We know you’re working hard behind the scenes, burrowing away to drive traffic to your site.
You’re spending time and money on your campaigns and shaping up your social media presence. But are you doing all you can when it comes to the heart of your purpose – the web pages you want people to see.
On-page optimisation is vital to your success. Not only can the way that you set up your online pages attract more people, but it can also improve the chances that they will stay, and convert. How your page looks and speaks will make or break how effective it is, so the least you can do is make sure you’re ticking the right boxes and enjoying the benefits of correctly optimised pages.
There are a number of things to consider, from the hierarchy of your information, to the use of HTML code. So let’s take a look – from the top:
Use Relevant URLs
The URL of your page should show the path that’s been taken to get there, and should always relate to what the page is about. It’s one of the first things that Google is going to pick up on, and you know what they say about first impressions, right?!
It should include your homepage and any parent pages – so any that have led the way to the end point. This helps users and search engines to piece together what your page topic relates to, and who might find it useful. This doesn’t mean your URL has to be longer than your arm. Abbreviations can be used and conjunctions can be skipped, so long as the most important words are there.
Be Descriptive with Titles and Tags
After it’s picked up on what your URL is suggesting, the next point of interest for the search engine is the title of your page. This helps to verify – or to contradict – what your page is all about. When it comes to title tags, there’s no room to be shy. Say it straight, and put header tags around it – basically make sure there’s no mistaking what you want the title of your page to say.
And guess what? It doesn’t stop there.
You need to use meta descriptions to give a snapshot (of just 160 characters!) of your page to time-poor browsers. These snippets provide a very concise version of what your page is about, and appear alongside your website on search result pages. These are associated with your page and work crucially as a backup for your title – if that doesn’t say all it can say (because it’s abstract or catchy) then the meta description fills in the gaps.
Back on your page, the use of alt tags helps you to define any images that may fail to load – for a number of reasons. They are quite simply descriptions of the images used, but they play an important role in the makeup of your page. They’re a chance to use copy (keywords or relevant phrases) that back-up your page’s content without affecting your body copy.
It’s not only search engines that are looking at your title either.
Naturally, it’s what your audience are using to decide whether your page holds the answer to their query, the solution to their problem, or the fuel for their interest.
Insist on Good Quality Content
It should really go without saying, but then it’s also always worth a mention. The best way to optimise your page is to make it worth a look.
Good quality copy, engaging imagery, relevant multimedia and an easy to follow layout are all key optimisation factors. Think of your audience as the fussiest critics you could ever imagine. If they find your page hard to use, dull to read and garish to look at, then they’re not going to react favourably to you.
Keep your content on topic, to the point and of the highest quality. That way, your reputation will attract all of those good things – a bigger audience, higher quality links and a level of credibility that will excel you like nothing else.
Keep An Eye on Keywords
This isn’t about cramming as many keywords or terms onto the page as you possibly can. Not only will this not go down well with Google, but it will also undoubtedly make for awful reading. Your keywords should be used with purpose and with intent – in context with your content rather than sprinkled along on top of it.
If you’re not sure how your keywords should work, take a look at your wider SEO strategy. We have a host of SEO marketing tips that will set you well on your way, and that go hand-in-hand with your on-page optimisation plan of action.
See How Your Keywords Are Performing
If you want it to be seen, your page needs to be easily found.
Although you might be tempted to share content that holds a different format, such as a slideshow or a PDF, it’s important that your website content can be linked to, and linked from – this helps to determine it as a credible source and one that should be associated with a relevant subject.
Again, it’s not a numbers game when it comes to linking, rather than worry about how many links you have on the go, you are better to focus on gathering contextual links – ones that fully support or relate to your page.
So, are we on the same page here?
As you can see by now, it all ties in together: your SEO strategy, your social media activity, your wider marketing plan and your on-page optimisation. They all feed in and out of each other, and ultimately form a chain that ideally ends in a positive action.
Your page is more often than not the final part of the chain, so it needs to be suitably optimised and ready to perform impeccably. After all, no-one likes to fall at the final hurdle.