How To Expand Your On-Page SEO
In such a competitive environment, where millions of brands are competing to get as visible as they can on the internet, SEO plays a crucial role when it comes to standing out from the competition. This shouldn’t be news to you, as the SEO industry is booming and many providers claim to have “quick fixes” to get your brand to the top of the page rankings.
The truth is that SEO is much more complicated than that. It can be difficult to know where to start when trying to increase the organic traffic to your site. Here are some of the key aspects you should consider when covering the basics of on-page SEO.
1. Produce quality content
Creating quality content is always important and it can make a big difference in how well your website ranks on different search engines. At the end of the day, Google’s first interest is making sure users can find quality content, therefore, when you’re working on a new piece always keep in mind E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), which are exactly the values that you want to demonstrate with your content.
Competitors Gap Analysis will always be one of the most powerful tools as it allows you to understand what the top players are doing better than you. Tools like SEMrush’s Keyword Gap section can provide excellent insights that will help you bridge the gap with competitors.
2. Perfect your keyword research
Keywords represent the foundation for your content strategy, so they need to be carefully picked to express the content in the most effective way.
These are the main aspects you should keep in mind when carrying out keyword research:
- Contextual information such as your business model, product/service you sell and the objectives you want to achieve
- Competitor analysis – check out what keywords your competitors are targeting
- SERP analysis – check out what Google thinks the most relevant results are for your target keywords
Here are some other aspects you should keep in mind when doing keyword research:
- Pick keywords with various search volumes, it’s important to include keywords with low search volume (between 20-100 monthly searches) but also keywords that are very commonly searched (above 1000 monthly searches). However, always keep in mind that if a keyword’s monthly searches are too high it will be hard to rank for it, especially if your domain isn’t very strong
- If the SERP is populated with huge brands when looking for a keyword that you want to target, it means there’s very low chance to rank for it in the first pages
- Keep in mind users’ intent: if you’re doing keyword research for a blog article, you should include informational keywords such as “what is a credit card?”. On the other hand, if you need to optimise a product landing page, you should make sure you also target more commercial/transactional keywords – e.g. “buy trainers”
3. Focus on prioritising above the fold
Above the fold is the section of the page that can be seen immediately when opening a page, and, therefore, both Google and your users pay a lot of attention to it. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when optimising this section of the page:
- Include your H1
- Make sure the copy is keyword-rich
- Include Internal Links to the main pages of the website
- Avoid using too many fonts at the same time (Google suggests using maximum 2 fonts at the same time)
- If there are videos present, make sure the thumbnail is the first element that is loaded when the page is being loaded
- WebP is the most suitable format for images while .svg is the most suitable format for icons
4. Work on internal linking
Internal Links are URLs that link to another page within the same domain, both your users and search engines use them to find content on your website. Internal links are very important for three main reasons:
- They allow your users to easily get from one page to another within the website
- They help Google understand the website’s hierarchy
- They pass link equity to the other pages (increasing authority)
When working on expanding your internal linking profile, always make sure you follow these simple rules:
- All internal links are status code 200 do-follow redirects
- All the most important pages of the website are linked internally to increase visibility and build a website structure
- Main internal links should be placed at the beginning of the page as that’s the section of the page that is most likely to get users’ attention and most users don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
- Use keyword-rich (and relevant) anchor texts (always avoid anchor texts like “find out more”, or “more information here” as these do not provide any content for Google)
- Make sure to only include internal links when relevant and avoid using too many
We also discuss internal linking and other strategies in our article on quick SEO opportunities.
5. Fix your heading tag structure
Heading Tags are no longer a ranking factor but Google uses them to better understand the content of the page, so you need to make sure that the heading tag hierarchy is on point. Just a couple of simple rules to start off:
- the <h1> is the main heading – it should always be one per page, on the above the fold and should include the primary keyword
- other heading tags such as <h2>, <h3>, etc. should be used for subtitles and don’t need to be one per page – the lower the number the higher the importance of the subtitle
5. Optimise your metadata
The most important Meta Data for SEO are Title Tags and Description Tags. These two very important HTML tags describe the content of the page when it’s displayed on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) before the user has even clicked on the page, so having well-optimised meta data can make the difference between a click on your page or a user scrolling down.
Just a few main things to consider when optimising your metadata:
- Meta Titles should be between 50 and 60 characters*, longer titles usually get truncated on the SERP. Titles should include the primary keyword, describe what to expect from the page in a concise way and it’s a good idea to include the brand name
- Meta Descriptions should be shorter than 160 characters* (same reason as for the titles) and should concisely provide relevant information so users can assess whether the page provides the content they’re looking for. Primary keywords should be used to create brief but descriptive descriptions. It’s a good idea to include Call to Actions, such as “read our article on x” to entice users to click on the page.
Looking into these aspects is a great way to start improving your website for SEO. Our article on the most common SEO issues will also give you some more context to it, but if you’re looking for the next steps in your SEO journey or you need help to create a strategy, get in touch with our team today!
Tullio Rifurgiato, 04/08/2022