On-page SEO describes activities that involving changes to a website itself, from technical factors such as best practices during web development, to copywriting and site hierarchy. On-page SEO is designed to increase relevance and ensure search engines can easily interpret a website and its content – and thus rank it for appropriate and relevant keywords.
The bulk of on-page SEO work can be completed as a project, or series of projects, depending on the size of a site. An allocation of time to allow for more refined optimisation, and to ensure changes and updates to a website are as effective as possible is usually recommended.
Typically, on-page SEO projects are packaged in one of two ways:
An SEO audit is a comprehensive (30-50 pages) document encompassing the full range of SEO factors, and taking several days’ work to complete, dependent on the size and complexity of the site involved. This provides a roadmap for initial and future optimisation.
For site builds or entirely new websites, parts of the auditing process are unnecessary, since there is no site to analyse! In these cases, an allocation of time for pre-launch SEO is more efficient. This involves working alongside developers to ensure technology is optimised, and with copywriters to ensure that copy has the best chance of ranking in relevant search results.
Optimising individual pages
Search engines use a broad variety of factors when determining which pages are relevant for a given keyword. However, in simple terms an optimised page is likely to:
- Have a distinct focus or a keyword or subject area (long pages about multiple topics will not rank as well as pages within a single theme)
- Include keywords in a title and meta description
- Have a URL that reflects the subject matter
- Uses keywords throughout the text
- Includes images related to the keywords
- Be unique, with copy that is not reproduced or paraphrased elsewhere
Let’s take a look at each of these areas in turn.