content which in the eyes of an SEO campaign is a big NO NO! To a website designer with no SEO skills this may actually look like a way to increase the font sizes and make content stand out but I assure you that is not what they are there for.
Heading Tags or Titles make up an important segment of content on your website. It categorizes your website pages properly and splits up sections of your content to make it a more pleasurable read for the user. There is however an even greater importance for the use of heading tags as again this allows the search engines to really understand what keywords you are trying to rank for, for example the heading tag for this article will be “What is On-Page SEO?”….Catch my drift? Below I have summarized the main uses for heading tags.
H1 Titles – What your website is focused around
H2 Titles – The Sub Categories of what your services provides
H3, H4 etc – A general description of what your service provides.
Do not use heading tags for large pieces of content on your website as this will cause confusion when the search engines look to figure out what your website is based on. Keep your heading tags clean and concise.
Keep your heading tags clean and concise.
Page titles are much easier to get your head around. Most website builders will allow you to set the pages title, which in the realm of On-Page SEO can make a big difference in the early stages of an SEO campaign. Page Titles again tell the search engines what it is you do! Try and guess what the page title of this article is?
Again and again when we start an SEO campaign with a brand new client we comes across basic SEO procedures that have been overlooked, for example, we generally see titles where you have the page titles like this “business name:home”. This title is doing absolutely nothing for the business and their SEO efforts.
A good example of a home page title optimized for SEO would be something like this…(made up business) Acres Property Development | Property Development & Maintenance Company London.
This title signals to the search engine what they are about and also what location they are in, also it will look clean on the search engine results page.
Images are a funny one and often get overlooked. Have you ever wondered when you click images on the search engines and see all the images there how they actually got there? It is not by chance, they have been optimized in that way. The number one way to optimize your images is through the use of ALT Tags. This term is defined as “a common shorthand term used to refer to the ALT attribute within in the IMG tag. Any time you use an image, be sure to include an ALT tag or ALT text within the IMG tag. Doing so will provide a clear text alternative of the image for screen reader users”
Doing so increases the usability of the web page and also increases overall topical relevancy. A rule to follow is not to use the same ALT Tag for every image as this is spammy, be natural as always.
I have ALT Tagged the image on the left….Do a quick Google image search for the “Best Looking SEO’s Cardiff” and see where you see it! Tagging images is just a good habit to pick up and something that I always do towards the end of designing a website. I usually get the top 50-100 keywords that a client is going to rank for and ALT-Tag the images based on that. This way you can keep it as natural as possible.
The number one way to optimize your images is through the use of ALT Tags.
So to summarise, On Page SEO refers to everything that you carry out on the webpage itself. Nothing is done behind the scenes and it usually does not involve the need to carry out any back-link activities, as this is an Off-Page SEO strategy, something I will cover in another article which will look in depths at the number of Off Page SEO strategies out there.
On-Page SEO was the first aspect of SEO that I self taught myself all those years ago and I noticed within a few weeks that it did make a difference to my rankings, however, I noticed that gradually the effect started to become less apparent, this is due to the fact that you need a holistic strategy and carrying out Off Page SEO provides that. On Page SEO gives you that grounding to start diving in to the world of SEO, it makes you aware of the importance of content on your website, how Page Titles interact with search engines and the overall value of making sure your website is relevant to the niche you operate in.