The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide

The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide

The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide

The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide

Having a website appear at the top of Google's search results is not a matter of chance. Every website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) results from a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes.


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SEO refers to this kind of research, which, once learned, becomes automatic. As such, I'll simplify the intricate procedure of on-page SEO for you in this tutorial.

You need to improve its search engine rankings if you want more people to visit your website.

Just What Is “On-Page SEO”?

On-page SEO, as the name implies, refers to the optimizations made to a single web page to increase its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) for queries about the keyword(s) it is targeting. There are optimizations both on the page itself and in the background. This means that the page will receive a higher volume of targeted traffic, and the more pages you have optimized, the more powerful your SEO will be overall.

Search Engine Optimization (On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO)

Reviewing SEO fundamentals to learn the distinction between on-page and off-page optimization is best. There are essentially three categories of search engine optimization:

When optimizing a page, “on-page SEO” means working on that page itself, such as by enhancing the content or adding keywords.

Backlinking, directory submissions, social media promotion, guest blogging, press releases, and other off-site SEO tactics are all examples of off-page SEO.

Source code, sitemap, speed, security, structured data, and other non-S-words are all part of technical SEO.

The reason these initiatives are depicted as intertwined circles is not just for aesthetic purposes. Backlinks (off-page) can't help if people don't like your content (on-page), and compressing images (on-page) can help with page load times (technical).

On-Page SEO Checklist

On-Page SEO Checklist

Learn the ins and outs of on-page SEO like never before in the remaining sections of this post. It's a lot of work, but here's a high-level overview of your on-page SEO to-do list:

  • Examining Search Terms
  • Excellence in Content
  • Relevant keyword placement
  • Images
  • A Few Titles
  • Internet Resource Locator (URL) Description Metadata
  • Updatedness of Technical Content

Do Keyword Research

1. Do Keyword Research

One of the first things you should do is research keywords. If you don't know the keyword you're going for; you can't take any of the actions outlined in this post. Here, we outline the process for conducting keyword research, but here are a few additional pointers:

  • The bulk of your keyword research and on-page SEO work will be done in your blog posts.
  • You can use keyword research tools to find keywords with a good combination of search volume and low levels of competition.

Keep your focus on a single keyword or keyword theme per page. For instance, this post aims to rank for the search terms “on-page SEO,” “on page seo checklist,” and “what is on page seo,” rather than just one of those terms because otherwise, the individual posts would compete with one another in the search engine results page (SERP).

You can find anything by searching the web. Nothing you do below will help you rank if the content of your page doesn't match the intent of the keyword you're targeting.

2. Quality Of Content

Auto-generated copy, thin affiliate pages, scraped content, and doorway pages are all examples of Google's definition of “thin content,” which is inauthentic and provides little value.

Even if your page doesn't have any of those things, that doesn't mean the content is thick. The word “value” is crucial in that sentence. Your keyword-optimized page will perform better in search results if it meets the following criteria:

  • In other words, it's helpful if it answers a user's question when they search for a particular term.
  • Implementable: every “what” must be accompanied by a “how,” even if that “how” is a link to another source.

Text is easily digestible because it is broken up by visual elements such as images, bullet points, and call-out quotes. It is well-organized and scannable, thanks to the use of headers.

Length is important, so try to write at least 1,500 words if the page you're optimizing is a blog post. Based on an analysis of its top 50 blogs, Hubspot suggests 2,100-2,400 words, though it notes that one-third of the most popular posts were under 1,500 words.

In other words, don't waste words by not saying anything of substance.

3. Using Keywords In Your Content

The keywords and LSI keywords will appear naturally in the text if you write quality content like a human. However, there are specific instances where you should purposefully insert your keyword. Among these are:

  • Title of page: The page's title as it appears in the browser.
  • The meta title tag should accurately reflect the page's intended meaning and the title displayed in the search engine results.
  • Ten to one hundred words on the page: Make sure it fits in organically.
  • There should ideally be two H2 headings on each page.
  • Search engine results pages (SERPs) will display a summary of your page written as a meta description.
  • Use alt-text for vision-impaired readers.
  • What is the name of the image file? Don't just name a screenshot “Screenshot-1” or a chart “chart.”

If that list seemed overwhelming, don't worry; we'll explain each item in greater detail below.

