Search engine optimization is split into two categories: on-page and off-page. Off-page SEO includes any optimization techniques not used on the page you’re trying to optimize. And what is on-page SEO? As you might expect, it refers to all the elements on a website that contribute to its SEO efforts. These elements can be specific (like page titles and meta descriptions) or broad, like improving a website’s overall quality and ease-of-use. If they’re used correctly, they can help the website rank higher on search engines and benefit the site’s audience.
Now that we know what on-page SEO is, let’s look at how one goes about using it! There are many different elements on a website that affects its SEO, but we’re going to look at some of the most important.
Page titles appear at the top of your browser bar when you’re on a webpage. When you make a query on a search engine, they’re the emphasized and clickable results. You can find your page’s title by looking in the head of the HTML for a short phrase enclosed in <title> tags. For the best results, title tags should be under 70 characters, include keywords and your website’s name (or your brand), and separate keywords with commas or pipes.
Meta descriptions appear beneath page titles in search results and they describe your webpage’s content. If you look in the head of your HTML, you can find your meta description by searching for a very short paragraph that looks something like this: <meta description=”description” content=”A description of your webpage.”>. Meta descriptions are not necessary, but if you don’t have one, search engines will create one for you by using content from you page. It’s silly to risk search engines using undesirable content when you could write the perfect meta description yourself. And what is a perfect meta description? It should be clear, concise (under 155 characters), relevant to the specific page, include keywords and brands, and include a call-to-action.
URLs are the addresses of webpages (if you use the Internet, you should be very familiar with them). However, you may not be familiar with what makes a great URL for SEO. The best URL will be short, easy to read, and it will fit the content of the page. Separate words by using hyphens and use keywords if possible. You want the URL to be memorable and easy to understand, so avoid unintelligible characters like ampersands, percentage signs, numerals, and nonsensical punctuation.
Page content is the heart and soul of your website. It should be well-written, unique, relevant, and consistently updated, and of course it should always use proper grammar and punctuation. Great content will draw in viewers, promote repeat viewings, and might even cause viewers to share your website through social media. Although it’s important to use at least 300 words per page, employ a high keyword density, and add links where relevant, you should focus most on making your page content interesting. Interesting writing is essential to both a great website and great SEO.
Images make a website more visually appealing to viewers, but they can also be used to attract the attention of search engines. Because search engines can’t see your images, it’s important to give all your images alt text. Alt text describes your image using relevant keywords and will help your image appear in search engines’ image results.
Internal linking directs clickers to other pages on your website. By using internal linking in your content, you’re promoting overall page views on your website. To use them well, keep your anchor text short, use keywords where possible, only use them where it makes sense, and of course, be absolutely certain that the link is not broken.
So what is on-page SEO? All of the above and more. It refers to any elements on your website that help the site’s SEO. When used well, on-page SEO will help both you and your audience.