Computer Screen Graphic

On-Page SEO: Top tips to boost traffic to your site

There are 67,000 searches performed on Google every single second. A whopping 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. What’s more, there are over a billion websites live right now.

What does all this mean for your website? There’s some serious competition.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are clever ways to boost your ranking and drive relevant traffic to your site. We’re talking about on-page SEO.

In this article, we’ll give you some killer strategies to take your on-page SEO to the next level. Ready for more search traffic and a higher ranking on Google?

First things first – what is On-Page SEO?

 

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising elements on a webpage in order to rank more highly on Google and gain more relevant organic traffic. This is important considering that 70-80% of users ignore paid search results in favour of organic results.

On-page SEO allows Google to quickly interpret your page’s contents, helping it understand how a human searcher would see your page. This helps Google serve up high-quality, relevant content to its users. It also helps users understand what your page is all about and whether it is relevant or useful to them.

In a nutshell, on-page SEO helps Google and users to:

  • Understand what a page is about
  • Identify a page as being relevant to a particular search query
  • Determine whether that page is useful and valuable and whether it is worthy of ranking highly in search

Done right, on-page SEO can work wonders for your site.

How to take your on-page SEO to the next level:

Create awesome content that drives traffic

 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – content is King.

You need to be publishing the kind of content that will drive traffic to your site and grow your business.

When you consider that improvements in content have been known to increase traffic by as much as a whopping 2000% it’s clear that sloppy copy simply won’t meet the mark.

But what kind of content drives traffic?

  • Content that is useful and valuable to the user – think about ‘how to’s’ ‘ultimate guides’ ‘complete overviews’ and ‘top tips’
  • Exciting, original content – do you have some exciting new research you could publish? Or perhaps you’ve got some data from your own business you could draw insights from? Share it!
  • Content that is well-written – this one goes without saying. Content full of spelling mistakes and awkward sentences isn’t fun to read for anyone
  • Content that solves a problem or answer the user’s question – what pressing questions or pain points does your target audience have? Answer them!
  • In-depth, long form content – the average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 Studies show content with at least 2,000 words that covers an entire topic consistently ranks better

 

Amazing content will attract traffic and work its magic for your ranking. After all, if Google sees that searchers are enjoying your content, they will rank you more highly. This is all because of a little thing called RankBrain.

RankBrain Explained

Google has stated that user experience signals have a huge impact on SEO. In fact, Google has declared that RankBrain is their third most important ranking factor.

RankBrain measures how users interact with search results and ranks them accordingly. If users are constantly clicking the top search result but bouncing straight away RankBrain takes note of this. If enough people are landing and bouncing, Google will remove this page from the top spot.

Likewise, if result number 5 is consistently receiving clicks from users going on to stay on the page and reading the content, Google takes this into consideration and will likely rank this content higher.

Google takes two factors into consideration:

  • Dwell time: how long users are spending on your page
  • Click-through-rate: the percentage of people clicking on your result

The key is that Google wants to present searchers with relevant content that they really want to read. If you can produce top quality content that users enjoy, your ranking will reap the benefits.

For more help on writing awesome content check out these top tips from Neil Patel.

 

Use SEO-Friendly URLs

 

Google has explicitly stated that the first 3-5 words in a URL hold more weight than the rest. What’s more, a study by Backlinko found that short URLs have the edge in search results.

This means an SEO-friendly URL needs to be short and sweet whilst at the same time including your target keyword.

For example, an SEO-friendly URL looks like this:

https://reportcentral.co.uk/seo-in-2019

This URL for the Report Central blog post on how SEO is set to change in 2019 is short, comprehensible for both search engines and users, and contains our keyword, ‘SEO in 2019.’

Compare this to a long, confusing URL such as:

https://reportcentral.co.uk/articles/354657.php

Can you tell what this page is about by just looking at the URL? Nope. Neither can we. And neither can Google.

Carefully craft your Title

 

Page titles are hugely important for on-page SEO. A title tells both Google and a searcher what the topic of your page is, helping them judge how relevant your page is to the search query.

For this reason, your title needs to be as accurate and relevant to your page’s content as possible.

What’s more, your page title is what attracts and entices users to click onto your page, meaning it can have a huge impact on your click through rate. As we’ve touched on, click through rate is another of those important factors in Google’s RankBrain which impacts on how highly your page will rank.

Within your title you’ve got a short space to describe what is on your page, include your target keyword and entice the user to click through. Make sure you:

Keep your title between 55-60 characters long

  • Include your target keyword in your title but make it natural, don’t force it
  • Add modifiers like ‘best’ ‘guide’ ‘2019 ‘review’ to your title – these can help you rank for long tail versions of your target keyword
  • Use words such as ‘how’ ‘why’ ‘where’ and ‘what’ that reflect how people search
  • Write unique titles for each of your pages – avoid duplicates

Remember – make your title compelling, clickable and accurate.

For more help with writing page titles check out this guide by Search Engine Journal.

Be Strategic with your keyword placement

 

Your keyword needs to appear throughout the body of your text. Just make sure you avoid keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing not only makes your content sound unnatural, Google actually penalises against it, meaning it will badly affect your ranking.

There’s no right amount of times to include your keyword in your content, but when it comes to keyword placement it’s good practice to include your keyword within the first 100 words. This helps Google understand what your page is all about, allowing it to rank you for relevant search queries.

If you haven’t yet carried out your keyword research check out our comprehensive guide to keyword research for SEO to get the ball rolling.

