On-page SEO (search engine optimization), also known as on-site SEO, is the practice of optimizing web pages through various strategies in order to improve your site’s search visibility and traffic. More specifically, on-page SEO means aligning page-specific elements, such as title tags, headings, content, and internal links, with relevant and obtainable keywords.
In search engine optimization, on-page SEO refers to a factor that has an effect on your website and web pages’ listing in the Google search results (or increasing rankings in the search engine results page; SERPs). Essentially, on-page SEO helps Google better understand your website, which improves your ranking in SERPs and ultimately, leads to more organic traffic. On-page SEO, in addition to high-quality content, allows for greater organic search success. Important techniques that are used in on-page SEO include the following:
- URL optimization with short, descriptive page URLs
- Optimized page titles, title tags, and meta descriptions
- High-quality content that has gone through SEO copywriting
- Optimized page content that uses target keywords in first 100 words
- Maintenance of appropriate keyword density
- SEO images and other multimedia formatting
- Internal and external linking
- Mobile friendliness and accessibility
Why On-Page SEO Matters
It is important to prioritize on-page SEO strategy in order for search engines to offer your site page-one visibility. As Google’s search algorithm becomes more sophisticated, on-page SEO needs to be user-focused. In the SEO world, content is king and on-page SEO evaluates and enhances your site content.
Whether you have a big or small business, it is imperative to optimize a website’s on-page SEO because it represents one of the most common digital marketing strategies. On-page SEO provides reliable return-on-investment (ROI). As much as half of all website traffic comes from search engines, which means that close to 40% of online revenue comes from search traffic as well. Furthermore, the top 1st result on Google gets more than 32% of keyword traffic, and the first page of search results have as much as 91.5% of traffic. Clearly, on-page SEO is critically important. Without it, your site could be missing out on opportunities to rank for search queries that are specific to your business.
Common Misconceptions of On-Page SEO
There are a variety of myths surrounding on-page SEO. The first myth is that meta tag keywords don’t matter; this is not true at all. Meta tag keywords are important because they indicate to Google what your content is about. Meta tags can also make your search results more appealing, which attracts more organic traffic. In fact, including a CTA in your meta descriptions routinely show an improved CTR.
The second myth is that keyword targeting or too many keywords will result in poor organic rankings. This is false. Instead, the key to avoiding over-optimization is to include a variety of keywords in your content including long-tail keywords, short-tail keywords, market-defining keywords, product keywords, customer-defining keywords, geo-targeting, and branded keywords. Instead of counting keywords, focus on creating content that is based on search intent (the motivation for why particular keywords are being searched) and naturally incorporate these into your content.
The third myth is that longer content ranks better, but in fact, quality content (regardless of length or character count) ranks better than long content pieces (that are simply long reads and add limited value to the reader). If you add “fluff,” you will dilute the relevant words that Google focuses on; if Google does not understand your page, it is less likely to rank it for any specific keyword. High-quality content satisfies the goal of a reader, thus increasing the changes of transitioning organic site traffic to sales.