When you use good on-page SEO you help to authenticate your website to all search engines and give your website a better opportunity of ranking high.
Here are some important points of on-page SEO to think about:
- Ensure your site content is visible to all search engines.
- Ensure your site isn't blocking a search engine.
- Check search engines are picking up on your keywords.
- Ensure all users are having a positive experience when they visit your website.
On-page SEO can look like a minefield if you're just starting out as a blogger, but once you get the basics down you can deal with just about any on-page SEO problems you come across.
Even if you're technically minded, you can figure out why your website isn't ranking the way that it should be on Google or any other search engine.
You can work out your on-page SEO problems by thinking about the following points:
Structuring Your Website for Easy SEO
These points will make sure your site is organised for better verification by search engines.
1. Use Search Engine Friendly URLs
A Messy URL
Messy URLs will confuse search engines, site visitors alike and should be avoided at all costs.
A Clean URL
Clean, and to the point.
A quick search on Google and you'll discover all of the websites listed use clean URLs, it's your job to make sure your website does the same.
Most website platforms enable a clean URL every time you publish, so this shouldn't be a problem, if your website is professionally built you might want to sort the problem out with your website developer.
2. Website Navigation
Websites come with a variety of landing pages and homepages to help make browsing easier for users.
A menu along the top of the homepage is one of the simplest options and allows all visitors to click on the desired section of the site. Some websites include a pop-down menu for more options, which helps to tuck away any extra navigation information.
Your aim is to provide a website that is easy to navigate, and readable to search engines. Anything outside of these parameters will make it harder for search engines to read and rank your site.
If it's easy for Google it's easy for your readers.
Stay away from images and stick with text links. Images can bog down a website, especially if they're the wrong size.
Images should only be used to describe post titles and give the reader an idea of what the blog post is about. Not for navigation.
Boost your SEO by linking to pages you want search engines to visit on your home page.
Search engine spiders will find it easier if your website has a straightforward layout, and isn't overly complicated.
How to Optimise Keywords on Your Website
While it might have been a trend to stuff your website full of keywords in the hopes that Google would rank your website higher, that no longer works.
Google is looking for well-written content with valuable information for its readers. As a writer I don't sit down and think how I'm going to place my keywords into a paragraph or title. I just write. I do what comes naturally to me. Otherwise a blogpost can end up sounding clunky and slow, and not very interesting.
You can't be original if you're spending the majority of your time looking at where you should place your next keyword. You write about what you know and the knowledge you've accrued.
Why Google Likes Fast Loading Websites
Google puts strong emphasis on how a website loads, which makes this a ranking factor.
Pagespeed will tell users whether your website is worth viewing or leaving. The faster your website loads the more people will want to stay and view what is on offer, allowing them the opportunity to fill out forms and purchase anything on offer.
There's no set checklist when it comes to pagespeed because all websites are configured differently.
Here are the two main pagespeed tools I use to keep my website up-to-date:
This is Google's own tool which analyses your website and gives you useful suggestions to change your website and improve its online performance.
It will breakdown your performance into these categories:
- First Contentful Paint
- First Meaningful Paint
- Speed Index
- First CPU Idle
- Time to Interactive
- Max Potential First Input Delay
- Total Blocking Time
- Largest Contentful Paint
- Eliminate render-blocking resources
- Properly size images
- Defer offscreen images
- Minify CSS
- Remove unused CSS
- Efficiently encode images
- Serve images in modern formats
- Enable text compression
- Preconnect to required origins
- Reduce server response times (TTFB)
- Avoid multiple page redirects
- Preload key requests
- Use video formats for animated content
- Reduce the impact of third-party code
- Avoid non-composited animations
- Lazy load third-party resources with facades
- Avoid enormous network payloads
- Serve static assets with an efficient cache policy
- Avoid an excessive DOM size
- Avoid chaining critical requests
- User Timing marks and measures
- Minimise main thread work
- Ensure text remains visible during webfont load
- Keep request counts low and transfer sizes small
From PageSpeed Insights.
Make Your Website Visible With a Sitemap
A sitemap helps search engines find the pages on your website, and are basically a map showing all of the pages on your site. Sitemaps.xml.file is the official name for a sitemap, and can be easily made and placed on Google Search Console.
Here is an example of a sitemap you can use, if you change the address and include your own website address:
You can also use a sitemap generator tool like the one below:
After you've created your sitemap you need to head over to Google Search Console and create your account.
Important Points Google Search Looks for in a Website
1. Real People, Real Company Names
Make sure you include information about yourself and about your company, along with a current photograph to show Google your real.
2. Unnatural Structural Links
Use only important links to information in your website and don't bog it down with too many links in your sidebar and footer because Google will think you're up to something underhanded.
3. Don't Over Monetise Your Website
If monetisation is the main focus on your website then it's going to get a low ranking, and disguising it won't help either. People are easily put off by too much advertising, so keep your affiliate links relevant and popups to a minimum.
4. Make Sure that Website Contributors are Real People and Not Just Fake Names
Google can detect bogus names and material so don't even bother trying to fool it.
5. Make All of Your Financial Transactions Transparent
This means you need to link the shopping cart, checkout, product pages to a page for refunds, returns and delivery information, or a terms and conditions page. Your readers will be safer knowing that if they want to return something or ask for a refund you can do that, or if they have a problem they can contact your site without any problem.
Make Your Website Readable
This is one of the most important points, and why I've saved the best till last. Poorly written information that has grammatical errors will rank low in Google.
Important point: Publishing on the internet is like publishing a book, it's information that needs reviewing and editing.
Don't use complicated language. Write content people will want to keep coming back to.
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