what is on-page SEO and is it important?
On-page SEO also known as on “site SEO” is the process of optimizing elements in web pages to improve organic search engine rankings. common on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, content, and website code and URLs.
Why is on page seo important?
On-page SEO is important as it assists search engines to recognize the relevance of your content to search queries based on keywords, titles & links.
Getting started with on-page SEO.
As a beginner on-page SEO should not scare you as it is not difficult as some might put it and ignoring it could cost you getting your site rankings on search engines?
How do i get started with on-page SEO as a beginner?
As a beginner optimize content, images, title tags & meta descriptions, page speed & external and internal links. lets us look into each keenly with examples.
Quality Page content is key to getting any type is meaningful traffic. search engines have become smarter over the years that they quickly identify if the content on your site meets searchers’ intent or not.
There are a lot of black hat techniques that worked well years ago but don’t work now. techniques such as keyword stuffing which is the practice of repeating a certain keyword many times in an article as a way of tricking search engine crawlers of the relevance of the article to the search query.
With constant updates to the google search AI, quality content is a huge factor in ranking today.
As a beginner make sure the content you publish resonates with search queries. make sure your content answers your readers’ questions directly and to the point.
Avoid jargon unless addressing a professional audience as this blocks out many who don’t understand. simple language is key.
Make sure the article target keywords are in the first 100 words and are either bolded or italicized to show emphasis.
Space your work through subheadings to make it easily readable and increase the chances of a reader scrolling downwards and reducing bounce rate.
Title tags and meta descriptions.
Titles tell search engine bots what your content is about. good content with the wrong title will not rank. getting the best title is important to winning with SEO.a simple way to hack this is to use google auto suggest as a map.
Type in the intended title on the search bar(log out of Gmail first) and check what suggestions google is autocompleting for you. These autosuggestions come from search queries by many people.
An ideal title should be around 70 characters and have the intended keyword in it.
To win SERPs try emotive titles which have been shown to work very well tiles including words like hack, best, win, latest, top, etc.
A meta description is a short summary of what your content is about and should be about 160 characters in length. meta descriptions increase CTR as well written ones capture the attention of a searcher to clinking the linking to your page. they should have the important keyword in it and also be clear and concise.
Internal and external links.
As a beginner, you may not be aware but linking is key in search engine crawling speed and rankings and this is according to google search central.
according to google internal & external links shows the importance of new content to crawlers and increase chances that they will be indexed faster.
How do I use internal and external links?
- Use internal links naturally in an article to link from high authority pages to low authority pages.
- As a rule of thumb use atleast 3 internal links.
- For external link to pages with high page authority like wikipedia.and do it naturally.
- make sure links open in a new tab to retain users to content in the case they click the link.
- You can change link colour to ensure they stand out.
Images break the monotony of a block of text and increase the chances a reader will be engaged with what you write.
As a beginner, I personally made a lot of mistakes with images that cost me, and wouldn’t want you to make the same mistakes. follow these tips to win and rank with images.
- Compress images always.don’t upload an image that is bigger than 200kb.
- Use alt attributes when adding images on WordPress. alt attributes tell search engines what the image is about.
- Avoid stock images. free sites like pixabay and Unsplash have free stock photos but chances of the same images being used thousands of times hurt your chances of ranking with them.
- Make images relevant as possible to enhance text not to replace text.
Page speed is the amount of time it takes for a browser to respond to a request made to its servers and responding with content. page speed is part on-page SEO and when done well guarantees higher rankings.
As a beginner, there is no need to change to a VPS which your host might have tried to convince you will load faster while it’s true it’s not necessary for a beginner site. even sites hosted on shared hosting with Bluehost can still do well.
Images contribute to the site loading speed so if you follow the steps earlier you will be good.
Ensure not to add too much custom code on-site as this slows it down.
If your site is monetized with Adsense make sure it shows the least amount of ads on the home page.in article, ads do better anyways. Adsense code slows down sites and this is according to page speed insights.
- Avoid iframes and gifs as they have code to be executed that slows down loading time.
- use a CDN like cloudflare as they store versions of your site in many servers around the world reducing load times.
- Ensure site loads in less than 3 seconds this according to semrush makes your site load faster than 50% of the web.
Recommend: Off-page SEO for beginners
Permalink structure is also part of on-page SEO.on WordPress check this but to make it clear to search engines what URLs in your search engines are about.