On-page SEO: The Full Guide. – Updated 2022
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Believe it or not, writing excellent quality content is just the baseline for top level on-page SEO, there’s lots more to do to your web pages in order for them to rank. In this post I go into detail as to why it’s important and how to apply it on to your own website. Let’s kick your SEO journey into another gear!
If you read my previous post here regarding SEO with The Beginners Guide, you can consider this your intermediate level as I kick it up a gear 😉
Headings or‘ header markers’as they’re frequently referred to are HTML elements that are used as headings on different webpages. However, the first thing that would come up is the main heading, above any other content and frequently above images, If you visited a website. In SEO terms, this is called H1 (heading one).
Although numerous website structure platforms give you the tools to produce H1 tags, it’s useful to see what it looks like in code form.
<h1>Paris Travel Guide</h1>
<h2>Paris by the Seasons</h2>
<h3>Visiting in Summer</h3>
Your Web Page Main Title
A website page is constructed up of these titles of ‘H’ tags and include heads from H2 to H₆. It’s significant to note that you aren’t needed to use all of them. H tags are always presented on a web page in descending order of significance, with H₁ at the very top, going down the page and finishing with H₆.
When deciding and writing your H tags, there are a many effects to consider.
—The H1 heading should describe the main content of the page.
—Include keywords from your research.
— Don’t use H tags to display nav buttons (example phone numbers)
—H tags should be used to present what the coming section of content is about.
Using optimized headings on your web page will help your efforts of gaining those all-important top spots on search engine pages, but they don’t come near the significance of high-quality content and backlinks. Don’t spend hours thinking of the stylish way to describe different sections of your page, your time will be better spent on other tasks.
Internal link building
We’ve all heard of backlinks and their significance, well if you haven’t, you will need to (Although thats more Off-Page SEO and will be saved for another post in the future). So, what’s internal link building, and why is it important to On-page SEO?
—Internal links are links that allow search engines to find more of your website and give you more opening to rank.
—These links are frequently useful and allow guests to fluently navigate around your website.
—You’ll share link equity to other pages, which gives them further power to rank.
Any SEO expert will tell you how significant these types of links are, but what they may struggle with is telling you what the most effective way of this looks like and top practices to follow.
Internal links have a variety of different forms, but only some offer SEO benefits. Navigation drop-down links, like the ones found on menus, are generally hidden from search engine crawlers.
So if these are the only internal links that you have going to other pages on your website, then search crawlers might have trouble finding them. As a result, they won’t get listed, and you’ll lose opportunities to rank and receive less traffic because of this.
Anchor text is the most common form of internal linking because you can pretty much have links all over if you have the right content. Here’s an illustration of content that could be used to input an internal link.
We’ve several wedding photography packages available, with prices to suit all budgets.
The bold text in this sentence is an ideal spot to place an internal link, directing search engine bots and website traffic to the pricing page on the website. This text is called anchor text.
The anchor text is used to direct signals to search engines, more specifically, the content of the destination page.
When surveying through your content, add internal links or anchor text naturally. Don’t write your content with anchor text in mind because it might appear to search crawlers that you’re trying to manipulate a page’s rank. Just like other aspects of SEO, you want your website to be created for humans, not robots.
Volume of internal links
In a previous update of the General Webmaster Guidelines from Google, they’ve stated that you should cap the number of links on a page to a reasonable number. This is a maximum of a few thousand.
As this is a section of Google’s technical guidelines and not that of the quality guidelines, it’s safe to say that creating too many internal links won’t increase the chances of getting slapped with a penalty. One thing to consider is that the further links you do have on a page, the less equity can be shared to destination pages. There’s only so much trafffic equity to go around, so make sure you don’t water it down too much.
Remember, you’re constructing this website for humans, so it’s worth considering how a searcher might feel when they land on your web page. Too many links are a lot to process, dilutes the content and makes it tougher to read. Here’s an illustration of too many links, the textbook in bold are internal links.
Welcome to our paint website. We’ve many posts on oil painting, how to paint and helpful tips on painting wood, cabinetwork, walls, and essence. Learn further about painting from our oil painting blog.
Insure to concentrate on quality and helpful internal links and place them at the forefront of your link building strategy.
Renaming web pages is a common occurrence, so it’s vitally important that you update any links that are pointing or directing business towards the old URL. However, also it can be sorrowfully time-consuming to update them all, If you have a web page with hundreds of links directing towards it.
Be sure to redirect the URL to its new position, so if anyone does click on it, they will head straight to the new web page. It’s significant to update all internal links to that URL at the source, so you limit the number of redirects a visitor or robot must pass to arrive at the desired web page.
Top practice is to maintain all your internal links, so they go directly to the designated webpage.
However, be careful to avoid redirect chains, If it’s necessary, and you choose to redirect. This is where several redirects are used to eventually arrive at the destination. Google has shown that web masters should keep redirect chains low, with no further than 5 in use.
