A Comprehensive Guide To On-Page SEO in 2023
Succeeding in your race to the top spots of the SERPs (search engine results pages) requires optimizing for a combination of the three core aspects of SEO, which are on-page, off-page and technical SEO.
However, recent trends have revealed that many webmasters, including some SEO professionals focus more on the off-page technique, such as link building and other technical optimization while neglecting on page SEO.
But the truth is, your off-page SEO efforts may not yield much results if you don’t pay attention to the fundamentals – on page SEO. Interestingly, on page SEO is not as herculean as you might have imagined and could prove to be highly effective if done right.
In this post, you will learn what on-page SEO is, why it is important and proven strategies you can start implementing now to improve your website’s ranking and visibility on search engines like Google.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, is the practice of optimizing your web page content in order to gain higher ranking and earn more visibility in search engines. On-page SEO has evolved over the years; therefore, it’s important to keep up with the latest practices to get the most of your organic search campaign.
The common on-page SEO practice involves everything that’s visible to humans and search engines from content and HTML source codes to internal links and title tags.
While individuals may have different approaches to on-page SEO, the general objective is to make it easy for search engines to understand what each page on your website is talking about and then rank them for your target keywords.
Why Is On-Page SEO Important?
Search engines like Google depend on specific ranking signals to determine which web pages appear on the first page of the SERP. On-page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand your website and its content.
When search engines crawl your website, it takes note of everything from your content to your alt tags to understand what each page is talking about as well as identify whether the content is relevant to a searcher’s query.
Search engines use highly sophisticated algorithms that enable them to spot relevance and semantics in SERPs. Google, for example, with its complex algorithms, is able to understand what users are searching for and then return results that match user intent.
The search engine can tell whether the user is simply looking for information (informational search) or already at the point of making a purchase (transactional search).
To rank higher in the search engine, you must ensure that your website and its content, including your HTML tags, structured data are properly optimized in line with the best on-page SEO practices.
On-Page Optimization Steps To Follow
Create Unique Content
Content is one of the fundamentals of on-page SEO. For your website to stand out among the competition, you need to normalize creating and publishing high quality content. But what exactly is unique content?
Unique content is any form of content that adds high value or brings something new and helpful to the searchers. This could be a comprehensive report about an event, a “how-to” article, a case study, a collection of new tips or strategies, a step-by-step guide and more.
High quality content often indicates Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT) which are important ranking signals in Google’s algorithm. Google rewards sites that publish high-quality content with better ranking while sites with low-quality content get less visibility in the SERPs.
Here’s a simple guideline to follow to create valuable content that searchers want to read:
Create content putting customers’ needs in mind
Add details such as images, screenshots or graphical illustrations to make it easy for users to easily understand and digest your content
Create expertly written content
Always update your content to incorporate the latest trends and developments in your industry
Use Your Target Keywords Within The First Two Paragraphs
Based on rule of thumb, you are expected to use your primary keywords in the first 100 words or within the first two paragraphs of your content. Although this is an old school on-page SEO tactic, it still works and can make a difference in your efforts to rank in search engines. For example, if your article is talking about the “best SEO tools in 2021”, you need to make sure that the keyword is naturally used earlier enough in the opening part of your content.
Choose the Right Headings
Headings are used based on need and not just for decorative purposes. Headings help Google understand the structure of the pages on your website. Blog post titles are traditionally wrapped in H1 tags while subheadings take H2 tags.
Content management systems like WordPress automatically add the H1 tag to your blog post title. So, if you use a WordPress website, you may not need to worry over checking your H1 tags manually. But it’s safer to double check. You can do this by checking your website’s code to ensure your title is cast in an H1. Also, you should make sure that your keyword is included in the H1 tag.
Please note that H1 tag can only be used once per page to avoid creating confusion for search engines. To learn more about how to properly set up your H Tags click here.
Include H2 Tags for Subheadings
Wrapping subheadings in H2 tags is one of the most effective ways to optimize your content for SEO. It allows you to create a hierarchy of headings for each page and helps structure your content according to commonly-accepted SEO best practices. Furthermore, by using proper header tags, search engine bots can more easily crawl and index your page.
This means that users will be able to find the information they are looking for on your website. Additionally, making sure all of your headers are wrapped in the correct HTML element helps ensure that they appear correctly on desktop and mobile devices alike, providing a better overall user experience.
Frequency of Keywords
The frequency of keywords used in your content is an important factor when it comes to optimizing a webpage for SEO. Utilizing certain keywords throughout a piece can help it rank higher in search engines and attract more traffic to your website.
