On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search results. Typically, it focuses on three parts:
- The content people can see on the page
- The content search engines can see on the page
- How the website functions and the code behind it
On-page SEO is the foundation of your SEO for your website, it’s one of the two parts that go into SEO. It focuses on making your website rank higher based on your website itself and all the aspects you can control of your website and the easiest place to start when it comes to starting in SEO.
It’s also my favorite part of doing SEO because I love creating content my audience loves so I can generate lots of traffic to my website and clients’ sites!
What does On Page SEO include?
On-page SEO is the process of making individual pages on your website more search engine friendly so it focuses on things on your website. This involves both the content on the page as well as the code behind the page. It can also mean the technical aspects of how your website works.
Off-page SEO, on the flip side, are things that are off your site, like brand mentions about you across the internet.
The types of things that go into on-page SEO include:
- putting the right keywords in the right places
- creating content your audience loves
- having a well coded website
- having a mobile-ready website
- loading your website quickly
- creating an engaging user experience on your website
- communicating with Google and other search engines in your code
- organizing your content in a meaningful way
- avoiding tactics that manipulate or intentionally deceive your audience
Why On-Page SEO is so important
On-page SEO isn’t just the thing on your website that communicates with Google. It’s also largely the same things that communicate with your audience!
For example, the right keywords in the right places can help you rank higher in Google search—but your audience also has to read those words in your content. If you use the wrong on-page SEO strategies, you could harm your relationships with your audience. (And that’s why Google hates keyword stuffing!)
Lots of people tend to forget that at the end of the day, Google ranks websites higher because they are useful to the people who use their search engines. The point of on-page SEO isn’t to trick Google into sending your website traffic.
The point of on-page SEO is to help your website build traffic from search while being super useful and meeting your audience’s needs.
You could easily spend all of your time doing on-page SEO and most SEO tutorials focus on this kind of SEO. It’s the easiest to do!
But don’t forget that most SEO experts believe that off-site SEO is actually more important to ranking higher in Google and if you’re looking for big pay-offs, that might a better place to start focusing on your SEO.
Why you need to focus on on-page SEO
The importance of on-page SEO comes down to one fact – Google it’s still pretty stupid.
Unless you’re telling Google what you’re all about and why your site is important, you’re depending on everyone else to do that for you.
Creating great content can help you build traffic but unless you optimize it for Google, you’re probably not going to see the most traffic possible from your work. Doing the bare minimum of on-page SEO can give you a big traffic boost!
Take Monica at Class Tech Tips as an example. We did a couple of things to help her website communicate better with Google and she saw her traffic increase nearly 400% in 90 days!
Taking some time to focus on your on-page SEO, even just a little bit, can pay big dividends when it comes to growing your website traffic.
Benefits of on-page SEO
The benefits of on-page SEO go far beyond the reaches of Google. It can also help you establish a better relationship with your readers through better content and better user experience.
There are three main reasons there are three main benefits to on page SEO.
Number 1: Doing On-Page SEO Helps you Create Better Content
Taking some time to conduct some quick keyword research and paying attention to what your audience wants helps you better understand what content is going to produce the best results. It can help you see areas you’ve overlooked in your content marketing and help direct you towards great content ideas.
Number 2: Doing On Page SEO Helps create a better user experience
It’s easy to overlook user experience when we’re so focused on the day-to-day management of our sites and marketing. Doing on-page SEO forces you to take a really good look at your website and fix issues that may be turning off visitors.
You might find that your website loads really slowly or that your menus don’t work well by working on your on-page SEO.
When you fix these issues, you’ll probably see a bump in conversion rates too—because people convert better on websites that don’t have tech issues.
Number 3: Doing On Page SEO Helps You Get More Traffic
Above all, doing on-page SEO can help you get more traffic to your website. And not just from search engines!
Lots of platforms take the same factors into account when it comes to how well your website works. Pinterest, for instance, takes on-page keywords and content into account when determining how pins are shown to their users. Better on-page SEO means better Pinterest reach.
What are on-page SEO Factors?
The factors that go into a good on-page SEO are endless but generally we look at a handful of things to make sure that our websites are functioning the way they should in the eyes of Google.
Below you’ll find a list of the top on-page factors and links to my best resources to help you improve your on page SEO and improve your website traffic from Google. I’m always adding to this list with new articles to be sure to check back or sign up for my newsletter for the latest news in SEO and new articles.
- Why one page outranks another
- Where to put keywords – On Page SEO Checklist & Anatomy of a page
- Internal linking & Anchor text
- Hierarchy & position indicates priority
- Titles & Meta Data
- Schema Data
- Things to Avoid
- Image SEO
- LSI and Topics, not keywords
- User Experience
- Google Analytics Stats for On Page SEO
- SEO URL Structure
- Multimedia SEO
- Outbound Links, nofollow, dofollow
- Site Speed & Pagespeed Insights Issues
- One Page SEO (Do you have to blog?)
- 301 Redirects
- SSL (Do you need one? What kind should you get? How to implement?)
- Above the Fold Content & Ads
- High Quality Versus Thin Content
- The importance of a good server for SEO
- Canonical URLs
- Duplicate Content
- Page Segmentation (body, header, etc)
- 404 & missing content
- Mobile First & mobile friendly