Content SEO

The 12 Essential Components of On-Page SEO

alice
Written by Alice Maserati
on 31 May 2019

When optimizing your web-content, on-page SEO is something that cannot be overlooked. Contributing to your overall organic search ranking, on-page SEO makes your content more likely to be seen. So in a world where ranking first is uncertain, everything helps.

Search Engine Optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is the process of building and optimizing a website in a way that increases organic search engine rankings. This is important because the higher your search engine ranking, the more web-traffic your website will receive, meaning your potential conversion rate will also increase.

SEO can be divided into three broad subcategories. The first being on-page SEO, the second being off-page SEO and the last being technical SEO. In this article, we will focus specifically on on-page SEO.

As a brief overview, on-page SEO is optimizing the content and source code of a website, as opposed to actions taken outside of a website to improve its ranking. After improving SEO rankings for a multitude of websites over the years, today I’m going to list the major components of on-page SEO.

For more information on SEO and its fundamentals, check out this link to another of our blog posts!

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Mobile responsiveness

Recently, Google has started ranking websites based on mobile-friendliness. The reason for this is because the web is being accessed more and more on mobile devices. So designing your websites to be mobile friendly ensures that your pages perform well on all devices. Google values this because it prefers to link to websites that allow for easily consumed content on mobile and tablet devices.

Elements that influence mobile-friendliness are text size and tap target size, just to list a couple. Page speed is also a huge part of mobile-friendliness.

Page speed

Google rankings are also influenced by a website’s performance. Therefore it is important to optimize your site’s performance to help improve search engine rankings.

Of particular importance is page load time. In addition, faster websites tend to have lower bounce rates and lead to higher conversion rates. One easy way to improve your website’s performance is to optimize all images with tools such as TinyPNG. This means that the images on your website will be compressed to a size that facilitates the fastest possible page load time.

Web development meta title - on-page SEO

Image tags

Every image should have alt text provided. Alt-text image tags help search engines index images and are also used by screen readers. Image tags should provide a useful description of each image.

Alt tags are also shown to the website visitor if for some reason their browser doesn’t render the image. Screen readers for the visually impaired will read this text, making your image accessible.

(READ: Are You One of the 51% Not Delivering the Right Content?)

Title tag

Proper use of the title tag is an important component of SEO. The title is also shown in web browser tabs and bookmarks. Titles should be kept to under 60 characters, and contain important keywords. If you are using WordPress, title tags can be easily set on a per-page basis using the Yoast SEO plugin.

Meta description

Meta Descriptions function to provide a short summary of a web page and should be kept to under 155 characters. If you are using WordPress, meta tags can be easily set on a per-page basis using the Yoast SEO plugin.

URLs

URLs should be human-readable and reflect the content of the given web page. Avoid using IDs are these are not SEO-friendly. It is also important to separate words by hyphens rather than underscores. This is important for a URL, as search engines use hyphens as word separators. Place more important words at the beginning of URLs as search engines place more emphasis on these.

Sitemap.xml

Including a sitemap can increase the indexability of a website. Your sitemap should focus on the most important pages on your website. If you are using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin can be used to automatically generate a sitemap for your website.

Robots.txt

This file can be used to instruct search engines to not index a particular page or pages. An example of this is for administrative login pages as having these pages indexed could negatively affecting your search ranking. Google’s useful guide provides details on how to construct your robots.txt file.

Alternatively, if you are using WordPress and don’t feel comfortable writing your own robots.txt file, you can exclude particular pages from being indexed using the Yoast SEO plugin.

(READ: The Customer Value Journey Roadmap)

Social meta tags

These are not a direct part of SEO but if used correctly, can increase how often a web page/site will be shared on social platforms. These tags can be used to set the image used when a particular web page is shared, along with preview text, title and so on.

Google My Business

To enhance search engine rankings, complete business information including pictures should be supplied to Google My Business. Complete and accurate Google My Business listings receive 7 times more clicks than those missing information.

Therefore, it is integral to include these when launching your website. For details on how to set up your Google My Business listing, refer to HubSpot.

HTML5 semantic elements

Correct use of HTML5 elements can help search engines better understand websites. Semantic HTML elements clearly describe their meaning in a human and machine-readable way.

For example, header, footer, and section elements should be used. They are all considered semantic because they accurately describe the purpose of the element and the type of content that is inside them. These elements also assist when a screen reader is being used.

HTTPS

HTTPS sites are faster than non-HTTPS sites, and the faster a website, the better it ranks. In the future, Google will be marking all non-HTTPS sites as non-secure, which will increase bounce rates and reduce search engine rankings.

In summary

SEO is often considered more of an art than a science. All three SEO disciplines, including on-page SEO, can be hard to get 100% correct. Because of this, there is no formula for implementing excellent and unbeatable SEO. There are only best practices which we advise following.

It is important to note that following the above principles of on-page SEO will not guarantee you a number one ranking on Google. However, by implementing them, they will go a long way to improving your search engine ranking, leading to more site visitors and potentially higher conversions.

As a Perth digital marketing agency, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that we implement these strategies into our own business. But not only that, we ensure that all of our clients, from Perth and beyond, use the same process.

So speak to us today about how we can build you an on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO-friendly website or improve the SEO ranking of your existing website!

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