On Page SEO Tips for 2022

How many SEO experts does it take to change a lightbulb, light bulb, light, bulb, switch, lamp, lighting?

See what we did there? That's called keyword stuffing and it's a very common thing (and really bad practice) to get your page ranked on search engines.

How it works is like this: a search engine crawler uses its little robots to read your pages. They find the words that relate to a user's search (these are called keywords) and then shows the user everything they think applies to that search, with the most relevant search at the top.

But language is a very nuanced thing. I might look for a "rubbish bin" whilst an American friend might look for a "trash can". So an international store selling this item might want to have both those variations and then some on the product page.

So the robots then get more juice, but people reading it say, "EWWWWW that reads terribly!"

Your website should be optimized for both human visitors and search engine bots. Keywords are not just about search engine ranking; they are about balancing user experience and creating high-quality content which reduces the bounce rate (if your content is great to read, bounce rates will go down) with search engine optimization.

SEO strategy can be on page or off-page. On-page is easier to tackle - it's on your own website and you mostly have control of those elements. It is a tedious job and does need to actually get done, but it's so worth the effort.

Here are some areas you can tackle on your own website to add keywords to improve your website's search engine ranking.

Heading tags

On each page or blog post, you'll have the opportunity to add headings. Headings should not just be in a different font they should be wrapped in a heading tag, like <h1>heading here</h1>

We don't see the tag when the browser shows us the site, but search engines do. And it helps them prioritise content.

There are heading tags from 1 (page heading) down to 6, some sites even go down to 7 but we think that's a lil bit overkill. Headings should be sequential, following in order from largest to smallest indicating the importance of their content.

This helps the blind who use screen readers understand the content better too. Wins for all!

Title Tag

You can control how your website appears in search results by editing the title tag and the page meta. The Title tag is the link title in results for search queries - the blue/purple link text on google results. Your primary keyword should be used at the start of the title tag, and it should sound natural, not stuffed and bot written. There's no trust to be gained there!

Emotional titles get read more often than non-emotional ones. Titles that use power words decrease click-through rates by 12%. People are attracted to titles that have a strong emotional punch. However, if a title uses too many power words, it may be seen as clickbait. So write title tags with some emotion, but avoid terms like “crazy” and “strong” that could make your title seem like clickbait.

Adding the current year can really help too, especially for blog posts. Like this one!

You've got 60 characters to use, so make them count.

Meta description

The meta description is the blurb of text which appears under the title link in search results. If you share your page on Facebook or other social media, it'll be the description on the post.

Although it's not an official ranking factor for search engines, it can influence whether or not your page is clicked on — therefore, it's just as important when doing on-page SEO.

Here's what makes for a good meta description:

  • Keep it under 160 characters, although Google has been known to allow longer meta descriptions — up to 220 characters. (Note: Mobile devices cut off meta descriptions at 120 characters.)
  • Include your target keywords or keyword phrase.
  • Write a complete, compelling sentence. Make sure you use emotion and aim to connect with your audience. Don't keyword stuff and sound robotic. Use the same guidance for emotion and power as for the title tag.
  • Avoid alphanumeric characters like —, &, or +.

Image Alt Text

Every image on your site should have alt (alternative) text. It's literally an alternative to the image which is read by search engines and also by screen readers for the blind. It's not just excellent SEO it's an accessibility issue too - you get points for both with doing one good thing.

Adding alt text to images will help your images turn up in google image searches.

Here's what to keep in mind when adding image alt-text:

  • Make it descriptive and specific, like "black logo reading: A Lined Design Code and Creativity, for web design agency based in Hobart Tasmania."
  • Make it contextually relevant to the page it's on.
  • Keep it shorter than 125 characters.
  • Use relevant keywords sparingly, and don't keyword stuff.
  • Add a full stop at the end so the screen reader knows it has reached the end of the description.

Internal links

Can I shout this one? Internal linking is HUGE for SEO.

Link from pages that rank well on your site to pages that you want to do better. You'll need to have a look in your google search console to figure that one out, then make sure your links are relevant and helpful.

When you do, make sure to use keyword-rich anchor text. For example, if we wanted to rank our brand packages page better using our home page, and our keyword was "brand design" we'd create a text link that might say "Learn more about our brand design packages here".

Internal links are really easy to add, and they will help your user when they are on your site find more relevant content too. Great for everyone, not just the robots.

Mobile responsiveness

While some peeps will argue that all sites should be mobile-first... we're on the fence with this advice. Mobile use is huuuuuuuge. And google does prioritise mobile speed scores over desktop. But what matters for you is how your users use your site. Again, google search console will help you discover what portion of users are on which device. BUT even if all your users seem to use desktop, never neglect that mobile version of your site. It's gotta be fast, actually look good, and work. You'd think that was easy... but so many websites fall down on this. Don't let it be you!

Website speed

No surprises here, folks. If your site is slower than a snail on its way to work on Monday morning... no one will love you. Sad but true. You can test your website speed using a tool such as GTMetrix or Google Page Speed Test (each prioritises different content so the scores won't be the same), find the issues and go from there. You might need an expert to help you, and sometimes the things that make your site slow really can't be helped. An example is loading content from external sites like review systems, or google maps. Then it's a question of what else can be made more efficient so those non-negotiable slow pokes can have a clear run.

 

So team, you have a list of things to investigate! We do the majority of these items in every build we complete; some items like image alt text require ongoing and additional work. We also add google schema and validate your sitemap for google which helps even more! Did we mention Google My Business? Yup, also helps.  Let us know if you need some help getting your on page sorted for your wordpress website.

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