One of the first things that I look to improve when doing an SEO audit is the on-page details that can make a big difference to a website. The main details are:
- Page title
- Meta description
- H1, H2, H3 headings
- Text and image keyword content
I see lots of pages where the page title is the name of the website, the main headings are ‘Welcome to my website’ or ‘Contact us’ etc.
Read in isolation, these words are pretty meaningless. Ideally, these areas would contain your main keyword and maybe a location extension – ‘SEO in Wigan’ for example.
Meta Page Title Improvements For SEO
A meta page title is the most important on-page aspect of SEO. Google reads the page title to categorise the web page and get top-level context as to what it is about. WordPress will – by default – use the title of the page as the meta page title, which would seem fair enough. But if the title of your page is home, or your about us, it could be that you are telling Google that the main keyword on that page is ‘Home’ or ‘About us’. As mentioned above, these words read on their own, most likely mean nothing to the services your website.
Whilst a meta description isn’t actually used as a SEO ranking factor, it is used to persuade your audience to click on your link rather than your competitors and this way brings a better click-through-rate to your website from Google.
Without specifying a meta description, Google will add a 160 character snippet of text from your page. Whilst the can be ok, it is better to provide your own compelling message to people seeing your advert. Here is a blog post from Hubspot about writing a good meta description.
Heading tags provide context to the following sentences and are used by Google to further understand the web page. Using heading tags throughout your content is helpful for a couple of reasons.
1) Google places a higher emphasis on heading tags and will rank a page higher if it can understand the content better. Many times the question and answer snippet on the Google results page is taken from the heading on a website being one of the questions.
2) Content is easier to read in smaller chunks. Breaking up your content into smaller, more readable sections will make your time-on-page metrics much improved. Adding a header to some of these smaller chunks helps people find the section and the answers to their initial query they are looking for much easier.
Image optimisation for SEO
Images can also have SEO improvements in the form of the image title and Alt text. Making sure the title and the alt text of the image contain something descriptive to what the image contains and the page the image is on will make a big difference to the on-page SEO and help rank the website higher when performing a Google image search.