Remember Alt Tags for Images

 

There are 2 million people in the UK living with visual impairment who rely on alt text to understand what an image is. If your image fails to load it is the alt text that will appear to explain the image to users.  What’s more, alt tags are used by Google to help it identify and understand your website content meaning that it can help rank you for relevant searches.

Yes, they’re important.

A HTML image tag looks like this:

<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”image description” title=”image tootltip”>

A great alt tag needs to:

  • Describe your images as accurately as possible both in the alt tag itself and the image file name
  • Include your chosen keyword – although do not force it in

Let’s look at an example of what your alt tags should look like. Let’s say we’ve got a picture of a cat chasing a mouse:

Bad:  alt=””

Better: alt=”Cat”

Best: alt=”Black and White Cat Chasing a Mouse”

Avoid: alt=”cat kittens mouse cats cute cats”

Here, the best example succinctly describes the picture in a comprehensible manner whilst also including our keyword. It tells both users and Google exactly what this picture is all about, making it accessible to users and helping Google match it as a result to a relevant search.

To read more about how to use image tags to improve your SEO check out our handy guide here.

Your Meta Description Matters

 

A meta description describes and summarises the contents of your page for the benefit of both searchers and search engines.

The purpose of a meta description is simple – to get people to click your link. Although Google declares there is no direct link between your meta description and SEO they do hold an indirect benefit – Google uses click-through-rate as a way of figuring out if your page is a good result. The more users that click on your result, the more Google considers your page to be a good result and moves you up the rankings.

That’s why optimising your meta description is a great on-page SEO tactic.

So what makes a good meta description?

  • Length: your meta description should be up to 155 characters.
  • Call to action: including a call to action in your meta description encourages searchers to click through on your link
  • Keyword: including your target keyword encourages Google to highlight the said keyword in search results.
  • Relevance: your meta description needs to be relevant to the content on your page. Google will find out if you’re trying to trick users into clicking and can even penalise sites that do this.
  • Unique: make your description unique. Duplicate descriptions are bad for user experience.

 

Links, links, links

 

Google has stated that links are one if its top ranking factors. In fact, over 42% of Google’s search ranking algorithm is dependent on links.

Using links as part of your on-page SEO strategy is a great way to drive more traffic.

One of the biggest on-page SEO mistakes we see people make is not using outbound links on their pages. After all, outbound links to relevant pages helps Google work out what your own page is all about.

Aim to use between 2-4 outbound links per 1,000 words of content. Bear in mind that the sites you link out to reflect onto you, meaning you should ensure they are high authority sites.

On top of outbound linking, don’t forget about internal links – you should aim to include around 2-4 internal links in all your content.

Make sure your page loads FAST

 

Slow page load speeds correlate with high bounce rates. If your page takes between 1-3 seconds to load the probability that the user will bounce is 32%. If your site takes up to 10 seconds to load this figure increases to a whopping 123%. What’s more, 75% of users wouldn’t revisit a site that took more than 4 seconds to load.

Google knows that searchers don’t want to wait around for a slow loading page. It’s bad user experience. That’s why page speed it a factor in Google ranking.

For this reason, you need to ensure that your page loads quickly.

To check and improve your page speed head over to Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool. Enter your URL and run the test. This tool will analyse your page and highlight suggestions on how you can optimise it.

Be Responsive

 

Google started penalising mobile unfriendly websites in 2015. In 2018 it rolled out mobile-first indexing meaning the mobile version of your site is the primary one.

It’s understandable considering that a massive 52.2% of all searchers are carried out on mobile.

What this means for you is that if your site isn’t already mobile friendly, it needs to be. Otherwise you could lose out on valuable traffic.

But how can you make your site mobile friendly?

  • Choose a mobile responsive design – this means your site will conform to whatever screen size it’s viewed on.
  • Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) mark-up – this improves your page load time which Google prioritises
  • Use Structured data – adding structured data to your site in the form of scheme.org tells Google what the different elements of your site mean improving the chances that it will be highlighted in search results for a relevant search
  • Improve your load time – speed is important. Google looks at load time in its search algorithm

For more help on optimising your site for mobile check out our guide to 9 ways to effectively optimise for mobile.

Make use of multimedia

 

97% of page 1 results have at least one image on their page. Using multimedia on your page is a great on-page SEO strategy that’s easy to implement.

By simply using engaging images, videos, infographics, graphs and charts you can reduce bounce rate and increase the time users are spending on your site. At the end of the day we’re visual beings. We process images 60,000 times faster than words.

Using images, videos and graphics enhance user experience, reinforce your messages and make your page more appealing.

Multimedia is not only great for user experience, it has a strong SEO benefit too – it boosts those all-important user-interaction signals that Google listens to.

Google RankBrain focuses on dwell time – this is how long users spend on your site. If users are spending time watching your videos, scrolling through your images or reading your graphics, that tells Google that your page is doing something right. This is a powerful thing for your ranking.

Next Steps – ready to take your on-page SEO to new heights?

 

On-page SEO has come a long way in recent years and in 2019 it is a much more complex and human affair. Gone are the days of poor, duplicated content and keyword stuffing.

At Report Central we’re all about getting relevant traffic to your site, not poor traffic that leaves your site in seconds. We deploy our clever on-page SEO tactics to drive great traffic that spends longer on your site, visits more pages and converts in sales more often. Why not see how we can help you?

learn how report central drives results

Request a free consultation with our team of experts.

FREE CONSULTATION

Share this blog post:

award nominations and accreditations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.