What Is On Page Optimisation?
So, you’ve chosen your keywords and are ready to start optimising one of your landing pages. This is the process of making sure that your web page is ‘eligible’ to rank for the keywords you’d like the site to appear in Google for. To do this, your chosen keywords need to be peppered throughout the copy on a web page that is relevant to the user’s search. This page is called a landing page, because it is the page that users will ‘land’ on after searching for the keyword in Google and clicking on your link.
Choosing A Relevant Landing Page
You’ll either need to optimise an existing page on your site, or create a new landing page. Creating new landing pages for new keywords is a good strategy to ensure that no other SEO optimisation on your site is negatively affected. This can happen if one of your pages was previously ranking highly for one keyword, however if the page’s content is changed to focus on a new keyword, the optimisation for the old keyword may be lost. It’s therefore important to fully research what pages are receiving search engine traffic using Google Analytics. Creating a new landing page also means that your new page can be laser-targeted to focus on two or three specific keywords and aim specifically to convert those visitors into sales.
For example, lets say you are a computer manufacturer who has just released a new laptop, which among other features has a really long battery life. You’ll most likely have a main page for the laptop which focuses on all of the main features of the laptop: It’s processor, memory, screen size, etc. This page will be optimised for a selection of broader keywords, like “13 inch laptop” which gets 1000 searches per month in the UK, plus two other keywords that get high search volume and that are relevant to your niche.
But just suppose you wanted to capture the attention of everyone who was specifically looking for a laptop with a long battery life. Your product has this so it is competitive in this market, but only if the right people were aware of it. Your main product page is already filled with other high volume keywords, moreover it isn’t relevant to people looking for long battery life, because that page discusses the other features that the laptop has.
Looking at Google Keyword Planner, there is a reasonable market of people looking for a laptop with a long battery life:
keyword monthly search volume
long battery life laptop 90
laptops with long battery life 70
laptop with long battery life 40
laptop battery life 260
best laptop battery life 70
Optimising a landing page relevant to some of these keywords would capture between 35-11% of this search traffic once your page is in the top 1-3 in the search results. This means you’ll be able to generate awareness and interest from people looking for this particular feature your product has, which will lead to sales.
To rank for keywords like this, the page’s copy text will need to be peppered with them. There are five main areas where some or all of your chosen keywords should appear in to ensure the page will be correctly optimised, which this guide will now go through.
The meta title is basically a heading for the page. You will usually see it at the top of your web browser’s window, but it also appears in search results. The meta title gives search engines the first clue to what is contained on your website, so your most important keywords should be in here. But be careful, the meta title is limited to 69 characters, which is another reason why a maximum of three keywords should be used per landing page, due to the length constraint.
Best practice is to put your most important or most highly searched keyword first. This is because in a Google search, the keyword the user has searched for will be in bold text. With the first keyword in bold, your page can appear to be more relevant to that search, which can increase click-throughs.
A second and third keyword can also be added, usually separated with a | or – symbol. If you have room at the end, add your site’s brand name, but your keywords should take priority.
Your site’s meta description appears below your site’s meta title in search engine results pages, and are used to give users a snippet of information about what that page is about before they click through. Therefore, a meta description is best used as a way to boost your click through rate (CTR).
Many people believe that your site’s meta description is automatically generated by Google, which is occasionally true with really obscure searches, which means you can eschew house style guides and ensure your meta description is properly optimised.
Meta descriptions are limited to 159 characters and like the meta title, should include 2-3 of your most important keywords. My general formula is a well written sentence containing keywords followed by a second sentence encouraging click throughs.
While meta descriptions actually have no effect on search rankings, your keywords should still be included, as the searched term appears in bold text on the results page, making your page look more relevant to the user’s search. Again, this helps to drive click throughs.
Your page’s URL is also a ranking factor when it comes to on page SEO. This tip can obviously be ignored if you are optimising a home page, but for deeper pages, like the laptop example above, you can further optimise your page by including your most important keyword in your page’s URL, e.g:
This strategy is also easy to apply to WordPress blogs, using this guide to set up an SEO friendly URL structure. This is perfect if you are looking to use content marketing as a way to generate more traffic, leads and enquiries.
The H1 tag is your page’s title tag, the internet equivalent to a newspaper headline. Just as a newspaper headline gives you a clue as to what the page is about, the H1 tag tells Google what your page’s content will cover.
Unfortunately, many web designers seem to miss out H1 tags, not knowing their importance in SEO. While it is important to have an eye catching, well designed site with a flashy design for your page’s title, it will be next to useless if it cannot receive any traffic. It’s easy to check if your site is set up with H1 tags on it’s pages by using the ‘inspect element’ button on Google Chrome.
Finally, your page’s main body of text needs to be optimised for your chosen keywords. Good copywriting skills are essential here. You could drive all the traffic in the world to your webpage, but if the copy is not designed to convert sales or is not interesting to the reader, you’ll be left out of pocket. Be aware if you are on a budget also. It is an unfortunate fact that in an effort to cut costs, clients ask their web designers to write their copy text. Website coding and design are both completely different skill sets from writing sales copy that converts.