SEO has changed quite a bit over the years, and there are a lot of factors to monitor if you want your website to rank well.
Generally, the signals involved fall into two buckets: on-page and off-page SEO. Optimizing for the former is a far more technical process than for the latter, so we’re focusing on that area in this post.
Off-page SEO tends to center around link building, authoritative mentions and citations, which you can acquire using a digital marketing agency. It’s a process that takes time — months, years, even — depending on how competitive the search engine ranking positions (SERPs) are.
But on-page SEO is far more technical, and is focused on the process by which search engines crawl and index web pages. Generally speaking, it involves optimizing the elements on a website. Updating pages and posts is extremely beneficial in this regard, as you can include current best practices — given how much SEO changes over time — and also remove any unnecessary tags or HTML.
Strategy for improving on-page SEO is distilled down into optimizing both the front and back-end of your website, so here’s how to do exactly that.
Tips for how to optimize on-page SEO
Meta title and description must be included in every post. The good news is a WordPress SEO plugin such as RankMath or Yoast SEO can handle this task for you. Also, make sure to pick the title of your WordPress post carefully as well, given that it serves as your H1 heading.The title should be clear and concise, yet unique, so it stands out from the competition. Not only that, make sure to make it relevant to the content on the page.
Make sure to use the correct permalink structure. We advise everyone to stick to the “post name” URL structure on WordPress, which you can adjust in the “settings” area, as you can see in the screenshot below.
HTML headings allow you to organize everything on a web page into a logical structure. It should be in numerical order, starting with H1, which is known as the title tag, and describes what the page is about. Generally, it will end with H6, but you don’t necessarily have to use all headings, as long as you’re using them in numerical order to structure the sections on your pages and posts.
User experience is extremely important, so both Google and users favor sites that deliver on the search intent as quickly as possible. In that vein, it’s important to choose a reputable web hosting company that optimizes for speed, preferably managed or cloud hosting — not shared.
Make sure to install an SSL certificate on your site, as this is a ranking signal using by search engines. If you’re not sure if it’s operational you can test by seeing if your page loads using the HTTPS protocol in the browser’s URL bar.
Optimizing for mobile is extremely important now that Google is utilizing mobile-first indexing. Make sure to compress and re-size images, as well as minimize scripts and large elements on a web page.
Summary: Key website on-page SEO factors to address
Business owners tend to avoid dealing with technical issues, as it’s not fun, trendy or creative, such as brand strategy or social media marketing, but that’s a huge mistake.
On-page SEO is extremely important, and has a major impact on ranking signals used by search engines. Focus on website speed, headings, security, mobile responsiveness, URL structure and meta titles and descriptions. This list will help guide you through the major areas to emphasize.
It’s not as talked about as off-page SEO, but optimizing for on-page is a much faster process, and should be prioritized by business owners across all verticals.