On-Page SEO: Simplest Way To Do It [2024]

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On-page SEO can be the difference between ranking on google’s first page, and hiding in a dark corner of the web where no one can find you.

In this article, I’ll show you how to do on-page SEO to help you rank high.

What Is On-page SEO

On-page SEO means anything you do on your website to improve your ranking in search engines like google.

The bulk of SEO work falls under on-page SEO. From how you design your website, to the content you post and how you structure it. Everything you do on-site to make sure readers love what you share and search engines rank it whenever people search for it.

On–page SEO is one of the four important parts of search engine optimization.

Why On-page SEO Is Important

On-page SEO helps search engines understand the content of your website, while also making sure readers get valuable information.

Search engines don’t read like humans. They follow instructions in their code to get a sense of what your content is about, and decide whether or not they should show it to people who are searching.

Although your website visitors can read your content and easily tell what it’s about, they will not find it if search engines don’t rank it in the first place.

Therefore, you need to write your website content in a way that search engines can easily understand, without sacrificing the value you want to offer to your target audience.

On-page SEO is a double-edged sword that helps both search engines and your website visitors to easily understand your content, flow through, and determine what your website is about.

How To Do On-page SEO

1. Start with keyword research

Keywords are what people type into google or other search engines to find answers. Without them, it will be hard to find anything online, including your website.

Most of your on-page SEO efforts will be guided by keywords, so you need to get them right.

Keyword research will help you write what people are searching for, not what you think they might need. This will save you the frustration of not getting website visitors after putting much effort into creating valuable content. It will also help you find keywords that you can easily rank for, so you spend your time, energy, and resources on topics that will give you maximum results with minimal effort.

There are many tools you can use for keyword research. One of them is google search itself.

First ask yourself, if there is one word or phrase I’d like my website to rank for, what will it be?

When you type it in a search bar, the search engine will suggest keywords for you. You can also look at the “frequently asked” section, or the “people also searched” results.

You can dig further until you find enough relevant and more specific keywords. The downside to using google search is that it won’t tell you which keywords are easier to rank for.

Other paid keyword research tools like Semrush, and Ahrefs can tell you the search volume and difficulty of a keyword.

Some keyword tips.

  1. Pick keywords relevant to your business. It’s no use ranking for “best wedding photographer” if you’re a dentist. You might get all the wedding photographer traffic in the world, but how many of them want your dental services?
  2. Prioritize keywords with low competition and a sizable search volume. It’s more difficult to rank for certain keywords. Starting out, you need to focus on keywords that will give you the best returns for your hard work. Go for keywords you have a chance to rank for, but which are also sizable enough to bring you the traffic worth your efforts.

Get our winning keyword research guide for free.

2. Write unique, helpful on-page seo content

Whether you’ve written hundreds of articles, or you’re about to publish the first few pages and posts of your website, this will raise your on-page SEO game.

You should write unique content because google is really serious about it. They don’t rank the same content twice, even if it’s from different websites. You shouldn’t just copy  things from other websites and paste it on yours. Asides from the bad reputation that can bring to your brand, it hurts your SEO.

Your content should be helpful because google’s aim is to give users exactly what they search for in the shortest possible time.

Imagine you’re a searcher in need of urgent answers to a question. How would you feel if you searched on google only to find answers that are not helpful in any way?

That’s exactly how people feel whenever they visit a website expecting to find helpful answers, only to meet irrelevant jargon and sales pitches.

If the content on your website doesn’t answer your visitors’ questions, they’d leave as soon as possible.

Always remember to use keywords in your content. Finding the balance between creating unique, helpful content, and using your keywords in a natural way is essential for on-page SEO success.

A few tips to remember.

  • At least one keyword should guide each page on your website. When you decide on which keyword to use for a particular page, it should appear multiple times on that page (like 1 – 2%). This is the keyword density.
  • Use keywords in the first sentence of your article.
  • Don’t copy and paste. Write from a unique perspective, share your experience, do your own research, invite an expert to write for you.
  • Your posts should answer people’s questions satisfactorily. Be helpful.
  • Don’t use the same keyword for multiple pages. You’ll end up competing against yourself. You can optimize a page to rank for multiple keywords, but don’t use the same keyword in multiple pages.

3. Format your content to make it SEO-friendly

One key thing to always keep in mind when doing on-page SEO is that you’re trying to make it easy for both search engines and humans to find your website online, understand your content, and easily flow through.

Structuring your content in a way that is logical and easy-to-follow helps a great deal. If you want better results, apply the following on-page seo techniques.

– Use headings and subheadings to structure your articles

If you’ve noticed in this article, I used headings and subheadings to make it easy for you to read. You can scan through, jump from one part to another, and get exactly what you need.

– Use keywords in your headings and subheading

Look at the major headings in this article. I used my target keyword “on-page SEO.” The idea is to use your target keyword wherever possible, without making it too obvious or breaking the natural flow. I didn’t include my keyword in most subheadings because it didn’t fit in naturally.

