Most of the people think that there’s nothing more to do On-page SEO than changing or shrinking a few keywords here and there. That is not correct. Although keyword placement still matters, it’s much less important than it used to be.
While on-page optimization is less straightforward than it once was, it’s still arguably the easiest and most important part of SEO. It’s one of the few things you have full control over and doesn’t require much technical power. If you know how to do basic website edits, write , and are willing to do a bit of research, you can do it well.
Let’s get to the main point.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO (also called on-site SEO) is the process of optimizing web pages to rank higher in search engines like google, Bing etc. It includes optimizations to visible content and the HTML source code.
Why is On-page SEO important?
Google looks at your page’s content to determine whether it’s a relevant result for the search query. Part of this process involves looking for keywords.
But there’s more to On-page SEO than including keywords in your content—a lot more.
Google is at last searching for the most significant output for a question, so their calculations additionally search for other applicable substance on the page. In the event that your page is about canines and you don’t make reference to various varieties, Google knows there are most likely more important outcomes out there.
How to create Quality content
Prior to you even consider making ‘specialized’ advancements like putting keywords anywhere, you need to make content that Google needs to rank. For that, you need a fundamental objective watchword as a top priority. Read our keyword research guide if that is not the case.
Otherwise, here are the four things you need to master:
1. Be relevant
Relevance is seemingly the most vital piece of on-page Web optimization, which means adjusting your substance to look through aim. Neglect to give searchers what they need, and your odds of positioning are probably nothing.
Because nobody understands search intent better than Google, the best starting point is to analyze the current top-ranking results for the three Cs of search intent:
We already briefly covered this concept in our keyword research guide. But we’ll go a bit deeper here, as again, aligning your content with intent is critical.
1. Content type
Content types usually fall into one of five buckets: blog posts, product, category, landing pages, or videos. For example, all the top-ranking pages for “black maxi dress” are ecommerce category pages from well-known stores.
If you want to rank for this keyword, it’s unlikely to happen with a blog post. Searchers are in buying mode, not learning mode.
2. Content format
Content format applies mostly to blog posts, as they’re usually either how-tos, listicles, news articles, opinion pieces, or reviews.
For example, every result for “force restart iPad” are how-to guides, besides those from apple.com.
To stand the best chance at ranking for either of these keywords, you should follow suit. Trying to rank a listicle when searchers want a how-to guide will be an uphill battle.
3. Content angle
Content angle refers to the main ‘selling point’ of the content. For example, those searching for “how to make latte” seem to want to know how to make it at home—without specialist equipment.
2. Be thorough
Having content that broadly aligns with search intent is a good start, but it’s rarely enough. To be deserving of a place on the first page of Google, it needs to deliver on its promise. And that means covering all the things searchers expect and want to see.
Look for common subheadings
Most pages break a topic down into subtopics with subheadings. These offer quick insights into what searchers are looking for, especially if you notice the same or similar subheadings across multiple pages.
3. Be unique
It’s vital to give searchers what they want, but you also need to bring something new to the table. Fail to do this, and your content will be like everyone else’s. And nobody wants to link to another ‘me too’ piece of content.
Everything we’ve covered so far should have provided a winning framework for your content, but there should still be scope for some creativity.
For example, if we look at the SERP for “SEO tips,” the intent is clear. People want a list of tips to improve rankings and boost traffic.
4. Be clear
No matter how well your content aligns with search intent or how thorough it is, nobody will read it if it’s unclear. For example, the page below matches user intent for the keyword “all grain brewing”—but it’s a wall of tiny text that nobody wants to read.
- Use bullets to help skimmers.
- Use descriptive subheadings (H2-H6) for hierarchy.
- Use images to break up the text.
- Use simple words that everyone can understand.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs to avoid “walls of text.”
- Use a large font to help readers avoid eye strain.
- Write as you speak to make things more entertaining and conversational.
On-page SEO tools
Let’s look at a few free tools to help with everything above before we wrap things up.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (Free)
Find missing issues with title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, and OG tags across your site.
Ahrefs SEO Toolbar (Free)
Analyze the structure of other top-ranking pages.
Preview how title tags, URLs, and meta descriptions will look in the search results.
Compress and optimize images.
Create many types of structured data in Google’s recommended JSON-LD format.
Rich Results Test (Free)
Check the structured data on your page to see if it’s eligible for rich snippets in the SERPs.