On-page or on-site optimisation is an element often overlooked by web developers. Their focus is to create a standout website with all the bells and whistles that you may or may not have asked for. However, whilst design is important, having an on-page optimisation strategy counts as a strong SEO factor.
1. Not Optimising the Title Tag and Meta Description
Title tag and meta description are part and parcel of the internet. They are valuable attributes that you need to optimise on your website. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s a picture to help jog the memory – we see this everyday in search results page.
By optimising the title tag (purple colour text) and the meta description (grey colour text), it helps users understand what your website is about. Make your first impressions last. Title tag has a 70 character limit, so ensure that it engages and encourages the user click to your website. Include your brand name, 1 or 2 keywords you want to rank for and use an ‘action word’ to make user click to your website.
Next, follow this up with more on-page boost. Make sure to have an H1 title tag that matches keywords in your title tag. The image shown below is the H1 tag. In Chrome browser you view source code, which you can do by using CTRL+U, or right clicking on the homepage and then on ‘View page source’.
Moving on to meta description…You have a 160 character limit and if you go over, you’ll see an ellipsis (…) where your description gets cut off. So make sure to optimise for your user and get all words that will help them click through to your website.
2. Not Using Keywords for Your Business on the Home Page
Sometimes you come across websites not using the keywords that they should be targeting because they are too intent on explaining how wonderful their business and website are. Sites simply forget to address the people who are searching for their business!
If you have done your keyword research then you’re ready. Otherwise, keep an eye out for a future post on how to do keyword research and target the keywords for your website.
Not having the right keywords for your SEO campaign means that it’s failed before you even started.
When you have the right keywords it means you’re targeting the right market. For example if you’re selling an high-end product, you’ll want to make sure that they are people who can afford your product. As well as making sure they are in the market for your product.
Remember to include your keywords on the homepage and at a minimum you need to have 250 words on the homepage. 400 is a good target to aim for.
Google is smarter since RankBrain came out in 2015. It’s the 3rd most important factor in ranking a website in Google. RankBrain’s algorithm is machine learning artificial intelligence (AI). RankBrain’s job is to determine the searcher’s intent and what they are looking for.
As a result, the words used on the homepage or any other page should be answering what the searchers are intending. Make the user experience a joy to your visitors, this will help them remember you so that they come back for more of what you’re serving.
3. Not Submitting a Sitemap to Search Engines
Sitemap is an XML file that lists the web pages on your website. The file should be easily accessible to help search engines crawl your website and the aim is to help the search engine discover all of the pages that you want indexed.
So, now we know what a sitemap is. Let’s get the robots.txt check out of the way. Type yourwebsite.com/robots.txt in your browser. You can also check out digitaluncut.com/robots.txt file to get a better picture of what I mean.The three lines below “User-agent:*” essentially means ‘allow all search engines to crawl the website’, and we’re disallowing /wp-admin/ folder and allowing the /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php
So here is how you create a sitemap. WordPress users can download the Yoast SEO plugin – this will make your life so much easier! The plugin will create an XML sitemap without you doing anything. All other users can make use of sites like www.xml-sitemaps.com to create their sitemap.
Once your sitemap has been created it can usually be seen at an address like this:
Having a sitemap will help your website pages to be found by search engine crawlers and helps your web page to be indexed in the search engine results page.
If you have optimised all three of these mentioned areas, you have helped boost your website ranking.
There are 2 other rankings factors which will get your website ranking on page one of search engines. A major ranking factor which has always existed is links or backlinks pointing back to your website. These need to be white hat seo ethical links that add value to the user on that website. A meaningful anchor text helps the user to click from the link found back to your website. The other factor is quality content on your website, starting with the web copy to blog posts which should always be valuable to your users.
Behind every website and search made are people who want to connect with other people, so make sure that your website and content resonate with your users.