On-page search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of your website traffic by increasing the visibility of your website in a web search engine, without paying for search or display ads. For simplicity purposes, SEO can be broadly divided into two types – On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
“On-page” includes both the content and the underlying coding structure (discussed previously in Technical SEO).
For on-page search engine optimization purposes, content is king. Or, more accurately, good content is king. Google favours content that has value for its users, which means content that is useful information, is well-written, referenced and is presented clearly.
Here is an on-page SEO checklist that can be followed:
Intertwined with SEO is the development and marketing of content. While we will discuss content marketing as a separate form of digital marketing later, we will briefly explore content for your website here.
The purpose of content in on-page SEO is to offer value to the user. Content that provides value and is well-presented will give a good user experience which Google rewards.
“Content is the reason search began in the first place.”
~ Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing
Good content also means people are more likely to spend time on your website to enjoy the content, share it and discuss it. All these factors will contribute to your SERP.
Different types of content will work well for SEO purposes. These include text, images, video and audio. However, often, most websites will feature a combination of different types to create engaging and compelling content.
All content should be optimised for SEO with target keywords included in all titles, descriptions and metadata.
The copywriting of the content should be SEO optimized. This means including relevant keywords throughout your content, as it helps search engines rank your website based on the relevancy of your content. However, do not excessively repeat and overuse keywords (known as keyword stuffing) just for search engine robots as this can lead to a penalty strike.
Moving forward, it will be harder to “fool” search engines through keyword stuffing. For example, Google’s latest AI algorithm, BERT, is a neural network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP) pre-training.
It allows the search engine to understand better the nuances and context of words in searches and better match those queries with more relevant results.
In short, BERT can help computers understand language a bit more like humans do and detect copywriting designed to “cheat” search engine bots. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.
One development in SEO when it comes to keywords is to use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords and we discuss it in a post entitled Semantic SEO.
When writing your articles, you should break up your content into sections with headings defined with H1, H2, H3, H4, etc. tags. These H-tags are used by many search engine crawlers to differentiate relevant content. Try to include target keywords in all H-title tags.
SEO PAGE TITLES
Page titles are one of the most important on-page search engine optimization factors on your website. Each of your pages & posts should have its unique title, which includes the target keywords for that page.
Be sure to also include your brand or company name in the page title. For example, the SEO page title can read:
“Hybrid Marketing Training & Consulting | Evolve & Adapt”
AVOID DUPLICATE CONTENT
Avoid duplicating content on different pages of your website as this can receive a penalty strike from Google.
If you must have duplicate content on different pages, you need to do a bit of Technical SEO which involves creating canonical links. Canonical URLs help search engines identify the original piece of content and prevent duplicate content or syndicated content pages to be indexed.
Being digital content, Google rewards connectivity so favours content with lots of in-bound (internal links to other pages in your website) and out-bound (links to external sites) links.
To Google, internal links improve the user experience by making it easy for your visitors to navigate around your site and view your content. Links also help to build the relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases, while also helping to increase the Google PageRank of your pages.