What is on-page SEO and how do you get it right?

SEO in Colorful Alphabets

If you don’t know what on-page SEO is but you know you need to do it, then hold tight we are about to give you all the details. This is part 2 of a series of blogs on SEO. If you haven’t read our previous post, check it out here, we had a look at the basic concepts of SEO. We are now going to dig a little deeper into on-page SEO concepts

On-page SEO relates to actions on your own website that you control which determines how you appear in search results and that make it easy for search bots to index your pages and rate your content. It refers to many of the concepts we spoke about in our previous post, like key words, meta descriptions, using alt tags and so on.

Factors to consider when looking into on-page SEO

Every time you add a page to your website, you need to optimise it for search. You can do this using plugins like Yeost SEO for WordPress.

Keywords

We discussed keywords briefly in our last post. Keywords are the words a user inputs into the search field when they are searching the internet for something i.e “plumber”, “slide robes” would be an example of keywords. While keywords aren’t as important as they used to be, they are still considered the cornerstone of SEO. However, with the evolution in how people search the internet, the concept of keywords has turned more into key phrases or long-tail keywords. A long-tail search term is something like “Where would I buy sliderobes in cork”.

If you think like a user and consider the terms they would search for, then you can tailor some content to fit that search term. Instead of optimising for “sliderobes” you would create some content answering the question “Where would I buy Sliderobes in X”, this could be a location page or a product page. Use your imagination!

Once you settle on a keyword/keyphrase you need to use this in certain locations to ‘optimise’ the page around that word

Content

Content is King. You can optimise around keywords, descriptions and links until the cows come home but if you don’t have great, searchable content then no-one is going to visit your website as there is nothing to find so the search bot won’t feed up the pages. If your competitors content is an A+ and your content is a D-, your content will never rank against them. So how do you create content that ranks? You research your industry and competitors and see what content they are putting out and how its ranking. Then you do the same, you put your own spin on things and make some content that will display your mastery of a topic. That topic should be reflected by your keyword.

Meta Description

The meta description is the short sentence that you see under your website link in a search result page. Its written to make your website stand out when it appears in a search results page (SERP). Your meta description should contain your keyword, bonus points for getting it right at the start of the description! Yeost will indicate if your description is too short or long but around 140 characters is a good goal.

Alt Text on images

Most blog posts or pages contain images. Images bring a page to life. Alt text is a short sentence or set of words to describe the image. Alt text has a number of uses. Firstly, it helps search engines to index the image by describing what the image is. Remember search bots don’t see images, they just see text so we use alt text to describe the image to them so they can index them. Alt text is also used by sight readers for accessibility purposes. The reader can read the alt text and tell the user what the image is. Alt text is important to bots and is a tick in the user friendly box. All images you upload should have alt text added to it for this reason.

Permalink Structure

Permalinks is the name given to the full URL links of pages in your website. Every page and post in your website has a permalink. You should set up the general format of your URL’s in your backend. The best option for link naming is to use the title of your post as the slug in your URL. The slug is the bit of the URL that comes after your website. Pages generally have one or two word slugs while posts contain longer slugs. For example in simplywebdesign.ie/services – services is a slug for the services page whereas simplywebdesign.ie/What-is-on-page-seo, What-is-on-page-seo is the slug for this blog post. There are a number of formats for post slugs, choosing the post title option to create permalinks is usually most relevant.

Ease of navigation is a ranking factor for SEO. The more user friendly your site is the better it will rank. If your URLs are set up in an orderly fashion this improves navigation. You can organise your urls and make it easy to get between pages and navigate the site. Your links should contain keywords that reflect the content of your pages. If a user can see from a url that the content is relevant to their search then they are more likely to click on your website in search results. Keep links short, using keywords and without excessive fluff words.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is the concept of linking to other pages on your website. When creating the pages of your site you need to consider how you want a user to navigate your site and how they get from the first page to a call to action that you can track to make them a customer. Internal links helps the search bots find related pages on your site and it should softly force a user to where you want them to be. If you look at the first paragraph of this blog, you will see a link back to the previous blog post, these two blogs are related and linking them is a good idea.

Schema Markup

The schema markup is used by google to create snippets. We will go more into featured snippets in a future blog but basically to set the schema you go to the schema tab in Yeost and select the page type from the dropdown. If you have an FAQ its a good idea to select it here. The search results from this FAQ schema look like this:

Conclusion

The benefits of on-page SEO are extensive. The work involved in setting it up is hugely time consuming, the outcomes are hard to track and you don’t get much immediate gratification for the effort you put in. However over time you will reap the benefits of spending the time to get it right either by doing it yourself or by having a professional set this up for you.

Coming soon – Core Vitals, Snippets and other advanced SEO

Reach out for help and take some of the sting out of getting this properly set up!

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