On-page SEO is a set of techniques that aim to improve a website’s ranking in search engines. These techniques are applied directly to the pages, meaning they are visible to users.
It is one of the pillars of SEO, as it is responsible for providing Google with the information necessary to understand the content of the pages and position the website in search results.
In this complete guide, you will learn the best practical on-page SEO actions and how to carry them out on your website to ensure the best results. Follow along!
What is on-page SEO?
To understand on-page SEO, we first need to consider that it is a vital part of SEO, which in turn is part of SEM or Search Engine Marketing. SEM includes both paid methods and organic strategies to improve your online visibility.
Search engines like Google thoroughly analyze web pages. They consider technical terms related to the structure and content of a website, all to ensure an improved user experience when searching.
On-page SEO focuses on precisely this: optimizing web pages to make them as attractive as possible to search engines, considering ranking factors.
While on-page SEO involves specific techniques like optimizing website code and tags, the core mindset should always be user satisfaction. Google values sites that offer original, accessible, and engaging content, guiding and inspiring users as they navigate the vastness of the Internet.
What is it for?
On-page SEO plays a technical and crucial role in online visibility and user experience. It makes it possible to optimize specific elements on a web page, making it more attractive to search engines, such as Google. Here’s how it works more technically.
On-page SEO involves carefully researching and selecting keywords relevant to the industry or business. These keywords are strategically incorporated into page titles, subtitles, text, and metadata, increasing the likelihood that the page will be displayed when users search for these words on Google.
Website architecture and structure
The page structure, including URLs, navigation, and internal links, is optimized to make it easier for search engines to understand. Friendly URLs and a logical site architecture make it easier for search bots to index your site content.
Content quality and originality
On-page SEO is concerned with the quality and originality of the content presented. Clear, concise, and informative texts are crucial. Furthermore, duplication of content must be avoided to avoid penalties in search results.
HTML tags and meta descriptions
HTML tags, such as the title tag and meta description, are optimized to include keywords and provide an accurate description of the page’s content. This directly influences users’ decision to click or not on the link when it appears in search results.
Images and videos are optimized for size and relevance. Alt tags on images are used to visually describe content to search engines, as they cannot “see” images as we can.
The time it takes for a page to load is an important consideration. On-page SEO involves image compression, code minification, and other techniques to improve page loading speed, which is a Google ranking factor.
With the increased use of mobile devices, pages must be responsive, meaning they automatically adjust to provide an optimal user experience on smartphones and tablets. Mobile-friendly websites receive preference in mobile search results.
How important is it?
On-page SEO plays a vital role in any Digital Marketing strategy, and here’s why: if you don’t prioritize it, you risk becoming invisible in the vast digital world.
In other words, without on-page optimization, your potential customers may simply not find your brand online, and this could result in missing out on valuable business opportunities.
The importance becomes even more evident when we consider that most companies are migrating to the digital environment, as the majority of consumers are present online.
Even if the focus is on the local market, it is essential to have well-structured web pages full of quality content to stand out, especially in the context of Local SEO.
If you are looking for an economical and consistent Digital Marketing strategy, on-page SEO is the answer. It aims to strengthen organic traffic, which requires a smaller investment, as it is generated naturally from searches made by users on Google.
Unlike paid ads, which provide instant visibility after payment, organic traffic doesn’t come as quickly. Let’s be realistic: it takes continuous effort to reach the top positions in search results, and once you achieve them, you need to maintain that position.
However, in the long term, this strategy can offer a significantly higher ROI (return on investment) as resources are allocated to the marketing team rather than advertising spend.
To give you an idea of the potential, it is possible to generate half a million reais with just one post on an SEO-optimized blog.
The big advantage is that you maintain full control. All improvements are made to your own blog and website pages, which means fewer surprises and a greater ability to plan your tasks.
What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
Both On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO share a central goal: attracting traffic to your website through optimizations. However, they approach this goal in different ways.
On-page SEO focuses on the structure and content of your website pages. This includes elements like strategically placed keywords, informative titles, friendly URLs, and relevant content. In other words, it’s about how you organize and present information directly on your website.
Here’s where things get interesting. Off Page SEO deals with strategies outside of your domain to promote your website and increase its visibility. Let’s take a look at some practical examples:
- Link Building: Other pages that link to your website can increase your online credibility. However, it is crucial to ensure that these links come from trustworthy and reputable sources;
- promotions and partnerships: Collaborations with other companies can be powerful. For example, by creating guest posts for other websites, you not only gain exposure but also strengthen your authority in the field by reaching a new audience;
- Social media: Active promotion on social media is a powerful tool. By sharing your content on these platforms, you can drive traffic to your website. Furthermore, social interaction not only amplifies your audience but also helps you build meaningful relationships with your audience.
In short, On-Page SEO refers to what you do within the pages of your website, while Off-Page SEO involves external efforts to promote those pages and build a solid online reputation.
