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Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO, the first (but most important) 10%

SEO consists of two main elements; onsite SEO and offsite SEO. In order to create a really great campaign which will make a substantial difference to your onsite visibility, both elements of your campaign will need to be optimised.

For most SEO campaigns, the onsite element of the campaign is the more minor aspect as opposed to the offsite aspect, typically only making up for around 20% of the full SEO effort.

Although the smaller element out of the two, onsite SEO is equally as important for a good campaign to be achieved.

The onsite element SEO can be compared to the foundation of a house.

They need to be strong in order for the campaign to have the potential to reach the top of the search results.

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 onsite seo

What is onsite SEO?

Onsite SEO refers to optimising individual pages of a website for the purpose of using Google to your online marketing advantage.

Onsite SEO involve every aspect of the visual appeal, as well as the usability of the website.

Google take into account every element of the onsite SEO of your website, and when they have been optimised, your website will be of better quality for your users, and in turn Google will reward you for your efforts with heightened rankings.

Google are constantly changing their requirements for websites to rank highly in order to ensure that the highest ranking websites are the ones which will be the most useful to the user.

For this reason, SEO methods are also changing to match the requirements.

As Google algorithms have become more and more advanced, relevance has become one of the most important factors in ranking highly, and this refers greatly to the content which is on the website.

Research suggests that when a visitor firsts enters your website, you have roughly eight seconds to impress them and ensure that they stay on your page.

Most of your influence will come from the content which is included on your website. It needs to be highly relevant to the search which has been performed by the user, and the text also needs to be simple and understandable.onsite seo

The content will also need to be easy to skim read so that the visitor can easily see what the website is for and what they can offer you with.

The more interaction and engagement a user has with your website on entering it, the more likely they are to stay and ultimately convert.

But content is not the only element of an onsite SEO campaign.

There are hundreds of factors which are involved in ranking highly; some being more influential factors than others, but all important in the overall result.

Below are just a few of the main elements of an onsite SEO campaign which will need to be optimised for the best results.

Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are the small descriptions which appear under the meta tag title and website address when a website appears on a search engine results page.

Search engines mainly show the web page as a result when the meta description contains the keywords or relevant information to the keyword or term which has been searched.

Search engines use the meta description as a factor in deciding the topic of a web page and determining whether the user will find value in that particular page.

A well-written meta description can generate a major advantage in appearing highly in the search results, and whilst in some cases Google will pull a section of content from the web page, it is highly advisable to ensure that all of your meta tags are filled in and that they are all unique to the different pages.

This will ensure that every page of your website has the potential to individually rank for keywords and search terms.

The length of a meta description shown varies between mobile devices and desktop devices, but it is important to appeal to both devices, because the search results can change depending on whether a site is suitable for mobile use.

In order to do this, you will need to create a meta description which is between 165 and 175 characters, which is the optimum length.

To write a meta description, clearly outline what your website and business is all about, and you can even add in your brand name or keywords.

However, it is important to only add these into a meta description if they do not sound too forced; including too many keywords will look obvious and your campaign will not look natural to Google.

Heading tags

Heading tags are also an important feature on all your landing pages.

Always ensure that your landing pages have a h1 tag, but ensure that you don’t have more than one h1 tag.

You can however use more than one h2 and h3 tags as users scroll further down the page as these can be used as subheadings for your readers on different sections of the page.

From an SEO point of view, when Google robots are crawling pages they will analyse both the heading tag as well as the content below, and compare them to decipher the relevance of the content in relation to the title.

Your headings should be used to provide a structure to the page, so it is important to ensure that the content under the title is supportive.

Heading tags will act as a good optimisation tactic from both an SEO perspective and also from a usability perspective, as your readers will be able to clearly see the layout of your content, and find the information they need from the page.

It is highly advisable to include your keywords somewhere in the heading tags of your page, however notably stuffing your titles with keywords will not be of any benefit to your readers or for your SEO.

It is also important to ensure that all your heading tags are unique to each page.

