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On-Page SEO In 2024: What Do You Need To Focus On?

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With Google’s algorithms becoming increasingly sophisticated, on-page SEO remains a cornerstone of your online presence. This guide delves into the essential elements of on-page SEO you need to master in 2024. Whether you’re running an ecommerce platform or a niche blog, these insights will help you rank higher and shine brighter in the crowded digital space.

Mastering Meta Tags

How do you ensure that your website doesn’t just blend into the background? The secret weapon is something seemingly small but incredibly mighty: meta tags.

The Art of Crafting Title Tags

The title tag is your first “handshake” with both search engines and potential customers. It’s what stands bold and proud in search engine results, inviting users to click through to your website. Think of it as the headline of your webpage – it needs to be catchy, relevant, and, most importantly, include your primary keyword.

💡 Imagine you’re selling “Handcrafted Leather Boots.” A title like “Buy Handcrafted Leather Boots | Brand Name” not only tells search engines what your page is about but also catches the eye of someone searching for that perfect pair of boots.

But there’s an art to it. Your title should:

  • Be no more than 60 characters to ensure it displays fully in search results (although this isn’t a necessity).
  • Include your brand name to boost recognition.
  • Be unique for each page to avoid confusing search engines.

Writing Click-Worthy Descriptions

If the title tag is the handshake, the meta description is the elevator pitch. This short snippet of text under your title in search results plays a crucial role in convincing users to click on your link. Despite not directly influencing search engine rankings, a well-crafted description acts as free advertising space.

Your description should:

  • Be compelling and informative, offering a sneak peek into what the page offers.
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) like “Discover,” “Learn More,” or “Buy Now” to encourage clicks.
  • Stay within 160 characters to avoid being cut off in search results.

💡 For instance, a description for our leather boots could be, “Explore our exclusive range of handcrafted leather boots designed for comfort and style. Find your perfect pair today!” It’s inviting, informative, and includes a CTA, all within the character limit.

Structuring Content with Headers

Headers are the backbone of your page’s structure, making it easier for both search engines and readers to digest your content. They help to organise your content into manageable chunks, improving readability and SEO.

  • H1 tags should be used for your main page title. This is what tells Google, “This is what my page is about.” It should include your primary keyword and align with your title tag.
  • H2s and H3s break down your content further into subsections. They guide your readers through your content in an organised manner and offer additional opportunities to incorporate related keywords naturally.

💡 Using our leather boots example, your H1 could be “Handcrafted Leather Boots Collection,” and H2s could be “Why Choose Our Leather Boots?” and “Our Range of Handcrafted Boots.” This not only structures your content but also helps Google understand the context and relevance of your page.

URL Structure Optimisation

Your URL acts as the address and map to your digital storefront. It’s more than just a string of characters; it’s a direct line to your website, guiding both users and search engines to your content. But how do you ensure this line is as clear and direct as possible?

Best Practices for SEO-Friendly URLs

Creating an SEO-friendly URL is about making it easy for search engines to understand and for humans to read. Here are some golden rules to follow:

  • Keep it Simple and Readable: A URL should be easy to read and understand. For example, www.yourstore.com/women/handbags/leather-totes is user-friendly and tells search engines exactly what the page is about, compared to something like www.yourstore.com/item12345.
  • Use Keywords Wisely: Including relevant keywords in your URL can give you a slight SEO boost. It helps search engines understand what the page content is about and also makes the link more enticing to potential visitors.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Characters: Stay clear of using unnecessary punctuation or special characters, as they can clutter your URL and make it harder to read.
  • Follow a Logical Structure: Your URLs should reflect the structure of your website. This helps visitors understand where they are on your site and how to navigate to related sections.

💡 For instance, structuring your URLs by category and subcategory (e.g., /men/shoes/running-shoes) makes your site more navigable for both users and search engines.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in URL Optimisation

Even the most seasoned webmasters can slip up with their URLs. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  • Overusing Keywords: While it’s beneficial to include keywords, stuffing too many into your URL can appear spammy and hurt your site’s credibility. Balance is key.
  • Creating Deep URLs: URLs nested in many layers of directories not only become cumbersome but can also dilute link equity and make it harder for search engines to crawl your site efficiently.
  • Ignoring URL Changes: If you update a page’s content and its title changes, consider if the URL should be updated too. However, be cautious with URL changes; always use 301 redirects to avoid losing SEO value.
  • Neglecting Consistency: Consistency in your URL structure is crucial. Decide on a preferred format (like using hyphens between words) and stick to it across your website.

Product Page Optimisation

Your product pages are not just digital shelves; they’re your frontline sales team. Optimising these pages is crucial for captivating potential customers and convincing search engines of your site’s relevance and value.

