Everyone is talking about On-page SEO nowadays and how it is crucial for the success of any website. Most people think that only site speed and loading under 3 seconds will make their on-page optimization invincible.
The truth is way more complicated and takes time to audit all the downsides of a web page and reverse their impact for the better.
Fixing SEO mistakes on your website is indeed one of the most important factors in search optimization, particularly on-page optimization. Whether you are an experienced SEO specialist with an astonishing portfolio or you are just getting started as a blogger and web enthusiast, you will need to understand the process of on-page SEO and how much of a big deal it is.
The fact that if it is done badly it affects your overall rankings in SERPs and diminishes the chance of the page from second visit is already saying a lot. Don’t you worry about a single thing this article will cover the must-do aspects of on-page search engine optimization, how to learn and practice by yourself and strive for optimal website results.
What is On-Page SEO?
As you can guess from how it is named, On-Page SEO is the work you put when optimizing a single page of your website. Let’s repeat, a single page, not the whole website. Otherwise, it should be called on-site optimization and that is a whole another thing.
Of course, on-page optimization is a part of the whole puzzle called “website”, but you need to remember one simple thing as a starting point: “On-Page Optimization will help you clear all the technical mistakes from a web page and let it develop its full potential.“
What is the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO?
Let’s get back to the basics and simplify it for you by explaining what differentiates On-page from Off-Page. Off-Page SEO, in other words, means link-building. It is the single process of acquiring good backlinks to help you rank better in the search engines.
Link-building is essential, as we have said before here but without a good foundation from your on-page optimization, it can be a big way of wasting time and resources into the wrong SEO strategy.
What you have to remember is this: “Both On-Page and Off-Page SEO is correlating together to advance your search optimization and there is no other way around.“
Importance of On-Page SEO
Optimizing your page does not mean you need to correct your keywords and content only. You need to be aware that a full On-Page optimization checklist includes components like:
- Content ( Headlines, text, sources,)
- Media (Images, Video, Infographic, Diagrams, etc)
- Keyword Density
- Internal and External Backlinks
- User Experience ( loading speed, responsive design, simplicity)
Let’s begin with Google Analytics.
Performance-wise there is no better and more advanced tool than GA.
The tool will give you valuable information about organic traffic, active users, bounce rate, session duration, conversions, audience and much more. Google Analytics is a must when wanting to track the progress of a website. Start with exploring its true power.
When it comes to tracking the primary keywords you need to use an advanced tool to do that in a fast and efficient way. We recommend Ahrefs because you can see the full reports of the keywords you are ranking for and the ones you are not. After that, you can simply go for 10 or 15 keywords and advance your optimization for them.
Ahrefs will help you create the ultimate strategy for “low-hanging fruits” or in other words, you can rank for long-tail keywords that have lower competition. This is the time for you to shine and show your true skills in the search engines.
Crawling and Indexing
Is your page crawlable by Google? If the answer is “yes”, then you are good to go, but if you happen not to know or there are problems with your crawling and indexing you should take time to fix the occurring issue. Here’s an easy way to find out the answer in seconds.
You can put your URL into this crawlability tool of RankSider and find out. It’s easy.
If you see the “200 OK” code, then your web page is as it should be.
After you are all good with crawling, then you need to check if your page is showing in Google.
Simply put the URL into the search engine and click “Enter”. If the main results look like this and show your exact URL, then that’s it. Your web page is indexed by the search engine.
Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Keywords
Using your primary keywords wisely in the structure of your page’s content is pivotal. Here is why. If you try to rank for “digital agency” you need include the words in your title tag. Or if you prefer using branded keywords, for example, “Digital Spring”, you need to have a title tag that looks similarly like these:
“Learn more about On-page SEO analysis from Digital Spring”
” On-page Optimization guide presented by Digital Spring”
“Digital Spring – What is On-page SEO?”
Now you get the idea. This is an easier way to modify your title tag and make it click-worthy.
Tracking the CTR (Click Through Rate) is like a child’s play when you use Google Search Console.