When selecting which keywords you should incorporate into each page, take into account what types of queries people are likely to type into search engine boxes when they’re looking for information related to the topic covered on that particular page.
Also, consider how often other websites within the same niche use those terms; you don’t want to be just another voice blending into the crowd – instead, use unique phrases that will set you apart from competitors.
Add Internal links
Internal links refer to any links from one page of a domain linked to another page within the same domain. When you link to other pages on your website, you make it easy for search engine crawlers to understand what your page or blog post is talking about.
Proper Internal linking is crucial to any on-page optimization as it helps to establish site architecture and spread the link equity (also known as link juice) to other pages on your site. Additionally, effective internal linking enables visitors to navigate your site quickly and intuitively.
A page that internally links to relevant pages points visitors to many helpful resources and enhances their user experience. Although there’s no right or wrong amount of internal links that can be added to a page, it’s best to link only when it’s necessary. Thus the expression, “think before you link”.
Make Use of External (Outbound) Links
Including external links in each piece of content is essential when it comes to SEO optimization. Not only do outbound links add value by providing additional resources for readers, but they also help boost rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
When linking out from one webpage to another, choose relevant sites with high domain authority scores so as not to damage yours; this will also show search engines that you have done research prior to publishing your piece, lending it credibility and further increasing its chances of ranking well online.
Additionally, make sure any internal links included on each page lead visitors directly to where they need to go – if too many clicks are required before reaching the desired destination, then audiences may abandon their journey altogether! An annual site audit will help ensure there aren’t any broken links or redirects leading visitors astray and help keep track of opportunities for improvement as time goes on.
Optimize Images for SEO
Images are important to ensuring that your web content is more engaging, attractive and accessible to users. They also have a lot of benefits in terms of SEO. First, images provide important contextual information about your content to search engines. Second, optimized content enhances page load speed, which improves user experience and increases search engine ranking.
Google recently announced in its latest ranking updates dubbed as Core Web Vitals that it will now start using page speed as a ranking signal. However, mages that are not optimized can slow down your page speed. You can improve page load time by compressing heavy images.
Although there are many ways to compress images, some of the options include image sizing, “save for web” or by using compression tools like JPEG Optimizer, Optimizilla or Kraken.io. You can experiment with different options to decide which one works best for you.
Another way to optimize your images to improve page speed is by picking the right file format. JPEG, PNG and GIF are some of the popular formats and each has its benefits and context where they’re most appropriate. For example, JPEG is ideal for images with lots of color while GIF is best used for images that require animation.
Adding alt text
Alt text or alternative text is a strategy used to increase web accessibility to your content and provides clues to search engines about what each image represents. A good alt text provides context and helps those who are visually impaired to understand what each image means.
Even when images are not loading, probably because of a system glitch or bad network, search engines can still read the alt tags to rank your page. Make sure you include your target keyword or brand-relevant words in the alt tag to boost visibility. Also, ensure that your alt description reads naturally for people, and avoid keyword stuffing.
To learn more in depth about how to properly optimize images for seo read our blog post here.
Use the Right Anchor Text
Anchor text is extremely important to SEO, as it indicates to Google what a page is about. Anchor text is that clickable portion of the text with which you link to pages. According to Google, anchor texts are a ranking signal. It sends a signal to the search engine about the content of the destination page.
For example, if you link to a page on your website using the anchor text “SEO tools”, it’s a good indicator to Google that the destination page is talking about an SEO page. While anchor texts are truly relevant to ranking on search engines, you need to use them with great caution.
Google frowns at people trying to manipulate a page’s ranking by using exact, keyword-stuffed anchor text. It’s best to use anchor text naturally. Check out our blog post to learn a lot more about the proper use of anchor text.
A web page’s title tag is an HTML element that shows the title of a particular page. Title tags are displayed on SERPs as the clickable headline or title for a particular query and are crucial to user experience, SEO and social sharing.
When creating a title tag, it’s best to make it as accurate and descriptive as you can. It’s equally important to make sure that the title tag is directly related to the page’s content.
A code sample of a meta tag can be found below:
It’s a standard requirement to ensure that each page on your website has its own unique, descriptive title tag. Whatever you put in your title tag field will come up in search results. In some cases, Google may truncate your title tag if it’s too long. To avoid having a part of your alt tag truncated, you should make sure your idea is summarized in 50-60 characters.
While it is quite common to see people use the same H1 and title tag, this is not the best practice and should be banished from your SEO tactics if you really want to succeed in organic search. Your title tag is your customers’ first experience or impression with your website. It determines whether or not someone will click on your link.
