The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is continuously evolving and changing.
It’s really important that you stay informed of any algorithm updates to ensure you remain as high as possible in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Below you will find our helpful hints and tips on making sure your on-page SEO works as hard as it can.
Although the days of the “keywords” meta tag are over, it is still important to consider what the main purpose of your page is and use the keywords and phrases that relate to that throughout your content. Keywords play a vital role when it comes to promoting your business and improving its visibility in search engine results. Although emphasis on keywords and keyword phrases has subsided since Google is returning ‘not provided’ results in analytics, this shouldn’t deter you. Make sure you have a clear understanding across the business which keywords you are targeting, and refer to Google Analytics to see other keywords you are ranking for.
Firstly make sure that you are allowing search engine bots to crawl your website. Check that your pages are free from “noindex” tags and your robots.txt is allowing search engines to crawl all the pages of the website that you want it to. Likewise, make sure any ‘hidden’ or admin pages are blocking search engine bots.
When it comes to URLs, the shorter and more keyword rich, the better.
Steer clear of URLs such as:
Instead, use something simpler such as:
The name of your page (title tag) is the most important on-page SEO factor, and should always include the main keyword you want to rank for. It is also important that your headers are wrapped it tags e.g. H1 (header) and H2 and H3 (subheadings), and ensure that these also incorporate the keywords you want to rank for.
Another top tip is to make sure that when you create new pages, the URLs are included in your site map.
It has been said that longer, more in-depth content is ranked higher on Google’s first page, but make sure that you are producing quality, unique and natural content rather than quantity. It is also important that all your website’s content uses keywords and keyword phrases to ensure you rank in the SERPs, but stay clear of keyword stuffing. Search engine bots are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and will spot when a keyword or phrase is being overused, which could result in your website being penalised. Ultimately, you should always write for your end users – not for Google.
Lastly, title tags and meta descriptions are important. These provide users with their first impressions of your business when in the SERPS, and you want to make sure that your content entices them to click through to your website.
Images are an essential part of your website, and there are some simple ways you can optimise them for SEO.
Internal links are there to help users navigate around your website, and so can improve your website user experience (UX). If a user lands on a page that they have found resourceful, but want to learn more about a specific product or service you have mentioned, a direct link to that service/product page can help to keep them on your site and prevent bounce rates.
Outbound or external links are just as important. These links to related pages are relevancy signals that help search engines to figure out your page’s topic. You don’t want to be linking to competitor pages, but to resources found on academic sites which tend to have URLs ending in .org or .ac.uk.
Whenever you are inserting a link, whether it be an internal or external link make sure you use natural anchor text.
Social signals may not play a direct role in ranking your site, but they can indicate to search engine bots that the information you’ve provided is useful and trusted. What’s more, the more social shares your content generates, the likelihood is that new visits to your website will increase.
Make sure your website is responsive. Since March 2018, Google has been migrating sites to mobile-first index, which means that Google uses the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking. It is also important that each page has a clear call to action (CTA) to help improve UX and prevent high bounce rates.