Onsite search engine optimisation

Understanding on-page SEO

By Rhian Harris

A key part of search engine optimisation relies on relevancy and authority through the content contained within a web page, but that’s only part of the story. The other side is off-page SEO (that will be dealt with later).

To ensure your website is relevant to user searches, you’ll be focusing your content on your specified keywords as set out in the SEO framework so that it is clear to both humans and search engines that the content is related to the queried key phrases.

Important note – keyword ‘stuffing’ is not good SEO.

Search engine algorithms have evolved so that they can spot web pages with keywords ‘stuffed’ into the on-page elements, so we need to be more sophisticated in our approach.

Step 1 – Keyword variations and content

The actual content on a web page is the other critical element of op-page SEO.

This is where your keywords and key phrases are displayed allowing search engines to crawl the content and assess what the site is about.

Write content so that is it rich enough for search engines to understand the topic, describes your product / service, and instead of inserting the same word repeatedly, it’s good practice to use variations or lateral keywords for related searches.  For example, ‘pizza restaurant’ becomes ‘pizza restaurants’ (plural), ‘pizza takeaway’ (lateral).

Step 2 – Meta data

Meta data is another way to describe information found in the head tags of a web page HTML code to inform search engines of the page content.

Meta data is split into:

  1. Titles – the first aspect of your page that a search engine crawls, and also the sentence shown in the title bar of the browser. Typically 77 characters so ‘front load’ the title.
  2. Meta description – the snippet of information shown in your SERPs to influence a click through from a queried search term. This is your ‘advert’, and running at around 160 characters, whilst of little impact on your SEO, it should be optimised to elicit a clickthrough.
  3. Meta keywords – these describe the content of the page and whilst less important in SEO nowadays, they still play a useful part and should include a brief and concise list of the most important themes of your page.
meta data examples

Meta data examples

So now we have nailed our on-page search engine optimisation, we need to look at off-page SEO.

Jump to:

What is SEO and why do you need to do it?
Setting the framework and understanding your objectives
The basics of onsite search engine optimisation
The basics of offsite inbound marketing
Good practices in link building
Not forgetting the role of social media in SEO