The world of search engine optimization can be complex. With a wide range of platforms, focuses, engines, and ranking factors it can be hard to know where to start.
One way to clarify your SEO strategy is to narrow it down to on-page search engine optimizations. With focus on things that are easily in your control.
What is on-page optimization in SEO?
On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual webpages – or their characteristics – to help them perform better in web search results. Off-page factors refer to search engine ranking factors that exist outside of the website, whereas on-page SEO means adjusting details of a domain and each of its pages to make sure that it meets the needs of searchers and visitors.
In simpler terms, it’s the concrete elements of a site that are within your control.
This definition includes the content, HTML, media, meta-data, internal links and other parts of a site that users experience when they visit it. Making sure these elements are well adjusted and easily read by search engines is how to ensure your on-page site content is optimized for SEO based digital marketing.
What you can’t control
Some of the most important ranking factors for search engines exist outside of the realm of code and beyond the control of site owners. Off-page factors include everything that happens outside of your website that can affect how it ranks.
Search engines like Google and Bing consider the inscrutable sum of a domain’s total internet presence and decide for themselves what’s good or bad. With more shares, backlinks, social media, and brand mentions, the online reputation of a site will grow. If your content meets the needs of a searcher’s query, then search engines can choose to serve it up on search results pages.
Setting out on this strategy – meta data, content and linking
Making your site search friendly goes beyond pressing “upload” and hoping for the best. On-page search optimization means focusing efforts on site elements that will increase overall search friendliness. Three powerful on-page SEO factors in your control are meta data, content, and links.
One of the most important SEO elements is the meta data that goes in the HTML code of each page. This data includes the meta title and meta description tags which tell searchers and search engines what that page is about. Making sure your meta tags are detailed with good keywords will ensure visitors know what to expect and will help search engines know what the page is about.
Content should also be made with SEO in mind so that search engines can associate the words on your page with the meta data in the code. With proper keyword placement – and clear writing – your content will match with the needs of visitors and fit with the search queries you want to target.
For search engines to crawl your site, they need to make sense of the internal links that bind everything together. Navigation bars, footer links, sitemaps, and in-content anchor links will allow search engines to discover every page and understand where it places in the site’s hierarchy. They also help users understand how to move around the site more easily.
Handling these elements of a site is what most strategic SEO agencies do – since coordinating every part of a page can be a complex task. But for most site owners, ensuring your site’s elements are useful and accurate is the best way of laying the groundwork for on-page search engine optimization.
With these things in mind you can set out to begin improving your website. This definition should help you get it right. For more information about what on-page SEO is, or how to do it, contact our team.