What is on-page SEO and why is it important?
When we talk about ‘on-page SEO’ we mean all the actions done to optimize a web page for search engines, to help them find it and show it in the top rank of search results.
As of 2021, even with search engines becoming more clever about what is good and relevant content for the users, they still need clues to help them understand what a page is about. That’s why adding your keyword in the title, optimizing images or the URL can give your web pages a boost in the search rankings, given that your content is useful and entertaining.
While SEO is very complex, there are low-hanging fruits that you can apply immediately to your web pages. Most of them take a few minutes to do and you don’t need any additional tools.
General on-page SEO optimization
Each page that you are optimize for SEO should target a unique Keyword with distinct search intent.
- What is the visitor ultimately trying to do? That’s the search intent (e.g Go to a good hairdresser in London to cut their hair)
- What will they type on the search engine? That’s the keyword you target (e.g. Best hairdresser in London)
- The content is comprehensive, informative, easy to consume and it satisfies the search intent.
- The content is unique to this URL.
- No more than 4 clicks are required from any page on the website to access this page.
- Use your Keyword in the URL for the page. And make the URL as short as you can.
- Use the keyword in your actual page title. It should also appear as an H1 on your code.
- Use the keyword in your content, ideally in the first 100 words and some of the subtitles (H2 and H3). Don’t overdo ir and always make sure the text sounds natural.
- Include related terminology in your text. For example, in a text about brownies, it is natural that words such as flour, cacao, dessert, etc. appear. To find these related words you can research what topics are covered in pages that are currently ranking for your target keyword.
- Whenever is relevant, use external links to authority sites in your niche.
Keyword usage in your title and description tags
Write keyword-rich and informative title and description tags, as they often determine if people click on your page or not. The title and description tags are the information about your page that is presented when other pages link to it, for example:
- When shared on Social Media, either by you or other people
- On search engine result pages
- Use the Keyword in the title tag, as early as possible. Extra tip: It seems adding a question to your title tags helps to get better click rates.
- Use the keyword in the description tag.
- Use an original and catchy image as the image tag.
Adding the title and description tags with Xara Designer Pro+
You can set up your title tag and description in Xara Designer Pro+ using the Open Graph Dialog.
To open this dialog go to Utilities > Web Properties > Open Graph.
Click on Enable Open Graph.
Add your title tag. Remember to add your keyword as early as possible and keep it shorter than 60 characters if possible.
Add your description tag. You can include your keyword once in the text, and make sure it is inviting users to open and read your page. Try to make it shorter than 160 characters or it will be cropped.
Add your image tag. An original image that will catch the attention is the best.
Optimization of page images
Web page images also have a big impact on SEO, so make sure you don’t forget to optimize them:
- Use original images. If you are using stock photos, you can edit and modify them with Designer Pro+ to appear more original.
- Use lightweight images. Better if they are WebP. With Designer Pro+ this transformation to WebP is done automatically for you
- Use the keyword in the “alt” text of some of your images.
- Use your keyword on the actual filename of your photo.
Use WebP images automatically for Xara Designer Pro+ pages.
Xara Designer Pro+ offers the option to automatically export images in your websites in WebP format.
Simply turn on the new Include WebP images option, which is at the bottom of the Website tab of the Utilities > Web Properties dialog.
Note on browser compatibility:
While most modern web browsers now support WebP files, some still do not. So with the WebP option on, Designer Pro+ will automatically encode all your images in WebP AND also in either JPEG or PNG form, to maximize browser and device compatibility. And it will make sure browsers that do support WebP will only download and display the WebP files while older browsers don’t support WebP will download only the JPEG or PNG files instead.
Optimize images filenames and Alt Text with Xara Designer Pro+
You can find these options in the Utilities > Web Properties > Image tab
You have 2 options to optimize image filenames:
Use the photo filename button that will instantly fill that name field for you with the selected photo’s original filename (if it has one). Only use this if the photo filename is meaningful and relevant to the content of your site.
Or add a relevant filename directly on the tab. That name will then be used for the photo’s filename.
You can also add the Alt Text (text that appears when your image can’t be visualized) for each of your images in this tab.