Have you ever played Tetris? If so, you probably remember how there was no real way to “win” the game. Basically, it got faster and faster with each level.
In a way, search engine optimization (SEO) is the same.
Not for having a captivating 8-bit soundtrack or for rewriting your dreams, but that never ends.
There is no point where you can sit back and relax, content that your site is at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) once and for all.
Sure, you may have reached your peak today, but an SEO professional’s job is never done.
Every change in Google’s algorithm or competitor’s content can knock you out of the top spot, which means you need to keep up with the changes.
And that means your on-page SEO needs to be on point. But before we dive into that, it’s important to get a high-level overview of how Google and other search engines work.
Search Engine Basics
Search engines send out crawlers, or spiders, to explore the Internet. They follow links from one site to another, building a map of the content called a search index.
In the process of exploring websites, these crawlers also evaluate your content, determining what kind of information it contains.
This data is used by the search engine’s algorithm to determine how well the content on that particular website responds to user queries.
The better it answers the query, the higher it will rank in the SERP.
In Google’s relentless quest to provide better results to users, its algorithm is updated frequently. This inevitably leads to changes in rankings, which requires someone to optimize the site to improve or guarantee rankings.
What Is On-Page SEO & Why Is It Important?
On-page SEO, which is sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of tweaking a page’s content, tags, and internal links to improve search visibility and increase traffic.
In other words, it’s a means of optimizing your site to help search engines better understand your site.
And that, of course, comes with a number of benefits.
The first is in the amount of traffic.
The first five organic results on a search page get 67.60% of all clicks. The next five account for just 3.73%. And it goes down from there. So if you want to get traffic, you need to be near the top.
Second, high-ranking sites have much better click-through rates (CTR). Google’s top mobile search result has an average organic CTR of 26.9%.
Now consider that 92.4% of internet users searching their cell phones for something close visit this business on the same day and you can start to see the impact organic SEO can have on your results. And on-page optimization is an important factor in your organic ranking.
I hope by now you understand the importance of on-page SEO. Now it’s time to get started. Let’s dive right in…
12 Essential On-Page SEO Factors
On-page SEO can be divided into three categories: content, HTML, and site architecture. We will see each one individually.
You’ve heard it before: content is king.
SEO without it is like a nice sports car without an engine – it may look cool, but it’s not going anywhere. But, not all content is not created equal.
Here are the content factors you need to consider to maximize your on-site SEO:
One way Google evaluates your site is based on E-A-T, or experience, authority, and trustworthiness.
In 175 pages of Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, it is mentioned 135 times, which should be an indication of the role it plays in search engine algorithms.
While Google has only confirmed a few elements of E-A-T (PageRank and links), it is generally accepted in the SEO field that on-page signals play an important role in their evaluations.
For a deeper dive into E-A-T, read this article.
The most basic way to tell them that your site’s content answers a user’s question is in the language you use.
Pages that feature the keywords used in a query, whether in the body, titles, or both, are more likely to be relevant to the search.
Sometimes this is easy to determine. If you’re optimizing a furniture store’s website, you’ll likely want to include keywords like [sofa], [dining room set], and [end table].
If you’re a specialty furniture store, be sure to include long-tail keywords like [contemporary art-deco dressers].
In short, you need to know what your target customers are looking for and create content that includes those terms. It’s always a good idea to research, so you don’t miss any opportunities.
Get started by downloading our Keyword Research eBook.
Creating the kind of content that prioritizes search engines and converts human visitors to your site is an art.
Unless you’ve done this before, it can be quite challenging to write copy that reads well and still follows SEO best practices.
We have an entire piece dedicated to helping you master the art, but some of the key takeaways include:
Using images, videos, and infographics does more than make your page visually appealing to visitors. It also gives you opportunities to boost your SEO.
More than 36% of consumers use visual search when shopping online, which means that if you’re not using images, you’re missing out on traffic.
Be sure to optimize your follow-up text whenever possible.