That said, you need to make it as descriptive, and relevant as you can. Additionally, your title tag should contain your important keywords, and avoid keyword stuffing to prevent Google from using another title, which might be totally unrelated to your content.
Check out our blog post to learn a lot more about Tips To Create Search Engine Friendly Title Tags.
Put Your Title Tag First
Title tags are one of the most important marketing factors when it comes to SEO. By front-loading your title tag with the main keyword or phrase, you can ensure that it is seen by search engine crawlers and users searching for your content.
Additionally, this will help potential customers find your site in search results more easily as well as increase your click-through rate (CTR). Furthermore, make sure to update your title tags often as this will help ensure they remain relevant and up-to-date at a high level.
Make Use of Title Tag Modifiers
In addition to front-loading the key term in your title tag, you can also add modifiers such as numbers or dates which can have an effect on both click-through rates and overall search engine optimization. This is due to the fact that these modifiers provide further context for what the page is about, allowing for a deeper understanding of user intent when searching for a keyword or phrase.
Additionally, using title tag modifiers can also mean increased visibility in search engine snippets, meaning more people are likely to click through search results.
Like title tags, meta descriptions are HTML elements that describe the content of a page and it’s also displayed on SERPs. Although Google says meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, meta descriptions if well written, can increase click through rate.
For example, an engaging description that coherently articulates the benefits of a post will likely encourage searchers to click on your link while a poorly written description has just the opposite outcome.
Meta description is cocooned in the head tag, and looks like this:
How to write an effective meta description
Ensure that the description is relevant to the content of your page. In other words, the meta description should summarize the key concepts and what the users will benefit by clicking on the page.
Keep the length moderate. Search engines tend to truncate meta descriptions that are too long to about 155 characters. Therefore, it’s best to leave your meta description between 150 – 200 characters in length to avoid Google cutting out some important portion of your description.
If you provide a service, you can include your contact details such as your phone number and email in the meta description.
Employ Specific, Keyword-Rich Meta Descriptions
SEO best practices dictate that meta descriptions should be unique and keyword rich in order to accurately reflect the content of a given web page. This is because meta descriptions appear in SERP snippets and directly influence whether or not users will decide to click on a link and visit the page.
Moreover, meta descriptions should be regularly updated to stay up-to-date with current trends, making them even more effective at attracting qualified visitors and potential customers who match the target audience of your website.
In addition, engaging meta descriptions should focus on providing value while incorporating keywords intent research has indicated would be beneficial for ranking opportunities — all while staying under 160 characters.
Optimize Your URLs for SEO
Your URL is more than a mere link, it’s a vital property that can be used to boost your on-page SEO. Although there’s not clear indication that a particular type of URL leads to increased ranking, there’s abundant evidence that short, descriptive and keyword-rich URLs are more likely to result in higher click through rate. On the contrary, if your URL is excessively long and confusing, there are chances people will not take interest in the page.
There’s no fixed formula to creating an acceptable URL structure, but there’s a guideline that, if followed, can help you come up with SEO-friendly URLs that searchers will like to click on. Some of the tips include:
Try to maintain short URLs
Include target keywords in your URLs
Use hyphens in-between instead of using underscore
Use lower case letters throughout
Avoid the use of symbols or uncommon characters
Check out our blog post to learn a lot more about Simple Steps to Optimize Your URLs for SEO.
Optimize for Voice Search
Although voice search has been introduced by Google since 2011, its popularity in the last three years has grown tremendously. Not only does voice search increase your ranking in SERPs, it enhances user experience.
According to recent voice search statistics, more than 41% of adults in the United States use voice search at least once per day.
Studies have also indicated more than half of all smartphone users will engage with voice search on their device in 2021.
Here are some of the top tips for optimizing for search voice:
Understand your customers and online behavior
Optimize for conversational keywords
Provide context with schema markup
Build pages that answer frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Prioritize local SEO
Check out our blog post to learn a lot more about How To Optimize For Voice Search.
Write SEO Content That Ranks
Create Unique and Valuable Content That Appeals to Your Audience
When writing SEO content, it is important to make sure that the content you create is unique and valuable. This means that you should avoid copying other people’s work or using low-quality content. Additionally, your content should be written in a way that appeals to your audience – this means creating content that accurately reflects their needs, desires, problems, and interests.
It is also important to ensure that your writing style is clear and easy to understand, so readers can quickly identify what the article is about and find what they are looking for.
Use Search Intent to Craft Engaging Content That Answers Specific Questions
In order to craft engaging SEO content, you need to consider the search intent behind a particular keyword or phrase. You should use keyword research techniques such as Google Trends or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to get an idea of what kind of searches people are making when looking for a specific topic.
