Getting your on-page SEO right is one of the most vital components of ranking well on today’s Google.
When we talk about on-page SEO, we’re talking about so many layers of it. There are the things that even non-SEOs should be aware of: title tags, H1 headings, and professionally produced content.
These are essential items that cannot be missed.
But what are some of those on-page SEO elements beneath the surface? It can be exactly these factors that prevent your business’s website from ranking where you want it to for important keywords.
When we work with clients at LSEO, it’s these kinds of issues we like to find, point out to you, and correct during an SEO audit. We combine SEO tools with the human touch to pinpoint and remedy the problems on your site.
What kinds of issues are we talking about? Here are four on-page SEO elements your business probably isn’t watching closely.
1.) Image Optimization
If you know only the basics about SEO, then the need to optimize your on-page images might not have occurred to you.
After all, they’re just photos, right? Aren’t they just there to enhance the content and break up text for a clean visual appearance?
Well, yes and no.
Images do serve those purposes within site content, but Google “reads” images because Google ranks images. Images can also break or be removed over time, causing unsightly broken-image graphics to appear in your text like this:
Even in this case, though, you might think, “Sure, it looks bad, but is it really hurting my organic rankings?”
The answer is, “Possibly, and it definitely isn’t helping.”
Google does everything these days in the name of user experience. Readers who are going through content and seeing broken images are probably thinking that this website can’t be trusted. It doesn’t look cared for or managed.
When people bounce from a page like that, Google will notice, and over time, it will tend not to rank that page well on the SERPs.
So, that’s the importance of not having broken images on your site, but how do you optimize those images?
Images should always be compressed to the smallest possible file size and contain descriptive alt text for the visually impaired (or if the images break and people have to “read” your images instead).
Image optimization is one of the major on-page SEO elements we look at in our audits at LSEO. We’re happy to identify any problems your site is having with images and correct them for you.
2.) Core Web Vitals
Since we just talked about user experience, I think we should move right on to the Core Web Vitals. These are most certainly a vital on-page SEO element that many businesses aren’t paying attention to yet.
As its name suggests, the update centered on improving users’ experiences on web pages. Positive experiences keep users on websites or have them coming back for more.
The three Core Web Vitals are a major part of accomplishing that, and if you’re not paying attention to them, it’s time to start.
The three Vitals are:
- Largest contentful paint – how long it takes for a web page’s largest content component to load
- First input display – how long it takes for a web page to load its first interactive element
- Cumulative layout shift – how much the loaded elements on a page shift during the load
When we talk about the Core Web Vitals, we’re talking about seconds and milliseconds. If your largest contentful paint takes 2.8 seconds to load, for example, that’s too long.
People could bounce, Google could lower your rankings, and you won’t be very happy.
Now, a largest contentful paint of 1.5 seconds is much better. So we’re talking about a difference of 1.3 seconds that has really changed the game.
By the way, you can get the metrics of how you’re performing with the Core Web Vitals by putting your URL into PageSpeed Insights.
The reasons why a website may be failing one of the Core Web Vital metrics will be different from site to site, but we see the same few groups of issues that are causing that.
You might need to compress your images, refigure your caching for recurring visitors, or find a hosting company with faster servers.
If you struggle to wrap your head around the Core Web Vitals and how you can improve your website’s performance with them, don’t worry.
We see these problems frequently at LSEO and know what’s needed to investigate and correct each.
If you’re having issues with page speed and high bounce rates, let us take a look at what’s going on. We’ll set you down the path to better page experience and ultimately higher rankings.
3.) Internal Linking
Another on-page SEO element that we see many, many businesses not including on their websites is interlinking within content.
For those who don’t know, internal linking simply means inserting hyperlinks within content on your website to other pages on your site. You can see multiple instances of interlinking in this post to other LSEO pages.
Now, why do we do that? What’s the SEO benefit of linking to other pages, and how do you know which pages to link to?
Internal linking serves two broad business purposes for you:
- It helps users to get around on your site
- It helps search engines understand the relationships among your pages
Let’s tackle each of these.
Interlinking Helps Users
Anyone who’s used the Internet is probably familiar with interlinks. Wikipedia is basically built on them.
Internal linking looks like this.
That’s a screen grab from my colleague Steve’s blog post “Is Your In-House SEO Team’s Performance Up to Snuff?”
In it, he contextually refers to LSEO’s guides to link building and broken link building. He’s drawing information from those posts in his own post.
So, to help users who want the full stories, he links to them in the content. That way, readers don’t have to wonder what he’s referring to or go off and try to find the posts themselves.
It’s fair to say that logical interlinking is a quality-of-life feature for the benefit of users. You’ll be keeping users flowing through your website into other useful resources, where they can learn even more about what you offer.
Interlinking Helps Search Engines
In the same way that interlinking helps users to navigate your website and read more, interlinking also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.
Web crawlers follow the links they find when they crawl content. Google crawled Steve’s blog post and followed those two links to the link building guides. That helped the search engine to understand that those other two pages are related to the current page.
The more nuances search engines get on your site content, the better they can rank your pages for relevant terms.
That’s why randomized interlinking won’t really work for you. It has to be smart and logical. Each interlink needs to have context within the content.
At LSEO, we see lots of businesses with walls of text that don’t send users or search engines anywhere else.
When we audit a site’s content, we review pages with no interlinking and suggest the best way to go about implementing a strategy.
The last item I want to cover here is subheadings. This is a content issue that we also see frequently when businesses first come to us.
Content on a website has to be readable, digestible, and easy on the eyes.
The idea is that presenting users with large chunks of text is too intimidating, and most people will bounce rather than read it.
But if you present the same content in many smaller sections of one or two sentences, people will be more likely to get through it.
One great way to go about splitting up content like that is to use subheadings.
Go back up to number 3 above. I knew I had two subsections to cover under interlinking, so I used H3 headers to present those underneath the main H2.
Subheadings within content break up text visually and help users to organize what they’re reading. A sub-idea of an idea should be separated into a smaller heading tag so readers can locate everything easily.
For SEO, subheadings benefit content by allowing search engines to understand what sections are about.
Content that’s optimized for SEO should be presented as a hierarchy. We showed an example of this in item #15 of our “Guide to Writing Website Content.”
Since we want search engines to read content headings, it’s always a good idea to include primary and secondary keywords in headings and subheadings.
The more search engines understand your content, the better positioned you will be to rank well for relevant search terms.
Let LSEO Optimize Your On-Page SEO
As you can see here, there are plenty of on-page SEO elements that could be dragging your website down in the rankings without you even knowing about it.
At LSEO, we use tools right alongside the human touch to comb through websites and clean them up. Better rankings equal more traffic and a growing bottom line.
Let us know how we can help you.