The rising popularity of e-commerce presents a time of great opportunity and great risk for many companies providing a product or service online. While the total increase in the volume of e-commerce sales indicates that more customers than ever are shopping online, it also means that it has become more competitive than ever for those businesses hoping to get a slice of the pie. This is particularly true as we head into the annual e-commerce rush that typically accompanies the holiday season.
If you want your content to have an impact online and to reach your intended audience, however, you will at some point need to grapple with on-page SEO.
Although on-page SEO is, as we will argue, absolutely essential to reaching your audience, within the content marketing world, it is often overlooked in favour of off-page SEO factors – such as link building and other technical features. The reality is that off-page SEO will never have the impact you want it to until you get to grips with the important on-page SEO factors you need to be mindful of.
With that said, in this short article, we will give you a quick overview of what on-page SEO factors matter when it comes to boosting the presence and reach of your content and what the best tips, tricks and strategies are to implement.
On-page vs. off-page SEO
On-site or on-page SEO essentially captures everything you do to try to optimise or improve the ranking of a website in search engine result listings. The aim of improving on-page SEO is to increase the organic traffic you earn through search results.
Some of these practices and techniques include things such as title tags, internal links and URLs, as well as ensuring the quality and relevance of the content itself.
This differs from off-page SEO, which is essentially optimising your webpage for everything that happens off the website. Off-page SEO would typically cover things such as backlinks or inbound links, which direct traffic to your website from another website.
Why does on-page SEO matter?
As you might have guessed by now, on-page SEO is important because it will have an impact on how the search engine algorithms understand your content. It does this by filtering through the content contained on a particular page of your website and identifying material contained on it that is relevant to whatever the individual user is searching for.
In this sense, optimising your on-page SEO is a way of making the search engine’s life easier by showing it the relevance of what you have to offer. Although the modern search engine is incredibly sophisticated, it still needs a little bit of help now and then.
On-page SEO is also important, given how little control you have over off-page SEO. This will obviously depend on what type of off-page SEO you are engaging in, though as a general matter, on-page SEO is easier to control.
Content-based optimisations for on-page SEO
Before we get into some of the more technical things you can do to improve your on-page SEO, we should first set out some fundamentals when it comes to the type of content you write.
The first thing you should keep in mind in this regard is that search engines such as Google have always prized premium, high-quality content. This has typically been expressed as expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, which are the three principles that Google keeps in mind when ranking content.
Google, as a search engine provider, wants to ensure that high-quality search results are getting returned to users, and focusing on the quality of the content ensures that users are provided with search results that are useful. For this reason, Google prioritises expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness when selecting the metrics to measure search results.
Simple on-page SEO tips to implement
Now that we have got a general sense of what on-page SEO is, why it matters, and what the Google search engine algorithms are looking for, let’s take a look at some simple tips that you can implement right away. So, keep the following in mind the next time you are drafting up an article or blog post:
- Put target keywords upfront: Although a basic tactic, ensuring that your targeted keywords come up within the first 100 to 150 words of your content will ensure that it ranks better. This is because Google search algorithms weight terms that show up early.
- Use title tags:Title tags – particularly the H1 and H2 tags – help Google to better understand the structure of the page and the content it contains. Although many publishing platforms automatically add these tags, this might not always be the case. Ensure that your article has a clear structure that uses H1 and H2 tags to help out the algorithms! Additionally, for added effect, try to use your target keywords in any H1 or H2 tags.
- Bring balance to keyword density: Although the conventional wisdom used to involve stuffing an article or blog post with as many keywords as possible, search engines have clamped down on this practice in recent years. Although the likes of Google have said that keyword stuffing won’t get you anywhere, we still know that having an appropriate amount of keywords will boost your rankings. With that said, finding a balance is important. While you don’t want an overstuffed article, you still want to give the algorithms enough to chew on. A good metric is to shoot for a keyword every 250 to 300 words or so.
- Use outbound links: As we have written about the importance of link building on here many times before, we don’t need to go into too much detail. Nevertheless, using outbound links is incredibly important to your overall ranking.
- Keep track of your URLs: An often overlooked element of on-page SEO is what your URLs look like. The terms you use in the URL of the page you are trying to optimise will show up in search results, so don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Keep them neat and keyword relevant!
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should not neglect on-page SEO. If you are serious about wanting your content to have an impact online and to reach audiences in the way that you want it to, this is something that you will inevitably have to grapple with. With that said, if you are left with any lingering questions about how to implement the tips, tricks and strategies set out above into your own content marketing strategy, please feel free to get in contact with a member of the Purecontent team today!