Think of it as the perfect combination: optimize your pages internally to deliver the best user experience, while simultaneously making connections and promoting your content outside of your website.
This integrated approach is key to a successful SEO strategy and ensuring your online presence gets noticed in the vast world of the internet.
What is the objective of on-page SEO?
On-page SEO aims to enhance the individual pages of your website to make them more relevant and accessible to search engines. By integrating strategic keywords into page titles, content, and metadata, you help search engines understand the context of your content, increasing the likelihood of it appearing in related searches.
Additionally, by organizing your site’s structure and navigation logically, and creating user-friendly URLs and efficient internal links, you make it easier for both visitors to find information and for search engine bots to crawl and index pages more effectively.
Producing unique, informative, and relevant content for each page is another goal of On-Page SEO. High-quality content not only attracts visitors but also encourages other websites to link to yours, improving your authority and search engine rankings.
Optimizing HTML tags, such as the title tag and meta description, with accurate keywords and descriptions not only increases click-through rates in search results but also provides search engines with clear information about the content from the page.
Finally, by optimizing code, compressing images, and using caching techniques to improve page load time, you not only offer a better user experience, reducing bounce rate but you are also favored by search algorithms, improving your position in the results.
In short, On-Page SEO not only helps your website be found by search engines but also highlights your website as a reliable and valuable source of information for users. By creating relevant content, structuring your pages logically, and optimizing technical elements, you not only improve your online visibility but also provide an exceptional online experience for your visitors.
How to do on-page optimization?
On a web page, several components and variables require attention, always focusing on the user experience. Before entering a website or blog, the user must be attracted by search engines. An effective approach involves optimizing content, web pages, images, and videos, as explained below.
Content is the main ranking factor for a website. Therefore, it is important to create relevant and quality content, which is relevant to the target audience and which contains the keywords you want to position for.
The Title Tag, although not the title of the page, is crucial for search engines. It must be attractive, concise (up to 65 characters), and include the keyword, positioned on the left for quick identification. Modifiers like “best”, and “practical” are useful, but don’t overdo it to maintain authenticity.
For example, instead of a generic title like “Healthy Eating Tips,” an optimized approach could be: “7 Healthy Eating Tips to Transform Your Health.” In this case, “7 Tips” and “Healthy Eating” are the keywords.
Keyword choice and placement are essential. Include it in the URL, H1, at least one H2, and in the first 100 words of the text. Use variations (LSIs) to improve performance. Prioritize user experience and avoid black hat practices.
If the keyword is “digital marketing”, it must appear in the URL (for example seuwebsite.com/marketing-digital), in the H1 (Main Title) as “The Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing”, in at least one H2 (Subtitle) and the first 100 words of the text. Variations like “online marketing strategies” can also be used naturally in content.
The Meta Description must be attractive, thought-provoking, and convincing, with up to 160 characters, to increase the click-through rate.
For a page about budget travel, an attractive Meta Description could be: “Discover how to travel to amazing destinations on a budget. Save money while exploring the world with our budget-friendly travel tips.”
URLs must be short, friendly, and contain the keyword. Avoid numbers and special characters to make tracking easier.
Internal Links improve navigability. Use relevant anchor texts. External Links relate complementary content. Prevent users from leaving your page. Here are some tips:
- Internal links: On a technology blog, an internal link could be embedded in an article about smartphones, pointing to a previous guide on “How to Choose the Best Smartphone”. This improves user experience by providing related content;
- external links If your health website mentions academic research on the benefits of exercise, linking to relevant academic research (e.g. from a reputable university) adds credibility and relevance to your content.
They are structures to facilitate reading. Prioritize the keywords in H1 and H2 to associate with user searches.
For example, for a food blog, you might use something like:
H1: “Delicious Recipes to Impress Your Guests”
H2: “Tasty starters to start your meal”
H3: “Creative Salads for a Balanced Diet”
H4: “Irresistible Dessert Recipes”
Longer (at least 2,000 words) and high-quality articles engage more readers and improve the user experience.
For a fitness blog, for example, an article on “How to Lose Weight Healthily” might cover topics like specific exercises, meal planning, and expert advice. Include real case studies, practical tips, visual charts, and testimonials from real people who lost weight by following your tips. This provides comprehensive and valuable content.
Optimizations on web pages
In addition to content, other factors can affect a website’s ranking, such as page structure, loading speed, and usability. It is important to optimize these factors to improve user experience and search engine rankings.
Make sure all page elements are adaptable to different devices. Navigation buttons, images, and forms must be equally functional on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Pages must load in less than 2 seconds. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. Invest in a quality hosting service to improve speed.
A well-structured Sitemap.xml and HTTPS certificate ensures that search engines can index and rank your website effectively. Be sure to create 301 redirects for old pages that have been removed or changed to avoid 404 errors.
Incentive for engagement
Include social sharing buttons and encouraging CTAs like “Share with your friends” or “Leave a comment.” Encourage user interaction with content-relevant questions and polls.