Repeated heading tags will confuse Google as to which page to rank for certain keywords, and neither may rank at all because Google are reluctant to rank repeated content.

Optimise your images

Adding images and infographics to your pages is a great way of optimising user experience. A picture can say a thousand words, and in the case of a website selling products or services, this certainly is the case.

From an SEO point of view, images can also increase your user experience drastically.

When fully optimised, images can help Google to understand what your page is all about, and your images can sometimes even appear in shopping results for example.

The alt tag for an image is used when an image cannot be accessed, or can be read for a person with visual impairments.

Alt tags should be used as a description of the image, so it important to ensure that the alt tag is really relevant to what appears in the picture.

Alt tags are not about keywords stuffing; Google will reward you simply for being inclusive to people with visual impairments and also for having a back up plan when an image won’t load.

Your images should be relevant to the content which is included on your site.

They should either reflect the topic of the content, or have an illustrative effect on the article.

It is also important to optimise the description of your image, and the file name.

If you have simply uploaded your images without editing them, it is likely that your image will be named something along the lines of ‘DC4178986K’. Look familiar? If this is the case, change the file name to something more relevant before you upload it, and Google will appreciate the effort.

Whilst images are important for you web page to look visually appealing to your users, it is also important to ensure that they are scaled correctly.

The larger your images, the longer your page will take to load, and this is a major factor in putting potential clients off.

Research has shown that the majority of web users will abandon a page if it has failed to load within 3 seconds, so every optimisation counts when it comes to ensuring a fast loading speed of your website.

In order to optimise your loading times, you can compress your images and make them smaller.

Mobile responsive websites

With smart phones having quickly become a must for most internet users, and internet access becoming more and more advanced, it is no surprise that half of all online traffic is coming from mobiles, and two thirds of conversions are made on mobiles.

What’s more, Google have also noted the importance of a website being suitable for use on a mobile device and have changed their ranking requirements accordingly.

The search results which are presented to Google users change according to the device they are using, and a website which is not optimised for mobiles will struggle to appear anywhere near the top of the search results.

Many potential clients are choosing to search on mobile devices as opposed to desktop devices; the mobile conversion rate is getting higher and higher, and these figures are not about to change any time soon.

For this reason, it is more important than ever to ensure that your website is optimised for mobile use.

Quality content

The content is one of the most important elements of your onsite SEO. When Google robots crawl your web page, they are looking to match relevant web pages with the keywords and terms the user has searched for.

The internet contains a wealth of content, and it is important to make sure that yours is completely unique.

Content marketing and SEO overlap greatly, making up towards a website which will combine the use of keywords, relevant and interesting information, writing for human appeal whilst still adhering to the requirements of search engines.

With voice search and more direct questioning coming largely into play when users are searching Google, it has become more important to write content which is more conversational in style to rank highly in Google.

This will improve your chances of appealing to those who are simply looking for an answer to a direct question.

Not only will a conversational tone in your content make for a good SEO campaign, but it will also make for a good user experience for your visitors.

They will be able to skim your content easily, gain the information they require, and they are also more likely to relate to your as a person behind the business, instilling a sense of trust and interest into your products and services.

Ensure that the content you write entices your visitors further into the site, is relevant to what you are offering and is clear in terms of what your business is all about.

When you are creating content for landing pages of your site, it is a good idea to create keyword specific landing pages for specific searches you are targeting.

For example, if you are targeting several locations for your services, you could create a landing page for each of the locations.

Whilst it is important to entitle your landing pages with keyword inclusive headings, it is also impotent to ensure that you avoid overstuffing your content with keywords, which will make for an unnatural looking campaign and could make for a bad reading experience for site visitors.

Only include keywords when it is appropriate and sounds natural, otherwise you could find yourself in a sticky situation facing Google penalties and low rankings.

Within your content, it is usual to link to other relevant pages of your website when necessary.

This will encourage your visitors to click on to other pages which are targeted more towards conversion, and from there you have more opportunity to advertise to people what you can offer them.

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