Last Updated in March 2021 by Lukasz Zelezny
Essential elements of SEO—everything from H1 tags to SSL
In this blogpost
SEO is a huge area of expertise, yet there are plenty of areas that all content creators can work on to provide improved chances of boosting their metrics.
You may have to leave the technical aspects to an expert—someone with the correct level of coding or engineering understanding. However, content is king these days (or so the saying goes), and many of its associated actions are simple enough for anyone to manage.
SEO is a system or many parts, but keeping each of those in prime condition will keep nudging your metrics to your conversion goals.
This article will answer a few straightforward questions, and hopefully, help you understand how to fine-tune the basics.
Why On-Page SEO is important
On-Page (or on-site) SEO should be a priority when it comes to organic search results. Don’t get me wrong, all of the techniques are important and will play their part, but without healthy On-Page SEO, they have no foundation to work with.
On-Page SEO should optimise the website content to maximise search engine ranking and win traffic.
High-quality content with optimised headlines, tags, and images, will help boost results, by establishing expertise, authority and trust with your visitors and search engines alike.
Search engine crawls, indexing, ranking and delivery
Search engines decide who’s got the best content and are most relevant for each search query by continuously crawling websites for information. That information is ranked and indexed on the search engine’s servers, to be accessed when required.
The higher a site ranks for each of the subjects or phrases it’s optimised for, the more likely it is it’ll top the searches and win the traffic.
Traffic leads to engagement, conversions, and profit. Do I need to be any clearer?
How important is the H1 tag for SEO?
The H1 tag is the king of the tags for each page of your website. In the title tag hierarchy, it’s the most powerful, so you should consider using it wisely for SEO.
An H1 tag is generally and automatically assigned to the page title. Wherever possible, it will help your page score to feature the most relevant or valuable keyword phrases with the H1 tag. You can add as many as H1 tags as you like in the body through your content editor, but posting too many H1 tags doesn’t necessarily mean better ranking.
Think of them like newspaper headlines or noisy children. The more you have, the more confusing all the information becomes for those reading or listening. Instead, use a selection of H2, H3 and H4 tags as you go. Not only will the page look far more attractive, but the search engines will also know which is the most crucial areas, and which are secondary to the point.
How important is SSL for SEO?
Google—the gods of page rankings and organic searches—announced a while ago that SSL certificates would be favoured over standard connections.
A Secure Socket Layer adds security to websites, so obviously, trying to make our digital world a better place, Google added this action to their algorithms to encourage everyone to engage.
SSL provides not only a layer of trust for your visitors, adding to their experience, but it also provides a boost to your SEO performance. It’s an obvious win-win. SSL is now the standard, yet there is still only a moderate percentage of websites to carry them. If you want to be a step ahead of those without them, implement SSL now for an easy boost in best practices.
Are backlinks important for SEO?
First, you’ll need to know what a backlink is. It’s quite simple, the links to your website are known as inbound, and are often called backlinks. The links from your site to another are known as outbound.
In answer to the title question—yes—backlinks are important for your SEO.
Here’s why: search engines consider a backlink a vote of confidence in your website. The higher ranked the website that links to yours, the more value that vote of confidence is given. The more sites that link to yours, the more relevant the search engines assume you are. That means higher rankings and better traffic.
Why SEO is important for small business
All new business is vital to small businesses, so getting the word out, and promoting themselves to new customers, is paramount.
SEO helps websites rank higher, beating competitors to sought-after sales through organic searches.
Not many searchers get as far as the second page of results, so it’s imperative to be on the first page. It also adds to the trust of the brand.
Other key benefits to better SEO include having a website that operates faster, cleaner and smoother. It will appear far more user-friendly too, improving the experience.
New, relevant traffic will produce more customers, better conversion rates and build brand awareness. What small business wouldn’t want a bigger slice of those results?
Are meta keywords important for SEO?
There’s no denying it; Meta keywords aren’t as relevant as they once were. In the early days of SEO, marketers stuffed as many keywords into the keyword tag as possible. Because they were hidden behind the scenes instead of being out on display for all to see, they could add whatever information they liked.
The problem was, it became easy for the marketers to use tags that weren’t relevant but drew more traffic. The search engines clamped down on the practice right away—yet there is still value to adding them, only not quite as much.
