SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a process of optimising pages for keywords and user experience. An SEO strategy will drive organic traffic to your website if implemented correctly.
While Search Engine Optimisation takes longer than paying for ads, it is a more effective long-term solution for your business.
In this post, we will discuss all the methods that can be used to optimise your website for Search Engines.
On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of optimising pages for keywords or phrases customers commonly use when searching for products or services offered by your business or company. Keyword optimisation involves including the search terms within these important SEO page elements:
You can easily check these elements on individual webpages on your website by using the free Ahrefs Toolbar. See the below screenshot.
Page URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a webpage. It should contain the most important keyword to summarise the page’s content. It should have between three to five words that should be separated by hyphens.
The Title Tag (also known as Page Title or Meta Title) is one of the most important SEO elements on a webpage. The Title Tag briefly describes the content of the web page, helping search engines understand what the page is about. It’s also shown in search results as the link text of your page.
Every page needs to have a unique Title Tag. It should include keywords relating to the page. If the title is longer than 65 characters, including spaces, part of the text might be cut off on the search results page.
The Title Tag should be written to encourage searchers to click your link rather than the competitors'. It’s essential that it includes relevant keywords so that the searchers know they will benefit from clicking on the link and visiting your page.
The Meta Description is primarily used as a snippet on the search results page. While it’s not something Google would use for ranking, having a well-written description in the search results can make searchers more likely to click on the link.
Although they don’t add much weight to rankings, it’s recommended that every page on a website has an engaging Meta Description. Without a Meta Description, Google will display the parts of the web page’s text it thinks are most relevant, which might look disorganised. Meta Descriptions should be between 120 and 160 characters long. They should summarise the key page information and should encourage searchers to click your link by containing relevant keywords so that the searchers know they will find what they were looking for when visiting your page.
Each webpage should have relevant H Tags, which include the keywords that are relevant to the content of the page and that you want to rank for. Headings help search engines understand the content of the page, as confirmed by Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, in this Webmaster Central August 2020 Video.
The content of the H Tags should be relevant to the content of the pages, but each tag has to have unique content, and they should be organised in a logical order that makes sense to readers and search engines alike.
The Main Header (H1) is generally the most prominent header on the webpage, so it should be present on each page. While Google does not penalise websites for not having H1 tags, it’s still a good practice to use them, as headings make it easier for users to understand and navigate a webpage. It’s also best practice to have only one H1 heading on each page.
These tags work as subheadings under the H1 tag and are numbered by importance. H2 being the most important subheading, H3 slightly less important and so on. Most pages benefit from having at least one H2 heading. You can use multiple subheadings as long as they make sense.
Since Google released their helpful content algorithm in 2022, having lots of unique content on a website is one of the most important rankings, especially for websites that don’t have a high number of backlinks.
Google understand what your website’s pages are about and what keywords to rank them for from the text it contains. The more helpful, relevant content you have on each webpage, the more likely Google is to consider the page as relevant, showing it higher in search results. Whilst there are no fixed rules as to how much text a webpage should contain, it is frequently recommended that each web page should contain at least 250 words on the subject you want it to rank for. All text has to be unique and original. Never copy text from other websites. You can check if your text is original by using Copyscape.
Search engines also assign a higher value to text that appears near the top of a web page or above the fold (The part of the webpage that viewers see before they scroll down). So it’s important to include relevant text content in the first couple of paragraphs.
Website images should have Alt Tags in the form of a short text that describes the image. Alt Tags (also known as Alt Description or Alt Attributes) are HTML attributes applied to images to provide a text alternative for visually impaired users. It is also the search engine’s way of reading the content of the image. Alt tags can help improve search rankings if they contain relevant keywords.
As well as Alt Tags, search engines, such as Google, read the images' file names, and they are more likely to recommend images that have relevant names. Filenames should be descriptive, include relevant keywords and use hyphens to separate words. They should contain no more than six words.
Internal linking structure is essential for SEO. Internal links are any links that lead from one page on a website to a different page on the same website. Both users and search engines use these links to navigate websites and understand their content.
Make sure there are no broken Internal links on your website. A broken link points to a non-existent page. These linked pages might have been deleted or moved without setting us a redirect.
You can find broken links by using free online tools such as Broken link checker.
When the user or crawl bot follows a broken link, the server returns a 404 (Not found) or 410 (Gone) status code. Too many broken internal links may trigger a low-quality site signal to a search engine’s algorithm, negatively affecting search result performance. Broken links can also lead to a poor user experience for your website visitors, so it’s important to regularly check your website for broken links.
Inbound links (also called Backlinks or Incoming links) are created when a website links to another. They are good for SEO as they signal to search engines that others find your content valuable. If a high number of quality sites link to the same site, search engines are likely to conclude that the site’s content is worth linking to, and they are more likely to display it in search results.
Moz Link Explorer is a great tool that can identify website’s authority and a number of Inbound links pointing to the site. The higher these numbers are, the more likely it is that your web pages will appear higher in the search results. Backlinks from trustworthy, high-authority sites relevant to your industry are much more valuable than backlinks from low-authority, potentially spammy sites, as confirmed by Google Search Advocate John Mueller in this English Google SEO office-hours video from February 2021, Being mentioned on even just one high-quality website can give your brand a boost.
Guest posting is an effective method to generate relevant backlinks. You can use a variety of methods to find guest post opportunities:
Google introduced Core Web Vitals to offer guidance on how to deliver a great user experience. Google wants to offer the best experience to its users, so they are likely to rank user-friendly websites higher in Search Results. Also, searchers are less likely to abandon faster-loading websites.
Core Web Vitals by Google Page Speed Insights are metrics that focus on three main aspects of the user experience – loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
Here are the three elements Page Speed Insights uses to measure these metrics, according to Web Vitals
Website images need to be correctly sized and compressed. If the images are too large, your website might take too long to load. However, if they are too small, it could negatively affect user experience. You can use free editing tools, like Microsoft Paint, to resize your images.
According to Strikingly Blog, full-screen images should be around 1400 pixels wide, half-screen-width images about 700 pixels, one-third-width images approximately 480 pixels, and quarter-width images around 360 pixels. Logos and small icons should be between 100 to 150 pixels in width.
To compress images, you can use WordPress tools or free online tools, such as TinyPNG. Compression can significantly reduce the image size without compromising on quality.
According to this Statista Report from April 2023, around 58 per cent of website traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices, making it essential that your website is optimised for mobile phones and tablets. You can check whether your website is mobile-friendly by using the free Website Grader tool from HubSpot.
Every website should have a responsive design, which means that it adjusts itself automatically from the desktop version to look equally attractive on mobile devices. This is necessary for user experience and SEO.
The mobile version of a website has to have a legible font size, which is vital for user experience and SEO, as visitors could have difficulty reading very small text. The interactive elements, such as buttons and links, also need to be a good size and should be adequately spaced apart to make them easy to click on.
You can check whether your website is secure by using the free Website Grader tool from HubSpot.
All websites should have a valid SSL certificate, which means they use HTTPS - a secure communication protocol over the Internet.
Websites with valid SSL certificates are trusted by all major web browsers, which is essential for SEO. It also means that users can browse the website with confidence, which is vital for User Experience.