What is on-page optimization and why should you care?
Typically, when building a new online project one’s focus is on getting traffic. Yet, what actually hooks the customer is search engine results. This means that your best bet in marketing is knowing how to optimize your website to make it attractive and popular in search engines.
Your header may seem like a subtle part of your website, but it is prime real estate. There is a lot of information that is communicated about your website to search engines that is contained in your header. It is therefore important to make sure that this information is conveyed by optimizing title tags and meta-descriptions.
HTML seems pretty straightforward - to the extent that we often forget how powerful it is. However, when you understand that HTML is the language that describes your project and communicates with a search engine, you start to see it in a different light. A useful analogy to understand a website’s presence and how it can be better known is to think of it like a book. A book has a title to describe the content, chapters to divide the content, and these chapters are further divided into sections by thematic paragraphs. A website isn’t much different. You’ll often see a headline at the top of the website, followed by a small title that describes each section and paragraphs. So, when designing your website or adding a new page, keep in mind that is has to be well-described if you want the search engine to understand its content and represent it in turn. For this reason, it is well advised to make a page for each website topic. If you are selling two different services, for example, you should have two different pages so that the search engine knows it is not the same topic. Taking the time to study the basics of structuring content can go a long way in ensuring your website is searchable and represented.
It is important to keep in mind that “loading time” can lower your search engine rank. For example, if your images are large they can take a long time to load, thereby negatively affecting the user experience. The reputation of a search engine is in the quality of the respective website, so if the user is not receiving quick-yield results, he might leave before finding what he needs. To understand what you can improve on your website, I recommend trying the tool, PageSpeed Insight.
Given that you never know where your visitors are coming from and that you want to make sure you have as many chances to bring people to your website as possible, you should consider filling the alt tag for each image. Even though google can’t see as you do, it does understand words written in the alt tag.
Written by Jean-Philippe Belley
Web consultant at Blue Beach Web