a guide to understanding on-page SEO

Once you’ve learnt the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO), it’s worthwhile delving a little bit deeper and understanding how changes to individual pages of your website can have a huge impact on traffic.

The best place to start is with a webpage itself, whether that’s the homepage, blog, news article, parent or child page (a page that “lives” in hierarchy underneath another page) – it doesn’t really matter.

What do we mean when we talk about on-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to parts of the webpage that can be edited through the website’s content management system (CMS), such as the page titles, meta descriptions and headings.

The goal of on-page SEO is to make the page function, load and read as well as possible so that search engines can crawl and index the webpage with ease. It also improves the user experience. By using clear and relevant headings, potential leads will navigate through the website or webpage smoothly, improving their dwell time and likelihood of converting.

How can I optimise different page elements?


Page Titles –
The page title is the first line of text a user will see on their search engine results and plays a significant role in where the page ranks. As a rule of thumb, this should always include the business name and the primary keyword of the page (not to be confused with the title on an actual page which we call Heading 1 – more on that later).

Meta descriptions – This is the short paragraph of text that summarises the page’s content and appears just below the page title on your search results. It’s important in helping both search engines and users to understand what the page is about. Writing a strong meta description is about finding the balance between the emotive language that will inspire and motivate the user to click through and relevant keywords which will keep your page ranking highly.

Headings – Often misinterpreted as simply being formatting options for text within the CMS of a page, headings actually do the job of telling search engine crawlers what the page is about. The H1 Heading acts as the primary source of information on the page and is the most important, followed by H2-H6 headings that can be used chronologically as subheadings.

Image ALT text – Search engine bots might be smart, but they’re yet to work out how to fully read and understand images like JPEG and PNG files. To help them along, a short description of the image – image ALT text – can be inputted when uploading an image file to your CMS.

How can I check my website’s SEO performance?

If you need assistance in checking the SEO performance of your site, or with fixing any issues discovered, please don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@prettypragmatic.com.