On-Page SEO in 2021 (Is More Important Than Ever)
In the world of SEO, it was always the rule-of-thumb that building backlinks is the most powerful SEO strategy.
Well, those days are over.
As Google search gets exponentially smarter, it is beginning to focus less and less on backlinks, and more and more on the on-page elements.
Over time the power of backlinks will decrease, and the power of on-page SEO will increase.
Get ahead of the pack, and start raking in the traffic with our on-page SEO guide below.
Table of contents
How to Optimize Your Content
Keywords are important, but just scattering them throughout your content isn’t enough. To rank higher on search engines, ideally, you should use your target keyword within the first 100 to 150 words of your content. Search engines usually put more emphasis on words that show up earlier on your page.
In fact, search engines also look at how many times you use a specific keyword—or those close to it—within the same page. For example, if you use the word ‘java programming’ only once on your page, the machine may not be confident that the entire article is about java programming. But if you use it multiple times, the likelihood that it is about java programming becomes higher. That doesn’t mean you should stuff keywords too much though! Using them naturally a few times is enough.
When you format your headings in H1 and H2 tags, search engines can gauge the structure of the page. Walls of text tend to not do as well as pages organized with headings. Headings also make your content easier for users to skim through, which is important for user experience. Most people are not going to read every word you write, but you want to provide value to them through what they do read.
Provide internal and external links within your content! When you link to other pages, Google can gauge what topic your page is covering. Pages also tend to rank higher when they link to authority websites, rather than low-ranking ones.
How to Optimize Your Page
An underrated part of on-page SEO is the URL. The URL actually shows up above the title, so it’s important that your URL is short, looks authentic, and consists of the keyword you’re targeting.
The title tag is one of the most important factors for on-page SEO—if not the most important. It gives search engines an overview of the kind of content on a page. The closer the target keyword is to the tag, the better your content will rank. In fact, if you can use the keyword within the title tag itself, you can improve your rankings even more.
You should also use modifiers within the title tag to help you target long-tail keywords.
Similar to how URLs, meta descriptions are also important. Ideally, you want to write your own meta description, and make it unique. Use your target keyword in your meta description, because a good meta will make your page stand out among results and help you boost your click-through rate.
How to Optimize for CTR
Organic click-through rate is something to keep in mind. While your page layout, formatting, content etc. are all important, you also need to make efforts to make your audience actually click on your page.
Use Question Title Tags
Turns out, question-based title tags have a better CTR than statement ones. If someone searches for “click-through rate,” for most people, they’d be searching for what exactly a click-through rate is. The title tag being a question itself will show them that your page is providing the answers they’re looking for.
Use Current Year
Using the current year in your title and description shows that the content on your page is up-to-date and relevant. This works especially well for content that goes out of date very fast.
How to Optimize for User Experience
The user experience of your page also determines how well it’ll do on rankings. Dwell time, bounce rate etc. are all taken into account. If users do not seem satisfied, your page may not rank as well.
Keep Content At the Top
Users want the information they’re looking for fast. Avoid taking up too much space with images, and make sure the content is visible, especially at the top.
Page Loading Speed
How fast your page loads also contributes to user experiences. Nobody’s going to wait more than a few seconds for information. If they don’t get it immediately, they’ll be hitting the back button.
While all of these are important, remember that search engine criteria keeps changing. You have to stay on top of new changes, all the time, to make sure your pages are ranking, and maintaining that ranking.
On-page SEO is critically important, if you are feeling overwhelmed with everything you need to do to have a perfectly optimised website, give us a call to chat with one of our Digital Marketing Strategists. They’ll give you a free SEO consultation, and let you know the best ways to grow your website and explode your traffic.