Enhancing Product Titles and Descriptions

Your product titles and descriptions serve dual purposes: they entice shoppers and inform search engines. Here’s how to craft them with precision:

  • Product Titles: These should be clear, concise, and include the main keywords that potential customers might use to find your product. A well-optimised title like “Eco-Friendly Bamboo Sunglasses – Polarised Lenses” is both descriptive and keyword-rich.
  • Product Descriptions: This is where you can really sell your product. Use detailed, keyword-rich descriptions that highlight key features and benefits. Tell a story about your product that connects with your target audience’s needs and desires. Remember, while keywords are important, readability and engagement should always come first.

Visual Content Optimisation

In an era where visuals can make or break a sale, optimising your images and videos is non-negotiable. Here are some tips to ensure your visual content is working hard for you:

  • High-Quality Images: Use clear, high-resolution images that showcase your product from multiple angles. This not only aids in user engagement but also improves the chance of appearing in visual search results.
  • Descriptive File Names and Alt Text: Naming your image files with descriptive, keyword-rich titles can significantly impact SEO. Alt text is equally important, as it helps search engines understand the content of your images, improving accessibility and SEO. Consider using Webflow to streamline this process and ensure your images are fully optimised.
  • Videos: Product videos can dramatically increase conversion rates. Ensure they are optimised for both speed and search, with descriptive titles, tags, and transcripts that include relevant keywords.

Leveraging Customer Reviews for SEO and Trust

Customer reviews are gold dust for product pages. They provide fresh, keyword-rich content that boosts SEO and significantly enhances trust and conversion rates. Encourage your customers to leave detailed reviews, and don’t shy away from responding to them. This interaction not only fosters trust but also signals to search engines that your page is active and valuable.

Effective CTAs and Display of Price/Availability

Your Call-to-Action (CTA) is the final nudge a shopper needs to take action. Here’s how to make it count:

  • Clear and Compelling CTAs: Use action-oriented language that clearly tells the shopper what to do next, like “Add to Basket,” “Buy Now,” or “Get Yours Today.”
  • Price and Availability: Clearly display the price, including any discounts or special offers. Availability information, like “In Stock” or “Limited Availability,” can create a sense of urgency that encourages immediate action.

Related Products and Upselling Opportunities

Enhancing product pages isn’t just about selling a single item; it’s about increasing the overall order value. Displaying related products or accessories encourages further exploration and purchasing, effectively increasing the average order value. Use algorithms to suggest items based on the shopper’s current selection or browsing history, making the shopping experience both personal and intuitive.

Category Page Optimisation

Category pages, your virtual aisles, are not just a means to organise your products but are pivotal in steering both users and search engines through your site efficiently.

Crafting SEO-Driven Category Titles and Descriptions

Category pages deserve as much attention as your homepage or product pages when it comes to SEO:

  • Category Titles: These should be clear, descriptive, and include relevant keywords. A title like “Women’s Sustainable Outerwear” instantly informs users and search engines about the page’s content, making it easier to rank for targeted keywords.
  • Category Descriptions: A brief yet compelling description at the top of the category page can significantly improve its SEO value. Use this space to include keywords naturally, explain the category’s relevance, and encourage further browsing.

Structuring Category Pages for User Experience

A well-organised category page not only pleases search engines but also enhances the shopping experience:

  • Product Listings: Ensure that products are displayed clearly, with high-quality images and concise descriptions. Consider the user’s journey – they should be able to find what they’re looking for with minimal effort.
  • Filtering and Sorting Options: Provide users with intuitive filtering options (such as size, colour, price, and brand) and sorting features (like popularity, new arrivals, and price) to help them refine their search effortlessly.
  • Breadcrumb Navigation: This not only aids in navigation but also reinforces the site’s structure for search engines, enhancing your site’s SEO.

Meta Tags and Internal Linking Within Categories

Optimising meta tags and internal linking on category pages can significantly impact your site’s SEO performance:

  • Meta Tags: Tailor your title tags and meta descriptions for each category page to reflect its unique content, using relevant keywords to improve its search visibility.
  • Internal Linking: Use internal links to guide users to related categories or popular products within the category. This not only improves navigation but also distributes page authority throughout your site, bolstering the SEO of individual pages.

Visual Elements and Accessibility

Incorporate attractive and relevant visual elements to make your category pages more engaging:

  • Images and Banners: Use high-quality images or banners that represent the category. This visual appeal can significantly improve user engagement and time spent on the page.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that all visual elements are optimised for accessibility, including proper use of alt text for images. This makes your site more inclusive and can improve your SEO by making content accessible to search engines.

Optimising Images and Videos

Images and videos are not just elements of engagement; they are crucial components of on-page SEO strategy. As ecommerce continues to thrive, the ability to showcase products through captivating visuals and compelling videos has never been more important. Let’s explore how to fully leverage these elements for both user engagement and search optimisation.