Most SEO operators add them to back up the keywords in the content of your pages. While they won’t make a vast difference, they could provide just enough to provide the difference between you and your competitors.
Think of it like the Tour de France cyclist shaving his legs. It won’t win him the competition on its own, but it could save him valuable seconds and energy over the length of the race. With the difference between first and second over the finish line often only milliseconds, they’d be foolish not to add it to their regime.
Why is SEO important for eCommerce?
Although there are many avenues to attract custom to your eCommerce website, your organic search results are the best value for money. And, in many cases, they’ll be one of the prime sources of traffic and revenue.
If you put all your eggs in one other basket—such as Google Ads, Facebook ads, social media marketing and more—you’ll be missing a trick.
Good SEO adds visibility during your customer’s buying journey. It also adds to the confidence in your brand. The more places you turn up, the more likely they are to remember you and build trust.
Integrating SEO with your existing eCommerce marketing is a must in today’s marketplace. Where a paid ad will deliver one customer through its cost-per-click system, a highly placed organic search result can deliver thousands of sales.
How important is the URL for SEO?
We all know what a URL is—although not many would know it as a Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the address used to find your website, right? Well, yes, but it’s not just that.
As you dig further into your website, the URL either becomes a long line of code or a neatly mapped out route depicting a basic description of the page content through its hierarchy and title.
As well as making your visitor experience better, using those links in your marketing, guest posting and more, can help visitors understand a little more about the type and organisation of your site information.
However, they are only a minor influence on SEO. Having a keyword-relevant domain will probably hold a small advantage, but not if it’s hindering other parts of your brand and its marketing.
Is content important for SEO?
Yes. One of the key phrases I hear bandied around by SEO marketers and web-builders is ‘content is king’.
Without good content, the search engines have little to learn about you and your business.
With great content, they’ll consider you a valuable resource in your industry, ranking you accordingly, and putting you in prime position for customers searching out your product.
- Quality content generates higher click through rates.
- Exclusive or entertaining content helps generate backlinks.
- Fresh content is your best option for infinitely adding to your keyword lists.
- Great content provides a better user experience, engagement, and customer confidence.
Knowing what constitutes ‘great content’ in your industry is the Holy Grail. Marketers can help with the best options and mixes of keywords and topics to drive traffic, but creating the pages your visitors will love is an art—and a science at times—in itself.
Which element is most important for On Page SEO?
If you were looking for a winner on a point scoring system, I’d have to plump for the Meta title. It’s almost always a clickable link, with an H1 tag that is the shortest yet most efficient description of the content on the page. If you can get your primary keyword phrase in there too, well, that’s about as good as you can hope for.
However, as with all complex machines, your On-Page SEO is a sum of many parts. To create your best chances of being ranked highly, you really need to follow best practices for all of the elements available.
Why are internal links important for SEO?
Google, or any other search engine for that matter, scours the Internet to find content by crawling from link to link, revealing pages and pages of connected content.
By landing on your homepage, the Google bot should be able to read all the content on your website through its links. It also uses the links to understand how each of the pages, and their content, relate to each other.
Each link has a ‘link value’. The links on your homepage will often hold the highest value, as your homepage will have the most backlinks from other websites. That link value decreases for pages further into your site and down the link chain. That’s one of the reasons why new posts that feature on your homepage will have a higher link value than those further down the blog listings that long since left the new content sections of your homepage.
Why your blog is important for SEO
Your blog posts are an ideal opportunity to add content and SEO to your website—regularly.
The search engines judge you and your website on its relevance and content. Using what it finds is how it decides if you are a reliable authority on your topic. For the SEO marketer, there are many tactics available through this area of your site.
- Keyword inclusion
- Mobile friendly and responsive
- Optimising meta descriptions
- Optimising images and alt text
- URL structures
- Internal links
- Topic clusters
- Regular additions and evergreen content
- Repurposing and updating content
These are only a few of the masses of techniques available. If you work on them all, you can begin to see how your blog isn’t something you should take for granted, or indeed, overlook.
Optimise your content from A to Z
Whatever you want to achieve from your website, you’re not going to do it without a steady stream of visitors. That’s why your SEO is so important. To make the most of the situation, you need to optimise every area available to the best of your ability.
And if you don’t have the time or the expertise, ask someone who has. I’d love to hear from you, to help you gain the rankings you deserve, the conversions and the streamlined site that will win you business over and over.