Optimising your blog’s on-page SEO

With Google’s site-wide penalties making the headlines, it’s never been more important to make sure your search marketing is performing well, including your on-page SEO.

With the recent scare of Google’s site-wide penalties, it’s never been more important to make sure your other search engine optimisation tactics are performing as well as possible. On-page SEO is often something that’s included during the initial development of a site, and then left alone whilst content marketing and other off-site SEO practices take over.

As any good search marketing specialist will know, SEO isn’t a one-time project, and even on-page optimisation should be reviewed often in order to ensure things are performing as expected.

Note that in this article I’ve referred to H1 – H6 tags. Although Google is now including font size and text length of headings as indicators, the relative importance of each heading remains the same.

Article headings and extracts on blog homepages

If your homepage contains article headings and article extracts as many blog websites (including my own) do, then it’s tempting to give article titles the H1’s and drop other elements such as page title down to H2, H3 or even H4. However, this will produce multiple H1’s on the homepage, which isn’t great. Also, you’ll almost always be ranking higher for the individual article page, and don’t want to appear twice for the same content.

Instead, consider the following format:

  • Site title <H1>
  • Site description <H2>
  • Article titles <H3>
  • Article extracts (depending on length) <H4>

Article headings and extracts on archive or search pages

Archive and search pages are similar to the homepage in that they usually contain multiple article extracts on a single page. For archive or taxonomy pages it’s best to mark up the H1 as the page title (including the category or topic) and following a similar structure to the homepage for articles.

Search pages are much the same, but if possible try to dynamically include the search term in the page title, if only for consideration of the person searching.

SEO for single page blog articles

When we get to single page blog articles we can start really optimising for search. Blog websites will see a much higher percentage of traffic go directly to deep (article) pages than other websites (and usually a much higher bounce rate, too). Marking up the content accordingly ensures that customers can get to the content that they’re after as quickly as possible.

  • Article title <H1> (Should probably also be the page title)
  • Article sub-headings <H2>
  • Site title <H3>
  • Site description <H4>

Of cause this is just a quick guide to demonstrate relative importance – There may be occasions where this is different (for example if there is key content included in body text). Potentially making key phrases bold or italic and including some good internal linking can help improve the quality of the article, achieve higher SERP’s and also reduce bounce rate.

Schema.org mark-up for blog article posts

There’s loads of other mark-up to consider alongside H1 – H6 tags, and Schema.org is a great place to look into. With the launch of in-depth articles in the UK a few weeks ago, it’s never been more important to make sure your articles are marked up with article tags, contain authorship details and are well-written, unique pieces of content.

Organisation or person mark-up is also well worth considering for blog websites, and there’s even a ‘blogPosting’ schema which may be worth considering.

John Alexander Rowley

An enthusiastic digital marketing professional passionately dedicated to increasing the online presence of businesses and individuals in order to improve engagement and ROI.

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