Here is a straight example with my personal blog:
You can see how many clicks your website acquired in a specific period and its total impressions. Click on “Performance” and the tool will take care of the rest.
Also, if you want to do an URL Inspection, Google Search Console will show the results you want to see for any page type in. This is another easy way to check if your page is indexed on Google:
Now after you know how to track your traffic, impressions and indexing on Google, we shall go forward with lean URL structure.
If you do not know what the URL structure is, we would say this: “URLs are better when made shorter and have your primary keyword in their structure.“
Why is that? Simply because Google lives simplicity and people love it too. Also, it is not the biggest ranking factor to have your keyword in the URL it is still considered the right move to make when optimizing yours.
URLs are better when they are short, aren’t they? Nobody wants to see or share a single URL that is miles long. Even Google finds it overwhelming. There is no need to have long URLs. Our professional advice is to make them shorter, smarter, page-oriented and include your main keyword. It is the single best way to optimize your on-page efficiently.
Meta Descriptions are another key when doing on-page optimization. Writing short descriptions with the primary keywords and explaining what the page is about is necessary for SEO optimization. Try not to stuff too many keywords and be precisely informative about the page’s idea.
Content, Images and Video
As we already know, content is one of the strong factors of a web page, if not the strongest. Whether we are talking about the original text, adding images and uploading video, we must optimize them for success in our on-page process.
Revisit our one of our previous articles about the importance of quality content. It’s crucial for SEO.
We will probably repeat ourselves with some of the recommendations but here are the must-have components when creating new content for your page:
- H1, H2…tags
- Descriptive headings
- Image Quality
- Video Quality
- Image Compression ( you can use Toolur and a bunch of other tools)
- Alt Tags in Images (Google uses them to understand what the image is about)
Optimizing the quality of the content, including images and video will also make your page speed faster.
Internal Links, Broken Links and Redirects
Internal links are also pivotal for ranking, so knowing how to manage them and fix existing problems is important for the whole process of on-page SEO. Here are some tips:
- Create only useful and informative internal links
- If you have redirect chain of links, make sure it is not slowing down your page speed.
- Fix broken links if there are any. (use Screaming Frog SEO Spider, it has a free and paid version, according to your goals)
- Check for mistakes in anchor text and worthless spammy links
When we are talking about UX and why it is important to on-page SEO we have to get this point across. No user in this world wants to search for information and when accessing a web page to wait long or to have any problems with its structure, content readability and lack of design. Period.
You can improve your website’s user experience by cooperating with tools and methods which will point out the problems such as loading speed, mobile-friendliness, is your content visible and easily readable and even if your website has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.
To check your page speed use Pingdom. The tool will give you incredible information about how well your web page performs.
Is your business information, such as location, telephone number and working time available? IF not, make sure you fix this and make it visible. You can place in the header of your website or in the footer, plus creating an additional page about it. It is important for users and your relationship with them.
Also, do you have a contact form page? First-class businesses and specialists have long-lasting relations with their visitors, so having it is a page you must consider adding.
It looks something like this:
Make your page easy to share. Use social media buttons and plugins to do that, because if your content is valuable, users would love to post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or send it to someone’s e-mail.
If you are managing a WordPress-based website, it would be good to use SEO plugins which will help you with the overall loading speed, cache, descriptions and page building. There are tons of useful tools to help you make the UX better, faster and smoother.
Last but not least…
Of course, there are many more steps to follow to make the perfect on-page optimization. We thought by giving you some guidelines, we will make you think of how important is to have a well-structured website that is user-friendly.
Google provides numerous free tools to track our website’s on-page and fix errors easily. As we are living in this digital era of continuous improvement of technology, we need to be sure that our web pages are not only updated but optimized regularly. If you count on creating your pages mobile-friendly, loading fast and have a decent structure with easily readable content, you can be sure of overall success in your on-page SEO analysis.
Keep track of pages, the changes in Google’s algorithm will get more and more sophisticated in the future and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that if you are putting quality work and use on-page SEO best practices, the results will follow quickly behind.