4. Use Visuals

Images are an on-page optimization in and of themselves because they keep readers on a page for longer, and page dwell time is a ranking factor. However, there is more going on with images on a page than meets the eye. Here is a checklist for perfecting your photos:

  • To improve load times, you should compress images to reduce file size without sacrificing quality (I use because it's quick, free, and has a cute panda on it) and make sure their width doesn't exceed the maximum width of the page. Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) if your site is very large or contains many images (CDN).
  • Insert alternate text: This is the textual equivalent of the accompanying image. Google (and screen readers for the visually impaired) use this to understand what an image is about, so it's important to include your target keyword here.
  • Transmit significance: Instead of using empty graphics, try using images like graphs, screenshots, and even your own illustrations (here's how to use Canva!).
  • Never substitute images for text: When using an image to convey information pertinent to the targeted keyword, ensure that information is also written out in the page's body text, as alt text is only meant to be a few words.
  • Include your target keyword in the filename of the image you upload to your page to improve search engine optimization. Filenames should have spaces replaced with dashes or underscores. If you don't, search engines may replace them with ” ” or some other gibberish that makes your image look less credible and lowers its ranking.


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Here is what the WordPress alt text, file name, file size, and dimensions look like.

I used the term “on-page vs. off-page SEO” to optimize the image at the top of this post. My file is called “technical-vs-on-page-vs-off-page-seo.png,” my alt text reads “comparison of on-page vs. off-page vs. technical SEO,” and the image has been resized and compressed.

5. Title

If you look at the source code of any website, you'll notice that each page has two titles:

The title tag also called the meta title or SEO title, is the text that appears above the link when a user clicks on a search engine result. Title tags work best when they're 60 characters or less and include your target keyword. The headline's keyword should ideally appear near the beginning to avoid being truncated on mobile devices.

The page's title is indicated by the H1 tag, which visitors see at the top of the page. You can be more imaginative and effective, but remember to include the keyword.

You shouldn't feel obligated to switch up your title tag and H1 tag, but it's good to know you have the flexibility to do so. However, nothing is more important than the headline when it comes to on-page SEO because it directly affects the number of people who click through to your page. Powerful headline:

Values conveyed. Just what are they getting out of it? Nothing compelling about “7 Yoga Poses to Try Today” would make me want to click on the link. Contrarily, “7 Yoga Poses That Improve Sleep” is effective.

Don't make false claims. If it doesn't have the same information as the other pages that rank highly for that query, don't call it an ultimate guide or modify it to sound like it does.

means describing something. Although the word “Services” could be used as a page title on your site, it lacks clear semantic meaning in a search engine results page. Use the alternative “Economical Norfolk Landscaping Service Bundles” instead.

is worth considering. No need to shout or use exclamation points to get your point across! Instead of saying “improve,” try “supercharge.”

Use Headings To Divide Up Your Content

6. Use Headings To Divide Up Your Content

Using headings, you can divide up the content of your page into easily digestible chunks. These tell readers where on the page they are, but they also tell Google what they need to know about the page's importance in relation to the keyword you're optimizing for. However, it does not share our ability to recognize headings based on size and weight of font. In contrast, Google only reads HTML.

Six unique heading tag types exist. Suppose you're using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, SquareSpace, etc. In that case, you'll have a selection of predefined heading tags available in your editor (and you can adjust the sizes of these headings as well). Still, you can also insert them into your code manually if you prefer.

Only one H1> tag should be used per page; it should be the page's title.

The H2> tag denotes the primary divisions of your article. You should always have at least two that contain the keywords you're targeting, which should be easy to do with one section in your post and the conclusion, and a well-optimized page could have anywhere from two to twenty-two H2s (that's a lot of twos right there).

These headings (H3) are used to further label the various arguments advanced in each of the headings (H2). Use them if you need to; don't stuff them in or worry about using keywords.

<H4> to <H6> These headings aren't doing much for your SEO, and if you're breaking up your content that much, it probably isn't going to be very readable either. It's rare, but once in a while, I'll pop an H4.


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HTML Headings For On-Page SEO

You can increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google by using heading tags to make your page visible in search results for more specific queries related to the page. One of the most important aspects of headings is that they accurately describe the content under them. Headings should be large enough for a reader to get an idea of what the page is about after only a quick glance.

7. Meta Description

What you put in the meta description is what people will see under your page's title in search engine results pages. Think of the meta description as the commercial for your page; it should convince search engine users that your post is the best solution to their problem. To help you out, I've compiled a meta-description checklist:

  • Stay between 155 and 160 characters.
  • Don't forget to use your target keyword and any appropriate synonyms.
  • Get the point across and make it useful. This article offers a list of power words and synonyms for commonly used words that can be incorporated into your advertising copy.

This list of over 350 power words and phrases will help you write more engaging marketing copy for your emails, blogs, social media, ads, and more.

Google may not always use the meta description you provide. It generates them on the fly from your content based on the query, so make sure you include proper heading tags! Also, the meta description appears in preview snippets like the ones you see on social media, so keep that in mind.


8. URL

Almost all content management systems (CMSs) will automatically generate a URL for your page, sometimes using the title you've given it and other times using a random string of numbers. You should change this URL to:

  • Have the keyword you're going after in it.
  • Replace spaces with dashes
  • Do not go on and on. In most instances, just using the keyword is adequate.
  • URL example for on-page SEO

9. External Links

On-page optimization for search engines involves both internal and external links (also called backlinks). This 10-step SEO audit shares some great information about linking, but first, the basics.

