Achieving higher search rankings is a top priority for most website owners. For this, it is crucial to pay attention to on-page SEO factors. Not only are they helpful in achieving high rankings but also in boosting organic traffic.
Your website is at the center of your overall SEO strategy. If it isn’t optimized well for users and the search engines, you minimize your chances of success. That’s why on-page SEO factors should be an integral part of your SEO strategy.
Before we delve into the details, let’s first understand what on-page SEO is.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO factors focus on optimizing individual web pages to get higher rankings on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). It deals with aspects of technical SEO like HTML source code, URLs, titles, and descriptions along with the content on the page.
The ultimate goal of on-page SEO factors is to make it easier for crawlers to understand what is on your page. With on-page SEO, you can convey information about your web page to search engines by providing context about it. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to improve your search engine rankings.
Top On-page SEO Factors That Affect Your Search Rankings
To create a solid SEO strategy, you can’t ignore on-page SEO. Here are the factors that affect on-page SEO:
1. Create Quality Content
The first part of your on-page SEO strategy should be to focus on creating quality content. That’s because you can’t engage your audience if your content isn’t interesting, engaging, or shareworthy.
So, what counts as high-quality content? Firstly, always create original content. It’s great to take inspiration from other popular sites. But just copy what they are doing. Create original content that is authentic and in your brand’s voice.
Secondly, pick topics that touch upon the pain points of your audience. If you are answering their questions, your content is likely to engage them.
Lastly, get creative with the way you present your content. Instead of just relying on text, mix up the elements on your web pages. Along with text, you can also include photos, videos, GIFs, and podcasts.
2. Craft Concise Meta Descriptions
Another important on-page SEO factor that you should consider is your meta descriptions. For the uninitiated, meta descriptions are the text snippets that you see below a page’s title in the SERPs.
Search engines use the meta description to get the list of the content on a webpage. So, it’s essential to incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your meta descriptions.
Image via Google
Your meta descriptions need to be short and concise. That’s because Google allows only 150-170 characters to be displayed in meta descriptions. If your meta description is longer than the word limit, it is likely to be cut short by Google.
Even though Amazon’s meta descriptions are longer than the word limit, they have managed to use all of their important keywords. To ensure that your keywords aren’t cut off, include them at the beginning of your meta descriptions.
3. Write Relevant Title Tags
All of your web pages must have appropriate title tags that communicate what your web page is about. Not only does it give context to search engine bots, but it also helps users. It’s recommended that you use keywords in your title tags.
Just like a meta description, Google allows only a limited number of characters in title tags. Your title tag should not exceed more than 50-60 characters. If it does exceed the word limit, the remaining characters will not be visible.
Image via Google
So it is also recommended that you use the keywords at the beginning of your title tags. For example, in the screenshot above, the keyword is “best PPC tools.” It has been incorporated into the title, close to the beginning in a natural way.
4. Write Descriptive URLs
Just like meta descriptions and page titles, URLs also help the search engine bots and users understand what a page is about. So, obviously, your keywords should be a part of your URLs as well.
It’s crucial to keep your URLs short. According to former Google tech expert, Matt Cutts, search engines prefer URLs that are only 3-5 words long. Keep this in mind while writing your URLs.
Image via Google
You need to give a gist of the topic yet utilize very few words for it. This can be very tricky. For inspiration, look at how HubSpot creates URLs. They give a gist of the article while including relevant keywords.
They also use categories in their URL to help search engines and users find what they are looking for faster.
5. Use Internal Links
This on-page SEO factor doesn’t require much effort but can benefit you immensely. By using internal links on your web pages, you can make sure users spend more time on your site.
When users read your blog post, you can redirect them to other pages on your site with internal links. This strategy can decrease your bounce rate and boost the average time that users spend on your website. Both of these factors are crucial for SEO and can help to get your web pages indexed.
Image via Moz
Moz, for example, uses this on-page SEO factor on their blog. It helps them strengthen their SEO and get their web pages indexed.
6. Use Subheadings
Subheadings can improve the overall readability of your content. By segmenting your content into blocks, you’ll also make it easier for search engines to scan it.
At the same time, subheadings can improve the overall readability of your content. As the user experience improves, you can expect visitors to spend more time on your site. This, in turn, can improve your dwell time.
Image via Uber
To make your headings and subheadings more prominent, use H2 and H3 tags. Although it’s not mandatory, many SEO experts recommend using keywords or variations of them in your subheadings.
Uber uses subheadings and headings on its blog to make its blog posts more readable. They use subheadings to divide their content into logical blocks. This improves the overall structure of their article as well.
7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
52.2 percent of website traffic around the world was generated through mobile devices in 2018. This shows how people are using mobile phones for searching online.
If your website is not optimized for mobile, you may lose out on potential customers. Or worse yet, search engines might not even show your pages in the SERPs.
Image via Google
You can work on this on-page SEO factor with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Using this tool, you can figure out how mobile-friendly your website is.
Other than that, you should also share your phone number and address in your website footer. This on-page SEO strategy can help you leverage local search queries.
8. Improve Your Page Loading Speed
Your page loading speed has a huge impact on user experience. If a page takes more than three seconds to load on mobile devices, 53% of users will abandon the site.
You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your current page loading speed. To improve the speed, you should ensure that the media on your web page is compressed.
Image via Google PageSpeed Insights
At 92, Yoast.com has a near-perfect score for their page loading speed on desktops. Even for mobile devices, their score is 78, which is higher than most other websites.
You may not get such high scores initially. But if you continue to work on improving your on-page SEO factors and optimizing your web pages, the results will show eventually.
On-page SEO factors are integral to the success of any SEO strategy. To improve your search rankings with on-page SEO, it is important to produce high-quality content. In addition to this, you should also optimize the source code of your web pages. This includes your title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Lastly, you should place user experience at the forefront of your SEO efforts.
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