On-page SEO is quite often underutilised, which is crazy considering the vital role it plays in website marketing.
On-page SEO is all about optimising your website content and coding. When done correctly, you can receive a considerable ranking boost.
The best bit is:
You’re in total control, and it’s super easy to do. So what on-page SEO factors can you use to boost your business?
On-Page SEO Factors
There are plenty of SEO factors that you can implement on your page; the thing is they don’t all hold the same value.
In other words, some factors will have a significant impact, while others have a smaller influence. That being said, none of the factors should be ignored.
To start you off, I want to talk you through the big five on-page SEO factors that will have the most significant impact on your rankings:
Internal linking is one of the most underutilised SEO factors. And to me, this is crazy; it holds so much power and is ridiculously easy to execute.
Internal links do two things:
- Encourage people to stay on your site
- Help crawlers navigate your site
Keeping readers on your site helps your SEO performance, but internal links also add value to your readers.
As for the crawlers, they like it when a site makes it easy for them to navigate. The easier you make their job, the more they love you; hence the ranking boost.
As you’re writing your content, you might come across a keyword in which you go into more detail on a different page. This allows your readers to click on the link to get more information if they want it.
Another benefit would be both pages will then share the link juice between each other.
Some people will claim that the length of your content isn’t an essential factor. The thing is it’s actually very relevant.
When you research your niche, you’ll notice that long-form content will rank higher than short-form. The average word count for most niches in the top five spots will have content ranging from 2,000-2,500 words.
From this, we can see that Google definitely prefers a more in-depth article. This is because it provides more value to the reader. There’s one thing I should note:
What counts as long-form content heavily depends on which niche you target. And for this reason, you must do your research before creating any content. This will give you a good idea of what word count you need to hit.
This has been an important ranking factor for quite some time now. And it’s easy to understand why when you stop and think about it.
More and more people are browsing the internet using their mobile phones. In fact, a huge majority of traffic comes from mobile phones.
Google found it so necessary that in 2018 they introduced the mobile-first indexing update. What this meant was google would crawl the mobile version of your site before the desktop version.
So, if your site isn’t mobile-ready, you’ll struggle to rank no matter how good the content is.
Keyword At The Start Of Your Title
If you want to rank pages, you need to make friends with Google’s spiders. And one way you can do this is by putting your target keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible.
This is an essential factor you must consider because it allows the spiders to know exactly what the page is about within the first couple of milliseconds.
Creating a catchy SEO ready title isn’t always easy, which is why you can use plugins like Yoast to help create the perfect title.
I’m sure you’ve clicked on a web page and had to wait for it to load, I’m also pretty sure you clicked off the page and found one that loaded quicker.
And this is why site speed is so essential, every millisecond counts if you want people to stay on the page. And it’s not just for your users.
Google has been using it as a ranking factor for the past ten years, so it’s something to take seriously.
Site speed is in your total control, and a slow site will cost you rankings. If you’re looking to improve your site speed, you can use various tools like GTmetrix; it will show you what needs improving to lower your load time.
Other On-Page SEO Factors For Ranking Better
As I mentioned before, not all on-page SEO factors hold the same weight, but that doesn’t mean they are not necessary. So here are some other on-page SEO factors that will give you a ranking boost:
Working Links – Broken links damage your users’ experience due to them leading to 404 pages. It also wastes any link juice you’ve spent time building up.
Correct Subheadings – Subheadings help Google understand what your page is about quickly. But just as importantly it helps your visitors.
Keyword At The Start Of Content – The quicker the Google spiders can pick out your target keyword, the better. Try placing it within the first 50-100 words.
Keyword In Meta Description – Your meta description needs to do two things, give an honest opinion of what the page is about and include your target keyword. This helps Google and your users know they’ve come to the right place.
Keyword In URL – Having your keyword in the URL was revealed to be a ranking factor in 2016. It might be a small factor, but it’s still something to think about.
Length Of URL – Google spiders prefer a shorter URL. This is because it adds clarity and takes less time for the spider to crawl.
Bounce Rate – The bounce rate shows how many people left your page without visiting another page on your site. To improve your bounce rate, add internal links, create excellent content, and use copywriting skills. (The lower your percentage, the better).
HTTPS Security – If you don’t use HTTPS security, it could be time to. In 2014 Google released pages with HTTPS encryption will rank higher.
Alt Tag Images – Google spiders can’t always recognise a picture, and by adding an alt tag, we help them know exactly what it’s about. You can also insert the target keyword to the alt tag for a bonus.
Unique Content – If Google detects duplicate content, it will only rank one of the sites, and you’ll never know which one it will be. All content should be unique and add value to the reader.
Freshness Of Content – People and Google like fresh content, it helps them understand the content is up to date and relevant. Try posting new articles or updating old content as often as possible.
Use Outbound Links – Using outbound links helps you to gain site authority. This is because Google understands you’re trying to add value to your readers.
Keyword Order – If you took five people and asked them to search for a red Ferrari F40 chances are each one would use a different search term. Mixing up your keywords allows you to hit a broader audience.
Length Of Dwell Time – This is the amount of time someone spends reading your content. If people leave immediately, you’ll know your content needs improving.
Content Reading Level – As a rule of thumb, your content should have an easy reading level so it’s accessible for more people. That being said, technical niches might have a harder reading level.
LSI Keywords – They give more context to your content, and Google loves that. Try dotting a few more LSI keywords throughout the pages you’re trying to rank.
Focus Your Content On User Experience – This could be adding images, defining headings and subheadings, or breaking up your paragraphs.
Depth Of Content – The more information you can stick in your content, the more Google likes it. It shows that your content is more valuable than others.
Use Images – Pictures increase the dwell time and lower your bounce rate. It also helps to bring your content to a broader audience.
Spelling And Grammar – While having the odd spelling mistake isn’t going to kill your site, it’s still essential that the content makes sense.
It’s important to remember that some on-page SEO factors have a bigger impact, but that doesn’t mean the rest aren’t important.
Focus on the top five ranking factors before you move on to the rest. Once you’ve made your way through the full on-page SEO checklist, you’re guaranteed to see your pages ranking well all over your site.