You probably already know that on-page search engine optimization (on-page SEO) is crucial to helping your pages rank in Google’s results. But if you’re new to on-page SEO, the process of optimizing your website’s content and code can seem daunting at first glance. If you have a WordPress website, however, the process isn’t quite as complicated as it may seem at first glance, and this guide can show you exactly how to get started with optimizing your site’s content for search engines using WordPress.
- What is On-Page SEO?
- 10 Essential On-Page SEO Steps
- 1. Title Tag Optimization
- 2. Meta Description Optimization
- 3. Heading Tags Optimization
- 4. Images SEO
- 5. Video SEO
- 6. Keywords Research & Optimization
- 7. Anchor Tags Optimization
- 8. Landing Page Optimization
- 9. User Engagement Optimization
- 10. Content Structure & Text Readability Optimization
- Final Thoughts
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is one of many factors that contribute to your website’s overall search engine optimization. On-page refers to all of your website elements that influence how it appears in search engines. This includes things like keyword research, optimizing titles and meta descriptions, writing content on target topics and so much more. Of course, on-page factors are not only applicable to WordPress websites! To improve your site’s overall rankings, you should consider a wide range of elements – including off-page factors such as link building. However, an on-page audit is an excellent place to start when analyzing your overall web presence and ranking opportunities. In today’s guide, we will discuss how to get started with on-page SEO for WordPress websites.
10 Essential On-Page SEO Steps
1. Title Tag Optimization
Optimizing your title tag will improve how you rank in search engines, as well as increasing click-through rates from search results. Title tags are usually short and concise. The first words in your title tag should be keywords you want to target. Keep it under 60 characters so that it doesn’t get cut off by Google when being displayed in search results.
Try not to use more than two H1 tags on a page, or else it may look spammy. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your title tag! This is critical; if no one knows what they’re supposed to do on your website, they won’t hang around very long. A simple Learn More can go a long way here.
2. Meta Description Optimization
A brief explanation of meta descriptions and how they affect search engine rankings is provided here. Simply put, meta descriptions are important because Google displays them in search results (high CTR = more clicks) and because some search users tend to glance at search result snippets before deciding which result to click on. Meta descriptions can be between 100 – 160 characters in length, should contain relevant keywords, and must not be duplicated within a website.
Keep in mind that what we’re doing here isn’t on-page SEO, per se, but you’ll notice throughout Step 2 that small changes made on a page-by-page basis will eventually accumulate into big changes for an entire site’s indexation rate. For example: if your average SERP snippet looks like [keyword] expert [location], having an optimized description on your target keyword’s landing page could increase conversions by attracting searchers who prefer to engage with local businesses rather than national ones.
3. Heading Tags Optimization
Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are very important in search engine optimization. It is generally believed that a good website should have at least one heading tag on every page. For instance, having an H1 tag and an H2 tag on each webpage is a common practice. Search engines often use heading tags as a ranking factor. In general, if you want your site to rank well on Google or any other search engine, you must create quality content while using proper heading tags throughout your site.
In addition to increasing the overall quality of your site’s content, these headings also make it easier for users to scan your pages more quickly and efficiently. Make sure that when you write your posts and pages you remember about strategic keywords addition not only in text but also in titles (h1).
4. Images SEO
Use Alt Text, File Names, and Image Titles: Image optimization is important. Images account for more than half of all website traffic. Make sure your images are optimized to give your readers a good experience. Here are some tips for image SEO on WordPress websites.
Apply relevant keywords to image file names and alt text: The alt attribute contains the alternative text for visually impaired users or search engines that can’t display an image. Keep it short but descriptive so people know what your picture shows. For example, “A Great Way To Start A Food Truck Business” would be a good alt text for an image about starting a food truck business. Image titles are used in video thumbnails and also should describe what your images show.
5. Video SEO
It’s not enough that you create great videos; it’s also important that you optimize them so people can find them easily through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So how do you optimize a video? There are two aspects of video optimization: On-page and Off-page optimization. The first refers to optimizing your actual video file – with tags and titles, for example – while off-page optimization means optimizing your YouTube channel, website, social media profiles (Facebook), other videos on YouTube (related videos), etc., in order to get more views from YouTube searches.
Complete video SEO in 3 steps:
- Add Tags: As soon as you publish your video on your website, click Add Tags and add up to 15 relevant keywords. Don’t just add random keywords either – think about what kinds of words your viewers would use to find your video. If you make cooking videos, for example, then search terms might include how to cook, recipes, cooking tips, or food. But avoid adding too many tags (it will come back to bite you).
