As a content creator or digital marketer, your ultimate goal is to ensure that your potential customers and clients are finding you online. But how do you ensure that?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tried and tested way of establishing online your presence. There are lots of different techniques that you can employ to improve ranking on your website, and they fall into two categories: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
Both strategies are important and they cover how search engine algorithm functions in ranking your content. In this guide, we cover on-page vs off-page SEO strategies and share how you can utilize both to improve your position on search engine ranking pages (SERP).
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO typically deals with the pages on your website, both in regards to the backend structure of your site and the content.
On-page SEO optimization’s goal is to improve your web pages to rank better in search engine results and drive qualified targeted and organic traffic to your site.
It gives you control over the various factors that influence rankings by utilizing what you have full control over, such as title tags, keywords, page speed, site accessibility, mobile usability, etc.
Below is a list of our best on-page SEO techniques that should certainly help drive traffic to your website:
1: Optimizing Keywords
Keywords are the leading characteristics of on-page SEO. They assist search engines to identify what a given page is all about. Your first step to on-page SEO optimization is to research and build a list of keywords to target, and it’s always an ongoing and ever-changing process.
Unfortunately, keyword research is often the most challenging part of on-page SEO optimization. You need the right tools to help you identify keywords that can give you quick wins without spending a fortune on off-page SEO strategies such as link building.
To help you find some high-volume, low-completion keywords in your niche, our BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence can help you out. You can also use the tool to identify local keyword opportunities, related keywords, long-tail keywords, and more content ideas for your website.
2: Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3)
Content headers are meant to enhance user experience. The H1 tag (headline) is often the first element that visitors see when they land on a page. Headings reassure visitors that they have landed in the right place and found what they were searching for.
Optimizing H1 tags for a specific search query and search intent can make your page to be a featured snippet at the top of Google search results, opening up your site for more traffic
Other title tags such as H2, H3, H4, etc., tell visitors and search engines what your page is about and establish relevance. Always break your content into sections using multiple title tags to improve readability and scalability, which all improve ranking.
Overall, here is how to use title tags to optimize your content for search engines:
- H1 tags for the title of your page.
- H2 tags for the primary subheadings on the page.
- H3 tags are nested within H2 tags to further break up the text.
3: Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a brief paragraph of text that tells website visitors as well as search engines what the page is all about. Although today’s Google algorithm (AI) can tell the meaning and content of a page without a meta description, including one is still a great way to grab the users’ attention and get them to click through to your website.
When creating a meta description for any page, ensure that it contains your focus keyword and is between 135 and 160 characters long.
4: Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URL
Google loves user-friendly elements, so ensure that your page’s URL is search engine friendly. Your URL should basically contain the keyword you’re targeting.
URLs with words that are relevant to the content and structure of your site are much friendlier for visitors navigating your site.
For example, if your target keyword for a page is “best shoes for hiking,” you can optimize your URL to contain the keyword in it as in the example below:
We also recommend using a hyphen in between words, sticking with lower case letters, making URLs short, and excluding dates and numbers.
5: Create Useful, Comprehensive Content
The content on your pages should be useful to visitors. If they search for something very specific and end up on your page, they should be able to get what they’re looking for. This is where our BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence tool again comes in handy. It helps you analyze the user intent of a keyword so you can tailor your content to effectively meet the needs of searchers.
Your content also needs to be easy to read and provide real value to the end-user. Google has various ways of measuring the usefulness of your content, the readability level, and much more. Aim for copies of at least 500 words long since Google seems to prefer pages with a lot of great content surrounding your targeted keyword.
Also, each page must contain unique content and directly answer the search intent or your visitors’ queries. Try to push the keyword closer to the start of the first paragraph, but ONLY if it sounds natural.
6: User Experience, Speed, Mobile-friendliness, and Core Web Vitals
Google has recently introduced new updates and integrated RankBrain, a move that has significantly shifted the way websites are ranked. From a keyword-centered approach, Google has shifted towards a user-experience oriented approach.
As a result, bounce rates and unresponsive website designs have become the biggest threats to website ranking.
In terms of website speed, 40% of visitors don’t wait more than three seconds for a website to load before bouncing off, according to recent studies. If more and more visitors keep bouncing off your site to competing domains, the search engine will deem your content unsuitable, hurting your SEO efforts.
Additionally, the rise in the number of mobile devices has prompted Google to reprimand unresponsive websites. Be sure to optimize your website to function well on smartphones and other mobile devices too. In fact, Google now indexes sites primarily on mobile versions of their websites.
To enhance user experience, Google unveiled Core Web Vitals in spring 2020, a common set of signals that the search engine considers “critical” to all users’ web experiences. Some of the aspects that the webmaster looks at are page visual stability, load time, and interactive experiences.
7: Internal Linking
You probably use anchor texts frequently whenever you hyperlink texts in your content. Anchor texts play a vital role in SEO optimization.
Internal links refer to anchor text links to web pages within your website. Be sure to optimize the descriptive keywords in your anchor texts to establish your site’s architecture and help spread link juice to other pages within your website.
8: Schema Markup
Finally, adding structured data helps search engines to better understand the content of your page. Google also uses unique types of structured data to display “rich results” in SERPs, such as step by step instructions with an image carousel or a recipe with start ratings.
These rich results usually appear at or near the top of SERPs and often have higher click-through-rates than regular organic listings. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to add structured data to your website, such as using plugins, Google Tag Manager, etc. However, we would advise you to involve a professional if you don’t feel comfortable writing code.