On Site SEO: How to Optimise Your Site for Better Rankings

On Site SEO: How to Optimise Your Site for Better Rankings

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This article is the second in a four-part series on SEO that we are covering this month. In this article, we going to be exploring on-site SEO and looking at some of the techniques that you can use that can directly help to influence your rankings in the SERP. The main difference between on-site SEO and off-site SEO is that you have more control over on-site SEO and as such, this allows you more opportunity to optimise your website yourself. Both parts heavily influence one another and collectively help improve your ranking.

In this article, we will discuss some effective on-site SEO techniques to help you improve your site’s ranking and drive more traffic through organic search.

Understanding On-Site SEO and Why It Matters

On-site SEO, also known as on-page SEO, is the practice of optimising individual web pages to rank higher in search engine results and earn more relevant traffic. It includes aspects like content, HTML source code, page titles, and meta descriptions.

One of the key elements of on-site SEO is creating high-quality, relevant content that serves the user’s intent. This is combined with properly using HTML tags and structures to help search engines understand your content better. Other factors like mobile optimisation and page loading speed also play an important role, with faster, mobile-optimised sites ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERP).

Properly implemented on-site SEO not only helps your pages rank higher but also improves the overall user experience on your website. It’s a crucial element in a well-rounded SEO strategy that can help to achieve higher rankings for your website.

The next sections will delve deeper into how to improve your on-site SEO.

Importance of High-Quality, Relevant Content

Creating high-quality, relevant content is the cornerstone of on-site SEO. This doesn’t just mean writing well but crafting content that is meaningful, useful and engaging to your target audience. The more value you can provide to your visitors, the more likely they are to stay on your page, share your content, and return to your site in the future.

The relevance of your content is also critical. By focusing on creating content that matches the needs and interests of your target audience, you increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining them. Relevance should guide your topic choices, language, and even the format of your content. Remember, relevant content is content that directly addresses the problems, questions, and interests of your target audience. If you run paid ads, such as Google Ads, our blog article on ”
How PPC Can Enhance Your Approach to SEO” offers some further insights into understanding your target audience and targeting specific keywords.

Quality and relevance not only enhance the user experience but also directly contribute to your organic ranking. Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to assess the quality and relevance of your content. Pages with high-quality, relevant content are seen as more trustworthy and authoritative, leading to better rankings.

Additionally, this type of content tends to attract more backlinks, another critical factor in SEO. What’s more, relevant, high-quality content keeps visitors on your site for longer, reducing your bounce rate. Search engines interpret this as a positive user experience, which can also boost your rankings.

Remember, in the realm of SEO, trustworthy, relevant content is king. Make it a priority to consistently produce high-quality, relevant content that appeals to your target audience, addresses their needs, and provides value. This is one of the most effective ways to improve your on-site SEO and enhance your organic rankings.

This can be achieved via articles such as this, how-to’s and excellent product descriptions for example if you run an e-commerce store.

The Role of Keywords in On-Site SEO

Keywords play an essential part in on-site SEO. These are the terms or phrases that people input into search engines when looking for information. Choosing keywords that are relevant to your content and the needs of your target audience is vital to the success of your SEO efforts. Your chosen keywords should align with the search queries that potential visitors might use when searching for the products, services, or information you provide. 

Consider the following points:

  1. Consider the relevancy, search volume, and competitiveness when choosing keywords for your content. Highly relevant keywords with a decent search volume and low competitiveness are often the best to target. Use keyword research tools to find suitable keywords and analyse their potential effectiveness.

  2. Once you have selected your keywords, it’s crucial to integrate them naturally into your content. Overstuffing content with keywords can harm your SEO, as search engines may view this as an attempt to manipulate rankings. Search engines favour content and keywords that are relevant, meaningful, and provide value to users. 

  3. Place your primary keyword in critical areas such as the title, headings, meta description, and throughout the body of the text. Don’t forget to include them in your URL and alt text for images too. However, remember to use them in a way that feels organic and enhances the readability of your content.