Links to external websites are those found on your page. One technique for improving a page's search engine optimization is to have authoritative websites link to related pages. You'll gain more credibility with Google if you do this. In his post on SEO methods, Brian Dean suggests establishing inbound links from at least three authoritative websites.

10. Internal Links

The internal links on your page are the ones that direct the reader to other sections of your website. In addition to having internal links, the page you're optimizing should be linked to other pages on your site.

Whenever possible, when creating a link, the anchor text should be unique to the destination page and include the targeted keyword. This improves usability and increases your page's SEO value because search engines give more weight to anchor text.

Just A Few Tweaks Here And There To The Technical Side

11. Just A Few Tweaks Here And There To The Technical Side

I know this is not a technical SEO checklist, but as I mentioned before, there is a lot of overlap between the various forms of SEO. Below are some things that should already be in place but sometimes have glitches, so they’re easy to troubleshoot if your page is not performing as well as you expected.

Although it's ideal to have a completely mobile-friendly site that responds to the size of the device used to view it, this isn't always the case. Make sure any videos or tables you've embedded are displaying correctly on mobile devices.

Search engine rankings are determined in part by how easily a page can be crawled and indexed. If it can't be crawled, it can't be indexed. When your site appears in search engine results, it has been indexed. However, there are times when articles on a blog or website get unindexed by mistake.


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If you notice an unusually low amount of visitors to a particular page, you may want to double-check the page's configuration settings in your content management system. To find out what's wrong, if it isn't, use Google's Search Console.

Adding social sharing buttons to your site (typically via a plugin) makes it easier for others to spread the word about what you've written. If you decide to use this plugin, make sure it doesn't affect your site's performance negatively.

Other factors besides large images can slow a page down, but it is important to keep in mind that page speed is a ranking factor. Check the speed of each page with PageSpeed Insights. If you have a low score, both tools will explain what you can do to improve it.

12. Updated Material

Although the relevance of newly published content varies by search query, it is always wise to refresh any page you hope to rank. Here is my comprehensive content refresh checklist; in the meantime, here are a few examples of possible revisions:

  • Modify the text to include new or updated details.
  • Promote fresh content by linking to it and repairing any broken links.
  • Remove outdated pictures (especially graphs and platform screenshots).
  • Verify that the importance of the keyword hasn't shifted.

13. Checkers For On-Page SEO Performance That Don't Cost A Dime

Now you know life at the top of Google's search results page isn't a bed of roses. A lot of effort is involved, affecting every page on your website. Fortunately, you can rely on on-page SEO checkers for assistance.

Free trials of premium SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush let you run in-depth audits of your website, checking on-page, off-page, and technical SEO factors. Those who are well-versed in SEO and know what to look for and how to interpret the results will benefit most from these.

Yoast is a plugin for WordPress that analyzes your content for readability and keyword relevance and then gives you feedback. Don't rely on these recommendations too heavily.

Judges of Websites: These aids are easier for newcomers to use. The report below is an example of the type of report you will receive from LOCALiQ's Free Website Grader.

Free website analysis by the on-page SEO tool at

14. Blog Post Examples Optimized For Search Engines

To assist you in producing high-quality content that is optimized around the keyword you're targeting, I've designed a set of blog post templates. Listed below is just one illustration:

Accurate on-page search engine optimization is the key to attracting more visitors to your site.

As you can see, on-page SEO is a lot of grunt work that goes under the radar. It requires a lot of time and effort on your part. However, the more you do it, the simpler it becomes, and the more people will visit your website. The steps for on-page SEO are as follows:

  • Get in the habit of researching keywords and focusing on a single keyword or theme per page.
  • Create content that is on-topic, well-organized, and useful for people searching for the keyword.
  • Put the keyword you want to rank for in the page's title, headings, images, meta description, URL, and first 100 words.
  • Reduce file sizes and image file names, and add the search term to the alt text.
  • Put the keyword near the beginning of a compelling title that describes the content's value.
  • Put the keyword into at least two H2 headings to show the importance of different sections.
  • Create a meta description that highlights your benefits to readers and includes the keyword.
  • Add internal and external links, ideally between 1 and 3.
  • Include the keyword in a concise, descriptive URL that uses dashes to separate words.
  • Make sure the site loads quickly, is indexed and is mobile-friendly.
  • Keep the page's elements current by updating and reloading them regularly.

Conclusion To The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide


Search Engine Optimization is of utmost importance if you want to make it onto page 1 of Google SERPs. You may follow the above steps, you’ll get results in SEO, and your ranking will be improved.

I trust you enjoyed this article on The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come?

Take care!




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