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On-Page SEO

How to optimise the content and code on your webpage to increase your click-through rate.

Content writing for SEO

Intro

On-page SEO involves optimising the content and code on your webpage to increase your click-through rate from search engine rankings. Since it is completely within your control, it makes sense to spend some time ensuring you aren’t missing any quick SEO gains.

As a web design team, we’ve seen firsthand how even small tweaks to your site can lead to big wins in search visibility and user engagement. And we also found that once our clients understood the basics and saw the impact of these changes, they were excited to get stuck in and make more.

In this article, we’ll share tips for improving your SEO that can be implemented even with a limited understanding of how a CMS works. If you can log into your website’s backend, you can make positive changes to your site’s SEO.

Author

About the Author: Andrew Newby

I’m Andrew Newby, the creative lead at Edge Studio. My first foray into web design began within the Sheffield agency scene. There, I sharpened my skills, understanding the balance between aesthetics and functionality before setting off on my own to build Edge Studio with the aim of directly addressing the digital needs of businesses.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in SEO. What works and what doesn’t has flipped more than a few times. If I could share one message, it would be that SEO isn’t about tricking the system or finding quick ways to make an impact. It’s about making small, consistent changes to help search engines better understand your site. In this article, I want to help make SEO a bit less mysterious, giving you the know-how to get your site noticed online.

Page Content

Optimising Content for On-Page SEO

Getting your content to hit the mark with search engines is all about nailing a few key things. Let’s start with some of the basics and move on to more detailed tactics.

Target a Unique Keyword for Each Webpage

When our team work on a new site, identifying a unique keyword for each webpage is a cornerstone of our SEO strategy. This helps to make sure that you’re not competing against yourself in search rankings and helps search engines like Google understand the focus of each page. When choosing the keyword for each page, think about what your audience might be searching for when they need the service or information on that page.

Include Internal Links

Linking to other sections of your website does more than help your visitors navigate; it also boosts your SEO. By using internal links, you’re sharing information with search engines about the structure of your site. Make sure the links are relevant and use descriptive anchor text that includes keywords related to the linked page.

Add External Links to Relevant Sites

When you link to external websites, you not only provide your visitors with additional value but also tell search engines a little more about your site. We recommend being picky when selecting these external links to ensure they truly add value and complement your content topics. A well-chosen external link will reinforce your content’s relevance and credibility.

Visual Content

Visual Content Enhances Your SEO

Visuals like images, infographics, and videos can make your content more engaging and shareable. But did you know they also play a role in SEO? Here are a few tips on how our team use visual content to improve a website’s SEO.

  • Include Images and Videos: Visuals break up text and make your content more appealing. Plus, they can rank in image and video searches, bringing more traffic to your site.
  • Optimise Alt Text: Describe your visuals using alt text with relevant keywords. This helps search engines understand the content of the images and can improve accessibility for visitors using screen readers.
  • Choose the Right File Names: Naming your image files with descriptive, keyword-rich titles can boost your SEO further
  • Craft a Keyword-Rich URLs: The URL slug, or the last part of your URL, should be short, descriptive, and include your primary keyword. This helps SEO and improves the user experience by making your URLs easier to understand.
  • Use Your Keyword in the First Paragraph: Including your target keyword in the first paragraph tells search engines (and readers) what your content is about right from the start. This can help with relevancy and ensure your content is indexed correctly for the right search terms. This can sometime look a bit forced but it’s such a big factor that it’s worth updating.

Code

Optimising HTML Code For On-Page SEO

Optimising the HTML code on your website is a great way to improve your site’s SEO. We’ve found a few really effective ways of doing this, all of which can significantly impact your search engine rankings.

Optimise Your Title Tags

The ‘title tag’ is one of the first things search engines look at to understand what your page is about. It appears in the browser’s title bar or tab and is also displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). A well-crafted title tag should grab attention and encourage clicks. Start with your primary keyword to make it clear from the get-go what the page content focuses on.

Using web design tool to add meta descriptions to websites

Include Keywords in Heading Tags

Using your main keyword in heading tags (H1, H2, etc.) helps structure your content not just for readers, but for search engines too. Headings provide an outline of your content, making it easier for search engines to grasp the main topics and for readers to navigate through the page. Make sure your headings are informative and reflect the content of each section.

Optimise Your Meta Description

The meta description is the short text preview in search results underneath your website’s title. You’ll find mixed opinions on the impact of keywords in meta descriptions. Generally we feel that it doesn’t directly influence rankings, but if you look at your competition you’ll see that most websites will still focus the text around implementing them. We’ve found that sometime Google will over-write a submitted description, this can be frustrating if it’s not to your liking. A well-written meta description can have a major impact on click-through rates. Use this space to succinctly summarise the page content, including your target keyword and a call to action if possible. Make it clear and enticing to encourage users to click on your link.

Website meta data in Google ranking page

Monitor and Improve Site Speed

Site speed is important for both user experience and SEO. A slow-loading website can drive visitors away, increase bounce rates, and reduce the chances of ranking high in search results. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help you analyse your site speed and offer suggestions for improvement.

Improving site speed can be time consuming and expensive, this is one of the primary factors that differentiates premium development services from cheaper offerings. Server caching and CMS plugins can help but they won’t have much of an impact on a poorly coded website. Make sure you ask your developer about this before employing your next web design team.

Edge Studio page speed scores

Optimise Your Images

As we mentioned earlier, images are great for user experience, but they can also negatively impact your site’s speed and SEO. Make sure you use small file sizes to help your images load quickly. We use Photoshop to manually compress each web image to ensure the image quality remains high while the file data is as low as possible. Uploading an image straight from a camera in its raw format will really slow down the page speed and is guaranteed to be penalised by Google. Name them descriptive, keyword-rich titles to help them become discoverable in search engines. Additionally, always include alt text for each image. Alt text improves accessibility for users with screen readers and helps search engines understand the image content.

Using Photoshop to optimise images

We’ve found that well-written natural alt descriptions works best. It can be tempting to stuff keywords into image descriptions (as they are directly seen by all users), in our experience naturally described images work best. Make sure you communicate to Google the difference between photographs and illustrations. Things like infographics are much more informative to users and are therefore worth more SEO credit.

Summary

If you want to improve your website’s search rankings without calling in the professionals, the steps above will help you take great strides toward your goal. Content SEO concepts aren’t difficult to understand but they can be time consuming to implement. If you’d rather call in the experts, we’re here to help. The Edge Studio team are always on hand to help you strategise new ways to improve your ranking and turn visitors into customers, so if you’re looking for web design support in Sheffield, give us a call.

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