TLDR: On-page search engine optimisation for WordPress

On-page searching engine optimisation is imperative for every single website. Here's a quick lowdown into it.

What is on-page search engine optimisation (SEO)?

On-page search engine optimisation (SEO) enables web crawlers and other forms of indexing tools to process and make sense of the hierarchy of content in your website. Generally speaking, the better the on-page SEO implemented, then the easier these web crawlers can process the content of your website and then index your website in search engines such as Google and Bing. Yes, off-page SEO plays an instrumental role in this (a future post), but on-page SEO is the starting point.

But what does on-page SEO mean practically?

TLDR, firstly you need to follow the HTML fundamentals. i.e. you should use relevant HTML tags such as: header, main, sections, footer, nav, ul, li, img, and even alt tags.

Furthermore, you should also ensure your heading tags (H1, H2, H3 etc…) are all used in the correct order and make sense to group sections of relevant texts. For example, you shouldn’t have a H3 heading tag directly followed by a sub-heading with a H2 heading tag.

There are many resources you can refer to for this. I highly recommend the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) site – it is literally a library of the 3 building blocks of the world wide web, used by developers of all levels.

Secondly, you need to have original content. Most search engines are smart enough to know when you’ve plagiarised another website – therefore copying text from another website is a huge no-no. The more original the content, and relevant of course, then the better chance you have at scoring higher in the rank.

There are other steps you can take such as having key words in your heading tags, which also appear throughout your content and relevant meta tags. However, be warned – keyword stuffing is highly looked down on and may cost you in a website lower rank!

A great way to get an idea of your website’s SEO health is by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

How to easily implement on-page SEO in WordPress?

Same answer as before, but I recommend using Rank Math. The Rank Math SEO plugin (no, I am not sponsored or affiliated with them) allows you to visually set up key on-page SEO fundamentals easily and often automatically. Rank Math analyses your content and HTML structure and gives you feedback as well. It is extremely easy to use and intuitive – did I mention it’s also free? There is a premium version, but the free version is so feature-rich that it is used by a plethora of websites, including big brand websites you definitely would have come across. Rank Math does other things such as generating your sitemap to enable web crawlers to easily go through each website page.

Other SEO plugins for WordPress

Yes – there are dozens! Yoast is a popular choice and probably one of the first SEO plugins for WordPress. It has a huge userbase and is extremely easy to set up. However, Rank Math is probably more feature-rich. Another notable plugin is SEOPress. I have not personally used this, but it is also highly recommended by many WordPress developers.

Step by step tutorial for on-page SEO?

I’m planning on putting together a YouTube series on this over the coming months – I will share the link here once it is done.