On-page SEO: everything you need to know about technical optimisation of your website
On-page SEO, what is that?
On-page SEO is therefore all the actions and optimisations that can be done on a page to improve its ranking on a search engine.
Just click here for the definition of Off-page SEO, to which we have devoted a separate article.
The importance of SEO and on-page optimisation
On-page SEO is not a magic recipe because, in addition to what is contained in your page, Google will take into account other factors:
Nevertheless, as SEO is a cruel competition where everyone wants to take the place of the first or the one above him, if you want to win the race, you’d better put all the chances on your side.
So on-site optimisation can be compared to the fine tuning of a car engine in a race. Every little detail is important in order to reach the top position on Google.
Thus, by optimising the visible content (textual content and images) but also all the non-visible elements (loading speed, structure and html code, internal links, etc.) of your page or site, you will give the search engine robots (called spiders or crawlers) valuable signals that will enable you to be better positioned.
On page SEO: keywords are always a must
Again, this is not an exact science but let’s just say that it helps to be better positioned.
If you have a lot of questions about keywords (what density, how many repetitions? how to choose them? how many different keywords can you work on per page?), we advise you to read our page dedicated to Keywords for Google.
Optimise your Hn titles
Keep in mind that from a semantic point of view, an HTML page should be organised into paragraphs, headings and subheadings. This indicates the main topic and sub-topics.
In concrete terms, and for the uninitiated, this translates in the html code into particular markup (tags
Our on-page optimisation advice is to have a single H1 heading that contains your main keyword. This keyword should also appear in at least one H2 heading, which you should always use at least once per page.
Optimise the Meta Title and Meta Description tags
Webmasters who do not know html code have difficulty understanding the importance of these tags. Worse, if they use site publishing platforms (free or not) or if they use a CMS (content management system), they sometimes don’t even know they exist.
Indeed, these tags contain text that is not seen on the screen. Their content is not displayed on the page. For example, the title is displayed in the tab of your browser:
The title of the page is “How do search algorithms work?” but in fact the title tag reads “How does Google search work?
This title tag was often used by Google for its display in search results:
Similarly, the meta description tag does not appear on the visible text of the page. But it was generally used to appear in Google’s search results. The 2 small lines written in black under the title of the page were extracted by Google from the meta description tag:
When the meta description tag was missing, Google managed to extract a piece of text from the page in question.
Since this year, an update has also changed Google’s results, as the meta title tag is no longer exclusively used, and is often replaced by the h1 of the page, and sometimes by an h2.
It is important to note that even if these tags are no longer used by Google, they must be properly optimised. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on them.
To this day, we still believe that they are important for your positioning.
Optimise your urls for SEO
Often overlooked, URLs can be a game changer for a site’s SEO. URLs that are readable by bots and humans provide a better user experience and are much more shareable: a URL that is immediately understandable is more likely to be clickable and shareable.
There are two simple rules to follow:
Optimise your urls for SEO
To rank well on Google, we advise you to use at least 1 image and if possible several images on your page to illustrate your purpose, your services, your products.
Optimise them to have reasonable loading times, to meet current web standards (adaptive images with picture or srcset). Make sure that the URL of your image (the file name for example) contains the keywords you are working on. Place them in the text close to the concepts they relate to and help Google to identify all this by filling in some attributes.
For example, the alt attribute, which designates the alternative text for the blind and in case the image does not load, is a positive point for both referencing and site accessibility. The title of your images is a field that allows you to give additional information, so don’t hesitate to use it too.
Internal links are also part of on-page optimisation
Webmasters are used to planning navigation with menus. Whether it is the breadcrumb trail, a main menu at the top of the page or secondary menus in the sidebar, these menus are important for the user.
They allow them to navigate the site without having to look for a link somewhere in the text. Nevertheless, it is common for a page to refer to subjects that are contained on other pages. For example here we could invite you to discover our SEO agency Net Wash or our page on netlinking.
This brings richness: the interested Internet user can thus navigate on related contents as he reads. Google’s robot (as well as that of other search engines) will do the same.
When you make internal links, optimising the anchor of the link is part of on-page SEO, as Google indicates in its guidelines for webmasters:
The idea is therefore to integrate links into the text, making sure that they lead to relevant content that is related to the page visited.
In doing so, these links reduce the bounce rate and increase the average duration of visits, which are two very important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in web marketing.