Image and video optimizations
Images and videos are an important element of any online content. They can help draw user attention and make content more visual and informative. It’s important to use high-quality, optimized images and videos to improve your website’s ranking.
Name the images with clear descriptions, such as “vegetarian-lasagna-recipe.jpg”. Use meaningful alt text like “Delicious Vegetarian Lasagna.” By reducing file size without compromising quality, you improve site speed.
In the video title, include keywords like “Budget Travel Tips.” In the description, provide a compelling synopsis and use related keywords. Add relevant tags like “budget travel,” “travel budget,” and “affordable destinations.”
These techniques, when applied correctly, not only improve search engine rankings but also provide a richer and more engaging user experience.
What strategies can help with on-page SEO?
Several specific technical strategies can be implemented to improve your website’s On-Page SEO. Here are some of them.
Perform in-depth analysis to identify search terms relevant to your niche market. Use specific tools to find high-relevance and volume keywords. Some practical tips for this are:
- In addition to focusing on popular keywords, include long-tail terms and semantic variations to capture specific audiences;
- analyze your competition to identify keyword gaps and unique opportunities for your content;
- in addition to traditional tools, consider research on forums, discussion groups, and social networks to discover the questions and terms used by your audience;
- use semantic analysis tools to understand the context of keywords, helping to create more relevant and complete content.
Titles and meta descriptions
Create unique and attractive titles (title tags) for each page, incorporating relevant keywords. Write engaging meta descriptions, including calls to action and keywords, to attract user clicks in search results.
To improve this process:
- test different titles and descriptions to find out which ones generate the most clicks; SEO tools offer A/B testing features to help with this process;
- Tailor meta descriptions based on user search intent — informative for educational searches, persuasive for purchasing searches.
Make sure page URLs are short and descriptive, and include keywords where appropriate. Avoid special characters and codes in URLs to ensure readability. For that:
- implement 301 redirects for old or changed URLs, preserving page authority and ensuring a seamless user experience;
- Use URL parameters to control how Google crawls specific URLs, preventing the indexing of duplicate versions of the same content.
Proper use of header tags
When structuring page content, correctly use heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and include keywords in titles and subtitles to indicate the relevance of the content. There are no secrets here. You must:
- use SEO techniques to mark important parts of the content, such as highlights or specific data, with appropriate header tags;
- avoid excessive use of keywords in header tags — keep it natural to ensure fluent reading for users.
Production of relevant content
Produce original, relevant, and valuable content for users. Avoid duplication of content and plagiarism to maintain credibility with search engines.
How to do this? Here are some valuable tips:
- use reliable data and statistics to add credibility to your content, making it a reliable source for other pages and potential backlinks;
- Consider creating interactive features like calculators, quizzes, or dynamic infographics to engage visitors and increase page dwell time.
Image and multimedia optimization
Compress images without compromising quality to reduce file sizes and improve page load times. Use “alt” attributes on images to describe the content, making it easier for search engines to understand.
Here are some advanced tips that can help you with this process:
- implement lazy loading techniques to delay the loading of images below the fold, significantly improving initial load times;
- utilize modern image formats like WebP to deliver high quality with smaller file sizes, improving page speed.
Implementation of internal links
Implement relevant and contextual internal links to other pages within your website. Use descriptive and meaningful anchor text for internal links. To facilitate:
- use analysis tools to identify high-potential pages that receive few internal links and strengthen your link structure to distribute authority equitably;
- Implement a “siloing” strategy, organizing content into thematic sections, to create a highly relevant and understandable site architecture for search engines.
Responsiveness and mobile friendliness
Ensure the website is fully responsive for different devices, especially smartphones and tablets. Make sure page elements display properly on smaller screens. Some tips for carrying out this process are:
- test the user experience across different devices and operating systems, fixing any specific display or interactivity issues;
- utilize AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for ultra-fast loading pages on mobile devices, providing an exceptional experience for mobile users.
- use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to distribute content across global servers, reducing latency and improving load times in different geographic regions;
- conduct regular performance audits using tools like Lighthouse to identify and fix potential speed bottlenecks.
Robots.txt and sitemap settings
Correctly configure the robots.txt file to instruct search engine bots which parts of your site to crawl and which not to crawl. Create and submit an XML sitemap to make it easier for search engines to index all pages on your website. To perform these settings effectively:
- implement directives in the robots.txt file to control the crawling of specific sections of your website, protecting sensitive areas or directing bots to priority content;
- Use dynamic sitemaps for large websites, automatically updating when new pages are added or changed, ensuring search engines are always aware of your updated content.
By following the tips presented in this article, you will be well on your way to improving your website’s search engine rankings. It is important to remember that on-page SEO is an ongoing process and that results are not immediate. Google’s ranking factors are complex and constantly updated. Therefore, it is essential to keep up with the latest trends to ensure that your website is always optimized.
Do you want to improve your website’s ranking with on-page SEO? Contact Namecheap and find out how they can help!