Be aware of image file sizes to avoid lazy loading. Make your images shareable to identify backlinking opportunities, which can help boost your E-A-T.
HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the code used to structure your web pages and their content.
They tell the user’s browser what to show and where to show it. And it tells search engines what your page is about and where they should rank it.
Here are the HTML on-page SEO factors you need to consider:
This is one of those areas where it’s important to focus on the details.
By itself, this snippet of code that allows you to title a webpage is unlikely to make you climb the SERP rankings.
But in context with other elements on the page (like the ones discussed here), it can help you create context and demonstrate the relevance of your site.
For a more complete look at how to optimize your title tags, read this.
Right now, a veteran SEO professional is throwing her hands at the canvas. “Oh come on,” she is saying, “everyone knows that meta descriptions are not an SEO ranking factor.”
She is only partially right. While it is true that there is a lot of evidence against meta descriptions as a ranking factor, she is wrong about everyone knowing it.
And don’t let the negative Nancy here dissuade you from adding them to your site.
Despite their relative lack of use in SEO, they offer two main benefits: they can help Google understand what your webpage is all about, and more importantly, they have a huge influence on your CTRs.
Better meta descriptions give searchers a better understanding of what your page is about, which in turn leads to more clicks. So don’t neglect them.
We’ve already talked briefly about the importance of visuals on your page, but now it’s time to take a closer look at its technical aspects.
Here are some tips to help optimize yours:
Once again, we have a great resource for more detailed information on optimizing HTML images. Read here.
8. Geotagging (for local search)
It may be a global economy, but most business is still done locally. Connect with people in your neighborhood by optimizing your local on-page SEO.
While this is less important for megacorporations like GMC or Pepsi, for small and medium-sized businesses this is bread and butter.
There are three main SEO tactics to consider when targeting local traffic:
Be sure to include the name of your target location in your keywords and place them in your content wherever they fit.
For more information on creating your own geotagging SEO strategy, read this.
Having a well-structured website is important for two reasons: first, a logically organized website will be crawled more efficiently by search engines, and second, it will create richer user experiences.
Here are the factors to consider when optimizing your website architecture:
A clunky, slow-loading website does more than frustrate and alienate visitors – it actually hurts your search rankings as well.
Search Engine Journal took a deep dive into the effect a page load time has on SEO and confirmed that page speed is a ranking factor in search results.
However, the minimum speed your site needs to meet is constantly changing.
Currently, it can be fulfilled by reaching the minimum threshold of Google’s Core Web Vitals. If your site isn’t meeting these standards, there are several steps you can take, including:
In 2016, mobile search volume overtook desktop for the first time. And in the following years, that number only grew.
Mobile now accounts for over 56% of all internet usage, with tablets contributing another 2.4%.
As more users are on mobile devices, Google followed the logical path and started to prioritize websites with responsive designs in the mobile search rankings.
This mobile-optimized update only affects search results performed on mobile devices, and while it is still possible to rank these results without responsive design, Google strongly recommends that websites have a mobile version.
You can read more about the effect website responsiveness has on search results here.
There was a time when URLs played a big role in SEO. Professionals would make sure their keywords are included in the web addresses to help them rank higher.
But Google, doing what Google does, changed the algorithm. And what was once so important to rankings now plays a much smaller role.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. Search engines still include your URLs in their overall score – they just don’t matter as much as they once did.
However, there is evidence that they play a role in a site’s initial ranking, and some professionals believe they are used to grouping pages together. What this means is that while they shouldn’t be your top SEO priority, you also don’t want to ignore them.
Read more about how URLs influence Google rankings here.
Remember E-A-T from the beginning of this article?
One of the best ways for your site to establish experience, authority, and trustworthiness is through links from other reputable sites.
Think of it this way: Who would you rather trust your 401(k) to – a financial advisor who manages Warren Buffet’s portfolio or his cousin Jimmy, who lives in your aunt’s basement? Jimmy can do a good job; he might even surpass Buffett’s guy. But it just doesn’t have the credibility that comes with a strong co-sign.
