On-Site Search Engine Optimization

What is On-Site Seo?

On-Site search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing your website internally for better rankings in search engines. Popular areas of concern include meta data, schema markup, content density and header structure. Other factors like having an SSL certificate and XML sitemap are also key ranking factors.

What Kind of On-Site SEO do You Need?

Consider different tactics and strategies your website may already have had done and new ones it may need.

Meta Data

Meta data is data that is used to describe other data to search engines. Areas include title, description and keywords.

Content Density

How many repetitions of a keyword within titles and your websites content can help or harm your website rankings.

Schema Markup

Used to enhance the way your website appears in search results by offering deeper information like rich snippets.

XML Sitemap

Having a sitemap to submit to search engines is extremely important to be indexed properly by search engines.

How To Get Started

Starting with identifying where on site search engine optimization errors are on your website is a good first step. We often use SEO Quake, a free Google chrome extension to pull the most basic yet important errors on websites we audit. Some errors do not require the help of a professional web developer to fix and can be fixed yourself if you are comfortable doing so. Other errors, such as your website not being mobile responsive are not fixable and will require you to build a new website altogether. Feel free to reach out to us for a free audit if you’d like to see how your website’s on site search engine optimization is currently.

Website Speed and Performance

This is an important metric for your on site search engine optimization. Websites that load in more than 3 seconds lose more than 60% of visitors. We aim to optimize websites we build or work on to load in 1 second or under. By providing a better user experience through optimizing for speed and performance scores, you can quickly make an impact in your website’s ability to rank for valuable keywords organically.

Don’t Break Your Website

Working on optimizing a website can be difficult enough without a backup. Should you try to optimize your own website, we highly suggest taking a backup of your website prior to beginning optimization. Oftentimes, various plugin combinations or server configurations can result in your website breaking. When you take a recent backup of your site any troublesome issues fixing a broken website goes away because you can simply restore from the backup and not repeat the same issue. We always take a backup when we are working on optimization because some issues are also not able to be repaired in a quick and efficient manner. 
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Areas of On-Site Optimization We Cover

  • Meta Title – Meta titles are read by search engine robots and seen by search users within your organic listing. Left to default, many meta titles simply have the company name within them. However, there is an opportunity here to include a short message or information about what your business does at the top most level. 
  • Meta Description – Your website’s meta description is a small amount of text, advised to be in between 160 to 300 characters long. This description should be clear and contain the most valuable keywords for your business. Every page on your website needs to have it’s own, unique description to show in search results what that specific page is about.
  • Meta Keywords – Meta Keywords are indexed by search engines as your website’s way of declaring what keywords your site should be considered the most relevant for. While Google, among other search engines have announced recently that they do not take these into account anymore we have seen a steady flow of data suggesting otherwise and hence continue to use them. While they are perhaps not as powerful a tool as they once were there is no negative from continued usage and we view this as an area to cover just as important as all other meta data on your website.
  • Headings – Headings like <H1> and <H2> are used to add structure to a web page. Functionally, you can usually see visually where a heading has been placed on a website. Search engines are also able to digest this style of content formatting to determine what different sections of your website are about. Make certain that there is a body of content below each heading on your website that the heading is describing.
  • Alt Text – (Alternative Text) is the word or words that are inserted into an HTML document to tell web site visitors or search engines what the contents of an image are.
  • Image Compression – Raw image files are often the maximum file size the device that captured them could create. While great for overall photo quality, these large file sizes eat up valuable space on your website. By using lossless compression tools or methods you can maintain overall image quality but have a much lighter website.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages – (AMP) are a popular way to offer a less code heavy page on a user’s mobile device. While Google has said this is not a ranking factor, accelerated mobile pages are normally ranked higher in Google search than a page that is not an AMP page. 
  • XML Sitemap – Site maps are a model of a websites structure and content that is designed to help both search engine users and search engines navigate your website. Providing this instructional data to search engines helps them index or digest your websites content better. Many search engines also have an option to submit a site map for a request to be indexed as well.
  • Google Analytics Setup – Websites should have Google Analytics installed if they are not choosing to use another analytical toolset. Google Analytics will show you valuable data and insights about your website traffic. Some key metrics include number of site visitors broken down into the acquisition channel, number of conversions and how long people spend on web pages within your website.
  • Favicon – This is an icon that shows within the browser address bar or next to a bookmark when a website is saved as a bookmark. Often much smaller than your full size logo, this is an important step to cover so you don’t have a blank page showing where your favicon should be.
  • Schema Markup – Using schema markup you can a set of code used to provide more informative results for users. While there are many different kinds of schema markup, having this area optimized on your website results in larger search engine listings and a higher click through rate from the people that see your site.
  • Browser Caching – This tactic stores a copy of your website on a users browser, this way instead of loading directly from your hosting environment the next time they visit your website, they can load it much quicker from an already saved version.
  • General Speed & Performance Optimization – Many WordPress websites are still equipped with the original free WordPress themes that come with install, deleting them saves space and makes your website load faster. Having web hooks pulling data from social or an YouTube video with an auto-play function are a couple other areas that we see from time to time. We don’t stop at just the list above, we routinely scan your website during the optimization process to identify every opportunity to optimize your website to be the best it can be.
 

FAQs

On-Site search engine optimization, also known as on-page seo, is the process of optimizing a website to improve website rankings on search engines.

This is the only kind of search engine optimization that is done 100% within your existing website. 

Areas covered include speed, data, performance and the user experience of website visitors. While many on site search engine optimization tools exist, using them correctly is a combination of experience, knowledge and data science. 

Not usually, while you can definitely make some on page seo improvements this area of search engine optimization is best left to a true web developer. Many tactics to improve on site seo require a basic understanding of coding and website functionalities that are not easy to learn.

SEO Quake is a great tool for a simple diagnosis of your websites basic on-site search engine optimization. While many tools exist this is the only free one that we use reliably. Running your website through speed and performance checks like GTMetrix.com and Tools.pingdom.com will show you performance based errors you can fix on your website as well.

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