Descriptive File Names and Alt Text

The journey of optimising visual content begins with the basics:

  • Descriptive File Names: Instead of generic filenames like “IMG_001.jpg,” use descriptive, keyword-rich filenames such as “handcrafted-silver-necklace.jpg.” This practice helps search engines understand and index your visual content more effectively, improving its visibility in search results.
  • Alt Text for Accessibility and SEO: Alt text serves a dual purpose: enhancing accessibility for users with screen readers and providing search engines with context about the image. A well-crafted alt text like “artisan handcrafted silver necklace with emerald pendant” can significantly boost your content’s relevance and discoverability.

Optimising File Size and Format

Visuals must strike a balance between quality and load time to maintain both user engagement and SEO:

  • Compressing Images: Use tools to compress images without losing quality. High-quality, fast-loading images improve user experience and SEO, as page load speed is a ranking factor for search engines.
  • Choosing the Right Format: JPEGs are typically best for photographs due to their compression quality, while PNGs are ideal for graphics with fewer colours. WebP, a newer format, offers high-quality images at smaller file sizes, making it increasingly popular for web use.

Leveraging Videos for Engagement and SEO

Videos can dramatically improve user engagement and conversion rates, provided they are optimised:

  • Hosting Options: Consider hosting videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to avoid slowing down your site, and embed them on your product pages. This approach can also increase your visibility on these platforms.
  • Video SEO: Use descriptive titles and tags when uploading videos. Including a keyword-rich transcript below the video on your page can further enhance SEO, making your content accessible to a broader audience.
  • Captions and Transcripts: For accessibility and SEO, provide captions for your videos. Transcripts can be a textual representation of the video content, which is beneficial for both users and search engines.

Using Visual Content to Enhance User Experience

Visual content is not just about SEO; it’s about creating a seamless and engaging user experience:

  • Interactive Images and Videos: Incorporate zoom-in functionality for images and interactive video content that allows users to engage with your products in a more detailed and immersive way.
  • Visual Storytelling: Use images and videos to tell a story about your product or brand. This approach can increase emotional engagement and brand loyalty, encouraging users to spend more time on your site.

Internal Linking Strategies

Internal linking serves as the connective tissue that holds your website together, guiding users and search engines through your content in a coherent and purposeful manner.

Building a Logical Site Structure Through Links

A well-structured website is akin to a well-organised library, where every book is exactly where you expect it to be:

  • Hierarchical Linking: Your site should mimic a tree with branches, where the homepage is the trunk, category pages are the main branches, and product pages are the smaller branches and leaves. This structure helps users and search engines navigate your site more effectively.
  • Use of Navigation Menus: A clear and intuitive navigation menu is crucial. It should highlight your site’s primary sections, such as product categories, about us, and contact pages, ensuring that users can easily find what they’re looking for.

The Art of Anchor Text for Improved SEO

Anchor text, the clickable text in a hyperlink, is not just a navigational tool; it’s a contextual signal to search engines:

  • Descriptive Anchor Text: Use anchor text that accurately describes the linked page. For instance, instead of “click here,” use “women’s vegan leather boots” to link to that category page. This practice helps search engines understand the content of the destination page, improving its SEO relevance.
  • Variety in Anchor Text: While it’s important to be descriptive, it’s equally important to vary your anchor text to avoid over-optimisation penalties. Mix branded, generic, and keyword-rich anchor texts to maintain a natural link profile.

Prioritising Links to High-Value Pages

Not all pages on your site hold the same value for your SEO efforts:

  • Strategic Link Placement: Place internal links to your most important pages (like bestsellers or high-margin products) in prominent positions on your site, such as the homepage or main navigation menus. This not only drives more traffic to these pages but also signals to search engines their importance.
  • Link Equity Distribution: Understand that links pass value from one page to another, a concept known as link equity. By linking to high-value pages from your highest authority pages, you distribute this equity more effectively, boosting the SEO performance of those pages.

Regularly Updating Internal Links

The internet is ever-evolving, and so is your website. Regular audits of your internal linking structure are essential:

  • Removing Broken Links: Broken links provide a poor user experience and can harm your SEO. Use an SEO checker or Singularity to regularly check for and fix broken links across your site.
  • Refreshing Links in Older Content: Update links in your older content to point to your newer pages or products. This not only improves the relevancy of your older content but also helps in distributing link equity to newer pages.

Ready To Optimise Your Website?

On-page SEO demands attention to detail and a proactive approach. By mastering meta tags, optimising URL structures, and enhancing product and category pages, you can significantly improve your site’s visibility and user engagement. Remember, SEO is an ongoing journey. Stay updated with the latest trends and continually refine your strategies to stay ahead!

💡 Want to learn more? Check out our guide to ecommerce SEO here.

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