There are three main types you need to know about for SEO:
Of the three, inbound links are by far the most important. They provide the biggest SEO benefit, but they are also the hardest to come by.
There are a variety of methods SEO professionals use to generate quality inbound links, including using social media, creating shareable infographics, and even requesting backlinks.
But beware: not all incoming links are useful. Some, especially those coming from link farms, forum posts, and guestbooks, may be fake links intended to trick the ranking system. If you don’t reject this, it could hurt your ranking.
Here’s information on how and when you should reject links.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
We’ve talked a lot about on-page SEO, but there’s also something known as off-page SEO. The difference, as you could probably tell by the names, is where it happens.
On-page SEO is everything you can do internally to increase your rankings, including keyword optimization, meta descriptions, title tags, alt text, and site structure.
Off-page SEO is all the things that happen externally that affect your site’s rankings. This includes backlinks, E-A-T, local SEO, social media mentions, and pay per click.
You obviously have a lot more control over your on-page SEO, but it’s important to keep off-page SEO in mind too – you need both to get where you want to be.
But you should first focus on building a good and relevant webpage that is fully optimized for search engines before you start investing a lot of resources into link building and promoting your website.
On-Page SEO Is An Ongoing Process
At the end of the day, search engine optimization comes down to one thing: finding the best way to provide searchers with valuable information and ensuring your site is at the top of the SERPs.
Its aim is to provide richer experiences to users while demonstrating its value to search engines. Fortunately, these two go hand in hand. And they start with on-page optimization.
Start with what you can control, carefully evaluating your current site for weaknesses and opportunities for growth.
Put all your ducks on the spot in a row and you’ll start to see results – including an organic improvement in external factors.
Just remember, SEO, like Tetris, is never done. But keep reading and working, and you’ll get the results you deserve.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
What are the best on-page SEO techniques?
On-page SEO checklist
- Crawl your website.
- Do an SEO audit and define your site’s architecture.
- Update URLs, page titles and meta descriptions.
- Make sure your keyword is in your URL.
- Include your keyword throughout your page.
- Track keywords and topics for each page.
- Do not use keywords.
What are on-page and off-page SEO techniques? On-page SEO focuses on optimizing parts of your website that are under your control, while off-page SEO focuses on increasing your domain authority through creating content and getting backlinks from other websites.
What are off page SEO factors?
"Off-page SEO" (also called “off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Along with on-page SEO, this includes a number of basic SEO factors that help a site rank.
What is off-page optimization in SEO? “Off-page SEO” (also called “Off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Why off-page SEO is important?
Off-page SEO helps build a website’s domain recognition and authority. Without it, your site will continually rank below other sites that already have a more substantial lead. While links aren’t the only off-page signals Google’s algorithm applies to rank a website, it’s perhaps the most vital of all.
Why is offsite SEO important?
Why is off-page SEO important? Off-page SEO is tremendously valuable because it tells search engines that your site is important to others on the web. Every link you receive acts as an endorsement from another source that your site is of good quality.
What is more important on page SEO or off page SEO?
Having a website with good SEO (search engine optimization) can make a significant difference in how many pages you rank deeply. If you are a smaller local business; Attention to local SEO efforts is more important than ever.
What is the most important off page SEO activity?
As SEOs, content marketers and bloggers know, backlinks are currently the most important off-page SEO factor. This is because natural links from relevant and trusted websites act as an independent “vote of confidence”, which helps search engines trust your website more.
What is on-page SEO optimization?
Onpage optimization (also known as on-page SEO) refers to all the measures that can be taken directly on the website to improve its position in search rankings. Examples of this include measures to optimize content or improve meta description and title tags.
What is the example of on-page SEO? Examples of some on-page SEO action items include: Optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions. Writing deep, quality content. Cleaning up your site’s code.
What is included in on-page optimization?
On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control on the webpage or the webpage code itself. Examples of on-page SEO include content, titles and headers, image optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more.