  4. Keywords also play a role in linking strategies, both for internal and external links. Anchor text for these links should ideally contain relevant keywords, providing context to both search engines and users about the content of the linked page. 

Overall, understanding and implementing keywords effectively is a vital on-site SEO technique. The right approach can significantly enhance your site’s visibility, drive more organic traffic, and improve your search engine rankings.

The Significance of Meta Tags and Titles

Meta tags and titles play a pivotal role in on-site SEO. They provide search engines with essential information about the content of your webpage, guiding them in indexing your site correctly. The most important meta tags for SEO are the title tag and the meta description. The title tag is the headline that appears in search engine results. It should be concise, compelling and include your primary keyword to attract the right audience. This helps search engines understand what your page is about, improving your site’s visibility.

A well-crafted title can lead to higher click-through rates, directly influencing your site’s ranking in the search results. On the other hand, the meta description is a brief summary of your webpage content that appears under the title in search engine results. Shown below is a screenshot of our own SEO page and how it appears in Google’s SERP.

SEO Wirral Screen Shot of Meta Title and Description

Herd Marketing screenshot of how our SEO page appears in Google SERP

While it doesn’t directly affect your site’s ranking, an engaging and keyword-rich meta description can significantly increase the likelihood of users clicking on your link. This, in turn, can boost your organic search traffic. Remember that each page on your site should have a unique title tag and meta description, avoiding duplication.

Google and other search engines may penalise duplicate meta descriptions and titles, negatively affecting your on-site SEO. Understanding the significance of meta tags and titles and utilising them effectively is an essential component of on-site SEO strategy. With the right implementation, they can help enhance your site’s visibility in organic search, leading to more traffic and better rankings.

Importance of Site Architecture and Navigation

A well-structured website architecture is a vital aspect of on-site SEO. It primarily aids search engines in understanding your site and plays a crucial role in providing a user-friendly experience. Essentially, the architecture of your website involves how your pages interlink and how efficiently users and search engines can navigate through your site.

A website with good architecture has a logical and simple layout, with all pages accessible through a minimal number of clicks.

When it comes to on-site SEO, a clear, easily navigable structure can significantly help search engines to crawl your site more efficiently. This makes it easier for them to find and index all of your website’s content, increasing your visibility in search results. It also contributes to a better understanding of the content and context of each page, allowing search engines to accurately rank your site for relevant searches.

From a user perspective, a logically structured website enhances usability and user experience. If visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for, they’re likely to spend more time on your site, reducing bounce rates and potentially boosting your SEO rankings.

Additionally, a well-organised site architecture helps users to understand your site’s focus areas and can contribute to increased conversions. Interlinking your pages is also a significant aspect of good website architecture.

By linking relevant pages together, you guide both search engines and users to related content, thereby spreading link equity across your site. This practice can further improve your site’s SEO performance.

Ensuring Your Site is Mobile Friendly

A mobile-friendly site is an essential part of on-site SEO. As more and more people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices, ensuring your website design is responsive and compatible with a range of devices is crucial. Mobile web design isn’t just about making your website look good on a smaller screen. It also involves optimising site features and functionalities, such as navigation, loading speed, readability, and usability on mobile devices.

The benefits of mobile web design are extensive. From an SEO perspective, search engines like Google prioritise mobile-friendly sites, often leading to higher rankings in mobile search results. Google has implemented a mobile-first indexing approach, meaning it predominantly uses the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. This highlights the importance of having a site that performs well on mobile in order to secure good rankings.

Client Mobile Site Screenshot Example

The above screenshot is taken from one of our clients websites and shows how their website is optimised for mobile, for example using the hamburger style navigation menu.

Having a mobile-friendly site also enhances the user experience. Users are likely to stay longer on a site that is easy to navigate, has quick load times and provides a seamless experience across different devices. A good mobile web design can help decrease your bounce rates, improve engagement, and increase conversions.

Tools such as Google’s Page Speed Insights can provide insight into how well your site performs on mobile devices, and offer suggestions for improvement. As part of your on-site SEO strategy, regular monitoring and improvements to your mobile web design can drive more traffic, improve user experience and ultimately contribute to better rankings.

