On-page SEO best practices

The on-page SEO best practices are as relevant today as they were earlier, and by now many of us are familiar with almost all the elements and aspects of on-page SEO.I also touched upon it briefly in my earlier article on “What is SEO“.

Why are On-page SEO factors so important for a website’s success?

That’s because the on-page SEO factors are the back bone of any website’s SEO strategy and ethical search engine optimization.Without the on-page factors the SEO strategy cannot work, it is the platform on which the SEO best practices rest. This post is an attempt to highlight the importance of the on-page SEO elements.

Some of the most critical On-page SEO factors are:-

1. Meta tags – Description and title tags
2. Design, html codes and navigation
3. Keywords
4. Relevant content
5. Image optimization

1. The most important and the least focused upon aspects are the Title and the description tags. Though they may be basic SEO elements, the titles and descriptions are what most visitors view before they feel tempted to click on the link. Can we undermine the importance of this element?

Instead of just providing your company name in the title, you might want to add a few more words so that just by glancing at your title the visitor will get an idea what your site is all about. This is a good SEO practice, not only because you are letting people know what your website is all about, but also because by doing so you are saving their time. And this holds good for all your pages. An informative title will provide visitors some information about you, and in many ways that would be a deciding factor for the visitor- to click or not to click!

Description tags are again very important. The description meta tag is where you can describe your products and services in even more detail. This is another chance to convince your visitors about why they should click on that link!

For more information and help on writing effective titles and descriptions for your web pages, refer to the title tag SEO best practices and Description tag SEO best practices.

2. SEO Design and Navigation – The core elements that hold a page together. Designing a web page depends on various factors; the most important one is, integrating your offline presence with your online presence. The key is to retain some similarities, and to keep the design user friendly and search engine friendly. The basic thing is to strive for an optimal balance between text and images so that not only does the website look good, it loads fast, and also provides relevant information to the visitors. With web page design comes the navigation part and that is another key element of on-page SEO optimization. Navigation needs to be simple; visitors should be able to explore your web site without any difficulty at all. For more information on website design and navigation best practices, you might want to refer to these posts that I wrote some time back on SEO design, SEO and navigation, and website design best practices.

3. Keywords- Another very relevant part of on-page SEO is the keywords. Whatever your core area of business is, it is helpful to know what the visitors are typing in to search for your business. Your content should contain keywords that are relevant. Some free tools that will help you get an idea are “Google keyword research tool” and “Bing keyword research tool”. Even though the results will be specific to Google and Bing, it will give you a good idea about what people are searching for in terms of your core business.

4. Content – The content part of a website is one of the most critical factors of on-page SEO. In your absence, your content has to represent you, speak for you, and convert your visitors into paying customers.That is indeed a tough task! The content along with the design and navigation elements have to work together to reatain your visitors. Your content needs to be persuasive, relevant, and meaningful in order to keep the visitor from clicking away. If you wish to know more about how you can optimize and use content, you might find these posts about writing for web pages and  “Content and SEO” helpful.

5. Image optimization – Though a part of the website design. I have mentioned this separately because it is an important aspect of on-page SEO. Whether you are using images for beautification or for navigation, images need to be optimized so that they download faster. Alt tag is another element that might be considered when optimizing images.

A web page is a mix of all the above on-page SEO elements and more. Using these elements optimally will help your web site attract and retain visitors.

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