After a decade of redesigning websites for all kinds of businesses, we’ve seen many examples of companies who paid very little attention to on-page SEO considerations. On-page SEO is the easiest, cheapest, and most important first form of digital marketing that every company should pay attention to.
First off, what is on-page SEO (also known as “on-site” SEO)?
On-Page SEO relates to optimizing all of those SEO elements which you have control over, and which you can adjust on your own website. Below we’ll briefly explain what we feel are the top 5 factors to improving your on-page SEO.
Off-Page SEO, by contrast, relates to the references and links that point to your website from outside sources such as social media, third-party blog posts, influencers, and other forms of backlinks to your site. Off-page is harder for you to control, but is still a key component to increasing your site’s “Domain Authority” This is also fundamental to improving your site’s search engine ranking.
In this post, we focus on the SEO element which you have the most control over: On-Page SEO. A business should always focus first on their on-page SEO before spending time on off-page SEO.
Since you have control over adjusting and improving your website’s on-page SEO, which in theory costs you very little or nothing at all, this form of marketing can be thought of as having the single highest return on investment (ROI) of any website marketing effort that you will initiate.
Here is a brief overview of the top 5 factors to improve your website’s on-page SEO.
1. Keywords — Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Headings
Title tags are the main description of what your website is about. It’s what users see displayed underneath your main domain on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It’s the most important single clue used by search engines to present your webpage to users that query to find a company that does what you do. To a user seeing it on a results page, it’s the first clue as to what your website, and therefore your company, is about.
Using less than 60 characters (best practice), you will include one or two primary keywords related to what users search on the internet to find a company like yours. For a software development company located in Denver, a Title tag might appear in search results as Epic Apps | Denver Mobile App & Website Developers
Meta Descriptions are very similar to the Title Tag, but they are slightly more lengthy descriptions which describe each of the other main pages of your website, besides the home page. It’s like a blurb about the page and should describe the page contents with at least one search keyword (just like the Title Tag) but using between 120 – 160 characters, if possible. Sometimes it can also be very effective to add a call-to-action in the meta description. See more on that below. Written correctly, a meta description will be far more likely to entice a user to click on that page from the search results.
Headings, especially “H1” headings, are usually the largest words on each webpage — think big bold font — which best describes the content listed directly under that H1 heading. When applicable, it’s important to try and use key search terms for those H1 headings.
If you did just one thing related to SEO before launching your website, make sure you have conversations with your website designer, or your marketing person, that address the keyword considerations on your website! There are reams of blog articles on the Internet about Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and H1 Headings and it’s worthwhile to take a much deeper dive outside this blog post’s cursory overview of those Keyword considerations.
2. Mobile Friendliness
How easy is it for a visitor to view various sections of content, and to seamlessly navigate between the different pages of your website on a mobile device? This is a fairly intuitive exercise that you and your own internal team can often conduct by yourself, before even considering bringing in expensive SEO professionals.
Make sure that no matter what type of mobile device someone views your website on (iPad, iPhone, Android, all in their various screen sizes), and no matter which type of browser they are utilizing (Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.), that they will see text that is highly readable, and that all buttons, drop downs and links are well placed and easy to click.
All media, from images to videos, should also be optimized on the screens across all mobile device types. Every time you make even the slightest update to your company’s website, always first test for mobile friendliness across all distribution channels in the mobile sphere; before you ever push those changes live! We’ve seen the smallest of updates, that you’d never think could affect mobile optimization, completely wreak havoc on a live site.
3. Content Relevance
The relevance of the content you lay out in your website is a key factor in customer / client prospects finding your website through an organic search on the Internet. The nature of the content you display, and its usefulness to a site visitor that is looking for a company like yours, will help the perfect prospects find you, even without the need of paying for web or social media advertising.
Insert keywords into all the key areas of content you write. Blogs are a great way to have both keywords, and highly useful information, both of which organically build traffic to your site, where you can hopefully convert them into a customer or client.
4. Page Load Speeds
Whether on mobile or desktop, how quickly your content opens for a site visitor is a major factor in Google’s search engine algorithms. There are free sites that can analyze your page load speeds. The best of those is Google Analytics. Here’s how to use GA for page speed analytics
5. Call to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) is a prompt or brief instruction that tells the user to take some specified action. CTA’s that relate to internet traffic conversions are critical to generating qualified lead prospects to your company. Here are just a few examples of a CTA:
– A clickable button like, ‘Get in Touch’, which opens a simple Contact form to request someone at your company to contact them.
– A link to sign up for an email newsletter.
– A downloadable PDF report, or how-to manual, often which first requires the user to fill out their contact information to receive.
– A sign-up button that offers a free trial to use your service, or a discount code to purchase your company’s products or services.
At least one key CTA should be on each of the main pages of your website. It can be the same CTA for all pages, like a contact form, or it could vary depending on the nature of the page content where it resides. Without a CTA, it can be very difficult to convert your website traffic into qualified sales leads.
For more helpful information like this, please check out other articles we’ve written.