Optimizing images for search crawlers
Behind video, images are the biggest contributor to decelerate web pages. To enhance your On-Page SEO look at page loading speed, which won’t only please the guest but also benefit you in search engine results, compress your images. There’s no magic formula, and we can’t sit here and tell you the pixel dimensions to use, you’ll need to test what works for yourself. Don’t worry, we won’t just leave you hanging like that.
The top steps to take are to use an image compressor. There are tonnes of them online, and numerous are free to use. Here are five that we find useful.
— Image Recycle
— Compress Now
Another tip to perfecting your page speed is by opting the right format for your images.
Here are what the different image formats are best used for.
—JPEG – If you have no desire to save the image resolution
—PNG-8 – If you want to save a high-resolution image (with very limited colours)
—PNG-24 – If you want to save a high-resolution image (with a lot of colours)
—GIF – If you require animation within your image
Look through your own website and point out ten images. Also use the rules in this section to determine which image format to use.
Alternative text (ALT text/ tags) is the piece of text within an image that describes what the image is about. It’s important to optimize all your website images with ALT tags so when search engine robots crawl your website, they will understand what your images are about and in turn, what your website is about.
Effects to avoid are keyword filling and writing image descriptions suitable for robots. Remember, write natural text suitable for humans.
To help Google discover fresh and new images on your website, it’s recommended that you submit an image sitemap in your Google Search Console. As there are so numerous website platforms, it would be impossible for us to show everyone how to do this. Simply search for‘ image sitemap’in the help section of your platform and a detailed step-by- step guide will support you through the process.
There are several aspects to consider when presenting your content on your website. You could have written the top most content ever published on a specific subject and driven hundreds of guests to a page, but if it’s not formatted correctly then nobody, or very few, will read it. Here are some effects to consider before you publish.
— Page Headings – Long pages of content can frequently feel daunting to a visitor, so use headings to break up the text and allow for easy navigation.
—Make Lists – Just like how this information is presented, use lists to make it easy for the visitor to skim through information.
—Text Appearance – Don’t go for anything too small, it’s top practice to use a font that’s 16- point and above. Make sure the colour also stands out from the page background. The use of italics and bold to emphasise important points is also highly adviseable.
—Relevant Media – When relevant, include different forms of media, like images and video to round your content.
— Use Paragraphs – Avoiding long, drawn out sections of text can help the guest from losing interest.
Using paragraphs can also increase your websites’ capability to rank in‘ position 0’. This is the featured snippet of text that appears at the top of Google, which is generally the answer to a specific question.
There’s no secret to ranking in position 0, but there are top practices to consider. For illustration, if you wanted to rank for“ Volkswagen Polo v Ford Fiesta” then it would make sense to include a table in your content with the benefits and negatives of each auto in different columns.
Using the right title tag
A web runner title tag or META tag is an HTML element that describes the content of an individual page. They’re quietly nested within the head tag of that page and appear like this.
< head > < title > Guide to SEO 2020 Example </ title > </ head>
Each page on your website needs to have a descriptive and unique title tag. Make sure you avoid keyword stuffing and organise the words in such a way that they will appeal to your target audience. What you put in here will be the first print that you display in searches.
Write a compelling, interesting, and engaging piece of text that draws people to your way page. Remember, you’re going to appear alongside thousands of other search results, so you need to make sure that you stand out.
You’ll attract further guests to your website if you rank highly in search engine results and display a compelling title tag. This only magnifies the significance of creating a website for humans and have the search along with user experience at the forefront of all SEO campaigns.
Writing a title tag
Here are the three major aspects to consider when writing an effective title tag regarding On-page SEO.
1. Length – Consider the length of your title. Generally, a search crawler will display the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. If you run past the magic 60 then it’s not the end of the world as it’ll still be recognized by search engines but won’t appear in front of searchers. Although you can go longer than 60 characters, it’s top practice not to exceed it by too many characters.
2. Keywords – Using target keywords in your page/ META title is greatly recommended. A little trick to this is to use them at the start of your title, so it’s one of the first things that searchers read, this is a proven system to increase the click-through rate.
3. Branding – Add your brand or business name to the end of your title. This will make your brand awareness spread across the web and dont forget to use the same tags on social media, and make your name more familiar amongst searchers. Once searchers are familiar with you, your click-through rate will automatically increase.
Much like title or META tags, a META description is an HTML element used to describe the contents of a web page in further detail and a great opportunity to place more keywords. They’re also placed in the head label and look like this.
< head > < meta name =” This web page is all about learning SEO” content =” More about the description of the web page then.”/ > </ head>
The META description will appear in the group of text, underneath the META/ title tag. Having an optimized META description that focuses on your targeted keywords will increase your click-through rate.
