Whether you are trying to run a successful SEO campaign or would just like to see your site end up higher on the search engine result pages, on-site SEO is of crucial importance. Given that the main site and the various other landing pages are what all your SEO efforts are supposed to lead the traffic to, it should not really come as a surprise that unless the sites and the pages are appropriately optimised for the search engine crawlers and the potential customers that visit your site, your SEO efforts will not be as fruitful as they should be. To make sure that your website is indeed properly optimised for search engines, here are ten proven methods to improve your on-site (refers to the entire domain) and on-page (refers to a specific web page) SEO.
1. Choose the Right Web Hosting Service Provider
Before we get onto the finer details, let’s tackle the most fundamental factor when it comes to on-site SEO and that’s the web hosting. The hosting service you are using currently will directly affect your on-site SEO in more ways than one, as pointed out below.
- Page loading speeds – It affects both your SEO and customer experience
- Uptime to downtime ratio – If the site is staying down for too long, you are losing traffic
- Security and backup – There is no on-site SEO to speak of if you lose all your data
How fast your website loads or what is otherwise known as page load speeds is dependent on a number of other factors as well, which we will discuss next.
2. Improve Your Page Loading Speeds
Google has made it a point to deliver the message clearly and repeatedly that the speed of a website will play a huge role in its SERP rankings, so, adhering to that should be one of the most important steps you can take to improve your on-page SEO. Besides, any traffic that is driven towards a page will get deterred and leave anyway if the landing page doesn’t open quickly enough.
As discussed in the previous point, a fast web hosting service is a very important factor when it comes to determining the expected page load times, but there are a bunch of other things too that you will need to take care of, some of which are listed below.
- Optimise the size and number of images/videos on each page
- Link out to YouTube videos, rather than trying to self-host them
- Use CSS3 and HTML5 if you can
- Reduce redirects
- Cache resources in local memory
3. Make Your Site Mobile-Ready
Smartphones outnumber computers by a huge margin and most people use their smartphones to do the bulk of their browsing these days. As a result of that fact, any website that isn’t optimised for mobile devices is losing out on the huge smartphone traffic which the search engines are leading to your website. If you are not sure whether your pages are mobile friendly or not, simply check out Google’s own mobile-friendliness test, which should let you know where the site stands in this regard and how you can make it more hospitable to smartphone traffic.
4. Increase Your Site’s Trustworthiness with External Links
Trustworthiness is a huge factor when it comes to search engine indexing and external links can be vital to making your pages seem more trustworthy to Google and the like. There are two primary rules to keep in mind while incorporating external links and they are as follows.
- The linked websites should preferably be reputable and popular
- The category of the linked page and/or website should have relevance to your content/website
5. Build Your Own Web with Intra-Linking
Google crawlers are generally very interested in checking the links you have on your site or page, and that’s why intra-linking or internal linking is just as important as external linking. To learn how linking your own pages can be effective on-site SEO, go through the following.
- As the crawlers automatically check the links, they will also become aware of your other linked pages, thereby boosting your SEO
- Visitors are more likely to spend time on your website by clicking on the internal links
- Interlinking the site’s most important pages multiple times across different pages will register them with the search engine
6. Legible and Relevant URLs
An optimized and ideal URL looks like, http://example.com/url-guide/how-to-do-it-right/
A suspicious and unoptimized URL looks like, http://example.com/url124529zcx/how?hfg346/
As you can see, the first one makes sense to both the reader and the search engine spiders, while the latter makes sense to no one.
7. Use Original Images
You stand the risk of being blacklisted and reported for copyright infringement if you decide to use a copyright-protected image or video on your website, especially if done so without providing due credit to the original owner. It is just better to use original images of your own, but you can also utilise stock photo sites like Shutterstock or Fotolia for royalty-free pictures.
8. Quality Content
Stuffing keywords and tags into content doesn’t work well anymore as the quality of the content is now more important than anything else. To define what is meant by quality content that helps with on-site SEO, check out the following features that are expected.
- Proper use of language with attention to grammar and spelling
- The relevance of the actual content to the keywords in question
- Avoid overstuffing keywords, especially in a manner that seems unnatural
- Original content is a must
9. Finding and Including LSI keywords
LSI stands for latent semantic indexing, which in simple terms, means the tertiary keywords which are associated with the main, target keywords, but are not exactly synonymous to them. A good example would be “Android (+) smartphones” or “Google (+) Play Store,” where the keywords are related, but certainly not synonymous. A very simple way to find LSI keywords is to simply type your targeted keywords into Google search and wait for Google suggestions to provide you with the rest.
10. Optimise Your Meta-Descriptions
The meta-description is basically the info people see with each of the results on the SERP that come up after a Google search on specific keywords. As they are pretty much what decides whether your audience will click on your link or not, take note of the following to optimise your meta-descriptions.
- Don’t use auto-generated meta-descriptions
- Include some of the target keywords in the meta description
- Keep it between 160 – 320 characters (not words!)
- Write them well
Both off-site and on-site SEO work is interrelated and unless they work seamlessly with each other, no one can really expect to see the best results that they possibly can. Apply what was just discussed and there should be some significant improvements in your site’s traffic generation, provided that your off-site SEO work is up to date and ongoing as well.