This article will cover the concept of “on-site SEO” and give an introduction to what it technically means for your website and why you should invest time in optimizing this part.
On-site SEO and on-page SEO
On-site SEO is also sometimes referred to as “on-page SEO”, but the two concepts are basically identical and in this article we will simply refer to on-site SEO. At its core, on-site SEO is all about optimizing the elements and content that exists on your website. In this way, on-site SEO differs in part from linkbuilding as on-site SEO is based on your website and the technical aspects of it – that is e.g. the HTML source code, the graphical elements and the content you present on your website to be optimized.
The purpose of on-site SEO is to make sure that your website is technically functional compared to search engines like Google and thus on-site SEO is an essential factor to rank higher in search results and get more organic traffic and visitors.
Properly performed on-site SEO helps the search engines “understand” your website better. You also help your visitors and users easily find the content on your website that they feel is relevant to them and which you can hopefully make money from delivering i.e. services or sales of products. There is an intimate relationship between a high-quality content website optimized with on-site SEO for the keywords relevant to the content of the page and the number of visitors as search engines like Google will refer to the website through high rankings in the search results .
So the temporary conclusion to on-site SEO is that it is a discipline that focuses on an enhanced user experience for both the human actor who searches for content on e.g. Google and the search engine itself, Google, which must be able to identify the content that matches a search.
In short, the purpose of on-site SEO is:
- That the user and the search engine can understand what the website is about.
- The user and the search engine feel that the website is relevant to the search that has been done via the search engine.
- That the user and the search engine feel that the website actually delivers valuable and readable content.
If your website meets these, somewhat roughly outlined requirements, then the likelihood that the site ranks high on Google and other search engines is greatly improved.
Which on-site SEO factors influence ranking?
There are many factors within on-site SEO that have a major impact on a website’s rankings in search results. In the following we will give an introduction to the three factors that we believe are the basics. It is therefore not an exhaustive list, by any means, but a good rule of thumb for the things you should focus on first:
- Title Tag
Content on the website
The content that you publish on your website is critical to whether it gets the attention of Google and other search engines. If you make sure your content is relevant, adds value to the reader and meets some kind of needs of the reader – then your content is readable and interesting to Google. It also means that it doesn’t give you many points at Google if you chooses to plagiarize the content of other websites or write content that is misspelled and semantically incoherent. In fact, it can directly damage your website’s relationship with Google.
Good content on a website is a bit like comparing to a merchant on a bazaar. If your booth can offer goods that customers demand, then you’re popular – if you sell the same kind of banana as the competitor’s booth, you risk fewer customers in the store.
Another major benefit of good content is that other websites and blogs are more likely to make backlinks to your website and this improve your site’s rankings in Google’s search results.
Title Tag to the website
After you have written unique and exciting content on your website, the next step is to implement relevant title tags on your content. A title tag is a small HTML element that indicates the title of your website or your post. These are also titles, or headlines, that you can see in search results when you search on Google and the like.
A title tag is therefore a brief headline and description of what a post on your website is about. Google reads title tags on websites to understand what the content is about. Title tags are crucial to the search engines and can significantly improve your ranking if used properly.
Technically speaking, your title tags should contain 50-60 letters or characters and describe exactly what your content is about. It is not an exact science what your title tags should look like – but a rule of thumb is to make sure you have your most important keywords as an integral part of your title tags.
The URL of the website
In order for a website to be optimized for on-site SEO, it is essential that the internal link structure is logical. If you have a website with some content, then you probably divide your content into categories and sub-categories. It is important that this type of content on your website is reflected in the link structure.
An example from our website: https://igaming-links.com/linkbuilding/what-are-backlinks/
Here we have chosen an URL for our post on “What are backlinks” that reflects this hierarchy. We have our domain at the beginning “igaming-links.com” and then our sub-category “linkbuilding” and finally our concrete content / posts “what-are-backlinks“.
By dividing our content in this logical way, we clearly communicate to Google that we have a link structure and how it is structured. At the same time, our subcategory and the title of the post itself are included in the URL. This is positive for the rankings on Google.
Try to compare our link structure with this link structure on the popular movie service IMDB.com:
Clicking the URL will redirect to a post / review of the movie “The Godfather”. You wouldn’t be able to guess that from the URL. Technically speaking, Google has trouble identifying what the website is about based on the URL – here the title tag of the website can help, but it is not optimal. Google will also have trouble understanding the link structure, as no clear category, sub-category, or hierarchy is specified.
The link structure is very important as it assists Google and the search engines in understanding the structure of the website, the division of content and it helps the person who wants to click into the website to get a sense of what the page is about.
This was a brief introduction to on-site SEO and three of the factors that we believe are crucial for your SEO strategy to bear fruit and get many visitors to your website.