On-page SEO – Why we use Yoast on all our client websites.
From time to time we like to provide a peek behind the curtain in our web development shop by shining a light on the tools we use to build great websites for small businesses.
We generally use WordPress for various reasons including how easy it is to allow clients to have just the right amount of involvement they want for making changes. Most clients start out wanting to be involved but they find that running their business and managing a website is too time-consuming. We encourage them to focus 100% on running and growing their business and leave the website development, monitoring and support to us.
However, just leaving all the technical things to someone else may not be ideal so that’s why we like to provide insights into what we do and in this case what tool (WordPress Plugin) we use for Search Engine Optimisation.
The information below is an excerpt from a recent article published by Marieke van de Rakt from Yoast explaining ‘On-page and Off-page SEO’. We encourage you to follow the link to the original article if you’d like to read more from the team.
Every SEO strategy is focused on ranking as high as possible in the search engines. To do this, we all try to design and develop a website that Google’s secret algorithm will love. That’s basically what SEO is about. The factors in Google’s algorithm can be divided into two categories which will determine the ranking of your website: on-page factors and off-page factors. Here, I’ll discuss the differences between the two, explain the importance of on-page SEO and go over the most essential on-page SEO factors.
On-page and off-page SEO
On-page factors all have to do with elements of your own website. Factors include technical set-up, the quality of your code, textual and visual content and user-friendliness of your site. On the other side there are off-page factors, like links from other websites, social media attention and other marketing activities outside your own website. If you focus on off-page SEO you mostly aim to get more links to your site. The more relevant links you get, the higher your ranking in Google will be.
Importance of on-page SEO
On-page SEO consists of all the elements of SEO you can control best. If you own a website, you can control the technical issues and the quality of your content. We believe on-page issues should all be tackled as they’re in your own hands. If you create an awesome website, it will definitely start ranking. Focusing on on-page SEO will also increase the probability that your off-page SEO strategy will be successful. Link building with a crappy site is a very tough job. Nobody wants to link to articles that are badly written or boring.
Essential on-page SEO factors
In our view, there are three major on-page SEO factors. These three pillars are the ones you should focus on:
The quality of your code should be high. Check if you’re not unintentionally blocking crawlers from indexing your website (we still see this happening!). WordPress is an SEO-friendly platform and our plugin takes care of most remaining technical SEO challenges, without you even noticing it. So if you’re using WordPress and configured Yoast SEO well, you’ll have most technical aspects of your on-page SEO covered.
Why do people visit your site? Most likely because it contains information they’re looking for. Therefore you should write excellent content. Search engines like Google read your text. Which site ranks highest is for a large part based on the content of a website. That content should be about the right keywords, informative, and easy to read.
Finally, the third final pillar is User eXperience. Users need to easily understand your website and be able to find what they want in a heartbeat. They should know where to click and how to navigate through your site. And it should be fast! A beautifully designed website is nice, but you should definitely make it your top priority to create a user-friendly website first!