On-Page SEO Overview
The following elements can greatly impact your website's search engine visibility.
- Title tags: Use relevant and descriptive title tags that accurately reflect the content of the page. Title tags are displayed in search engine results and influence click-through rates. Keep title tags under 60 characters to ensure they are fully displayed in search engine results.
- Meta descriptions: Write unique and compelling meta descriptions that provide a concise summary of the page's content and encourage users to click on the link in search results. Keep meta descriptions under 160 characters to ensure they are fully displayed in search engine results.
- Header tags: Use header tags to organize content hierarchically. The H1 tag should represent the main heading of the page, followed by H2 tags for subheadings, and so on. Include relevant keywords in your headers to signal to search engines what the page is about.
- Images: Use descriptive file names and alt tags that include relevant keywords. This helps search engines understand the context of the image and improve the page's visibility in image search results.
- Internal linking: Link to other relevant pages on your website. This helps search engines understand the structure of your website and the relationships between pages.
- Keywords: Use relevant keywords and phrases in headers, content, and meta tags.
By following best practices for on-page SEO elements, you can improve your webpage's chances of ranking well in search engine results and attracting organic traffic to your site. These guidelines also align with accessibility requirements and user experience best practices.
- Each page must have a unique meta title.
- Use relevant keywords: Include relevant keywords that accurately reflect the content of the page.
- Do not exceed 60 characters. Most desktop and mobile browsers are able to display the first 50–60 characters of a title tag, which is approximately eight words.
- Avoid abbreviations unless they’re universally well-known.
- Accurately represent the main topic of the webpage.
- Write complete sentences that are well-written and concise, similar to newspaper writing. Clearly describe the page's content or purpose in a few sentences.
- Include relevant keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within the meta description. Keywords matching the user's search query are often bolded in search results, which can attract attention.
- Often, you can revise content from your webpage, usually the first paragraph, for the page description. You may need to omit some adjectives or extra details to meet word count requirements. It may help to think of the meta description as a teaser for the page content.
- Do not exceed 160 characters. Google generally truncates snippets to ~155-160 characters. It's best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they're sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50 and 160 characters.
- Use plain language – easy to understand. Plain language refers to a style of writing that prioritizes clarity and simplicity, making information easy to understand for broad audiences.
- Avoid double quotation marks in descriptions. Use single quotation marks instead, if needed.
- Avoid abbreviations unless they’re universally well-known.
- Include only one H1 tag per page. The H1 tag should be the main title or heading that accurately summarizes the content of the entire page.
- Use a logical hierarchy: Follow a logical structure for your headers, with the H1 tag typically representing the main title or topic of the page. Subheadings can use H2 tags, and further subheadings within those sections can use H3 tags, and so on. This hierarchy helps both users and search engines understand the content's organization.
- Keyword usage: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your headers where appropriate. This can help with SEO, but avoid keyword stuffing, which can harm your rankings.
- Be descriptive: Make your header tags descriptive and informative. They should give users (and search engines) a clear idea of what each section or subsection is about.
- Do not skip header levels. For example, don't go directly from an H2 to an H4 without using H3 in between.
- Avoid using header tags solely for styling purposes.
Use descriptive file names.
- Name image files using descriptive, relevant keywords.
- Avoid generic file names like "image123.jpg" or "photo.jpg."
- Use hyphens (-) to separate words in file names.
Optimize image size and quality.
Compress images to reduce file size while maintaining quality. Smaller file sizes improve page load speed, a crucial SEO factor.
Use alt text.
- Include descriptive alt text for each image that summarizes its content or purpose. Alt text helps visually impaired users understand the image and aids search engines in indexing.
Avoid using images for text content.
- Whenever possible, use actual text rather than images to convey textual information. Search engines can read text but may not interpret text within images as effectively. Additionally, text within images does not meet accessibility requirements.
Strategically link pages within your website to enhance user experience, improve SEO rankings and help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your content. Here are some guidelines for effective internal linking:
Use descriptive anchor text (the words that are linked).
- Use descriptive and relevant anchor text that provides a clear idea of the linked page's content.
- Avoid generic terms like "click here" or "read more." Instead, use text that includes keywords and relates to the linked content.
- Link to pages that are contextually relevant to the content you're linking from. Internal links should enhance the user's understanding and navigation of your website.
- Link from higher-level pages (e.g., category or main topic pages) to subpages with related content.
- Avoid excessive linking to less important or redundant pages.
Limit the number of links on a page.
- While there's no strict rule, avoid overwhelming a page with too many internal links, as it may confuse users and search engines.
- Aim for a reasonable number of links that make navigation intuitive.
Regularly update and audit links.
- Periodically review and update your internal links to ensure they remain relevant and functional.
- Fix broken or outdated links to maintain a seamless user experience.
Identify keywords relevant to the topic.
- Ensure that your keywords are directly relevant to the topic of your content.
- Consider relevant keywords and phrases that users are likely to search for when looking for information related to your webpage's topic.
Use keywords naturally.
- Incorporate keywords into your content naturally and seamlessly.
- Write sentences that flow well and make sense to readers.
- Avoid forced or awkward keyword placement.
Avoid keyword repetition.
- Do not excessively repeat the same keyword within a single piece of content. Repeated use of keywords within close proximity can be a sign of keyword stuffing.
Focus on synonyms and variations.
- Use synonyms, related terms, and keyword variations to provide context and depth to your content. This can enhance SEO without overloading on a single keyword.
Write quality content.
- Focus on content quality, relevance, and depth. Well-researched and informative content is more likely to rank well in search engines without relying on keyword stuffing.
User experience matters.
- Keep the user experience at the forefront of your content creation. User-focused content is more likely to rank well and convert visitors into customers or readers.
Avoid keyword stuffing.
- This practice involves adding keywords to a webpage's content, meta tags, headers and other on-page elements in a way that does not provide value to users but aims to deceive search engines.