SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of making changes to a website in order to help increase its position in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is split into 4 main pillars, content, technical SEO, offsite, and onsite, the latter of which we will discuss here.

Onsite SEO focuses on the optimisation of anything on or within a webpage that is displayed on your site and is a crucial part of SEO that can make a big difference to the traffic and rankings of a website.

By optimising the structure and contents of a webpage, onsite SEO can help to improve a site’s relevance to search engines and users, helping to increase the chances of it ranking higher on the SERPs.

Source: SEMrush

The Fundamentals of Onsite SEO

Search engines such as Google use a myriad of factors to determine what pages they rank in their search results and where they place them, taking into account things such as – page loading speed, keywords, accessibility, content quality, and much more.

There are a number of elements that should be part of an effective onsite optimisation strategy, including;

  • Meta Data – Page titles and meta descriptions are the titles and small amounts of copy that appear in SERPs, so it is important to get them right. A good page title is clear, relevant, contains targeted keywords, and is (roughly) 60 characters or less. Whilst a meta description doesn’t directly affect rankings, it can make a big difference to click-through rates and so should be carefully written and well-optimised.
  • Header Tags – A basic of onsite SEO, header tags provide context for search engines, making the pages quicker to crawl and the content easier to read for users.
    • H1 tags = The title of a page which should incorporate main keyword(s).
    • H2 tags = The subheading of content that helps to organise it into logical sections, such as the chapters of a book
    • H3 tags = Subsections under the subheadings that define and clarify the content
    • H4, H5, and H6 tags = Help to further organise page content and break up text
Source: Backlinko
  • Content – One of the biggest and most important ranking factors nowadays is content and the quality of it. Google and other search engines no longer respond to keyword stuffing and only want high-quality content for their searchers.
    • What is High Quality Content? Whilst there are no hard and fast rules about what is classed as high-quality content, generally you should be looking at a minimum of 500 words of content per page that is useful, unique and crafted around your keywords without being heavy-handed.
  • Alt Text – Also referred to as Alt tags, these are attached to images on websites and allow full accessibility by providing a description of the image for the visually impaired and those using screen readers who aren’t able to visually understand the image. They are also essential for SEO as they signal to search engines what the image depicts, so should be as descriptive as possible and include relevant keywords.
  • Internal Links – These are important because they help search engines understand the structure of a website and how its pages are connected. An effective strategy for internal links should be based around creating a logical hierarchy and website structure for the site’s pages, using descriptive anchor text and linking to relevant pages.

Why is Onsite SEO Important?

An effective SEO strategy will include all 4 of the main SEO pillars – content, offsite, technical and of course onsite SEO, which when tackled together can help to yield the best results possible from your SEO efforts.

Here are just a few of the reasons why onsite SEO is important;

Search Engine Visibility

  • It helps search engines interpret and understand your content and its purpose
  • Provides clear signals to search engines about the content’s relevance
  • Increases the chance of appearing in search results for relevant queries
  • Makes it easier and quicker for search engine bots to crawl and index your pages

Enhanced User Experience

  • Improves the site in a way that enhances the experience not just for search engines but humans
  • Optimises elements that can have a positive impact on user experience such as page load speeds, content quality, and mobile friendliness
  • A better user experience leads to longer onsite engagement, lower bounce rates and higher rates of conversion
Source: Zippia

Better Rankings in Search Engines

  • When search engines such as Google are able to interpret and index site pages easily and quickly, they are more likely to rank them higher
  • Higher rankings mean that your site gains increased visibility and more organic traffic

Keyword Optimisation

  • Onsite SEO optimises your site for specific keywords, phrases or terms that are relevant to your business, content and target audience
  • The strategic incorporation of keywords increases the chances of ranking for those terms

Ranking for chosen keywords helps to attract relevant traffic to the site, improving the chance of conversions.