Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website for Google search with the aim of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site. On-page SEO refers to all the tactics that you can use on your own website to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, it’s all about optimizing your website’s design, content, speed, and mobile-friendliness with the goal of earning higher SERP rankings.
While there are many different SEO strategies out there, on-page SEO is one of the most important. That’s because your website’s ranking in SERPs is largely determined by on-page factors like keyword usage, title tags, and metatags.
If you want to earn higher SERP rankings, you need to make sure your website is optimized for on-page SEO. Thankfully, that’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Why is on-page SEO important?
On-page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand what your website is about and whether it’s relevant to a user’s search query. If you want your website to rank in SERPs, you need to make sure it’s optimized for on-page SEO. That means using the right keywords, having well-written and keyword-rich title tags and metatags, and having a well-structured website.
Some of the express benefits of good on-page SEO is:
- Reach the top of SERPs
- A good way to outrank your competitors –
- It’s the first step in any SEO strategy –
- More traffic and engagement from users-
- Builds trust and credibility with search engines –
- Better user experience-
Elements of ON-page SEO
The first and most important thing in on-page SEO is the quality of your content. The content must be well-written, informative, keyword-rich, and unique. It should also be free of any grammatical or spelling errors.
Here it is vital to identify selective keywords and write high-value content based on these particular keywords. It is also important to identify what phase of the content funnel or content strategy that your content falls into.
- Hero: The hero is the first thing that users see when they land on your page. It is the most important part of your page and should be given special attention. The hero should be keyword-rich, catchy, and relevant to the user’s needs.
- Awareness: The awareness stage is the beginning of the customer journey. At this stage, users are just becoming aware of their problem or need. Content at this stage should be educational and informative. It should answer the user’s questions and help them to understand their problem better.
- Consideration: In the consideration stage, users know they have a problem and are now considering their options for solving it. Content at this stage should be compared and contrasted. It should help the user to understand the different options available to them and make a decision about which is best for them.
- Conversion: The conversion stage is when the user takes action. They have decided what they need to do and are now ready to do it. Content at this stage needs to be persuasive. It should convince the user to take the desired action and provide them with the information they need to do it.
The title tag is the most important on-page SEO element. It tells search engines what your page is about and appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Your title tag should:
- Be unique and descriptive
- Use relevant keywords
- Be under 60 characters long
A meta description is a short description of your page that appears in the SERPs. It should convince the user to click on your result and visit your page. Meta descriptions are vital to on-page SEO as they give users information about your page before they even visit it.
Your meta description should:
- Be unique and descriptive
- Use relevant keywords
- Be under 155 characters long
Headings are used to structure your content and make it easy for users to navigate your page. They also help search engines understand the hierarchy of your content.
Your headings should:
- Be descriptive
- Use relevant keywords
- Be concise
URLs are one of the most important on-page SEO factors. They help search engines understand what your page is about and determine whether or not it’s relevant to a user’s search query.
Image ALT text:
Images are a great way to add visual interest to your content. But they also play an important role in SEO. When you upload an image to your website, you should always include ALT text. This is a short description of the image that tells search engines what it’s about.
Internal links are links that point to other pages on your website. They help search engines understand the structure of your website and improve the crawling and indexing of your website.
External links are links that point to other websites. They help search engines understand what your website is about and how it is related to other websites.
Anchor text is the text that appears in a hyperlink. It helps search engines understand what the linked page is about.
Mobile usability is the ability of a website to be used on mobile devices. It is important for search engines because more and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet.
Responsiveness is evaluated based on the following factors:
- Layout: Is the layout of the website easy to use on a mobile device?
- Size: Are the buttons and links easy to click on a mobile device?
- Speed: Does the website load quickly on a mobile device?
Website speed is the time it takes for a page to load. It is important for search engines because people do not want to wait for a page to load. They will go to another website if the website is taking too long to load. Speed is evaluated based on the following factors:
- Time to First Byte (TTFB): TTFB is the time it takes for a browser to receive the first byte of data from the server.
- First Contentful Paint (FCP): FCP is the time it takes for the browser to display the first content on the screen.
- Speed Index: The Speed Index is a measure of how quickly content is visible during page load.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The LCP is the time it takes for the largest content element on the page to load.
- First Input Delay (FID): FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with a page (i.e. clicks a link, taps a button) to the time when the browser is able to respond to that interaction.
Optimize content for ON page SEO:
- Write compelling and keyword-rich titles: The title of your page is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. It tells both users and search engines what the topic of your page is.
- Use your target or primary keywords within the first 100 words.
- Make sure your meta descriptions are compelling: A well-written meta description is like an advertorial copy. It should entice users to click through to your page.
- Use keyword-rich headings: Heading tags (H1-H6) are used to structure the content on your page and show its hierarchy. They also send a strong signal to search engines about the topic of your page.
