Why does my content both not rank well on Google and ensure interesting domain performance? How many times have we repeated this phrase, analyzing the disappointing performances of pages we worked on in the previous weeks, in search of the right intuition to raise their performance and give a positive shock to the site: often, the answer lies in problems with on-page SEO, a key area of optimization activity for major search engines, Below we try to identify 5 main aspects on which to focus our attention so to reverse the course and relaunch underperforming content.
Intervening on the on-page SEO so to boost underperforming content
The SEO landscape is constantly evolving and of course even the SEO on-page itself is very dynamic, and it is not enough just to intervene on title and meta description to think you have completed the optimization work.
There are several elements and aspects on which we can and must focus and, at the theoretical level, only a comprehensive on-page SEO strategy – which includes and applies the most effective and innovative best practices and optimization techniques – can help us achieve long-term success. Obviously, everyday life (and therefore time, budget or other common obstacles) force us to limit the possibilities of taking care of every single aspect of a content and a page, making it necessary to prioritize our efforts to achieve results even in the short term.
And so, following also the indications provided by Matt Bertram, we identified 5 areas of on-page SEO on which to focus attention and interventions, to start modifying our low-performing content with the aim of achieving better rankings, while trying to clarify the context and why these changes are necessary.
Content and HTML, the foundations of the on-page SEO
The actual content and the HTML elements are the two main aspects on which we can intervene with corrections and modifications to try to relaunch a low-performing page in Search.
The content includes all the written, visual and video resources published on the page: ideally, everything we write and incorporate into the site should be geared to provide added value to the public. In fact, when the content does not have a clear goal and does not respond to a specific search intent, they make us miss the enormous opportunity to present to the target audience the information it needs.
To support this goal is also a good keyword research, which must identify keywords relevant to the public and allows us to build relevant page content, that meet their needs.
Instead, any part of the web page defined in HTML, the default code behind the scenes, is part of the HTML components: we talk about elements such as the title, the meta description and the alternative text of the image, but also the HTML elements that render the page. All this plays a crucial role in communicating to Google what the page is about and gives signals on how it should be classified in search results. Therefore, if we do not use these elements correctly we expose ourselves to a potential negative impact on ranking.
5 on-page SEO elements to change to improve your ranking on Google
As we know, there are many ways to optimize a website for search engines, but some basic elements should be present on every page: in particular, when we believe that our pages do not have sufficient performance or when we build new pages, it is good to pay particular attention to these five SEO elements on-page to test and optimize.
Nothing particularly new or upsetting – we are in line with what we have defined the most underrated SEO tactics, however effective – but however these indications may prove valuable to shock a project that is stagnating.
Improving written content
We are not going to recall the old saying that content is king, but still the first element to turn the attention in the optimization work remains the written content of the page.
If the main purpose of writing content is to convert the public into paying customers, says Bertram, we must make sure “that each page focuses on providing value to the public“, making texts that rest on a solid keyword research, that have clear goals to facilitate user interaction and also taking care of all aspects related to HTML optimization.
This means, in particular, that headings should be used correctly to structure content and to call up relevant signals on the subject for both readers and search engines – by rationally subdividing paragraphs, using H2, H3 and so on subtitles – and try to optimize the E-A-T parameters communicated by the content, a particularly important aspect in YMYL topics, although all web content can take advantage of being made to demonstrate greater competence, authoritativeness and reliability.
Writing a good title
The title tag is the “title” of the page and is an element that search engines use to determine what the page itself is about. This is a slight ranking factor, as explained by Google, but it may be useful to focus on the exact keyword to which the page is addressed, so as to define the context and usefulness immediately, making it easier for the public to find it among the search results and to immediately understand the possible information found there.
In this regard, it may be useful to deepen the difference between title tags and H1 and read some optimization tips of these elements.
Using a good URL structure
URLs play an essential role in both SEO and user experience: each web page generates a unique URL and it may be useful to set up a structure of talking URLs, which contain the right keywords to make sense to the target audience.
One of the most classic optimization tactics is to create SEO-friendly URLs, which are short and precise addresses – long and complicated URLs can be difficult to understand for search engines, but above all they pose a challenge to users – and possibly contain a keyword, which is an easy way to help Google determine the content of the page.
Most of all, URL should be easy to decipher, remember or recognize, because this allows people to more easily type the address in the search bar in case they have to return to a specific page and also simplify sharing operations (including those on social networks).
Entering a suitable image alt text
Visual elements are increasingly vital within a website – weâ€™re in the era of attention economy, we said not too long ago, and visual creativity is often more than just words – and although content creators pay attention to this, there is still one factor of on-page SEO that is very overlooked, namely the insertion of an alt-text for images and videos.
The alternative text is the description of the image or video that is displayed behind the visual element itself: generally, on a well-functioning website it does not appear, because it serves as an alternative way of informing readers of what contains that resource.
For example, if a photo is not correctly displayed once when the page is fully loaded, the alternative text will take its place so that people can still understand what we were trying to show them. More importantly, alt-text ensures that content is accessible to all who view it, making certain types of content understandable even to users with visual or auditory disabilities: in fact, the screen readers used by these people read just the alternative text to explain the audio or video associated with a page.
In addition to the accessibility aspect, alt-text can be an SEO factor because it allows us to insert target key that search engines can use to better understand and index the visual elements, allowing us to get good placements on Google Images as well as on standard Google Search.
Managing both internal and external linking
You should never be afraid to link, because links represent the very basis of the concept (and operation) of the web.
As we know, there are two types of links: internal links are those that intuitively point to pages within the same domain, while external links are those that lead readers to different target sites.
Internal links can help Google to understand the context of a page and how it relates to other pages of the site, and allow you to build an ideal path to guide a user between the various pages of the site, leading him to resources useful for our business.
External links, on the other hand, can serve to strengthen readers’ trust by linking to reliable sources and providing more information on complex topics or to be deepened more accurately.
Improvement depends on continuous control
Ensuring that on-page SEO is effective and up to the ambition is an ongoing process that should always be integrated into your SEO strategy. In order to verify the progress of the optimizations, it is crucial to conduct regular audits on the site, which highlight the errors and points on which to intervene to guide our efforts.
With the right support and some corrections (not even too complicated, in general) we can manage to improve on-page SEO and allow our pages to generate high quality leads and conversions.