On-page SEO is kind of like your online shop window. The shop window is the first thing people notice about your shop, and decide to enter and look around based on what they see: whether the display is something they’re interested in, if it’s well organised and aesthetically pleasing, whether it has information about the deals on offer. The front page of your online business should be as well-prepared and inviting as the shop window of businesses on the high street. Here are five aspects of on-page SEO that you can’t overlook.
The page title is the first thing someone searching for your site will see in the search results. It will be the name of the link that Google provides people to click through to your site. It should state succinctly what your website is and it’s purpose, so that people can know whether it’s a site that they want to visit. The focused use of keywords will help to direct the search engine users you’re targeting to your site. The title shouldn’t be two long, otherwise it might not show up on the search engine results in its entirety. The page title will also show up in the visitor’s browsers when they click through to the site.
Headers or headlines are the titles placed at the ‘Head’ of a piece of text. The header for this article is at the top in bold. Google’s search algorithm looks out for headers, as this will provide information about the subject matter of the page. The bigger the header is, the more important Google assumes it is, so increase the size of your header to make it stand out more. Use the appropriate keywords to summarise what the text is about. Proximity is also important: your header should be close to the text and it should be clear that it is the header of that body of text.
These are descriptions of the images that you use on your website. When you hover your cursor over an image it will often come up with a description; this is the alt tag. Use it to reference what’s in the image, as well as how it relates to the themes of the accompanying text if there is any and of your website in general. Keep it short and to the point. This information will also help people who use screen readers, which convert text on the screen into speech for those who are visually impaired or unable to read the text.
You should put keywords in your website’s URL, the web address that shows up in your browser’s address bar. Depending on what content a webpage provides, keywords should be used to describe the page. So if you have a travel site called www.cheaptravel.com and a page of your site deals with trips to Antarctica, it could be called www.cheaptravel.com/antarctica-trips. The hyphen between ‘antarctica’ and ‘trips’ makes it easier to read, so that people are more likely to click on a link to it. Try to use words for your URL rather than strings of numbers or letters, so that people can easily understand what the page will be like.
Finally, the meta description is the short description below the page title which shows up in search results. This doesn’t directly influence page ranking, but it does influence the likelihood that people will click through to your site. It should be a 150-160 character description, including spaces, of your overall website. Think of it as your elevator pitch to people considering whether to give it a look.