What is on page SEO with example?
On-page SEO is a type of search engine optimization that uses on-site optimizations to improve a page’s ranking in relevant search results. On-site optimizations target the content and source code of a page and include creating content, inserting keywords, improving page speed, and more.
What is on-page SEO? On-site SEO (also known as On-Page SEO) is the practice of optimizing elements on a website (as opposed to links elsewhere on the Internet and other external signals collectively known as “Off-Site SEO”) to rank higher. and gain more relevant traffic from search engines.
What is on page SEO content writing?
SEO writing is the process of writing content to rank on the first page of search engines like Google. This involves researching keywords, writing high-quality content that matches user intent, and optimizing your headers for easy page crawling.
What is SEO in content writing?
An SEO content writer understands search engine optimization and knows how to write informative, engaging and relevant content. However, they are not always effective when it comes to writing content aimed at driving conversions.
What is on page and off page SEO with example?
|on-page SEO||Off-page SEO|
|On the seo page, we will use internal links.||For off-page SEO, we will use deep linking.|
What is a off-page SEO?
“Off-page SEO” (also called “Off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs). Along with on-page SEO, this includes a number of basic SEO factors that help a site rank.
What is on SEO and Off SEO?
While on-page SEO refers to factors you can control on your own website, off-page SEO refers to page ranking factors that occur outside of your website, such as backlinks from another website. It also includes your promotion methods, taking into account how much exposure something gets on social media, for example.
What is on page SEO and how does it work?
On-page SEO (also known as on-site SEO) refers to the practice of optimizing web pages to improve a website’s search engine rankings and gain organic traffic. In addition to publishing high-quality, relevant content, on-page SEO includes optimizing your titles, HTML tags (title, meta, and header), and images.
What is on-page SEO in simple terms?
On-page SEO (search engine optimization) refers to the process of optimizing pages on your website to improve rankings and user experience. This is the opposite of off-page SEO, which refers to optimizing elements outside of your site. This can include backlinks or social media mentions.
What is on-page SEO with example?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and get more relevant traffic on search engines. On-page refers to the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.
How does on-page SEO help?
On-page SEO helps search engines analyze your site and the content connected to it, so they can identify whether a searcher’s query is relevant to your site. Google is constantly updating its algorithm so it can better understand a searcher’s intent and provide search results that meet that user’s needs.
Can I learn SEO on my own?
It is possible to learn how to do SEO on your own, you don’t need to be an expert or expert in SEO. The first thing to do is convince yourself that SEO is not difficult. If others can do it, so can you. All you need is a willingness to learn and time.
How long does it take to learn SEO? If you can learn SEO for a few hours every day, then you can master the basics of SEO within 4-8 weeks and land your first SEO job in 3-6 months. If you can learn SEO full-time, you can master the basics even in 1-2 weeks.
Can I learn SEO for free?
You can learn how to do Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, completely free of charge. All you need are strong resources written or created by SEO experts. We’ve compiled an up-to-date list of 50 of the best blogs, courses, videos, podcasts, conferences, and SEO tools to get you started.
Is SEO easy to learn?
SEO is difficult at first, but once you learn Google’s algorithmic policies. you can rank your site in no time. Stay tuned for Google algorithm updates and their new policies. SEO takes time and patience.
Does SEO hard to learn?
SEO just isn’t as difficult as people pretend it is; you can get 95% of the effort with 5% of the work, and you absolutely do not need to hire an SEO professional to do this, nor will it be difficult to start ranking for well-chosen keyword terms.
Can You Learn SEO by yourself?
There’s no better resource I’ve found as a starting point for learning SEO than Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. It’s free and starts by answering the most basic questions like “What is SEO?” Read the entire guide once and you’ll know more than the people who send you those SEO spam emails every day.
Why is SEO so hard?
To summarize, SEO is difficult because search engines are always changing and updating. It could be anything from Google changing the way it looks at a certain type of link, including a major new update to its algorithm, or even recognizing something new as a ranking factor.