On-page SEO is an important part of your SEO and content strategy. Regularly reviewing your website page and blog rankings will help you identify where to focus your on-page optimisation efforts. However, knowing what changes to make to these pages can sometimes be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together an on-page SEO checklist for you, so you can identify on-page optimisation opportunities and understand why and how these changes can benefit the SEO value of your pages and website.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO (AKA on-page optimisation) is the process of modifying and optimising website pages, including blog posts, to improve the search rankings and overall SEO value of the page. By improving a page’s rankings, you hope to increase the volume of organic traffic coming through to your website via that page. You may have more specific goals you hope to achieve from optimisation on certain pages. For example, if you are trying to increase conversions by optimising a product page, or want to stop the wrong page ranking for a target keyword, your optimisation will be more focused. Nevertheless, you still need to make sure your on-page elements are optimised so that your customers are able to find your website page in the first instance.
The main elements that are included in on-page optimisation are:
· Ensuring you publish well written, relevant and search-friendly content.
· Optimisation of titles and subtitles (H1s, H2s, etc.)
· Metadata optimisation, including meta title, meta description and the page URL.
· Image alt tags should be relevant and reflective of search.
Why is on-page SEO important?
On-page SEO is important as the actions carried out during the optimisation process helps search engines understand your content and web page, as well as indicating to search engines which search queries the page is relevant to.
Google uses a range of different algorithms to determine where a page ranks. As Google has evolved over the years it wants content that is relevant and accurate to a user’s search query and the user’s intent. Best SEO practices change slightly when Google’s algorithms change and develop. However, the basic foundations of ensuring that content is relevant to the search terms you are targeting and that all on-page optimisation elements (both visible and invisible to users) reflect these, more or less remain the same.
Furthermore, on-page SEO is an element of your SEO that you can control and actively improve yourself. Other elements of SEO, such as gaining organic backlinks, are much more difficult to control as you are relying on other websites. This is why it’s so important for you to be thorough when it comes to your website’s on-page optimisation strategy so you can utilise the opportunity for you to make a difference to your own rankings.
On-page SEO checklist
Let’s take a look at our detailed on-page SEO checklist, including some expert tips on what to focus on and why.
1. Include relevant and up-to-date search terms.
Conduct keyword research to determine which search terms you should be using in your content to improve your rankings. We recommend comparing higher ranking content when doing this, so you can see what search terms they’ve targeted and what terms they are sharing, helping you narrow your new search terms down.
2. Answer related questions that are shown on Google.
Type your chosen search terms into Google and see if any related questions on Google appear, like in the image below. As this SERP feature often sits at the top of the page, capturing one of these could greatly improve your organic traffic. If you are unsure of what a SERP is and would like to find out more about this, please check out our blog dedicated to SERP features.
3. Make the structure of the content user-friendly.
For example, if you are writing a list, be sure to bullet point it or create a numbered list. This helps Google understand the content, which allows it to determine where and what terms you should rank for much more easily.
4. Optimise H1s, H2s, metadata and URL.
All of these elements need to be optimised for the search terms you’ve chosen to target in the content, including the meta title and description. That way, Google knows exactly what the page content is discussing and targeting before it’s even had a chance to process it.
5. Ensure image alt text reflects your search terms.
It’s not just the words on the page that need to be optimised. Optimising your image alt text supports the content and gives you a better chance of appearing in certain SERP features. It also helps improve your chances of appearing in Google image search results.
Remember, when it comes to on-page optimisation, you need to make it obvious to Google what your blog post is about by optimising all on-page elements to reflect your carefully chosen search terms. Zelst has a wealth of experience when it comes to optimising website and blog content, helping our clients achieve the rankings they deserve. Please contact us for more information on these services, or check out our case studies for details on how we’ve helped our current clients increase their organic search traffic.