What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO covers all optimization activities that can be done on a website:
- Content optimization
- Title tags and meta description optimization
- Keyword optimization
- URL optimization
- Images optimization
- Page speed optimization
- Structured data implementation
- Mobile optimization
Doing On-page SEO means optimizing not only the content but also the HTML code, which is many times referred to as technical SEO because it usually requires a bit of technical knowledge. It’s completely in your or webmaster’s hands to improve the website in order to rank higher in organic search results.
A very important task of the on-page SEO is to optimize for website visitors. Nowadays, you can’t solely focus on rankings by trying to fool the search engines. The website has to serve the users, they should find what they are looking for and ideally come back whenever possible.
Content is everything you can see, read or play on the website. Most of the time, content is the text. The point of creating content is not only to attract users but also to persuade search engines.
Content marketing is one of the biggest buzzwords of SEO because the well-optimized content is the key to:
- Increase organic positions in the SERP
- Attract engaged users who will be willing to make conversions
There are many types of content that will help you to do so:
- Product pages
- Case studies
- Images, GIFs
- Guides, how-tos
- Top lists
Each of them requires a different point of view. You will find many useful tricks & tips in our Content & SEO guide.
Keep in mind that the content you create should be:
Keywords are the pillar of content. They are search queries that the users type into search engines. Your #1 priority when creating content is to optimize for the relevant keywords while keeping a very good UX.
In other words, don’t optimize on purpose. Keyword stuffing is a technique that worked in the past. The content should be natural, easy to read and, of course, catchy.
There are many types of search queries depending on the intention behind the keyword. That’s why it’s critical to know who is your target audience and what these people are looking for to personalize the content accordingly.
Using SEO-friendly URLs is great for users and helps to add the relevancy to the website. When it comes to users, if they can clearly see that the URL includes the search term they submitted to the Google Search, it’s a good UX.
From the SEO point of view, it can be another relevancy indicator for crawlers. But don’t over-optimize the URL. Including a keyword or its synonym should be natural.
However, the most important aspect about SEO-friendly URLs is not to use auto-generated ones:
Set a structure of all your URLs and set permalinks so they look something like this:
In the past, title tags were mostly used for keyword stuffing to trick the search engines in order to improve organic positions. Since the algorithms came a long way, title tags are now focused more on the CTR.
The title tag is the most prominent part of the SERP snippet. The job here is to appealing and well-optimized copy in the length of 50-60 characters that will make people click on the website in the SERP.
Once again, use keywords and the CTR emphasis naturally. Keywords will not directly improve your positions.
Find detailed information in the Title tag part.
The meta description is another part of the SERP snippet. Exactly the same things apply:
- It should be appealing to increase the CTR
- Keywords should be used naturally
Using keywords will not directly improve your rankings, it’s not a ranking factor anymore.
Keep in mind that both meta description and title tags may be generated by Google from the content on the website. This differs from case to case as Google tries to match the search query as much as possible.
Find detailed information in the Meta description tag part.
Image alt attribute
Image alt attribute or alt text is a text used if the image cannot be displayed. The alt text should describe what’s on the image. The main point of using alt attributes is to improve the accessibility for crawlers.
On top of that, screen readers will read the text for people who are blind or can’t see properly. So the purpose of the image alt text is not solely to improve the SEO. Of course, creating optimized alt tags will improve the positions in the image search.
HTML example of an image tag:
<img src=“image.png” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>
Page speed was always important, but in the last years, it quickly became one of the most important SEO aspects. It doesn’t matter whether you sell shoes or write a blog, each user wants to be served fast! Slow websites make people leave.
And since the mobile-first indexing by Google is up and running, the page speed simply has to be every SEOs top priority.
How to check the page speed
Google has a quick tool with a lot of useful information. It’s called the PageSpeed Insights.
How to quickly analyze on-page SEO
There are many tools for the on-page SEO analysis. However, if you want a quick analysis on the go with key insights, you’ll find them in browser extensions.
Other on-page SEO tasks
Besides the mentioned on-page SEO activities, you should focus on others such as:
- Mobile optimization which is a must since Google started rolling out the mobile-first indexing in March 2018
- Schema.org markup to improve the accessibility of your website for crawlers
- Content structure: semantically correct headings, paragraphs, numbered lists, bullet points, etc. while using correct HTML tags
- Use canonical tags to avoid any content duplicity
- XML Sitemap depending on your website and your needs
- Robots.txt to make sure the selected sections of your website won’t be crawled
- Implement HTTPS on your website even though it’s not a ranking factor, it’s a strong psychological factor
Schema.org (Schema) standardizes the way how the structured data is used. It’s a vocabulary of tags (often called as microdata) which you can use in your HTML code to improve the accessibility of your website for search engines and their crawlers.
Thanks to implementing Schema, you will improve the readability of your website. Therefore, you will improve its presentation in SERP.
The well-known impacts are that your SERP appearance will include:
- Business type
- Contact options
- Product and pricing
- Upcoming events