The Power of Internal Links

Internal website linking is a powerful tool in the armoury of on-site SEO strategies. These are links that connect one page of your site to another, establishing a hierarchy and flow of information. These links play a critical role in determining how search engines understand and index your site’s content. By implementing a well-thought-out internal linking strategy, you can guide search engines to your site’s most valuable pages.

For instance, linking to your cornerstone content from other related pages on your site can signal to search engines that these are important pages, thereby boosting their potential to rank higher. Apart from SEO benefits, internal links also greatly improve the user experience. They help guide your visitors through your site, leading them from one relevant piece of content to another. This encourages longer stays and deeper engagement with your content. Moreover, internal links make your site easier to navigate, improving the overall user experience and potentially increasing conversion rates.

Bear in mind, however, that your internal linking strategy should be logical and user-friendly. Avoid excessive or irrelevant links as they may confuse both users and search engines. The anchor text used for these links should also be relevant and descriptive, providing a clear idea of what the linked page is about. In summary, a well-implemented internal website linking strategy can significantly enhance your on-site SEO.

By creating a logical and navigable site structure, you can help both search engines and users better understand and appreciate your content. Remember, a well-linked site is a user-friendly site, and this is always beneficial for your SEO efforts.

Page Loading Time

Page loading time is a vital aspect of on-site SEO that you can’t afford to overlook. When a user clicks on your site, they expect it to load swiftly. If your site takes too long to load, users are more likely to leave, leading to an increased bounce rate. Both user experience and bounce rate are factors that search engines consider when ranking websites, hence, improving your site’s loading speed can significantly enhance your on-site SEO and overall search engine rankings.

Fast hosting is one of the most effective ways to improve your page loading speed. Opting for a high-quality, reliable hosting provider can make a substantial difference in how quickly your site loads. Your hosting provider’s servers’ speed and efficiency can impact the speed at which your site is delivered to users.

Herd Marketing Own Page Speed Screenshot

The above screenshot shows a Google Page Speed Insights report on our website and identifies areas in which we can improve and areas that are doing well.

Therefore, investing in a good quality hosting provider can result in a faster, smoother site, leading to an improved user experience and potentially better rankings. There are numerous benefits to having a fast website. For starters, a quick-loading site provides a much better user experience. Users are more likely to stay and interact with your site if it loads promptly.

Moreover, a fast site can lead to higher conversion rates, as users are more likely to complete actions like making a purchase or filling out a form if the process is quick and seamless.

Image Optimisation

Effective image optimisation is an integral part of on-site SEO. It involves reducing the file size of your images without sacrificing quality, ensuring your web pages load quickly, and are easily discoverable by search engines. One of the best ways to optimise images is through image compression. This technique minimises the size of the image file, helping to improve your site’s loading speed. Remember, a fast-loading site enhances user experience and can contribute to higher search engine rankings.

Several tools and plugins are available for image compression. Plugins like Smush, EWWW Image Optimiser, and ShortPixel Image Optimiser are popular choices for WordPress sites. These plugins automatically compress your images upon upload, saving you time and ensuring all images are optimised for speed.

However, it’s crucial to choose a plugin that maintains the quality of your images while effectively reducing their size. The way you name your images also contributes to on-site SEO. Use descriptive file names that reflect the image content, ideally incorporating your target keywords. This can help search engines understand what the image is about, potentially improving your image search ranking.

Finally, don’t forget to use alt text for your images. This provides a textual description of the image, which can be read by search engine crawlers and screen readers used by visually impaired users. Including relevant keywords in your alt text can further enhance your SEO.

In summary, image optimisation, involving image compression, choosing the right file format, and using SEO-friendly file names and alt text, can significantly contribute to your on-site SEO strategy. With the right approach, image optimisation can lead to faster page loading speeds, improved user experience, and better search engine rankings.


In concluding this article, a lot of the on-site SEO techniques and advice that has been shared here focus on user experience and this is always the best way to conduct your SEO efforts. Work backwards from your customer’s intent with your SEO efforts and over time you will begin to improve your organic rankings.

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