On-Site SEO is generally what people think of went they think of SEO. On-Site SEO is one of the three main disciplines within SEO. The other two are technical SEO and Off-Site SEO, where Technical SEO involves optimizing the infrastructure of a website. The code the user never sees.
On-Site SEO, sometimes called On-Page, is optimizing the content on the website the user does see. The goal of On-Site SEO is to have content that search engines can easily read and understand when they crawl your site. Then search engines will make rank your content higher for users who would find it helpful.
On-Site SEO matters because it provides search engines with the information to crawl and rank your content appropriately. This is where you’ll begin to hear people talk about keywords.
Keywords are search queries people make in Google or Bing. By having keywords in your content, The search engines can associate your content to the queries made by searchers. So the better your content is, the higher you’ll rank in the search result, and the more traffic you’ll get.
The best practices for On-Site SEO align with best practices for making good content. Therefore, chances are you would naturally make decent On-Site SEO content.
Some Best Practices
At the core of all the work you do needs to be great content. If you’re producing trash, you’ll rank like trash. Instead, write original content that is exclusive to your website. This is how you provide value. And providing value is what search engines promote. Make sure the content is useful and would answer a question for which a person is searching.
There is a lot to be said about creating good content to the point that I’ll likely write a post dedicated to it specifically. Do good work. SEO tactics will only help good content. They’re worthless on bad content.
Titles and Meta Descriptions
Search engines display your H1 tag and meta description in the search result. Optimize it. Include keywords in both the title and the meta description. This is where you need to put your copywriting skills to use. You compete for clicks from users, so use these fields to try and get more clicks.
Search engines also use this information in their rankings. So use keywords early and often.
Keywords In Your Content
Optimize your content around the keywords you are targeting. There are many tools out there to help you find keywords and to optimize your content. I personally use Ahrefs and Clearscope. Ahrefs to find keywords to target, and Clearscope to help me optimize my written content.
Like with creating good content, there is a lot to be said about keywords. I haven’t even mention long-tail keywords, which is a fundamental SEO keyword strategy. Keywords, too, need a post dedicated to themselves. Know that they are a valuable part of On-Site SEO.
Headings in General
I talked about how the H1 tag shows up in the search results. But the search engines also look at your other heading tags. For the record, your site should only have one H1 tag. The rest should be H2 and higher. This is part of having great content. Using headers to organize your content and clarify what paragraphs are about is helpful to readers and is helpful to search engines that are crawling your site.
Alt Attribute On images
Adding images to your content is a great way to improve readability and help you rank higher in search results. Make sure that every image has an alt attribute, a descriptive name, and a caption if the image contains information. Search engines cannot read images. So they use information about the image file to decide its relevance. Make sure the image file is optimized for the content you’re producing. And if it is an infographic. Include the text of the infographic somewhere on the page or in the caption.
You want to link to pages on your own website. For two reasons: One, you want people to stay on your site longer, so give them a reason to stay on. Two, it’s good SEO. The links provide a signal to the search engines crawling your site. When a search engine crawls your site, they see the links and follow them to the other pages and analyze those pages. All of this helps your site but conveys useful information to the search engine.
If you’re constantly linking to one page as a reference, the search engines learn that page is important. You can also “tell” the search engines about new pages on your site by adding links—links to other pages on your site.
Similar to internal links, external links convey information about your site to search engines. Furthermore, everyone on the internet wants backlinks; it’s part of Off-Site SEO. So this is a way to pay it forward.
This is just a quick overview of what On-Site SEO is. Many of these topics go much deeper. Keywords and great content creating in particular. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to learn more about SEO and get you started in the right direction.