Onpage Optimisation: Brief Summary
Onpage optimisation, sometimes known as onpage SEO, is a collective term used to describe a variety of search engine optimisation measures and techniques. More specifically, it refers to the various methods that are available for improving search engine rankings by optimising a web page or a number of web pages on a website.
There are a number of onpage elements that function as search engine ranking factors for sites like Google and Bing. Effective onpage optimisation will leverage these elements, helping search engines to better understand the nature of a web page, but will also do so without compromising the user experience.
Onpage Optimisation: Detailed Summary
A significant part of any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy involves optimising web pages and the website itself. This can take many forms, from optimising the written content or images on the page, through to making effective use of headings, tags and HTML. This is collectively referred to as onpage optimisation.
The term onpage optimisation is sometimes used interchangeably with on-site optimisation, and they do describe very similar things. However, there is a slight difference too, because onpage optimisation is concerned only with optimising web pages, including things like content and tags, whereas on-site optimisation also includes elements like sitemaps, website speed, Robots.txt optimisation and other elements that impact upon an entire domain.
The main goal of onpage optimisation is to ensure that web pages are able to be understood by search engine algorithms. The way to do this is to capitalise on as many different search engine ranking factors as possible – without sacrificing readability or the user experience – with a view to boosting placement on relevant search engine results pages. This, in turn, helps to boost overall website visibility, which can increase the number of visitors a page attracts.
Essentially, onpage optimisation helps to tell a search engine’s algorithms what a web page is about, why it may be relevant to a particular search term and how it fits in, contextually, with the rest of the website. There are a number of important onpage optimisation elements to consider, and the most significant are explained in more detail below.
Important Onpage Optimisation Elements
There are a number of different onpage elements that can be optimised, in order to boost an SEO strategy and help a website or web page to rank higher on search engine results pages. These include the following:
- Written Text – Written text is the core content on many web pages and it plays a valuable role in most onpage optimisation strategies. In particular, intelligent use of keywords is a major ranking factor. The keywords you target should be relevant to the search intent of users you want to attract to your page. In the past, keyword density was a primary focus, but modern algorithms prefer relevancy to frequency. Keywords can also be used in headings and subheadings, while it is important to avoid duplicate content, as this will be penalised.
- Meta Tags – Meta tags are inserted within a web page’s HTML code and provide important metadata, describing the page’s content and purpose. The code is not visible on the page to users, but provides valuable information to search engines. Examples include the title tag, which should ideally contain a keyword, and IMG meta tags, which provide descriptions of images that otherwise cannot be understood by search engines. The meta description, meanwhile, provides a description of the page and can be used to attract clicks from search engine users too.
- Internal Links – While external links and inbound links are generally regarded as off-page optimisation elements, internal link building is a key part of onpage optimisation. This describes links within content to other pages on the same website. This can help to improve navigation for users and make a website feel more interconnected. Search engine algorithms value this, because it provides structure. It is important, however, that internal links make sense. For example, it can be effective to link to content that expands upon an idea mentioned in another piece of content.
- Mobile Optimisation – A huge number of online users connect to websites via mobile devices and Google heavily penalises websites that are not optimised for mobile use. Content should be easy to read on smaller mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, while loading times are especially important here. Mobile devices often have slower internet connections, so simplicity is preferred. Google penalises websites that take too long to load on mobiles, as the search engine assumes many users will click off the site instead of waiting for it.
- URL Structure – Finally, your URL structure goes hand-in-hand with internal links. Ideally, URLs should contain your most important keyword and should tell the user something about what they can expect to find on the page. For instance, http://www.[yourdomain].com/online-marketing/onpage-optimisation would be a good example of a logical URL structure. It tells users and Google to expect content about onpage optimisation, while also indicating that the page itself belongs to the online marketing section of the website.
Onpage optimisation is primarily focused on search engines and their algorithms. To a large extent, it involves optimising the elements on a web page, in order to allow sites like Google to better understand the page and to recommend it to people who make relevant searches. With that being said, it is important that this is not the sole focus.
Instead, onpage optimisation should also consider human users too. Think about how a page can be organised, so that users are able to load the page, navigate it, find what they are looking for and potentially explore more. Any onpage optimisation efforts that detract from the user experience should be avoided, as these will do more harm than good.
Google Analytics is a useful tool, which will be able to tell you important information about your website and web pages. This information can then be used to enhance your onpage optimisation efforts.
Onpage optimisation refers to a range of techniques and strategies that can be used to optimise elements of a web page, in order to boost its ranking on search engine results pages. Examples of onpage optimisation include the intelligent use and placement of keywords within the written content, effective use of meta tags and internal links within the content. All onpage optimisation efforts fall under the wider umbrella of SEO techniques.
The term onpage optimisation is contrasted by off-page optimisation, which refers to aspects handled away from the website and web page itself. While onpage optimisation can be extremely valuable for boosting visibility and attracting clicks, it is important that efforts in this area do not detract from the user experience or the quality of the content.