Today I’ll help you understand why on-page SEO is important in improving the rankings of your blog posts on Google.
If you’ve been writing any form of content on your website then you know just how challenging it is get your content to rank on the first page of Google.
Learning to optimize your pages correctly can significantly improve your rankings. This is what you’ll learn in this guide.
In addition, I’ll also give you 10 on-page SEO techniques that you can implement today.
So let’s get right into it.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web page content for search engines and users. This is not to be confused with on-site SEO, which is optimizing your entire website.
It applies to both the content that is visible to visitors as they navigate through your website (i.e., text, images, video, or audio), as well as elements that are only visible to search engines (i.e., HTML tags and structured data).
In deciding on page rankings, Google algorithm considers the following factors: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO
On-Page SEO, which is our focus in this guide has to do with the things that you do on the actual page to optimize it both for users and search engines.
Off-Page SEO is all about outside sources that link to your page. These include mainly social sharing and link building.
Technical SEO has to do with how you structure and optimize your website and server so that search engine spiders can crawl and index your site more effectively.
These three areas work in tandem and sometimes overlap. When search engine optimization is done well and effectively in all these areas, your website will be fully optimized for search engine crawling and for the best user experience.
The result is higher rankings which lead to higher click through rate (CTR) and conversions.
Why is On-page SEO Important?
On-Page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand your pages, content and website as a whole, and to determine if your content addresses the searcher’s query.
The real reason behind Google’ continual change and improvement of the algorithm is to not only address the user’s query but to understand the intent behind it as well.
When a user types in their query web crawlers begin to search millions of pages on the web to find the best match that answers the query.
For your page to be identified as one of the best answers for the query, it has to be optimized using the latest SEO techniques. This says on-page SEO is very important in getting better rankings for your web pages or blog posts.
In their report, How Search Works, this is what Google says about on page optimization.
How To Do On-Page SEO
The correct way to do On-Page SEO is to first understand the purpose of the page you are creating. In writing your content you will adopt a different style depending the user’s intent.
There are primarily 3 types of blog posts you will write to address the user’s intent.
- Informational Posts – Top of the funnel post type where you educate the customer about your product. These are usually How-To(s) and Guide Posts.
- Comparison Posts – At this middle of the funnel stage, the user is more informed about your product or service and is comparing different options of the same product. E.g Range Rover Evoque Vs Discovery Sport
- Transactional Posts – This is a bottom-of-the-funnel type of post where your customer is ready to buy. Post titles often include Best of… Where to buy… etc
As your prospective client interacts with the content of your blog their intent will vary as they go down the different stages of the sales funnel.
On-Page SEO Elements
The best SEO practice is to optimize different SEO elements on your page to communicate the contents of your page with search engine crawlers.
These are the 10 essential on-page SEO elements.
- High-Quality Content
- Page Titles
- Page URLs
- Meta Descriptions
- Image Optimization
- Internal Linking
- External Linking
- Structured Markup
- User Engagement
1. High-Quality Content For On-Page SEO
Content is the one element that best conveys the importance of on-page SEO. You could even think of it as the backbone of your entire SEO strategy.
Without good content, all your other SEO efforts carry no weight.
In their SEO research, Impact found that in ranking your website Google regards high-quality content and link building as the most important signals.
It is important therefore to learn how to create high-quality content that both search engines and users love. This is the secret of highly profitable blogs.
Keyword Research For SEO Content
Writing high-quality content begins with keyword research. There are excellent keyword research tools that can help you identify the best keywords to target.
When I do keyword research for my blog posts I often use Ahrefs, Semrush and Ubbersuggest.
They each give different SEO metrics like cost per click, monthly search volume, and keyword difficulty (KD). All are excellent tools that can help you to create a sound and profitable content strategy.
Another effective way to do keyword research is to search your competitor’s blogs and see the topics they write about.
How To Write Quality Content For SEO
Armed with the right keywords, you now have to develop a strategy to create optimized content. I’ll share two of my best strategies with you.
Above and Beyond Content Strategy
When I produce content for my blog I always use this strategy and it helps me to quickly grow the authority of my blog. Feel free to adopt it.
I call it the Above and Beyond Content Strategy.
This strategy will boost your On-page optimization efforts tremendously. If you apply it you will experience:
- More dwell time
- More backlinks
- Higher rankings resulting in more organic traffic
- More conversions from the increased traffic
So how does it work?
You must always remember that the main goal for producing content is to help a searcher solve their problem. To rank on page one of Google your goal should be to give a better answer than that of your competitors.
