There are generally two types of SEO, “On-Page SEO” and “Off-Page SEO.” Both are valuable for getting your website quality traffic and ranking higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
HubSpot gives simple definitions to differentiate both:
On-page optimisation is the process of optimising both the content and the HTML source code on your site, while off-page optimisation consists of building authoritative external links that point back to your website for credibility.
From the conception of your website to its on-going content strategy, investing time and energy in on-page SEO is essential for being found organically on the SERPs and attracting quality visitors.
Here are some useful On-Page Optimisation definitions and best practices to keep in mind when optimising your website.
Title tags specify a webpage’s title and appear on the first line of any SERP listing as clickable headlines. When writing individual webpage title tags, remember to be accurate and brief – ideal title tags are only 60 characters long.
Most importantly, optimise your title tag with relevant keywords, as in the example below.
A URL is the “address” of your webpage. The main website address (e.g. pureseo.wpengine.com) appears right under the title tag on SERPs. URL slugs (e.g. pureseo.wpengine.com/services) come after your main website address. Optimising the URL slug is an important element of on-page SEO that should not be overlooked, especially for companies that release ongoing content such as blog posts.
An optimised URL slug will contain user-friendly and accurate descriptions of the web page your user is currently on. For example, our blog post about SEO best practices for writing blog posts has the URL slug /blogging-seo-best-practices.
Notice that hyphens are used for separating words, and only the most important words are included in the URL slug.
Meta descriptions are located under both the title tag and the URL on the SERPs and provide a brief summary of what your web page is about. Although they don’t have any direct impact on your rankings, they do have an impact on click-through rates.
To optimise your meta descriptions for clicks, include relevant keywords and a strong call-to-action (CTAs), as in the example below. Make full use of the ideal 160 character length to fully optimise your meta description.
H1 and H2 headings do not appear on the SERPs, but they do provide contextual cues as to what a webpage is all about. The “H1” and “H2” refer to how these headings are marked up in HTML code. H1 headings are generally top-level headings such as blog post titles, and H2 headings are the content subheadings, useful for breaking up big blogs of text.
Using headings not only help improve readability, but also are believed to be a ranking factor for SEO. Visitors are more likely to stay and read your page if their search terms are clearly visible in headings and subheadings.
Search engines are able to read boundless amounts of text in a split second, but they can’t read images. It is important to incorporate keywords in alt text, or alternative text, for all the images on your webpage. This “alternative text” is what will appear if the image does not load, and it is what will be read out by a screen reader for the visually impaired. Most website content management systems, such as WordPress, allow you to edit your alt text simply by editing your image and filling in the form.
You can also edit an image’s HTML code directly, which will look like this:
<img class=”image-name.png” alt=”image alt text” />
Your content plays the biggest part in your on-page SEO – great content is useful content. No matter what format your content is in (videos, offers, blog posts, etc.), the important thing to remember is that your website’s content must be aligned with a customer’s goals and challenges. It should be solution-based, and unique.
Your potential visitors use search engines to find answers to their problems, and it is your content’s job to give them the answers they need.
To optimise your content for search engines, always use relevant and specific long-tail keywords in the text. However, be careful of stuffing keywords in your content. Google may penalise your website for unnatural keyword usage.
Want to learn more about optimisation best practices for your web pages? Download our Essential Guide to Landing Page Optimisation below.