– Write short paragraphs

Again, I did that throughout this article. 

Some of my paragraphs are just one sentence. It makes it easy for you to read.

– Use lists and bullet points to summarize key ideas

Instead of writing long paragraphs and overwhelming your visitors, break it down into bullet points. Just like I did.

– Use images and videos

Make your content more engaging and easy on the eye by adding images and videos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Whenever people visit your web pages, the first thing they do is skim through. If they see a block of text, with long paragraphs, they’d run away.

4. Optimize images

Asides making your content more engaging, images can bring new visitors to your website if you optimize them. Many people ignore this, so if you put in the effort you’re in for SEO wins.

– Name images with keywords

Default names for images are usually things like IMG6894-4 or random letters and numbers. That’s not good for SEO. Remember, all your SEO effort tries to make life easy for search engines and your website visitors.

If you name the images on your website with relevant keywords before uploading, those images will show up whenever people search. It will contribute to the overall ranking power of your website. Download any image on this webpage and you’ll see how we named it.

– Resize images before uploading

It is best to upload images in the exact dimension you want to display them. It helps your website load faster, and ensures both mobile and desktop users see your images clearly.

In my experience, the optimal size for blog images is 1200 x 628 pixels. The display looks great on desktop and mobile. Sometimes though, you may need to display an image (e.g. an infographic) in another size. Use an app like canva to resize.

– Compress images

A large file size can slow down your website. I use squoosh to resize my photos without losing quality. Aim to keep your images below 100 kilobytes.

– Use keywords in alt text

Alt text describes an image. It’s what you see when an image doesn’t load.

Keep it short, yet meaningful. Use your keywords.

5. Make URLs SEO-friendly

URL stands for uniform resource locator. It’s like a unique address that tells you where a particular page is on the internet. Every webpage has its own unique URL. 

No two pages can have the same URL.

Your URLs should be easy to read. Readers should see it and immediately know what they’d find on that page.

Keep it short, use keywords, and avoid adding numbers or dates.

To learn more about URLs, check out this URL structure guide.

6. Add internal and external links

Use internal links to connect related pages on your website.

But you must do it strategically. This is why it’s good to lay out your site architecture even before you write your first content. If you’ve already started without a good website structure laid out, don’t worry. You can still remedy the situation. To see how you can link your pages strategically to form a good site structure, check out our technical SEO guide.

External links should be used to direct users to other helpful content that can add weight to your posts. You can also use external links to show readers where you got facts, figures, and data from. This shows credibility. Use them wisely though, as you could be sending your precious visitors away, never to return.

A useful tip is to ensure all external links open in a new tab.

7. Update title tags and meta descriptions

If you do everything right and your page finally ranks, your title tags and meta descriptions will be the final piece of the puzzle, either attracting clicks, or chasing potential website visitors.

The title tag and meta description appear on search engine results page as seen below.

Title tags

Your title should be enticing enough to draw people’s attention, but also relevant to your post. Don’t just use clickbait. If people click on it, only to find disappointing content, or something unrelated to your title, they’d leave ASAP. The impression they get can be long-lasting, marking your website as spam. Don’t give potential customers a bad first impression about you.

Tips for writing good title tags

  • Be concise. It is advisable to keep it between 30 to 60 characters. If it’s too long, some words will not be displayed.
  • Use your keyword. Ensure users can see the keyword. Don’t put it towards the end of your title, especially when your title is long and likely to be cut off.
  • Add numbers and dates (year). Showing users that your article is up to date can pull them in. Numbers make your title stand out. E.g. 7 ways to do X.
  • Be unique. Stand out from the other websites ranking by writing something different.

Meta descriptions

Meta description follows the title tag. It gives you an expanded opportunity to tell searchers what your page is about. You can give them the final nudge to click on your link and visit your website.

Tips for writing good meta descriptions

  • Show searchers that your page can answer their question adequately.
  • Use keywords.
  • Be concise. Keep it shorter than 120 characters so no part gets cut off.
  • Summarize what the page is about. Tell users what they stand to benefit.

If your website was built using wordpress, you can easily use SEO tools like RankMath or Yoast to edit title tags and meta descriptions.

If it was custom made, you might have to work with your website developer.

On-page SEO Checklist

SEO can be overwhelming. It is good to have a checklist handy so you don’t run over the whole place, and skip key areas.

Download our on-page SEO checklist for free.

If you apply the on-page SEO techniques here, your website will soar in 2024.

Conclusion – On-page SEO Is Key

Neglecting on-page SEO will waste your other SEO efforts. 

You can’t focus on one aspect and hope it covers the other areas.

Similarly, you shouldn’t only focus on on-page SEO. You must ensure all parts of your search engine optimization campaign are balanced, working with each other to give you your desired ranking on search.

Read this helpful guide on all you need to know about search engine optimization.

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Search Engine Optimization

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