April 13, 2018
With so many businesses being launched everyday, how can you ensure that yours stands out? If your business has a good, first page ranking in search engine results, what can you do to stay on top?
Studies show that on desktops, the top-ranking page in Google search results has a conversion rate of almost 35%. And on mobile devices, its conversion rate is almost 32%. This shows how important it is to improve your search engine ranking and boost your site’s visibility.
SEO helps you optimize your website so that more users are able to find you on the internet. 61% of marketers say that SEO is a top priority when it comes to inbound marketing. This means that the competition is getting tougher. You need to build your brand’s presence online by taking steps to improve search engine rankings.
Optimization of keywords, meta tags, title tags, and URLs are some of the common ways to improve a website’s SEO. But with changes and updates in how search engines rank a website, you need more than that. That is where on-page and off-page SEO come in. And this post is going to focus on on-page SEO.
On-page SEO involves optimizing a web page through internal organization, while off-page SEO refers to external configurations.
Here are some of the best ways you can improve your on-page SEO:
1. Maintaining Website Speed
47% of customers believe that it shouldn’t take longer than 2 seconds for a web page to load. And even a second of delay can reduce your pageviews by 11%, and your conversions by 7%. A fast loading website is the key to an engaged audience. On the other hand, a slow-loading page makes people impatient, which leads to a higher bounce rate.
For Google, a website that loads faster gets a higher ranking in search engines. Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps you determine the total time taken for your website to load. Once you know what’s slowing you down, you can take the necessary steps to improve your website speed.
2. Using AMP
Mobiles account for over 50% of website traffic, and this number is only going to increase in the coming years. For this, it is important that websites load almost as fast on mobiles as they do on desktops. This is what led to the creation of Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP.
AMP is nothing but a coding standard that helps websites load instantly on mobile phones. When you do a simple Google search, all the top-ranking results have an AMP tag, especially when it comes to news stories. You’ll be able to see a little lightning bolt symbol on top.
Although it is not owned by Google, it has the company’s support. This basically means that when it comes to indexing websites, Google’s search engine algorithm will consider AMP. With AMP, websites have seen a 20% increase in sales conversions.
3. Responsive Site
A responsive site means that the site has been designed to cater to the design needs of different devices. In 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness of a website will be an important criteria in search engine rankings.
Mobile search optimization is important for strong on-page SEO since there are more people using smartphones. At least 90% of people in the U.S. use a smartphone. People use smartphones for searches to buy things, to read, and to access social media.
Desktop websites are heavy and cannot load as well on mobiles and tablets. To improve user experience, businesses need a responsive design so that desktop, mobile, and tablet users all have the same experience. The idea is to ensure that the website understands which device is in use, and then adapts to it.
4. Creating Engaging Content
Nothing beats good content when it comes to search engine rankings. Original and relevant content gets a better search ranking.
For Google to crawl a website, the content needs to be at least 500 words. In fact, the average length of articles on the first page of Google ranking is 1,890 words. Long-form content of over 1,000 words tends to get more likes and shares. This means more visibility in search engines.
Make sure that the content is written in a simple and concise way. People should be able to understand what you’re saying so they can stay engaged, otherwise they will simply bounce away.
Using Long-tail Keywords for Optimizing Content
Keyword optimization is important when it comes to SEO but with long-tail keywords, your website will get more diverse and relevant traffic. There will be plenty of websites which may be using same or similar generic keywords but if you want to target your niche, you need to stand out.
A long-tail keyword may not be used very often in search engines but they lead to a target relevant audience. Long-tail keywords are valuable and more specific to a customer’s needs. Run a competitors search and figure out all good keywords that your competitor is targeting then start from there to get some traction. There could be 100’s of long tail keywords to monitor for which your website might be ranking but that are unknown to you. A ranking tracking tool like ProRankTracker can be a great help in this area.
5. Use of Internal Links
Internal links connect a web page with another page on the same website. If your web page contains 2-3 internal links, then it helps the search engine determine the relationship between the pages. A search engine crawler then gets an idea what your website is all about and then ranks your site accordingly.
That’s why internal links are important for good on-page SEO. They help a user navigate your website smoothly. And even for a search engine crawler, if there are no internal links, those web pages are left out of indexing and they simply don’t exist. A good website should have links to other relevant internal pages spread out evenly throughout the website.
6. Use of HTTPs
In 2014, Google made HTTPS encryption for URLs a ranking signal. HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is basically a website security certificate known as the SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate.
This makes any kind of data breach difficult by making any external sharing of data almost impossible. HTTPS makes a website trusted by Google. It is very important for ecommerce and banking websites especially when more people are making online transactions.
It is believed that HTTPS enabled sites get a very minor boost in search engine rankings, but it is still important for on-page SEO, especially since Chrome puts a “not secure” mark on non-HTTPS sites. Seeing this mark could alarm many of your visitors, who could end up leaving soon after landing on your site. This will increase your bounce rate, affecting your search ranking.
7. Use of Structured Data
Structured data is nothing but organized data. In SEO, structured data means a markup on the web page that provides more details about its content. It helps search engines to go through your website and understand what it is about.
Here’s how it will look in search results pages. People will be able to see details such as the star rating, number of reviews, price, stock status, etc.
Search engines like Google have a markup tool that can help you with structured data for your website for improving on-page SEO. Structured data means enhanced search results with more images, videos, GIFs and other styling elements. This increases click-through rates and drives traffic.
Google, the undisputed market leader in search engines, has made a lot of changes in its search algorithm in the last few years. With these new factors for website ranking such as good loading speed, AMP, HTTPS, internal links, structured data, and engaging content, SEO has become all the more technical.
Boosting on-page SEO through these techniques is time-consuming, and can be a problem for someone who doesn’t understand these technicalities. If you know more ways to improve on-page SEO, let us know in the comments below.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.