- Title Your Video: This is another critical step in on-page optimization. Give your video a title that includes your target keyword(s). Make sure it accurately describes what viewers will see when they play your video. That being said, don’t stuff your title full of unnecessary keywords hoping to rank higher. Keyword stuffing will do more harm than good.
- Upload a Good Quality Video: First impressions matter! After all, if your video doesn’t look professional and well done, why should anyone bother watching it? Luckily there are lots of easy ways to quickly improve both audio and visual quality without breaking the bank. Watch time of a video is a key factor in improving video SEO.
6. Keywords Research & Optimization
Keyword optimization starts with keyword research followed by strategic use of the best-shortlisted keywords or keyphrases in your content. From your keyword research, you should shortlist the following, A primary keyword, secondary keywords, Related or supporting keywords, Keyword questions. Incorporating user intent while researching keywords will help you select even more targeted keywords that align with your product or service.
Basic ways to incorporate our keywords for on-page SEO would include adding keywords to the following:
- Page Title
- Page meta description
- Headings, subheadings & body text
- Image alt text, title, file name and captions
- Video title and description
Optimized through repeating key phrases. Search engines will then be able to easily find and index your content based on these terms thereby increasing site traffic via search engine results pages (SERPs). Just remember to keep it natural and not overstuff the keywords.
7. Anchor Tags Optimization
What are Anchor Tags? You’ve probably heard of Anchor Text, or maybe you haven’t. Let me tell you how Anchor Text is a key factor in both on-page and off-page SEO. Whenever we create a link from one webpage to another (on your site or on someone else’s), we give it some text, called an Anchor Tag (Or an Anchor Text). This anchor tag tells search engines what that link should be used for.
There are 2 kinds of anchor tags: Internal links: These links appear on your website – these only help people get around your website. External links: They are links between pages on different websites. We call them external because they don’t actually reside on our site; they reside on other sites.
8. Landing Page Optimization
The meat of your landing page is going to be your copy, so it’s important that you write and edit it with precision. Landing pages are a crucial part of any on-page SEO strategy: if you don’t nail your landing page, you won’t get conversions—and that means your webpage will be overtaken in search results by other pages with better conversions! Yes, google keeps track of user engagement on your webpage and uses this information to rank your landing page higher or lower in search results. This is why conversion rate optimization (CRO) is such an important process involved in on-page SEO.
According to Kissmetrics, 44% of people abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. It also takes only half a second for users to decide whether they like your website or not. In addition, around 55% of consumers typically make a purchasing decision within 90 seconds on e-commerce sites. That’s how much time you have from when someone lands on your landing page before they form an opinion about your business and leave without buying anything.
All these numbers mean one thing: there is no room for error when writing a professional landing page copy! Make sure your webpage loads quickly and appears user-friendly while offering relevant content tailored to each visitor’s interests.
9. User Engagement Optimization
The next step is user engagement optimization, using time on site and bounce rate. Engagement metrics signal Google that your content is interesting, credible, and relevant. The length of time people spend on your page tells search engines how useful they think your content is. A lower bounce rate means users are finding what they’re looking for immediately without having to scroll through other pages on your website. This guides search engines like Google in ranking you higher as more people are staying longer on your website compared to other websites.
If people only glance at your page and don’t find what they’re looking for, it can negatively impact your rankings on Google. Optimizing your content to generate a better quality score should be goal number one; however, creating rich content is also important because it increases stickiness (engagement) which has a positive effect on on-page SEO.
10. Content Structure & Text Readability Optimization
Writing your content so that it has a solid and well-thought-out structure can be key to increasing readership. There are many factors that determine how well-structured content is. The most important factor is the proper use of heading tags. Other factors to consider while structuring your content are intonation (using exclamation marks, question marks, inverted commas), simplicity of language, making lists where possible, and breaking up text with bolded words.
Use Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Score Algorithms. There are many online text readability scoring algorithms, but one of my favorites is The readability index by Rudolf Flesch (Flesch, 1955). The original version of The Readability Index Score formula was developed in 1955 based on an analysis of a broad sample of American schoolbooks.
The Flesch Reading Ease score range is from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating that the content being analyzed has better readability or ease of understanding for readers. This should not be confused with other forms of reading ease formulas that only consider sentence length without any regard to how difficult those sentences might be due to vocabulary level and reading grade level. Having a better readability score on your website aids in on-page SEO.
The main purpose of any website is to help your business rank higher in Google, drive traffic to your site, and convert them into customers. On-page SEO is one of many powerful strategies you can use on your site in order to attract more visitors, search engines crawlers, and improve your rankings. The best way to ensure that you are doing everything possible with regards to on-page SEO is through a professional audit or consultation with a professional seo company or individual.