Once you have identified the likely search intent behind a term, you can then craft clear and compelling content around it by answering specific questions related to the topic. For example, if someone was searching for “how to optimize webpages”, you could answer this question with an article discussing topics such as optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, images, and text.
Ensure Your Content Stays Relevant Through Regular Updates
SEO strategies are constantly changing over time due to changes in algorithms and search engine policies. This means that one of the most important things when crafting SEO content is making sure it remains relevant by regularly checking for any issues or changes in the landscape.
In addition to updating existing articles with new information on certain topics as they become available (this could include anything from menu changes on a website or blog posts being added), it is also beneficial to go back through older articles with an SEO checklist in hand in order to proactively address any potential issues or changes before they become a problem.
This includes ensuring all images are optimized according to best practices, performing keyword research on topics mentioned throughout the post, and ensuring snippets used on social media capture attention in an effective way.
Optimize Your Content To Reach Its Maximum Potential
The goal of SEO isn’t just about getting more search traffic – but rather optimizing your content so it has the best chance of appearing at the top of relevant search results for relevant queries being made by potential customers. This can be achieved by properly executing keyword research – including performing competitor analysis – and understanding how different keywords result in different types of searches (or categories).
Additionally, proper optimization requires crafting compelling meta descriptions which will draw users into clicking through from search results pages as well as writing titles that accurately reflect what readers can expect from clicking them – this will help increase click-through rates while also helping reduce bounce rates once visitors land on your website or blog post. By taking these steps and having patience during what can sometimes be a long process – success with organic traffic will eventually follow!
CTR stands for “click-through rate” and is a metric that measures the rate at which users click on your website in search engine results when they search a particular keyword or phrase. It is an important part of SEO because it indicates how attractive your page title and meta description are to searchers. Improving CTR not only helps you generate more organic traffic, but it can also help increase conversions and ROI on your website.
To optimize for CTR, start by focusing on creating compelling titles that accurately describe the content of the page and use enticing language or words to attract searchers. Additionally, use relevant keywords in the title tags that are likely to appear in a user’s search query.
Make sure to include synonyms as well as variations of the same word to capture all potential searches. Finally, consider using tools such as Google Trends or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool to discover related terms and phrases that could be used when crafting titles and descriptions.
Implement “Question Title Tags”
When crafting titles for pages, consider adding question tags such as “how”, “what”, or “why” at the beginning of your title tags. Doing so will make them stand out from other titles on search engine result pages (SERPs), which can lead to higher click-through rates.
Additionally, try making titles specific by including details such as numbers, dates, locations, etc., that pertain directly to the topic of your page. For example, if you are writing about SEO techniques for small businesses, then you could write something like “7 SEO Techniques Every Small Business Should Know.
Complete Any Missing Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions appear underneath page titles in SERPs and provide additional information about what is included on a particular page which can help entice searchers to click through from SERP results. Make sure not to overlook these important snippets when optimizing for CTR – always fill in any empty meta descriptions with accurate information about what is included on each page so that users know exactly what they will be getting when they click on your link.
Consider including actionable tips or snippets from blog posts within the description if applicable – this will give searchers an overview of what they can expect from your site before they even enter it!
Utilize the Review or FAQ Schema
Reviews and FAQs are two powerful types of schema markup that can improve visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Review schema allows websites to display star ratings alongside their links while FAQ schema displays lists of frequently asked questions under the link – both elements are designed to provide users with additional context before clicking through from SERP results and can ultimately increase overall click-through rates (CTRs).
To implement review or FAQ schema into pages, copy and paste source code into HTML code manually or use a tool like Yoast SEO plugin that automatically generates reviews/FAQ schema markup onto webpages once activated.
Add Emotion to Your Title Tags
Adding emotion to title tags can help make them sound more appealing, which may lead to increased CTRs on websites. Consider incorporating adjectives into titles such as ‘amazement’, ‘epic’, ‘surprise’, ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ etc., – this will give searchers an exciting preview of what awaits them after clicking through the results pages!
Furthermore, focus on using words with positive connotations, since negative language might scare away potential visitors who would otherwise have been interested in engaging with content found within pages.
Incorporate the Current Year Into the Title and Description
Updating page titles and meta descriptions with the current year gives them an edge over competitors who may have outdated information displayed on their website – this could be enough incentive for searchers who want up-to-date information about products/services being offered by companies!
