When it comes to SEO, there is more to be done than configuring proper metatags and injecting your content with keywords. Today we are going to provide you with the non-technical knowledge required to properly optimize your pages for on-page SEO. Highly optimized on-page SEO is highly visible to your users and provides more than just boosted SEO rankings. Your content structure, quality and design impact your users experience on your website and are key to building trust.
In this article, we cover the top 4 areas to focus your efforts for on-page SEO: quality content, keyword selection, accessibility & searchability, and design & layout.
1. Quality Content Matters
- Your content should be relevant and useful. Content must serve a relevant purpose to your visitors; they’re coming to your site for a reason. Whether it’s a product, service, or even a laugh from a comedy blog, they’ll be quick to leave and go back to the search engine results page (SERP) if you don’t deliver on what they are looking for.
- Your content should be unique. You don’t want to be just like everyone else on the web. Moreover, you want to showcase what makes your products, services, or offering unique. This not only helps you stand out in SEO rankings, but also gives your target audience an authentic and useful experience.
- Your content should be focused and serve a purpose. One very important piece of on-page SEO is ensuring your content is created for a reason. If you can’t answer the question “Why does this page exist?” then it is likely that it should not. Be sure that you don’t water-down your content by providing pages for the sake of having pages.
2. Keyword Selection & Placement Makes Sense and does not Distract
- You use relevant keywords to the topic of your page. People searching online are looking for specific things. By anticipating and predicting what that is, you can help them find solutions to their problems through your content. Base your predictions on research of potential keywords and topics that fit your niche.
- Your keyword selection is topic driven. Topic clusters can play a huge role in on-page SEO. Grouping keywords from a singular topic makes it easier to create relevant, useful content for your users. Keywords alone can draw in a good amount of traffic, but you can make content that covers more ground and relevance through topic clustering. You’ll still have to work hard to create the great content, but as a result, you will get even more traffic and improved application for each visitor.
- Your use of keywords flows naturally. Your content shouldn’t feel forced – don’t keyword stuff your content in a feeble attempt to boost ranking! Although important to include critical keywords, don’t fall victim to cookie cutter techniques. Trying to place keywords unnaturally as many times as possible into your content is distracting and annoying. People seeing this will be turned off immediately. You will lose credibility and trust from users. Additionally, search engines can and will recognize this.
Let’s look at a search example for fitness & exercise:
Search: best exercises weight loss
❌ Bad Content Example: The [insert product name here] machine has the best exercises for weight loss. It can help you with weight loss since you will be doing the best exercises. And did we mention that it helps you with weight loss the fastest and has the best exercises?
✔ Good Content Example: Some of the best exercises for weight loss include compound exercises which focus on multiple muscle groups. They are effective as they can reduce time required to exercise multiple muscles in one movement, versus the need to perform several different exercises which isolate individual muscles.
- Your keywords focus on user intent & intent behind content. Ask yourself what the purpose of your page is. When creating your page, start with the end in mind – what do you want your users to get out of it when visiting? It should at the least serve that purpose (if not more) to your target audience.
3. User & Bot Accessibility / Searchability
- Your page is bot accessible. Your content needs to be searchable and accessible for web crawlers. You can’t benefit much from a page that’s hard to find within your site. Additionally, if a web crawler is having difficulty finding a page, then what makes you think unsuspecting users will find it any easier?
- Your page is easily linkable to / from other sites. Obviously this goes without saying, but creating private, login-required, password-authenticated pages will keep your content hidden from everyone else. Don’t expect your page to be linkable, nor searchable by both web crawlers or people, at all.
- Your page is easily shareable to social media. Social media is a great way to maintain or increase exposure to the public eye. Make sure that your content is shareable on multiple platforms for social media; and from all devices.
4. Design & Layout: Simplicity, Style, and Effective Outline
- Your page must be visually appealing. This is how people view and interact with your page, thus perceive your site. The better it looks, the more visitors you can retain after all the other factors discussed above have lined up (i.e. good content).
- You properly use headings. The last time you were reading a pamphlet of information, you probably weren’t looking at a wall of words, right? Give your content more organization for visitors; break it up into separate subsections & categories. Headings are a great way to summarize content therein.
- Your page is easily scannable / readable. As I just mentioned, nobody wants to look at a giant wall of text! How do you break down your information and content for the user? Your content may be 100% accurate, but if all of us reading can’t digest it in small enough portions, how much good will that do?
- Your page should be easy to navigate. Sites that are simple to read, navigate, and overall more organized not only are better for your users; they also tend to be for web crawlers, too! This helps users and web crawlers alike get to their desired destination / content faster, and gives everyone the helpful and informative experience they crave.
- Your page has a call to action or a clear way for your users to get to the next stage of their journeys on your page…and it’s blatantly obvious to them! You’ve all seen the giant button that screams “BUY NOW” asking for the preferred method of payment.
Summing it all up…
On-page SEO has the ability to dramatically effect your website exposure; especially if you’ve taken action on the criteria within the areas discussed above.
With more exposure comes a responsibility to improve utility and consider a central theme: your user! Their reason for visiting, user experience, and ability to obtain value in your content is of utmost importance.
If you’re interested in more information regarding SEO, contact us to find out how we can help you on your next project!