Writing a META description
It’s important to know that Google has explained that META descriptions have no significant ranking factor, so the only real benefit will come in the form of click-through rate, which, lets face it, is still extremely precious. Here are some effects to think about when you set out to write a META description.
1. Length – It’s top practice to write META descriptions that are between 150 and 300 characters long, though a search crawler will only generally display around 150 characters.
2. Relevant – Remember what you’re writing about. Your descriptions should be exactly that, descriptive.
You should write enough information for a searcher to understand if your web page will answer their query. Be careful, however, giving too important information away will take down the need to click through to your web page.
A subject that’s often overlooked in the world of SEO is page structure and organization.
URLs are a great place to start. However, URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and please note that this is of no applicability whatsoever, If you didn’t know formerly. Let’s just stick with the acronym for now.
To bring you up to speed, a URL is a position or address for a piece of content on the World Wide Web. Much like a Title Tag and META description, they’re extremely useful when looking to improve a website click-through rate. Not only do searchers take a website’s URL into consideration when choosing a result to click on, but it’s proven that a URL is a direct ranking factor for search crawlers.
Naming web pages
All search engines require individual URLs for each individual page on every website. Making a URL clear and concise will allow search crawlers to display your pages for different results. Use clear URL structure with the addition of targeted keywords to attract your target niche. Here’s an illustration, which one is clearer for searchers:
Ten times out of 10 searchers will decide to click on a URL that provides clear information contained on that web page and less likely to click on URLs that are unclear.
Although URL structure is classed as a minor ranking signal, it’s still something that search engines consider when they decide where to place you in their search results.
Organizing web pages
If your website discusses multiple topics also, you should make sure that information is applicable to specific pages and URLs. For example:
This URL easily shows to a search engine and a searcher that if they click on this result, they will be taken to a web page that contain information about the Ford Transit. It would not be considered top practice to fill up this page with content relating to a Citroen Berlingo.
Make sure that your URL corresponds with its specific page.
Choosing a URL length
While search engines don’t express a guide to URL length, there have been many studies to show that searchers prefer short and to the point URLs. It’s important, much like title tags, to get the length right.
Too short, and you’ll miss openings to include keywords, and too long will force characters to be cut off. Don’t sacrifice a URL descriptiveness to conform with a URL length you want to reach. Here’s an illustration of how to properly optimize a URL length.
Bad illustration –examplewebsite.com/services/painter/house-painter/interior/living-room
Good illustration –examplewebsite.com/painter/interior
The bottom illustration is far more alluring to searchers when they’re scrolling through search crawl results. Keep it descriptive yet refined.
Using keywords in a URL
When targeting a specific keyword, it’s significant to include it in the URL for better on-page SEO. There are, however, some things that you must watch out for.
Be sure to not go overboard by cramming in the same keyword more than once. You’ll also need to keep an eye out in subfolders for any duplication keywords.
For illustration, if you have a photography business and the word‘photography’is in your main URL, avoid the use of the same keyword for any other URLs for the same website. Too many of the same word can look like keyword-filling to search engines. Here’s an illustration of what to avoid
You’ll notice the over-use of words related to photography, and it appears manipulative and spammy. When looking through your URL list, ask yourself if the URLs look natural and if you would click on the search result based on the URL.
Separating words in URLs
Search crawlers, although extremely clever, aren’t capable to separate words in URLs when they run together without a separator. It’s stylish practice, when building your URLs to use the hyphen character (-) to separate words. Here’s an illustration with hyphens and without them.
As you can see, the first illustration is far easier to read for both searchers and search engines, so make sure you include hyphens where necessitated.
Incorporating geographical terms
It’s vitally important that websites that belong to local businesses specifically mention geographical terms in their content, on-site assets, and URLs. Don’t just assume that because your contact page includes a physical address for you that search engines will pick up on that. Be sure to mention the county, city, or town name across your website to maximize visibility to both searchers and search crawlers.
HTTPS or HTTP
The“ https” or “http” that appears before your domain name is called the protocol. If you’re presently working with“ http” instead of “https” then it’s time to change. Google recommends that all websites across the world have a secure protocol which is clearly visible on any website. If a website domain has the “s” before it, then it means the site is secure and safe to use.
To get that little “s” to appear, you must use an SSL Certificate, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The purpose of running with an SSL Certificate is to encrypt website content data, both from the website and visitors, and that any data passed between the browser and the web server remains private.
From July 2018, Google began displaying “not secure” for all “http” websites on their Chrome search platform. This directly showed visitors that the website is untrustworthy and panned out in numerous, if not all, visitors to leave.
Make sure that your SSL Certificate is valid and up to date. To check this, simply use the Chrome search crawler, find your website, and check the domain bar at the top of the browser as this greatly improves your website’s on-page SEO.
If you found this post ”On-Page SEO: The Full Guide. – Updated 2022” helpful or interesting, please feel free to give it a share or like it, so others may find value in this post.
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