- On-page SEO helps search engines comprehend, recognize, and rank your content and is leveraged by SEOs to help blog articles and web pages get search prominence
- It involves optimizing individual content pages to improve search rankings and attract targeted visitors.
- On-page SEO alone may not be sufficient to rank a page. If you want a page to rank, you’ll also need an off-page and technical SEO plan to make your site more appealing to search engines.
- With so many areas of SEO being out of your control or having a slow ramp-up time, on-page SEO is one area where you have complete control and can instantly influence.
On-page SEO helps search engines comprehend, recognize, and rank your content and is leveraged by SEOs to help blog articles and web pages get search prominence. In this blog, we explore the intricacies of on-page SEO so you’ll never miss an opportunity to improve your web pages or blog articles.
First, what is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO involves optimizing individual content pages to improve search rankings and attract targeted visitors. While on-page SEO is concerned with optimizing a single page of content, it is aided by other SEO techniques. Just keep in mind that on-page SEO alone may not be sufficient to rank a page. If you want a page of content to rank, you’ll also need an off-page and technical SEO plan to make your site more appealing to search engines.
Is it still important to use on-page SEO?
Absolutely! On-page SEO has always been and will continue to be vital. However, with so many areas of SEO being out of your control or having a slow ramp-up time, on-page SEO is one area where you have complete control and can instantly influence.
So, without further fanfare, let’s get started with point number one of the on-page SEO checklist so you can start focusing on your SEO efforts.
Use an SEO-friendly URL
In the SERPs, short, descriptive URLs help searchers comprehend what the webpage is about. Therefore, your URLs should be brief and keyword-rich, with a targeted term appearing at the beginning of the URL whenever possible. Short URLs are proven to rank higher in search results than long and cluttered URLs.
For example, website.com/your-keyword is more SEO-friendly than website.com/10-awesome-reasons-why-your-keyword-is-awesome-1234.
Long URLs also tend to truncate in the SERPs, so keeping them short is beneficial.
Use keywords in the title and H1 tag
Title tags, like URLs, appear in Google search results and assist searchers in understanding what the website is about. In terms of the placement of your desired keyword, your title tag is a significant on-page ranking component. The keyword has more weight with search engines if it is near the beginning of the title. Keep your targeted keyword close to the front of your title tag, and limit your title to 50 and 60 characters to avoid it being truncated in search results.
Use <H2> tags for your subheadings
Make use of your H2 tag for subheadings, and include your targeted term in at least one of them. Examine whether you can incorporate some secondary keywords into your subheadings as well. Subheadings help to divide up text and make pages easier to read. It is best to use multiple H2 tags on a single page.
Include images on every page
Images, videos, and other multimedia can lower bounce rates and improve time spent on your page, both of which are important considerations in user engagement rankings. Using images allows you to break up content and also allows you to use your target keyword in the alt tags of your image. The picture file name is a frequently ignored optimization.
NOTE: When available, use original photographs on your website. Why? Because using unique photos on your website has a beneficial impact on organic web rankings and image rankings. Take pictures and generate your own custom images if you have a lot of stock images on your website. Images also make a great link-building tool.
Use the primary keyword in the first 100 words of content
This happens a lot when you’re writing about a topic you’re interested in. People sometimes start their material with a long-winded introduction and only utilize their keyword for the first time afterward (especially with blog articles). Write your blogs like a news article, don’t bury the lede (i.e., keyword).
Use external links
By linking to related external websites, you’re demonstrating to Google that your page and website are a reliable source of information. In addition, associating your website with other high-quality websites can help Google comprehend what your page is about and improve page ranks.
Use internal links
It’s best to include two or three internal links in each new piece of content you create. Internal linking has several advantages, one of which is that it aids Google in finding, understanding, and indexing all of your site’s pages. Internal links, when handled strategically, can convey page authority to key pages. The usage of keyword-rich anchor text, which is the content that helps users and Google comprehend what the page you’re referring to is about, is recommended as an SEO best practice.
