What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing your website using quality content and elements such as keywords, titles, good URLs, images and such. Having good on-page SEO is crucial if you want to be ranked high on search engines such as Google and in this article, you will find the 6 most important on-page SEO factors:
1. Quality content – the most important on-page SEO factor
The content you post is the most important part of SEO.
All the content that goes on your blog or website should be original and not rewritten, or even worse, copied and pasted from other websites. When ‘reading’ your content, search engines can easily determine if it’s stolen or badly made, both of which will rank it low or even result in a ban.
But having original content means nothing if no one can find it. Don’t forget to identify both the keywords and related keywords and include them in your texts while avoiding keyword stuffing, which is a cheap tactic used by websites to rank themselves while their content has no real value.
What is the ideal content for proper on-page SEO?
Include the most important keyword both in the title and in the URL, about which we will talk more later in this article.
Additionally, the content you’re providing should be useful, you shouldn’t just write for the sake of having content on your site, and especially not if it will not add any value to it in the first place. An article can be perfectly structured, with flawless grammar and good use of keywords, but that isn’t worth anything if no one is interested in reading it.
In case your article consists of a video or presentation, try to include text, as well. Either provide a full text of what is happening in the video or a short description. This is so search engines can ‘read’ and rank articles like this, as well.
2. Title tag
Simply put, the title tag is the title of your web page as seen on search engines. Whenever you’re looking up something on Google, the part that contains the name of the article that you click is the title page.
But why is the title tag important?
The name of the article is what makes people click it. Whether they click it or not depends on how relevant it is to their search, so your goal is to make it as relevant as possible. Besides including a keyword, here’s what you can do to succeed in that:
- Don’t make it too long (keep it under 60 characters)
- Avoid using too many keywords
- Put the primary keyword before any others
- Include numbers or words that can attract people (titles such as ‘5 Tricks To Boost Your Social Media Presence’)
- Avoid using all caps
Do keep in mind that a title tag isn’t the same as the H1 tag (the title of your article on your website). While most websites keep them the same, some texts work better if the title tag and H1 tag are different. Also, it’s important to know the difference if you’re working on your SEO.
The title tag is what appears on search engine pages and when the article is shared on social media and other websites. On the other hand, the H1 tag is the name of your article on your website.
3. Meta description
Right underneath the title tag and the URL of a search result is the so-called meta description. It presents a summary of your web page and is usually 160 characters long. With the newest algorithm update, you can have 920 pixels (approximately 158 characters) for desktop and 680 pixels (120 characters) for mobile meta description.
A meta description of a page can have a great impact on whether people click it or not so make sure it includes the most important keywords and perfectly summarizes what your page is about.
Good meta descriptions are important for SEO because they produce clicks which then help rank your page higher up on Google.
Sometimes it is smart to keep it short and simple, but to try to provide the information about the article/page. You should also take a look on your competition and similar article/page and how they created their descriptions. Try to improve it, to make your meta description more eye-catching and win them!
4. Proper formatting – very important on-page SEO factor
Now that you have your content and know the difference between the title and H1 tag, it’s time to properly format your page, which involves using a heading (H1) and subheadings.
Your page can have only one heading, and, as previously mentioned, that is the title of your text.
In contrast, you can have as many subheadings as you like. They’re used after the heading and are titled H2, H3, H4. It’s good to use them whenever you can because they give a form to your text. They’re used to signify a new paragraph either in the form of a question (What is on-page SEO?) or statement (On-page SEO elements). They can be numbered or not, depending on the nature of your text.
Furthermore, make sure your paragraphs aren’t too long and are properly divided, because shorter paragraphs are easier to read and follow. Feel free to use bold and italicized text and to underline important parts, but don’t overdo it. Also, make the font readable, no one likes zooming in on their browser to read things.
5. Image use for on-page SEO
Images are used to make pages more interesting and appealing. They also provide space between paragraphs, so your page isn’t all text and there’s something to look at, as well.
Original images will boost your on-page SEO, but if you don’t have any, sourcing any images you use is a must. Make sure they’re of high quality, relevant to your text, well-positioned and that they have a good size because images that are too large can make a page load much slower.
Nowadays, GIFs are extremely popular and while it’s good to use a GIF or two in your article, don’t use too many, because their movement will distract the reader. Also, their size can slow down your website significantly.
As we already mentioned, it’s good to provide descriptions. For example, if you’re writing a guide on how to make an Instagram profile look better, provide an image of a popular profile and a short explanation below the image why the profile is a good example.
But maybe most importantly, make sure that the name of the image is accurate to what is on the image before you upload it. If the image, for example, shows a woman enjoying a cup of coffee while holding a tablet, make sure the title isn’t ‘untitled35649’ and is something more like woman_drinking_coffee_using_tablet. This is because you want the search engine to know what the image is.
6. Well-composed URL
Just like the title tag and the H1 tag, the URL of your page needs to encapsulate what your page is about, as well.
According to Google, the first 3-5 words in URLs are the ones that really matter, so it’s good to keep them short and accurate as possible. Include the primary keyword and avoid using random characters (www.examplewebsite.com/link?84649). Usually, URLs have the name of the article in them, with hyphens instead of spaces. This is because article names are already short, include the most important keyword and are made to be eye-catching. Examples of good URLs would be:
As you can see, you can tell by the URLs what the links you are about to click are about. The third one is a link to an article, and it contains the keywords ‘hiring web developer‘. The fourth one does that as well but with the phrase ’10 ways to attract’ to gain attention and clicks.
Are those 6 the only important on-page SEO factors?
To conclude, the most important on-page SEO factors include well-written and original content, a good title and description tag, formatting with the proper use of a heading and subheadings, the use of images and their descriptions, and well-composed URLs that contain the most important keyword and aren’t too long.
Now that you know how to boost your on-page SEO, it’s time to optimize your website even more and gain a higher search engine rank!