In the SEO world, we often use the term “10X Content”.
This simply means that for your rankings to ‘stick’ you should aim to produce content that is 10 times better than your competitors’.
“10 TIMES BETTER!”
I can hear you exclaim in disbelief.
I know it’s hard to produce content that is of such high quality but believe me it will pay off in the long run, in backlinks and traffic.
Debunking The Myth Of Long-Form Content
When it comes to creating quality content, better does not necessarily mean longer, even though it most often does.
Simply writing ‘Y’ number of words because your competitors wrote ‘X’ will not get you to rank. Google will not rank your content simply because it is longer.
Quality! Quality! Quality!
That’s what really matters.
Apply Google's E.A.T For Quality Content
One of the best tips I can give you when it comes to creating high-quality content that will rank on Google is to apply Google’s very own EAT framework.
So what is it?
What is E.A.T ?
E-A-T is an acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is the framework that Google human raters use to assess content creators, webpages, and websites as a whole.
It has always been clear that Google values and rewards high-quality content.
You can gauge this from your personal experience. How many times have you ‘googled’ something and found on the very first page a bunch of sites to choose from with excellent answers to your query?
Almost all the time, right?
Well, Google rewards sites that produce high-quality content with high (page one) rankings and moves sites that produce low-quality content to the bottom of the barrel where they get less visibility.
So lets break down the elements of E.A.T to understand it better.
Whether you write your own content or outsource the content writing service, you need to make sure that your content writers have the necessary knowledge and understanding of your industry and your niche.
While they may not necessarily possess professional credentials in the industry, it is essential for on-page SEO purposes that they are able to talk in-depth about a specific topic.
When a writer genuinely possesses knowledge on the subject matter he is writing about it will reflect in his content. You cannot fake true knowledge.
And readers today are very smart; they can ‘sniff fakeness,’ so to speak.
In the online world, one signal of authoritativeness has always been links to your blog that appear in other websites. These are commonly called backlinks.
Undoubtedly, links continue to be a top-ranking factor today.
Links are currency in the internet economy. The more high-quality links you have the more authority Google considers you to have.
The best way to build that authoritativeness online is to create high-quality content that people would be happy to link back to.
Trust is an attribute that is earned over time.
You have to produce a lot of high-quality content to earn the trust of your readers and search engines.
Your goal should be to have people trust your brand.
To develop that trust, one simple strategy is to highlight authority sites that you have been featured on.
That’s all I’ll say about creating quality content. It’s quite a mouthful if I must say.
Now let’s move on the next important element of on-page SEO.
2. Title Tag
A title tag is an HTML element that gives the specific title of a web page.
It essentially gives the subject of the page it is on and it’s displayed in the search engine results pages as a snippet.
It is essential for on page SEO to optimize the Title Tag. This is how you should do it:
- Always include your target keyword in the title tag.
- Understand user intent and incorporate it in the title. For instance, instead of 7 Ways To Lose Weight try 7 Simple Ways To Lose Weight
- To increase click through rate (CTR) you want to make your titles catchy and interesting. Try adding the year where relevant. e.g 7 Simpe Ways To Lose Weight in 2022
- You can also use the Moz Title Tag Checker to make sure your title tag is the right length and will not get truncated on the search engine results page.
3. Page URL
Your keyword must also be include in the url of your page. Good SEO practice here is to keep your URL short and to the point. Here is an example from one of my blog posts: https://ifeelgreattoday.com/passive-income-for-photographers/
4. Meta Description
Meta description is a meta tag that describes what the page is about and it is another important factor of on-page SEO.
Meta descriptions , are often displayed in the SERPs underneath the title of the page.
To optimize your Meta Description:
- Include your keyword phrase and wrap it around 1 or 2 sentences to make a brief and compelling description of your title.
- The length should be within 160 characters.
Optimizing meta description correctly can help improve click-through rate (CTR) and get more visitors to your blog.
This is why optimizing this element is so important for on-page SEO.
The headline is the H1 tag of your blog post and it the first text the user sees when they land on your page.
Coming up with a compelling headline is a must if you want to have high traffic on your blog. A reader will decide to click on your title or your competitors simply based on the wording of your title.
So take some time to think your headline through.
I often come up with 3 good headlines and run them through the Moz Title Tag Checker before I decide on the best one.
6. Header Tags
To deferentiate headers from pragraphs on web pages we use header tags (H1-H6).
Using header tags not only makes your content easier for your readers to skim through but it also helps search engine crawlers understand your content.
This is one of the most important on-pages SEO elements to optimize.
