What Is On Page SEO?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

There are mainly 2 parts to SEO, on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is focused on all of the SEO factors that are present on the website itself. These are very important as I often say, if you have great on-page SEO you need less off-page SEO, aka link building. But if you have bad on-page SEO you could buy links all day long and see little progress.

 

The main aspects of On-Page SEO Explained

I’m going to give you a quick breakdown of the different aspects of on-page SEO and their importance.

 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO falls under on-page SEO. Technical issues like 404s, pages moved without a 301 redirect, no HTTPS, broken links, and duplicate content can really effect a website’s performance in the SERPs. The first step is ALWAYS auditing and then fixing these issues.

 

Meta Titles

The meta title is the title of the webpage that you see in the search results. This is read by Google, and people searching so it’s important that the meta titles have the right keywords but are also written in a way that captures the attention of the searcher.

 

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the page summaries that appear under the meta title in the search results. It’s short but is important for ranking and for capturing the clicks. A good meta description will have a high CTR (Click Through Rate). I prefer to write these for people because it is a key factor in what gets clicked.

 

URLs

The URLs themselves affect rankings. They should be keyword-optimized for the terms that the page is looking to rank for, or optimized for an entity. You need to really think about it as you really don’t want to change the urls too often because when you do you need to do a 301 redirect. Or at least be optimized for the entity you are targeting.

 

Internal Links

Internal links are when one page links to another on your website. I’m not talking about links in the nav bar or footer, but I mean contextual links (links that occur within the body content of a page). Internal links help in a number of ways. It helps create contextual relevance for search engines, showing what pages are related to others. It helps to distribute link juice (the term for the ranking power a site gets from backlinks) to help the entire site rank better. And most importantly it helps the user navigate through the site.

 

Alt Text

Alt text is the text added to images on the page. While typically this is meant for accessibility it also plays a role in ranking. You must be careful tho. You don’t want to over-optimize it. But carefully adding relevant keywords while also explaining what the image is helps as another on-page factor.

 

Content Optimization

Pages need to be optimized properly. Word count, the # of times a keyword is used, and the quality of the content all play a part in determining search rank. If you are trying to rank a piece of content that’s 500 words, but your competitors are all writing 3,000 words, it’s unlikely you’re going to outrank them. On the flip side if you have long content but don’t use keywords right you’re also not going to rank well. I had a client a while back and I determined a blog article was one of her main power pages. But it wasn’t ranking great as an informational page. So the first thing I did was analyze it versus competitors and added to it and boom, there was an immediate surge of traffic and her overall traffic went up several hundred percent.

 

Headers

Headers are one of the most important on-page factors. And unfortunately, one that many people handle incorrectly. There are typically 6 headers on a webpage. H1-H6. These are in order of importance. Your H1 is your most important and should distill the essence of the entire page or post. And then the hierarchy continues. You want to make sure you have only one H1 on a page, but the rest can be used as it makes sense.

 

Keyword Usage

Google doesn’t rank websites, it ranks web pages. Web pages are ranked based on the keywords the page is optimized for. You want to stick to one topic and not try to rank for a bunch of different things that aren’t semantically related. You also only want to work on ranking one page per keyword. Trying to rank more than one page for the same term leads to keyword cannibalization. What happens then is search engines tend to oscillate ranking between these 2 pages and neither one ends up as high as it would be if there was only one page going after that term.

 

Schema Markup

Schema markup is microdata that is implemented to the website to help search engines understand certain things about your business. Mainly what you do and where you’re located. There are many different kinds of Schema. For example, for the homepage, I’ll write Organization schema and Local Business Schema, but for an internal service page, I’ll write Webpage schema. Schema allows us to implement entities and link to entity sources like Wikipedia so this clarifies to Google exactly what you offer.

 

Load Speed

How fast your website loads is an important factor. Not just for ranking, but also for user experience. If a page takes more than 3 seconds to lose, more than half of the population will click the back button. So even if you rank, you lose that potential sale. You want your website to load as fast as possible. If you’re curious how your website loads you can use a tool like GTMetrix or Pingdom Speed Tester to see.

Gabriel Bertolo

I've been building websites, doing SEO and Marketing for over 10 years. My passions include; UX Design, Wordpress Design, Local SEO, Branding, Copywriting and Conversion Rate Optimization. I have either been quoted by or have had my work featured in Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MECLabs, Business Insider, Shopify's Blog and more.

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