7 really simple ways to improve on-page SEO for better ranking

In this article, we are going to discuss and break down some of the easy on page SEO edits anyone can make to improve the ranking and performance of their website. By simply going through this checklist, you’ll ensure your pages and posts comply with what we describe as Google ‘best practice’.

On page SEO for websites – The basics

 

When we write and publish new blog posts or pages for a website it’s important that we not only create an engaging and attractive piece of content, that keeps readers reading, but also has the best possible chance of ranking well with Google and actually getting found. It’s what we call on page SEO (search engine optimisation).

To do that, there are a number of elements we can control as we write our content and subsequently publish it to a website. We’re now going to dig into those, explain the simple steps you can take, when writing your own content, to help your pages rank higher and attract more readers.

 

Keywords

To begin with, let’s discuss what keywords are and how exactly they can be used to improve your website’s on page SEO. Keywords are the most relevant words to your product or service. They are what people most frequently search for when they need your product or service.

There are no shortage of free online resources to help you find your most relevant keywords for the subject you’re writing about, so if you don’t already know which search terms are important for your business, now is the time to find out.

If you’re new to the world of keywords, the following tools are free, simple to use and deliver quality results:

Content

Content is king when it comes to SEO. Put simply, creating content that is authoritative, unique, and useful is what Google wants to see. So unless you have good reason to keep it short – a landing or sales page for example – try to avoid publishing texts with a low word count.

There’s no upper limit on how much text you can use on a page, but in terms of ranking well, you’ll often find pages with between 1500-2000 words perform best with Google. As a rule of thumb try not to publish pages you want to rank with under 600-700 words.

 

Headings

Headings provide a useful way to organise, as well as optimise pages. We’ve touched on this before, but a well laid out page, broken up with keyword rich and descriptive headers or sub-headers, is what we expect to see as web users – and that includes Google.

It allows us to quickly scan pages, zoom in on the bits we’re interested in and inform our decision on what to do next.

So to really feed search engines what they want and improve on page SEO, it’s also important that your headers have structure – just like a magazine article.

As a rule of thumb, begin by using the ‘header 1’ tag for the main title of your article, ‘header 2’ for main subheadings and ‘header 3’ for important titles under ‘header 2’.

 

User experience

Think about your pages from the point of view of a new visitor to your website, who knows nothing about you, your company and quite possibly the subject they have been searching for.

Make your content easy to read, use short paragraphs (1-2 sentences is usually enough), broken up with clear and descriptive subheadings. Add images or video where you can. And make sure your text is legible (on screens of all sizes) by using easy to read fonts.

Final thing to say here is ‘be critical’ and put yourself in the reader’s position. If something’s bugging you now, chances are others will see the same issue. It’s a shame to waste good content in ugly packaging, so think about how your pages look to third parties.

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Label your images

Smart as it is, Google cannot read images or photos. But what it can see clearly is the title of your images, video or graphical content.

Labeling your images is a simple and effective way to improve your on page SEO. On Google’s end it is how their algorithms understand that the content on your site is an image. It was also another easy way to apply a Keyword to your content.

 

Add some links

This may sound counter intuitive, but linking your pages to other pages is actually a good thing. As it stands, we can say Google recognises that pages that link to other pages have more authority. Don’t ask why, just know that including a link to outside pages (on another website) give you kudos in their algorithm and that links to other pages or blog posts on your own website do likewise.

Now you might think that linking to other websites can’t be good, and for sure creating a link to another business would be stupid. So what to link to? How about news sites like the BBC, or information hubs such as Wikipedia. Associating your own site with these behemoths is exactly how you can show you know what you’re talking (or in this case writing) about.

When it comes to internal links, what we’ve noticed works really well is to use blogs and information pages to link between themselves. For example, if we’re writing a blog post about digital marketing, and we include in our text a mention on say SEO, or email marketing, we’d make those links to posts we’ve written on that subject in the past.

 

Meta titles & metadescriptions

A web page’s meta title will probably be the first thing people see of your website when scrolling through Google. It’s the bold blue text that shows on Google.

When writing your page’s meta title, try to insert your main keyword as close to the beginning of the text as possible. Don’t stuff the meta title with keywords though. Remember, it needs to read well to people seeing it in search results and to encourage them to click.

Likewise, meta descriptions – which are the longer piece of text that show up under a meta title in search results are a good place to include your main keyword – and, as it has more space – to further encourage users that it’s your web page they want to click on, not your competitor’s.

Again, rather than stuff your meta description with keywords, write clearly and concisely.

 

On page SEO – What do we know?

OK, that’s it. The same step by step template our own web designers and copywriters follow when setting up new pages or giving existing content a fresh SEO makeover.

Don’t forget, the process of optimising your website is never complete and there’s absolutely no problem with taking retrospective action. In fact, Google loves to see old pages revamped and refreshed from time to time.

Coupled with the fact that implementing the steps outlined above will almost definitely improve the ranking of your pages (really!), why not use our on-page optimisation tips on your existing pages and blog posts?

If you’re still not sure what’s needed, or you don’t have time to do the work yourself, it could be time to call in the experts. We’ve been providing marketing and web services for over a decade and have helped hundreds of businesses grow their business on the web. To learn how we could be helping you, why not get started with a free, full SEO audit of your website?

Keep on reading…

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