- Optimize your images: Whenever you upload a photo to your website, be sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword rich description of the photo.
- Keyword frequency: How often should you use keywords on a page? This is an important question as using too many keywords on a page can result in search engine penalties for keyword stuffing. However, using it a few times at key locations and with a natural flow enables Google to better index your content and understand what your page is about.
- Outbound links: Outbound links are a signal of trust and quality content to search engines. Linking to other relevant websites shows that you are knowledgeable and well-informed about your topic. As a result, search engines are more likely to trust your content and rank it higher.
The type of content you create for different topics is important to ensure quality in your content:
- Awareness content is best spread through blog posts and videos, especially on the homepage.
- Consideration content is best used on buyer’s guides, product pages, and service pages.
- Conversion content is best used on landing pages and lead capture forms, including product demos and contact pages.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your content:
- Incorporate long- and short-tail keywords naturally
- Add engaging visual content
- Actively solve audience problems
- Write for a specific buyer persona
- Optimize for conversions with CTAs to offers and product pages.
Optimize title and description tags
- Front-load title tag: The title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO elements. Start with your target keyword, then add a modifier (like “best” or “guide”), and end with your brand name.
- Use keyword-rich Meta descriptions: The meta description is the short blurb that appears under your title tag in the search results. It should be no longer than 155-160 characters, and it should include your target keyword and a CTA.
- Use keyword-rich H1 and H2 tags: The H1 tag is the largest and most important headline on your page. It should include your target keyword, and it should be no longer than 60-70 characters. H2 tags are secondary headlines that can be used to further elaborate on your content. They should be no longer than 60-70 characters as well, and they should include your target keyword or a closely related phrase.
- Title tag modifiers: You can use a keyword modifier in your title tag to make it more clickable. For example, if you’re ranking for the keyword “SEO tips,” you could use a title tag like “Get the Top 10 SEO Tips for 2022.”
- Structured markup: You can use structured markup to give search engines more information about your content. This can help your content appear in rich snippets, which are featured snippets that include additional information about your content.
- User-friendly URL: Use a URL that’s easy for users and search engines to understand. Use your keywords in your URL, but don’t keyword stuff.
Optimize for click-through-rate:
- Use question title tags: A question title tag is a type of title tag that’s formatted as a question. These types of title tags can increase your click-through rate because they stand out in the search results.
- Use social media: Social media can help you promote your content and build relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your industry.
- Adding some emotion to title tags: Backlinko’s CTR study found that emotional titles got clicked on 7% more times than titles that did not have a strong emotional sentiment.
Optimizing for On-page UX signals
- Use short paragraphs: People are more likely to read your content if it’s broken up into small, easy-to-digest paragraphs.
- Use images: In addition to breaking up your text, adding images can help make your content more visually appealing and easier to consume.
- Use headings and subheadings: Headings and subheadings help to break up your content and make it easier to read.
- Have an active community: If you have an active community, that can also help improve the user experience of your site.
Optimizing for Mobile responsiveness
- Mobile-first indexing: Google announced that it would be moving to a “mobile-first” index in late 2016. This means that Google will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, rather than the desktop version.
- Make sure your site is fast: A slow site can frustrate users and cause them to leave. Make sure your site is as fast as possible.
- Use AMP: AMP is a Google project that stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP pages are expressly designed to make sure they load quickly on mobile devices.
- Use Schema markup: Schema markup is a code that you can add to your site to help search engines return more informative results for users.
- Optimize your images: Large images can make your pages slow to load. Make absolutely sure that your images are optimized for the web.
Benefits of good on-page SEO
- Helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs): On-page SEO is a means of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.
- Increases the chances of your website being clicked: Optimizing your on-page elements can give your website a better chance of being clicked when it appears in SERPs.
- Improves the overall user experience of your website: By ensuring that your website is optimized for on-page SEO, you can improve the overall user experience of your website, making it much easier for all users to find the exact information they need.
- Helps you build a foundation for off-page SEO: Optimizing your on-page elements can help you build a foundation for successful off-page SEO.
- Can be done relatively easily and quickly: On-page SEO is relatively easy to do and can be done quickly, especially if you have a well-designed website.
On-page SEO is a critical element of any successful SEO strategy. By optimizing your website for on-page SEO, you can improve your website’s overall user experience, making it easier for users to find the information they need. Additionally, on-page SEO can help you build a foundation for successful off-page SEO. And, best of all, on-page SEO is relatively easy to do and can be done quickly.
Now that you understand the basics of on-page SEO, it’s time to start optimizing your website! If you need help getting started, Pixel Street is a SEO agency that is always here to help. We offer a variety of SEO services, including on-page optimization, link building, and content marketing. So, go ahead and contact us today and let us know how we can help you improve your website’s SEO.