The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO in 2022
Find out how on-page SEO can help your website rank higher, bring in more traffic, and convert more visitors.
On-page SEO focuses on steps you can take to drive organic traffic and increase your rankings.
You get to decide the target audience, keywords, topics and phrases of each page. On-page search engine optimization is up to you in every possible way.
If you want to learn more about search engine optimization, we’ve built this on-page SEO checklist to help guide you.
Table of Contents
On-page SEO entails various tasks and the front-end and back-end components of your website to rank in search engines and bring in new traffic. These include content elements, site architecture elements, and HTML elements.
You know the three main factors that Google uses to rate your website on? On-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO:
- We’ll walk you through on-page SEO elements below. This blog gives you helpful SEO tips.
- Technical SEO includes elements such as structured data, site speed, and mobile readiness. These are the parts of SEO that are often not included in on-page and off-page practices
- Off-page SEO refers to link building services, social sharing and more.
A page’s on-page SEO is important because it tells search engines about your website, and how you provide value to visitors and customers. It aids search engine bots, who can find better information about your site.
Simply creating and publishing your website isn’t enough—you must optimize it for search engines to rank and attract new traffic.
On-page SEO is the optimization you do on your website, which will be seen by visitors. Unlike off-page and technical SEO elements, on-page changes can be seen.
All elements of on-page SEO are completely within your power to apply. It is therefore important that you do it right. Let’s go over the elements involved in on-page SEO now.
- High-Quality Page Content
- Page Titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Image Alt-text
- Structured Markup
- Page URLs
- Internal Linking
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Site Speed
All on-page SEO elements fall into three main categories:
- Content elements
- HTML elements
- Site architecture elements
You’ll see these elements divided into sections below.
This section includes writing recommendations for creating quality content that benefits your website visitors, while also informing Google of your site’s value.
Page content is the heart of SEO. It tells both search engine and visitors what your site is all about.
First, choose relevant keywords and topics, using search engines such as Google to see if competitors and similar websites are using the same words. You can also use tools such as Ahrefs, AnswerthePublic, and UberSuggest to help identify the best keywords.
Consider how you and your intended audience are related to your search. These will impact how you and your audience use keywords and what type of content you create:
Now, you can add content to your site or audit your on-page SEO for any changes that may need to be made.
Here are a few best practices for writing high-quality page content:
- The importance of incorporating preferred keywords naturally
- Visual content is increasingly engaging
- Know who your target audience is.
- Find the right mix of character, compassion, and insights in your blog
- Develop content people share and want to link to.
- Get conversions for less with CTAs to offers and product pages
Page content is the heart of an effective on-page SEO process. Ensure it’s optimized by investing in research, writing and practice—all other on page SEO elements stem from high-quality page content.
You know that your website page titles (also known as title tags) are one of the most important SEO elements.
It is crucial that blog visitors or search engines understand the intent of content on a page. In order to do this, it is important that titles of articles match their intended topic.
Make sure to include your keyword in your title and make it seem natural.
- To ensure that your title doesn’t show up cut off, keep it to 60 characters or less. Google indicates on its website that this is what is optimal for display purposes.
- Keywords in the title make readability difficult. When you keyword-stuff your title, it can make it seem spammy and tacky.
- Make it relevant to the page.
- Don’t use all caps.
- Add your brand to the title and create some value for your blog readers.
Headers are the HTML elements <h1>, <h2> and <h3>, and so on.
The tags are a way to categorize and kind of organize your content for readers as well as search engines to help them help you find the most important piece of content.
Incorporate keywords that are most important for your page in the <h1> and <h2> headers.
Meta descriptions are short, under-title descriptions that appear when a search engine is visiting your page. While not a ranking factor, it’s important for SEO because it can influence whether or not someone clicks on your website.
Meta descriptions can be used to encourage click-throughs on social media as well. By using structured markup, you can repurpose branded content for social media platforms when your blog posts are shared.
Here’s what makes for a good meta description:
- Make sure your meta description is at or below 160 characters
- Include your entire keyword or keyword phrase.
- Use a complete, compelling sentence (or two).
- Avoid alphanumeric characters like —, &, or +.
While the Image Alt-Text Extensions is an extension that is made to improve image SEO, it can also be used as a way to make sure your images are accurately represented in Google search results.
To introduce your website to potential customers and make it look appealing, images should be properly captioned.
Here’s the most important things to keep in mind when adding an image alt-text
- Make it descriptive and specific.
- Make it contextually relevant to the broader page content.
- Keep it shorter than 125 characters.
- Use keywords sparingly, and don’t keyword stuff.
Structured data is the process of adding tags that classify your website source code to make it easier for Google to find and understand different elements of your content.
The structured markup on your website is the key to Google’s featured snippets, knowledge panels, and other content features. It’s also how your page information shows up so nicely when someone shares your content on social media.
Site Architecture Elements
Site architecture elements refer to the elements of your website and pages that help you rank highly on search engines. By choosing strategic structuring, you can help increase the amount of fresh content that is accessible by search engines.
You should make sure your page URLs are easy to understand for both readers and search engines. They also benefit consistency in your website hierarchy as a whole.
Here are a few tips on how to write SEO-friendly URLs:
- Remove the extra, unnecessary words.
- Use only one or two keywords.
- Use HTTPS if possible, as Google now uses that as a positive ranking factor.
Internal linking is a process in which you link to other useful information on your website.
Internal links are important to keep your website relevant, so that Google can see that your site is valuable and helpful.
With more clicks, Google can understand your website better. You don’t have to execute a prolonged campaign to make an impact on search engine results pages that take advantage of the website.
Google started favoring sites that are optimized for faster mobile speeds – even searches done on the desktop.
Mobile responsiveness matters.
It is important to use a website hosting service, website design, and theme that is mobile-friendly. If you are not sure about your own site’s mobile readiness, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Whether they are on a mobile device or desktop, your site must load quickly. When it comes to SEO, page speed counts a lot.
Google cares about the user experience first and foremost. If your site loads slowly or haphazardly, it’s likely that your website visitors won’t stick around — and Google knows that. Moreover, site speed can impact conversions, ROI, and online revenue.
Check your website’s speed any time using Google’s tool, PageSpeed Insights.
- Crawl your website.
- Conduct an SEO audit and define your site architecture.
- Update URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions.
- Make sure your keyword is in your URL.
- Include your keyword throughout your page.
- Track keywords and topics for each page.
- Don’t keyword stuff.
- Establish value propositions for each page.
- Define your target audience.
- Plan new page titles.
- Add new meta descriptions.
- Review and edit page content as needed.
- Incorporate visual content.
- Optimize your visual content.
- Add internal links.
- Add external links.
- Optimize for conversions.
Once your SEO plans have been confirmed and your website has been optimized, try to implement at least 5-10 pages per week. Work on it slowly, so that you don’t overwhelm yourself while also not allowing time to pass.
Note: SEO is not a one-time job. SEO optimization involves working on your site regularly to maintain its quality and efficiency on the internet. With that said, take this On-page SEO workflow as an ongoing guide in your SEO strategy.
Author bio: Sambhav Shah is a founder of Digital Aura and takes great pride in creating digital marketing strategies from mid market business size to enterprise. Digital Marketing and SEO is his passion. While not at work he loves to play cricket and spend his time on research and reading digital marketing content.