The title of the blog-post must always be an H1 tag and the subsequent subheadings should be H2 through to H6.
7. Image Optimization
Images are a good way to break up text and make your content more appealing to your readers.
Optimizing images will make your content to show up in Google images too, thereby bringing more traffic. So, it is definitely another important on- page SEO element to optimize.
To optimize your images for on-page SEO:
- Incorporate keywords in naming 30-70%of your images, This is a recommendation by Yoast SEO.
- Use a description that explains the content of your post
- Preferably use jpg format so that the images do not slow down your website.
- You can also use tools like ShortPixel to compress your images. It has a WordPress plugin that can compress images by up to 90% as you upload them onto your site.
Alt text (alternative text) is an HTML element used on the image tag to describe the image. It is only visible to the search engines, not the user. Using Alt text is important for on-page SEO because Google considers it as a ranking factor.
Alt text is mainly meant for people who use screen readers. It also shows up on browsers if for some reason the images fails to load. Even though the user will not be able to see the image, they will see what the image is about.
8. Internal Linking
Another good practice of On-page SEO is to add internal links in your content. This is how you communicate with site engines that you are an expert in your niche. You demonstrate that you have other pages that are related to the current page that the user is reading.
Your pages that are ranking on the first page transfer link value to the pages that are linked to them. Over time, this gradually increases the authoritativeness and domain ranking of your entire site.
9. External Links
You may think if you have written quality content it is not necessary to reference other sites. Actually the best way to communicate that your content is authentic is to cite the sources that back-up your facts.
When you link to other sites on the web you are also giving the user added information that is related to your content. Both users and search engines love this.
The best approach here is to link to sites that are credible. Don’t just link to anybody.
10. Structured Markup
Structured markup helps Google to easily find and understand the different elements of your web page. Structured data is the key behind featured snippets that show up on SERPs.
While this is not considered as a technical SEO element, it is yet another reason why on-page SEO is important. You need to tackle it while you are optimizing your page for better rankings.
This is what a featured snippet looks like.
Important On-Page SEO Facts
These are a few extra tips for SEO content writing.
Write For Humans, Not Search Engines
As you produce your content and optimize the important elements of on-page SEO, make sure that you do not write content for the sole purpose of ranking on search engines.
This is to say you should not write for SERPS but humans, your prospective readers, and clients.
Your goal should be to help the reader first; this is what will turn them into loyal readers of your blog and long-term customers of your business.
If your goal is simply to rank high on SERPs then you may fall for some traps that could hurt your SEO efforts in the future.
Below, I’ll list a few of the most common shady SEO practices you should avoid.
On-Page SEO Practices To Avoid
Some people falsely believe that if their target keyword appears as many times as possible on a page then this will boost the page’s rank. This is not true. The technical term for it is keyword stuffing and it does not work.
This is what it looks like.
You get it right?
Make sure that your target keyword appears in the title tag (H1)
in the first sentence of your introductory paragraph, in the conclusion, and then sprinkled a few times throughout the other headings and body of your article.
Thin content often goes hand in hand with its partner in crime, Keyword Cannibalization.
So what do these terms mean?
Well, thin content is pretty self-explanatory. This is when you write short, low-quality content that barely addresses the searcher’s query. And then create more articles with a slightly different title but similar content.
The goal here is to have more pages ranking on the first page for a particular keyword, and it is a good SEO practice.
Keyword Cannibalization is writing two or more pages that are targeting the same keyword. Again, simply so that you can rank more times for that keyword. This does not work because you are essentially competing against yourself, and it will hurt your SEO strategy in the long run.
In 2011 Google released an algorithm update called Panda. Panda essentially penalizes low-quality content and rewards high-quality content with higher SERPs rankings.
Instead of writing more than one, low-quality pieces of content, with keywords that are closely related, your goal should be to produce one detailed piece that is specific to that topic.
Here is another shady practice that is common across the web: duplicate content.
As a blogger and content creator, I know that creating unique, quality content is HARD. But that’s what separates the boys from the men.
The boys simply steal content from other sites and republish it with slight alterations, or even worse- with not alterations at all.
Unfortunately, such pages will never rank! This shortcut does not work.
What should you do instead?
Be a man and take the high road of paying the price of producing quality content. (I’m a woman by the way. So, ladies, I’m talking to you too!)
Do your research and get all the facts but give your content your unique voice and style
Well, there you have it. This is why on-page SEO is important. If you put in some effort and implement these 10 strategies you will see a rise in your rankings and blog traffic.
What are you currently doing to optimize your pages?