On-page optimization is an integral part of any SEO strategy. It implies optimizing your site content to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP). The goal of this practice is to create highly relevant and valuable content that meets users’ needs.
In this article, we’ll explain why on-page optimization is essential, consider its elements, and share some useful tips.
Why is on-page optimization important?
According to BrightEdge, 53.3% of all site traffic comes from organic search. This makes business owners pay special attention to their on-page optimization since it plays a crucial role in understanding a user’s intent.
The first reason you should consider on-page optimization is that it helps you realize what your target customers want. By analyzing the keywords consumers use in your industry, you will determine which queries they implement for navigational, informational, or shopping intent.
Secondly, on-page optimization allows you to provide your users with valuable content that provides answers to their questions. Knowing their search queries, you can produce different types and formats of content that will fit users with various needs. As a result, you can grow your authority and credibility.
Thirdly, search engines reward sites that people like. The more users click on your links in SERPs, the higher your page will rank. Hence, your domain rate will increase.
Last but not least, occupying the highest positions in SERPs increases your conversions since people tend to trust the first three search results. Hence, you’ll get more sales if they manage to find what they are looking for on your page.
To benefit from on-page optimization, you should know its core elements.
Key Elements of On-Page Optimization
In this section, we’ll uncover the main areas you need to work on to implement on-page optimization.
- Page content. This is a crucial element since search engines check everything you publish. Your content should be unique and high-quality. Google uses the E-A-T framework to assess web pages. E — expertise, A — authoritativeness, T — trustworthiness. Although there’s a need to optimize your content for both users and robots, Google wants site owners to create customer-oriented pages that meet customers’ needs.
- Title tag and meta description. They are HTML tags. When a user types a certain search query and sees a SERP, title and meta description are the first thing they pay attention to. Their main goal is to drive customer engagement and motivate people to click the link. With the right title and meta description, you can significantly increase your page CTR. Therefore, they should be relevant to your page content.
- Heading tags. They are responsible for the logical structure of your page content. There are six heading tags: H1, H2, H3, etc., where H1 is the most important and H6 is the least important. H1 is the title of your page, so it should be informative and relevant to a user’s search query. H2-H6 are used to highlight your headings and subheadings. Headings help readers comprehend the structure of your article better and navigate to the necessary section.
- Internal links. To improve your website engagement, don’t forget to interlink relevant articles. This will help your readers learn all the necessary information in a logical order, step by step. When adding a link, pay special attention to your anchor text. To drive user attention, it should be relevant to its destination page and include corresponding keywords.
These are the main elements of on-page optimization. Now it’s time to consider some tips that will help you master it.
How to Optimize Your Content for On-Page SEO
- Optimize title tag and meta description
- Create high-quality content
- Optimize images
- Take care of internal linking
- Use SEO-friendly URLs
- Create categories and tags
Since on-page optimization requires following some practices to meet the needs of users and search engine algorithms, we’ll share some tips for you to create a killer SEO strategy. Title and meta description are the first elements a reader sees when googling, so we’ll start with that.
Optimize title tag and meta description
Their goal is to attract user attention and tell them that this page provides answers to their questions. Although these elements don’t influence your ranking much, we advise you to optimize them for better performance. For this purpose, include a primary keyword in both your title tag and meta description. Use modifiers to inform clients about what exactly they will see if they click on your link, for example, a checklist, guide, case study, video, infographics, etc. This way, you will increase your chances of catching their attention.
Keep user intent in mind. If it’s informational, use a corresponding modifier, for example, “What is Email Marketing.” Take into account the length of both tags. Google is constantly updating its algorithms, so you need to check them. To stay on the safe side, avoid putting overly long titles and descriptions since they will look poor on a SERP. Make your meta description support the title. Use active voice and keywords, and motivate users to follow your link.
You can see an example of an optimized title tag and meta description below. Both elements include the main keywords (SEO, search engine optimization), title tag modifier (a simple step-by-step guide), and meta description that encourage users to follow the link to learn what to do for Google to like your content.
Create high-quality content
High-quality content is about producing original, unique, expert articles. This will help you improve user experience, meet their intent, decrease bounce rate, and boost CTR and conversions accordingly.
If you aim to create valuable content, you can start guest blogging. Find experts in your niche and offer them to write articles that will help your audience solve their problems. Be ready to update your content regularly to keep it fresh and provide new strategies and techniques. For your content to look visually appealing, mind paragraphing, numbered and bulleted lists, tables, images, and screenshots.
Use keywords organically. Define your primary and secondary keywords to use them naturally when writing your piece of content. Avoid stuffing your page with keywords because Google can penalize you for that.
Remember to create unique images and avoid using stock photos since they bring little to no value to a user. Remember that the goal of adding images is not only to make your page more visually appealing but also informative. Each image should tell its story, help reveal a certain topic, and be helpful. Compress images before publishing them since they can weigh too much and load for ages when users open your page.
Help Google understand what your image is about. For this purpose, create descriptive names instead of IMG_123456 since robots don’t understand this. Always write ALT texts for your images. Sometimes browsers can’t properly render images or fail to load, so having ALT texts is your airbag. It’s useful for both readers and robots. People with disabilities can use their screen readers to listen to the text describing an image. Therefore, if an image doesn’t render, your ALT text can explain what this or that image depicts. Besides, having ALT texts can help you rank higher because it’s associated with images.
In addition, we advise you to pay special attention to the structure of your email files. Don’t place all your images into one folder. Create separate folders for different categories. For example, if you have an eCommerce business, your files can include “Men,” “Women,” and subfolders “Jeans,” “Dresses,” “Swimsuit,” etc.
Take care of internal linking
We’ve already mentioned internal linking. It helps users navigate through your site and understand a particular topic better while also allowing you to boost your new pages or pages that have little traffic. For this purpose, create a list of your most authoritative site pages that perform well and choose those that are related to the one that needs promotion. Then, place these links to your low-authoritative pages and include relevant anchor text. This way, you’ll share the value of your best page.
Check out an example of internal linking from SendPulse. In our glossary, we define internet marketing terms and consider the most important issues. In our blog, we cover the same topics but more in-depth. We often advise our readers to study the topic better in our blog.
Use SEO-friendly URLs
URLs should be concise, clear, and informative. For this purpose, include your primary keyword in the URL, make it reflect the title of your page, and avoid using special characters and unnecessary words. These words can make your URL too long, which is a bad SEO practice. Apart from that, remember to omit conjunctions, prepositions, and articles.
Create categories and tags
If you have a blog and cover different topics, we advise you to develop its structure. It will help readers navigate through your blog and enable search engines to understand your topics. Group all your articles by categories and tags.
Congrats, now you know pretty much everything about on-page optimization and are ready to get started. With this list of tips at hand, you can create outstanding content that will meet your readers’ intents and tell search engines that it deserves high rankings.
Last Updated: 09.08.2022