The super quick on-page SEO optimisations list
SEO begins at the discovery stage (see my post about 6 steps web designers take that you need to know if you want to know more about the overall process). But on-page SEO optimisation is one of the most important aspects if you want the search engines to be able to read your page correctly. So, I’ve created this quick on-page SEO Optimisations List to help you along.
I’ve deliberately not gone into too much detail as this is just meant to be a quick on-page SEO optimisation list. Just have it set next to you to prompt you to think about the different aspects.
I’ve based the points in this post on what I’ve found (and many others of course) works well for Google. There are of course other very good search engines, but Google are the biggest and the optimisations here should work across the board.
I’ve also made the infographic below:
Title Tags – the first of the on-page SEO optimisations list
- Try and keep them around 60 characters. Google displays title tags in search results slightly differently on desktop and mobile. Desktop character length is around 60 (depending on exactly what characters you have). On Mobile search, it’s around 70.
- Each page on your website should have a unique title tag. That’s maybe a little more difficult on a very large e-Commerce website but nonetheless, try.
- Make them descriptive, relevant and punchy. Try and accurately describe the page.
- DO use the keywords you’re trying to optimise for.
- DON’T overstuff your title with those same keywords. Keep it relevant.
Meta Description Tags
- You don’t see these on the website. They’re written in the head section of the HTML markup.
- Try to accurately describe the page.
- DO use the keywords you’re trying to optimise for, but it should be relevant and natural.
- DON’T overstuff the description with the keyword. It doesn’t help the searchers (that’s who we’re all ultimately trying to reach) and the search engines don’t like it.
- Make sure the descriptions for each page of your site are unique.
- Aim for around 155 – 160 characters.
Heading tags are really important for people to be able to understand your pages and topics you’re writing about and truly are one of the best tools on the on-page SEO optimisations list. They also help search engines understand the topics too.
- Make sure you follow the hierarchy correctly (h1 is the most important, h6 is the least important).
- Only have one h1 tag per page.
- Use sub-headings (h2, h3 etc.) to separate out important content. Having relevant and appropriate heading tags makes it easier for users to understand the content. It also enables you to break up large amounts of content into more digestible chunks for users.
- Only use the heading tags for separating out the content. Don’t put your content into the heading tags.
- Use the keywords you’re trying to optimise for, but make it relevant. Don’t just use the keywords everywhere, make it natural and part of the flow of the content.
- You don’t need to overuse the keywords (it’s called keyword stuffing and it’s not a good idea). Search engines can read the content and understand whether what you’re writing about is relevant to the contents of the page.
- The most important thing is to make sure you write good content that engages the users. If users go to your page and immediately leave because the content just isn’t good, it could affect your rankings over time.
- See the Images section below for any images you have as part of your content.
- Overall, having good content is one of the most important things for your on-page SEO optimisations list.
- First, anchor text is the text that is the link itself (a lot of websites used to use “Click Here” links, but try to avoid doing this).
- Use relevant anchor text (not “Click Here”, but a relevant and accurate description of what the person is clicking on). Firstly, it gives the user an idea of what they’re clicking on, and it helps the search engines understand the same too.
- Don’t use images in place of navigation links. Search Engines can’t read the images as they would the text, so you’ll miss out on possible keywords in your navigation.
- Make sure the image file sizes aren’t too big. Page load speed is a ranking factor for Google. If someone goes to load your site and it takes too long to load, research has shown a lot of people won’t wait and will just leave. I’ve written a separate blog post about quick image optimisation techniques.
- If you do use any images as links, note the alt tag text is like the anchor text for a link.
- I’ve already said this, but don’t use images in place of text navigation links.
- Make sure you fill out the alt tag for the image in the HTML markup.
- Make the alt tag text relevant and descriptive.
- Use the keyword you’re optimising for but make it natural and relevant.
- Don’t write a description for an image using a keyword if the image has nothing to do with that topic. Always keep it relevant.
- Use natural file names where you can, rather than 001.jpg for example.
You can also find some more information from Google about SEO Optimisations. You can find their SEO Optimisation Starter Guide here.
That’s my on-page SEO optimisations list that you can quickly follow. In general, don’t stuff any content or descriptions full of keywords; it’s not a good SEO technique anymore. Focus on producing good content that’s going to give your visitors good value.