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What is on page SEO and how can I use it to improve my rankings?

4 minute read

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I answer the #asktheukdomain question from Carol at theartclass.uk, who asks “What is on page SEO and how can I use it to improve my rankings?”. I’ll explain the concept of on page SEO and cover the main points, explaining how these can be used to optimise web pages. Including:

  • On page SEO
  • Keyword research
  • SEO-friendly URLs
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Header tags
  • Image alt attributes
  • Content
  • Outbound links
  • Mobile responsive pages
  • Posting long content

Video Transcript

♪ [music] ♪ Hello, and welcome to The UK Domain. Today’s question comes from Carol at theartclass.uk, and she asks, “What is on-page SEO and how can I use it to improve my rankings?”

So, on-page SEO refers to everything that you have the control to change on your website. Just so you’re aware, off-page SEO are things that happen away from your website, you have less control over. So, these are things like people linking into your website, and perhaps your social media channels and that kind of stuff.

So, I’m going to start off talking about keyword research. It’s a huge topic, so I won’t be able to cover much about it. We do have a link to a guide in this video, so if you want to click on that to check out a bit more information. But basically, you want to be understanding the kind of keywords that people are using to get to your website, and then you want to optimise around those keywords. So, people are predictable, you’ll have certain types of keywords people use commonly, so you just want to tap into what they are. Lots of tools available to do that, and basically, the keywords you identified will be used throughout all of these steps that I’m going to talk about now.

So, all the different elements. The URL is important, so you want to make sure you have SEO-friendly URLs. So, just making sure you include your top keywords for each page in the URL. I’d also recommend that you keep lowercase characters in the URL, and then separate the words using hyphens.

The next point is the title tag. So, this is a really, really important one. I’ve talked about it in some of the other videos, as well. It’s important to get the main keyword you’re trying to target for each page at the start of the title tag. Each page should have a unique title tag and it shouldn’t be any longer than about 60 keywords, otherwise, Google will chop it short. And that also appears up here in the tab, as well as it’s the main link in the search results.

The next thing is the meta descriptions. So, while these don’t actually affect search rankings, they do show up in the search results, so you want to make sure you’re including relevant keywords in there, as well. They often show up in bold when they match the user’s search query, as well. The header tags. So, these will actually appear on the page. Each page should have one h1 tag, so this is just the main actual title you’ll see on each page. Just make sure it’s got the h1 code in there as well. And then, if you’re using h2 tags, these would be the subheadings that you’ve got on each page, as well, so just make sure you’re using your keywords in there as well.

The image alt attribute. So, every image on the page should have an alt attribute. It’s basically a little description of each of the images. That will appear if the image doesn’t load, but Google also uses those to understand what the image is about because obviously, Google can’t see the image, so including your keywords in there, again, is going to reinforce the relevance. You want to make sure you’re using your keywords within the content, as well. So, it’s best to have sort of longer content within your pages, if possible and just use your keywords throughout. You don’t want to obviously stuff your page full of keywords, you want to make sure it’s very natural, and you can use slight variations of each keyword. This is going to help you out as well there.

Outbound links. So, you want to sort of show that you’re an authority, you’re a hub, you’re linking to other resources, as well as the inbound links. So, you might want to link to other blog posts that are relevant to this piece of content or other pages, and that helps to let some of the link juice flow throughout the pages, and also off out to other sites. You want to make sure that your page is mobile responsive. So, if you’re building your site on something like WordPress, most of the themes these days are responsive, but you can do a little test by just sort of reducing the size of your window and making sure that content doesn’t start being chopped off. You know, it actually does all come back to normal. And as I mentioned earlier, posting long-form content will really help you out, as well. It’s recommended that you have at least 300 words per page.

So, I hope that answers your question. Thank you very much. So, that was the last in this series of Ask The UK Domain for September. If you do have any other questions, we’ll be answering one question a week, so you can use the same hashtag, #asktheukdomain. ♪ [music] ♪

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Sam Gooch is Web Optimisation Lead at the UK Domain. Sam leads the online search strategy, combining both organic and paid advertising to drive awareness around our brands and content, helping small businesses to succeed online.

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