Optimise your website structure for on-page SEO
Marketers often overlook a crucial element when discussing on-page SEO optimisation: a clean website structure. Site structure is the starting point of a premeditated on-page SEO play.
Your site should have a logical flow between different pages and a well-planned overall structure. Both Google and site visitors need to easily comprehend your website and its content.
These are some good starting points for crafting a site structure with SEO in mind:
An internal link is any link from one page to another on your website. Internal linking can significantly boost your on-page SEO, especially if you link related posts in a way that leads to users spending longer on your site.
If a user types ‘product descriptions’ and from the one post they land on, they move from one post to another with related information, your bounce rate goes down. You also create traffic for older posts that might have been overlooked otherwise.
In my experience, logical internal linking also creates a better experience for the user. Answers to questions that arise in a post can come from other posts already on the website through internal links.
Keep your URLs simple and straightforward. Complicated, long, or illogical URLs confuse your users and detract from your on-page SEO. A good URL structure is easy to read and tell a user exactly what they should expect on the page. You should be able to guess the kind of content that will load simply from the URL.
A good cheat code is also including your primary keyword in the URL. This will go a long way in boosting the page’s traffic and improving its search rank.
Remove duplicate metadata
Duplicating data is one of the biggest ‘DONT’S’ in on-page SEO optimisation. Using the same closing paragraph for multiple pages or copy-pasting a generic meta description are tempting options, because writing from scratch is tedious work! Unfortunately, good things take time and patience to build, including good on-page SEO.
Replications of data can take several forms. While one page might outright copy and paste text from one rival or a similar website to another, another might do it subtly, subtly in the sense that you will try to change the scenarios, examples and brands names but have the same information.
Doubles of metadata can even come from within your website. This is where you continuously churn out similar information in different posts but on the same website.
What are the effects of duplication?
- Traffic to your site may plummet as well as its ranking on search engines.
- The wrong versions of pages may show up in SERPs, and the right ones will start to perform poorly.
- There might also be legal consequences to copying data from other websites.
Duplicating data will do nothing for you. Now you may ask, how do I avoid it?
In my experience, the key is focusing on the user and publishing relevant information that adds value. When you build value-adding content, your users will bounce less, come back to your site more, and your site will rank higher because of its uniqueness and usefulness.
Improve your on-page SEO by fixing bad and broken links
Broken links might not seem like such a big deal, but in the long run, they can be particularly detrimental to your website. Why? Broken links cause the bounce rate to spike. Users are impatient when it comes to connectivity. If a slow loading page will discourage them from searching, imagine what an error message can do. You can lose visitors and your on-page SEO can plummet if you do not fix the problem.
There are numerous reasons why you might inadvertently break a link. These include:
- Erasing pages from your site without redirecting URLs.
- Relaunching or transferring your domain and neglecting to redirect all your URLs to the current website.
- Altering a page’s URL – even fixing a spelling mistake in a URL.
Now that we know to avoid broken links at all costs. How do we find them?
Site crawlers are a quick way to find broken links by running an audit select response codes. It will bring up a list of broken links.
How can you fix broken links?
The temporary solution is redirecting the user to another relevant page until you fix the problem. If you notice that it is a highly demanded page, you can work on restoring it.
How to eliminate bad links
As much as broken links can be detrimental to your website, bad links are another problem you need to look out for. Bad links are links to your website coming from suspicious or low-authority sites. These can negatively impact the credibility of your site, not to mention it’s ranking and traffic. This is because search engines can easily detect bad links and flag your page.
Bad links usually come from comments on blogs, site links, link networks or over-optimised anchor texts. These weaken the authority of your page and may get it flagged. It is best to avoid them and eliminate them if you are improving the traffic to your site.
If you are ever wondering if you should include images in your post to boost your on-page SEO, the answer is yes. Images are a great way to capture the attention of your reader. In my experience, they are a great way to keep them entertained as they read a post, especially if it is long with many sections. Let us say you are talking about different shades of a brand of foundation: Images would paint a better picture.
Furthermore, it is not only pictures you can use. You can also include graphs, charts and Venn diagrams. They also quickly summarise what would be a rather lengthy explanation.
But the work does not stop at merely throwing images into the post. There are some things to consider:
Pick the right image- Ensure that the image you pick matches the text to which it is related. Do not just pick a picture, say of a car, because your article is about cars.
Try to use an actual image- Try to avoid using ‘stock images’ that you get off google. They are mainstream, and you may not get the exact image you want. If you are talking about a work-related issue, you can use a picture of people from an entire organisation. Alternatively, some sites provide free and original images.
Include a caption- An image with a caption that includes your keyword gives your page a higher chance of ranking highly in search engines.
Choose a strategic image name- When choosing an image name, keep SEO optimisation in mind. Add the primary keyword at the beginning of the image name to give the page a better rank position.
Regularly test your on-page SEO
Testing your on-page SEO is essential because even as analysts and tech-savvy people have developed ways to boost SEO, no one knows how it works with complete certainty. There are roughly over 100 ranking factors, but Google has never released an article confirming even one of these assumptions.
This is why testing your on-page SEO is a stage that you cannot skip. Even if you read an article on boosting your SEO and use all twenty of the tricks, there is no guarantee which worked, which did not, or which ones worked best. A test will give you more insight into what you should continue practising aggressively or leaving behind.
In my experience, a good tool that goes a long way in studying and improving your on-page SEO is Yoast, if you have a WordPress site, or HubSpot’s toolkit if you have a HubSpot site. Screaming Frog is also a great substitute if you have neither.
You should also go a step further and augment this with Google Search Console insights. This is a new feature crafted for content creators and publishers that gives them more profound insight into how audiences discover their content and what keeps them on your site. Google Console insights can show you which are your best performing pieces, how they are performing and what the users are typing into the search engine.