On-page Optimisation: Content Optimisation and All You Need for Higher Page Rank!
On-page Optimisation Goals
Your on-page goals could be to:
- Rank high for keywords on SERPs
- Increase your CTRs
- Increase the on-page time of your customers/users
- Generate natural backlinks to your content and increase page and domain authority ultimately
Now let’s break down the above goals and what they actually mean for your business. Your On-page goal should be more than just ranking high on SERP because there is no point in ranking on top of the SERPs if people aren’t clicking through, right? Also, it is of utmost importance to retain those users on your site for a longer period of time by making sure they are reading your content, consuming it, absorbing the brand values and finally converting to customers.
I believe we all know what happens when a user clicks through and leaves the website as soon as they land on the page, simply because what the user saw isn’t what they were looking for. For those who don’t know what happens, I’ll tell you. There is a metric called bounce rate. A bounce rate is when someone leaves quickly or closes the browser tab without performing any action on your site after clicking through to your website. A higher bounce rate indicates to Google that the page does not serve the users intent, which negatively affects your ranks.
What impacts these 4 goals?
To rank a page, a search engine looks at more than 200 ranking signals and out of which the most important ones are getting the page indexed by google by generating valuable content and getting quality backlinks to it. Remember, quality greater than quantity!
CTR or click-through rate can be improved by optimising page attributes such as meta titles, meta descriptions that compel and persuade people to click through. One way to do this effectively is by having a compelling title or description or one that contains a CTA (Call to Action) depending on what type of industry you are in.
What impacts your site visits is delivering high-quality, valuable content that is relevant to your visitor. Factors like the average time spent on the page are influenced by this, because the more a user spends time on your page, the more is the chances of them converting/achieving your website goals.
The goal mentioned above and this one are highly related because you want users to share your content on various platforms and other websites. The users who share your content are the ones that consumed it and found it valuable. This way, we can build backlinks naturally and increase the Domain Authority and Page Authority.
To sum up, there is more to on-page optimisation goals than just high rankings.
Identifying Page Attributes
When a bot crawls your website, it looks at different page attributes such as page title, meta tags, heading tags, internal & external links etc. A bot or a spyder also looks at the structure of your page. Now that we know a search engine looks at all these elements, it is very important to know how we can find these attributes as well.
Here are two ways in which you can locate these attributes:
Method 1: View Page Source
The first way to locate these attributes is to View Page Source. To do that, you have to right-click on the page and click on “View Page Source”, when you do that a window like this will open up.
You can view all the page attributes here. The best part is you can do it on any page, be it your website or your competitor’s website.
The information you look at here can be intimidating and not very user-friendly if you’re new to SEO. Now we can look at a different, much easier way to analyse the page attributes:
Method 2: Moz Bar plugin
Moz Bar is a plugin that gives instant metrics while viewing any webpage. The ‘Page Analysis’ option on the Moz Bar allows us to view on-page elements & general attributes etc.
This plugin lets you view all the page attributes with ease. There are also other plugins available such as SEO Minion.
Mapping Pages to Keywords
The first step to mapping pages to keywords is identifying your top-performing pages. This can be done through the Google Analytics tool or Search Console. First, you need to extract your top-performing pages and sort by highest performing/traffic driving to low performing pages in an excel sheet. You can add more columns to the sheet with your current page attributes such as page title, heading tags, and target keywords.
Then, you need to make sure if you have specific pages dedicated to particular keywords. You can’t have one page to target two different topics and keywords associated with it. By performing this activity, it will give you a fair outlook on if you have enough pages to target the right keywords.
It is good to have one primary keyword and relevant secondary keywords targeting the page but avoid stuffing keywords as search engines don’t appreciate it.
As most of you have noticed, for certain search queries, search engines will give you results that often contain an image pack. If you’re a business that requires having to present to users with relevant images or visuals, image optimisation can help you improve your conversions and traffic.
Image Optimisation Best Practices
Understandably, you’d want to present your users with high-quality images. But it is also important to consider if they are going to wait long enough for your image to load.
I’m talking about your page load time here, considering the mobile users and searches increasing day by day. Having a large image on your webpage means it will significantly take time to load and more load time will result in users bouncing off your site and exiting your pages. And trust me, this could substantially affect your rankings negatively.
There are plenty of online tools available to resize your images without compromising on quality. Now you might have a question of what is the maximum size that I can have for an image. I would recommend you keep it not bigger than 250kb.
Using Keywords in your Image
You want to make sure that you’re using relevant keywords in your image attributes.
- You need to have a descriptive & keyword rich file name.
- You also need a descriptive alt text. This would help the search engines understand what your image is about.
Meta Title & Meta Descriptions
Meta Title & Best Practices
The meta title is a strong signal to search engines and tell them what the page is about, and it is a significant ranking factor. Also, page title shows up on the SERPs, and it can impact your CTRs. It is important to make sure that your page title stands out from your competitors to win those CTRs and avoid using boring and generic page titles:
- Use your target keyword on the page title. Preferably at the beginning of the title.
- An optimal length we recommend for a page title is 60 characters. Make sure you include your target keywords in those first 60 characters as anything more than that might get truncated on Google SERPs.
- Use titles that answer your users’ questions by using “How to”, “Why” etc., use numbers as this can help improve more CTRs to your webpage.
Meta Description & Best Practices
Meta Descriptions are small snippets of information that appear on SERPs just below your page title, and these can influence users to click through to your website. This is an opportunity for you to prove to your users that you’re providing value and what they can expect from your page. So it would help if you had a meta description that is compelling, interesting.
Here’s a hack to write the best meta descriptions. Look at the search results and see what your competitors are doing. Are they using the right keyword? Is their meta descriptions compelling enough and does it contain and Call to Action? Once you identify this, you can start working on how to make your meta description even better than them.
Keep in mind that you are writing for users and not for the search engines, so:
- Use your target keywords and related keywords, preferably at the beginning of the description.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Make it easily readable.
- An optimal length we recommend for a meta description is 160 – 200 characters.
- Meta descriptions need to be aligned with the content on your page.
Heading tags relate to three of the goals on our conversion path: higher rankings, improved CTRs and traffic. Heading tags are one of the least considered elements on most of the websites and are often not implemented correctly. Heading tags range from H1-H6 and form a hierarchical structure to your page. The H1 tag on a page can tell the search engines what the page is about while the H2 & H3 tags can help the page while optimising for multiple keywords and also can help you appear for featured snippets.
Heading tags help you structure your page to make it easily readable and consumable for your users and thereby improving the user experience.
How to identify the heading tags on a page?
You can either use the ‘View Page Source’ method or use a plugin like MozBar view heading tags for any page.
Heading tags & common mistakes
We often see that heading tags are used by website owners to format the text. But what you need to understand is that heading tags are structural elements and should not be used for formatting purposes.
Heading tag best practices
- An H1 tag should describe the main heading/topic of a page, and there should be only one H1 tag per page.
- H2 tag can be used to address subtopics and related topics & keywords falling under that main heading.
- H3 tags are sub subheadings of H2 tags and so on and so forth.
- There can be multiple H2 and H3 tags, but only one H1 tag.
On-page optimisation is a continuous process. The strategy that works for you today may not see the same results tomorrow. So it is good to keep an eye on your on-page elements & competition to optimise it to the best possible extent.