Onsite SEO techniques aim to improve the relevance of a site to a particular topic and improve the website’s user experience.
There are many onsite SEO techniques to achieve better web rankings, including:
It’s really important that content on your site uses keywords and phrases that accurately describe the topic of each page as they give Google meaningful information to catalogue and categorise your website.
The keywords and phrases you employ will also be those that people use to enter into search engines to find your site.
Use keywords that relate to your business, services and location. So, if you hire skip bins, make sure the term ‘skip bins’ appears as many times as possible on your website as possible without irritating your reader.
Be aware that Google punishes sites for keyword flooding on a page (‘spamming’ or ‘stuffing’), so be very judicious with the frequency of keywords.
Once your site has been online for a number of months (and you’ve validated your web address with Google), you can use web analytics software to provide a list of search words and phrases that people are using to visit your website.
Where to use keywords
Search engines look at many areas of your website to find clues as to what your site is about.
These include, but are not limited to:
- the web address (e.g. rockinghamelectrician.com.au)
- the page title (NOTE: Google will also look at the relationship of all page titles on your site to help catalogue your site)
- hyperlinks (make sure the words in links describe where the link will lead to and are not labelled ‘click here’ or ‘more information’)
- metadata, which appears in the unseen background of web pages.
It’s not just keywords that make a difference. Google rewards content that is reliable, trustworthy and offers the web user with real value.
Keep content to a bare minimum. Too much text will scare away most people. You can fix this to an extent by using infographics to quickly and easily delivery complex information. Also get rid of duplications of on-page content and metadata.
Google loves websites with fresh content. So either create new content or update existing content on a regular basis. Blogs that provide relevant and meaningful advice are a good way of creating new quality content.
Also known as information architecture, a site’s information structure provides categories and subcategories for all content.
A site structure that uses appropriate and user-friendly labels will not only help web users quickly find what they’re looking for, but also help search engines better understand your site’s content and, therefore, purpose.
Best practice is for a website’s information structure to have no more than four levels. It’s also good practise to get users to test your information structure to ensure it works as intended.
Design and usability
Google rewards websites that provide high value to web users. This can be done by ensuring:
- page layouts help people to easily navigate to the content they seek. If pages have too many elements that are competing for the reader’s attention, the web user may not be able to easily see where they need to go and return, instead, to the search engine results page.
- page layouts can be viewed easily on mobile devices. Your website will be badly disadvantaged if page layouts don’t adapt to mobile phones or tablets.
Make sure all your on-page content is formatted using pre-determined styles (such as bodytext, Heading 1, Heading 2 etc) to give your content a hierarchy.
Google will rank a website by the time it takes for a user to download it. This is particularly important if your customers in areas with limited bandwidth.
This can be largely assisted by optimising the file size of images. All images need to be prepared for online publication so they can be downloaded as quickly as possible while retaining high visual quality.
Download speed can also be impacted by some brands of web publishing software. Check online reviews before committing to one.
Make sure your website has an SSL certificate to create a secure online connection. Failure to have an SSL certificate, as of 2018, can have a devastating impact on a website’s search engine ranking.
Ensuring internal hyperlinks are high quality means a better user experience and improved web rankings:
- make sure all navigation and internal hyperlinks work
- ensure there’s a site map to give Google a good picture of how your site is structured
- all pages must have links to your home page (usually the home menu item on the navigation bar or a link from a logo in the banner)
- web users who arrive at the bottom of a page without finding what they need can use ‘fat footers’, which have links to many different categories on the site. This is good for the user and can also help inform Google about the content and purpose of the site.
Make sure any external hyperlinks lead to websites with authentic, authoritative and relevant content.