There are many parts to ensuring that your site’s SEO is up to par, getting you up to the prized top spot, but on-page SEO is perhaps the best-known of them all. When someone’s talking about SEO, there’s a good chance that they’re referring to on-page SEO because of its dramatic impact on search rankings.
In today’s guide, we’ll explore the basics that you should know about on-page SEO before we delve a little bit deeper into the topic. We’ll get into how you can optimize your on-page SEO using title tags and meta descriptions, as well as the importance of headers, keyword density, and internal links.
On-page SEO, as the name suggests, consists of the range of factors that are on a particular page that go into Google ranking your page. SEO agencies and businesses will optimize their pages so that Google can find them with greater ease, a practice known as improving search visibility.
By increasing a page’s search visibility, you’re able to drive more traffic to it, and this is done through improved keyword placement and selection as well as other factors. For example, refining title tags and ensuring that they’re relevant for your most likely visitors is a great way to improve on-page SEO.
While both on-page and technical SEO fall under the same umbrella, they are different ways of ensuring that your site appears higher in search results. Technical SEO focuses on more technical aspects like the speed with which your site loads as well as the UX that visitors are exposed to when they reach your site.
Another key difference between these two forms of SEO is that technical SEO is typically concerned with your whole site. On the other hand, on-page SEO tends to focus on specific pages on your site and the content that they contain, ensuring that it’s in line with SEO best practices.
On-page SEO has been constantly refined over the course of its existence, with Google abandoning older algorithms that encouraged site runners to stuff keywords into their content. By further refining their algorithm, Google improved content for its searchers but also made the job of SEO experts and site runners harder because a lot more goes into on-page SEO now.
(Ranktracker SERP Simulator)
The title tag that is used for your page is one of the most crucial elements on the page because that is what searchers will see in the search results. This is the blue link that people will click to get to your page, and it should usually feature the topic of the page as well as the name of the site that it’s on.
The meta description is another part of the page that will appear on the SERP, but this will be underneath the title tag. It’s the small box of text that appears below the title tag, essentially describing the web page. This will make it easier for a visitor to understand what’s in store for them when they click the link.
One thing to keep in mind is that your title tag will dramatically affect your on-page SEO while your meta description won’t. This doesn’t mean that you should entirely discount the importance of your meta description because a good-looking one will still convince people to come to your web page.
A recent change in 2021 gave Google the power to alter title tags so that they’re more relevant to the info on the page. This means that you’ll need to come up with a title tag that is relevant enough to ensure that it doesn’t end up getting overwritten by Google as that can have a negative impact on your clickthrough rate.
Knowing how to use header tags (
H1, H2, H3) on a page will ensure that you make the most of your on-page SEO. The first benefit of using header tags is that it breaks up your content and makes it easier for people to navigate and scan through the text to find what they’re looking for.
However, along with improving the CTR of your page, using headers will allow you to show Google more about what is on your page. Since Google will scan the header tags and assign them increased value, you’ll want to make sure that you have particularly relevant header tags on a piece of content.
As you may expect from the name, keyword density is a metric that is used to determine how frequently a keyword pops up in a piece of content that you publish, typically expressed as a percentage. Keyword density is a difficult metric to use as a yardstick because it varies depending on the search that is being conducted.
If you’d like to figure out the ideal keyword density for a piece, you’re going to need to take the time to look at the competition that’s ranking higher than you. See how densely packed their content is with keywords and then try to reach that same level of keyword density without sacrificing the quality of your writing.
Failing to keep your content as legible as possible will penalize you more than many other mistakes you can make. Google’s algorithm is designed to bring content that is as human as possible to the top, and if it sounds like your content was written by a robot, you will definitely end up ranking lower.
Instead of confining yourself to a bunch of arcane rules, make sure that your text flows as naturally as possible and that it addresses things that people actually want to hear about.
Don’t forget to internally link the pages on your site so that Google understands how everything comes together. Internal links will also convince visitors to go through more of your site once they’re on a particular page. This will make it easier to drive traffic to pages that are a little less popular with search engines.