Additionally, adding the year gives relevance to topics discussed within articles, which signals relevancy & increases chances of better ranking positions & higher CTRs due to its higher weightage given by search engines compared to other factors used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Unlocking the Secrets of On-Page UX Signals for SEO
On-page user experience (UX) signals lie at the heart of successful search engine optimization (SEO). Although off-page SEO factors such as link building, social media, and content marketing all play a role in determining a website’s ranking on SERPs, on-page UX signals impact how users interact with your website. As such, they can ultimately help or hinder your ability to achieve search engine ranking success.
What are On-Page UX Signals?
On-page user experience signals refer to elements that determine how easily and effectively users navigate through and interact with a webpage. These elements include features such as page loading speeds, responsiveness on mobile devices, design layout, and usability, page architecture, navigational structure, internal linking schemes, keyword usage within page content, and metadata tags such as title tags and meta descriptions. All of these elements combined play an essential role in providing visitors with a smooth user experience when navigating through a website.
Why are On-Page UX Signals Important for SEO?
The importance of on-page user experience signals for SEO lies in their ability to drive higher levels of engagement from visitors once they reach your website via SERPs. If visitors find that your site is difficult to navigate or understand due to poor design or usability issues, it could lead to higher bounce rates, which would hurt your rankings over time. The better the user experience is across all devices, the more likely users will be to stay on your site longer, resulting in lower bounce rates.
Additionally, if users find relevant information quickly, then they’ll be more likely to convert into customers/subscribers, thus increasing conversion rates as well – another key factor when assessing rankings by Google algorithms.
How To Use On-Page UX Signals For SEO Success?
In order to maximize the potential benefits associated with optimizing on-page user experience signals for SEO, you need to ensure an optimal balance between design aesthetics and usability considerations exists across all web pages within your domain, including landing pages & blog posts, etc.
This balance should result in an intuitive navigation structure that allows users to access information quickly & easily without feeling overloaded by too much visual clutter or complexity.
Furthermore, each individual web page should contain relevant metadata tags so that search engine crawlers can properly classify each URL accordingly while also providing searchers with additional context when skimming through SERP snippets before clicking through onto websites.
How To Find And Analyze On-Page Ux Signals?
When assessing on-page user experience signals, it’s important that you thoroughly review both macro & micro-level aspects of each webpage within your domain as well as compare it against industry standards from sources like Nielsen Norman Group & Google Search Quality Guidelines, etc.
This process should involve using tools such as Google Analytics & HotJar heat maps etc..to provide insights into visitor behavior across different pages within the site while ensuring professional grade design layouts have been implemented using best practice methods such as grouping related items together & avoiding unnecessary white space, etc.
Examples Of High-Performing Sites Utilizing On-Page Ux Signals
An example of this approach being used successfully is evident when examining some of today’s biggest online businesses, such as Amazon & eBay, which have invested heavily into optimizing their sites’ response times, navigation structures, layouts, CTAs & metadata tags across all device types.
Such efforts have resulted in vastly improved traffic retention rates, which has enabled them not only to rank higher but also to increase their customer base year over year whilst maintaining strong customer loyalty numbers in the process.
Advanced On-Page SEO Tips
Use Engaging and Relevant Images To Increase User Engagement
When you are looking to enhance user engagement on your website, one of the best things you can do is include original, high-quality images throughout your content. Images can help break up large chunks of text, making it easier for readers to quickly skim through and get the important points that they need.
Furthermore, including images that are relevant to the topic at hand will help visitors draw connections between concepts and ideas quickly. Additionally, using engaging visuals like infographics or videos can make your content more memorable and shareable than if it was just plain text!
Optimize Your Page Speed To Improve User Experience
Page speed is a major factor in determining how well your website performs in search engine results pages (SERPs). In general, Google prefers websites that load quickly and smoothly as this helps improve the user experience.
To ensure that your website loads quickly, use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to find out what areas of improvement you should focus on first.
This includes optimizing your images and minifying code, along with other methods which you can use to make sure your page loads as fast as possible!
Rank Your Content In Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are one of the most sought-after results in SERPs as they appear at the very top of the page above organic listings. To increase the chances of appearing in a featured snippet for a particular query, optimize your content by including structured data such as Schema markup into HTML elements.
Doing so not only tells search engines relevant information about the page but also makes it easier for users to scan through key pieces of information straight away!
I hope you enjoyed this updated on-page SEO guide. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process and you should constantly review your strategies to ensure that your content is up-to-date and optimized for maximum visibility on a search engine.
With the right strategies and a little bit of effort, you will be able to climb up the ranks of SERPs and gain more visibility for your website organically. Good luck!