A Beginner's Guide To On-Page SEO - Part 2

Gary Green
Gary Green
February 27, 2020

In today's article, we'll talk you through the basics of on-page SEO. These are all "easy wins" that will help your search engine rankings.

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising your web pages so that they rank as highly as possible with the search engines.

Off-page SEO is, as the name suggests, everything that happens on other websites. This includes links back to your site, your social media profiles etc.

Our previous article gave five top tips for on-page SEO. Here are five more.

1. SEO Title

The SEO title is the brief name of the webpage that appears below the web address in search results. You'll also see it in the tab at the top of your brower.

So for this page, the SEO title is: A Beginner's Guide To On-Page SEO Part 2 - Key Business Marketing

It's a good chance to flag up to Google what words or terms are important to you. So we have chosen to include the article keyterm (On-Page SEO) and our company name.

However, don't just load up the title with keyterms. Always remember - design and optimise the page around READERS rather than search engines.

2. SEO Description

The description is the longer bit of text that appears under the SEO title in the search results. For this article, we've just used the first paragraph: "In today's article..."

A good, clear SEO description lets readers know what to expect before they click on your link. And, like the SEO title, it can help to include one or two keywords.

Manually choosing titles and descriptions isn't difficult. If your website is built on WordPress, there's a great plugin called Yoast which allows you to do all this without knowing how to code.

3. Word Count

SEO advice is all over the place when it comes to the optimal word count for an article. Some people say that lots of small posts help your website to look well-populated. Some say that a smaller number of long, detailed articles helps to build authority.

Our advice would be - just write a good article. Some topics will suit a short, sharp, "blog" approach. Some more meaty topics might need a few thousand words.

If you want a rule of thumb, we usually work to around 500 words. This seems to offer a good blend of useful information without being too long. But, ultimately, there are a lot more important factors in SEO than a specific word count.

4. Keyword Density

More significant for SEO purposes is the ratio of your "keywords" (words or phrases you've specifically chosen to target) to the total word count.

So if your article is 500 words long, and you use your keyphrase 5 times, your density would be 5/500=1% (which we would say is on the high side).

Now obviously this will depend on the keyphrase you choose. If you choose a very specific, "long tail" term, once or twice is enough. If your keyword is broad, you won't be able to avoid using it over and over again.

So don't worry too much about the bare number. Just read your article back (aloud if possible). If it sounds good, it probably is. If it sounds awkward or over-optimised, go back in and take out some of the repitition.

5. Readability

Google rewards clear, helpful, "readable" text indirectly. It notices when your readers spend a long time on your page, and rewards that.

Here are some tips for producing readable content. Just remember, these are not hard-and-fast rules (it's better to write good content than religiously follow a list of rules):

  • Use the active voice rather than the passive voice
  • Shorter sentences are better than longer sentences
  • Split long paragraphs into shorter paragraphs
  • Use headings and sub-headings to break up the text
  • Keep industry-specific jargon to a minimum
  • Write like a human being!

If you'd like to learn more about how we help website owners optimise their content, please get in touch.

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