Write long-form content
Make sure your blog posts and articles are as long or longer than the top 10 ranking pages as a general rule. Even service pages should have substantial content. Longer content will help you rank higher for your goal keyword while generating more longtail traffic. Longer content also tends to get more backlinks and rank higher in organic search results.
Use social sharing buttons
While social signals have no direct impact on search algorithms, social media is an excellent way to increase traffic to your material. It improves brand awareness and allows you to interact with your target audience. As a side benefit, the more people who see and share your content on social media, the more likely you are to get a backlink. Just be sure to optimize your social media profiles.
Increase dwell time
A higher “time on page” is a strong indicator to search engines that the information on your website matches the search intent of your visitors. Higher rankings for that search query are associated with this. Write long, intriguing material, and use photos and videos to keep visitors on your page for longer (as mentioned previously).
Test and optimize for mobile page speed
Google has declared (in 2018) that they would start using mobile page speed results and will switch to mobile-first indexing. This means that instead of using the desktop version of your content for indexing and ranking, Google will primarily utilize the mobile version. As a result, your website must load rapidly. To detect issues and prioritize them for rectification, run your website or a specific URL using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.
Remove broken links
According to Ahrefs, Google appears to be dropping web pages from search results if they have broken links referring to other sources. Regularly monitor your website for broken links and either remove the link or replace it with a link to new content. Here’s a resource to help identify and fix the issues.
Eliminate keyword cannibalization
When the same term or phrase is optimized and used for several pages on a website, this is known as keyword cannibalization. This causes problems for search engines because they won’t know which page to return for a particular query. If this is a problem on your site, consider integrating content from competing pages and redirecting it to the asset with the highest authority.
Avoid spelling and grammatical errors
Readers may find it challenging to understand the content on websites with spelling and grammatical problems. Search engines like Google and Bing are in the same boat. It will have a negative impact on your search results if they find spelling and grammatical faults throughout your material.
Optimize for voice search
The popularity of voice search is rapidly increasing. It is expected that voice searches will soon account for half of all searches. Short and concise responses (25 to 30 words or less) to inquiries relating to your keyword topic are one of the most effective strategies to optimize your content for voice searches. Adding a FAQ section to your website is a simple method to accomplish this.
Keep your copy fresh
Updating and correcting material is critical, and it has been rewarded with better search results in Google’s recent algorithm updates. Make sure to examine your content regularly; we recommend doing so every six months. Then, expand on and improve an existing asset if you’ve found one that could use a refresh. Here are ten ways to refresh existing content.
Top 5 Ways – Make Your On-Page SEO More Effective
We just threw a lot at you there, and not all criteria are created equal in terms of SEO. Furthermore, some on-page SEO variables are given more weight in the algorithm than others.
So here’s a mini on-page SEO checklist with the top 5 on-page variables to work on for a solid content:
- Mobile responsive: Make sure your site is mobile device-friendly.
- Website speed: Make sure your website loads swiftly and efficiently for visitors.
- Keyword at the start of your title tag: Include your target term in your headline, preferably at the beginning
- Internal links: Create internal links between this page and the rest of your site’s related pages.
- Content length: Make sure your content is as long and detailed as necessary.
If you focus on these five SEO tactics, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
Download Your Complete SEO Checklist
Every item on this on-page SEO checklist and the best practices for off-page and technical SEO should be included in basic SEO for websites. Download our free SEO checklist PDF to make sure you hit all of these critical points in your SEO approach. Then subscribe to our newsletter to receive quarterly updates and advice on how to keep your hard-won rankings and traffic.
Share your thoughts on our on-page SEO checklist
We realize we covered a lot of ground, and hope you found this checklist useful. So, which on-page SEO tip or tactic from today’s checklist are you going to try first? Using more original images? Or tweaking your titles using keywords? In any case, let us know!
Is your company or organization having trouble with on-page SEO? If that’s the case, we can assist you. RMG provides a variety of SEO services to our clients, including on-page SEO.