On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO are two separate types of search engine optimization. Both are essential to an SEO campaign’s success, yet they represent different perspectives.
Off-page SEO focuses on boosting your domain authority through content creation and getting backlinks from other websites, whereas on-page SEO focuses on optimizing the aspects of your website that are under your control. A basic understanding of search engine algorithms is necessary to better understand the differences between the two. Let’s take a look at it one step at a time.
What’s the first step in optimizing your website? What’s the secret to making that work? As you walk through this guide, we’ll show you the most important aspects of website optimization.
On-Page SEO Basics
Before we get into the details of on-page SEO, here are some frequently asked questions.
What is on-page SEO?
An on-page SEO strategy is one that focuses on optimizing the structure and content of a website (other than off-page SEO).
Off-page SEO consists primarily of link building, and on-page SEO consists of the following two components:
- technical stuff
How does SEO work on the page?
Internal SEO is a complex subject that demands a variety of skills and knowledge. We’ll walk you through the most critical on-page SEO success criteria and methods in this guide.
Why should you work on on-page SEO?
Due to its role in SEO, it can help your website rank higher, reach a wider audience and generate more organic traffic.
On-page SEO is totally under your control, unlike off-page SEO.
When should you work on on-page SEO?
On-page optimization is something that needs to be done on a regular basis – for example, when you publish a new article or product, you need to think about how you can improve your site’s performance.
Because SEO is a never-ending process, even if your website is at the top of the search results, you still need to perform on-page SEO.
Who Should Do On-Page SEO?
Anyone who owns a website, blogs, promotes their business online or is an SEO expert.
Anyone who wants to improve their website’s rank on search results.
What are on-page SEO factors?
There are several important steps in on-page optimization.
The following are the top 12 on-page SEO factors that affect your website’s performance, either directly or indirectly.
- Crawlable Website: Search robots can crawl and index the website.
- Site structure: The pages are organized in a logical and structured manner.
- Quality outbound links: The site contains links to high-quality external websites.
- Site speed: On all devices, pages load rapidly.
- The site is mobile-friendly: meaning it works on any device and in any browser.
- HTTPS: The website is encrypted and protected by an SSL certificate.
- User-friendly URLs: URLs are straightforward and simple to use.
- Well-targeted content: the page focuses on a certain search objective.
- Keyword optimization: The page includes relevant keywords in relevant places.
- Image optimization: Images are made to be search engine friendly.
- Readability and user experience (UX): The text is well-optimized, readable, and simple to navigate.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The page’s title tag and meta description have been improved.
HTTPS and page speed are both important ranking factors. This means that they are directly used by Google in their ranking system.
However, Google doesn’t seem to be using any of these, at least directly.
SEO experts are arguing whether or not factors like CTR and outbound links have an effect on rankings. We will not discuss this now.
Even though Google doesn’t consider these factors as a ranking factor, they’re still important because they improve the overall user experience and add value to your visitors.
There are hundreds of ranking factors, but no one has a complete understanding of what they all mean. Because they don’t want it to be misused, Google’s algorithm is kept locked up by the company’s experts there. They only make official declarations about a limited number of algorithmic factors.
We’ve validated the importance of all factors with Cyrus Shepard’s extensive list of SEO success factors, which is supported by case studies, expert opinions, and Google data.
SEO success factors by Cyrus Shepard, backed by case studies, expert comments, and data from Google have confirmed the importance of all of the factors in this list.
We’ll go over each of these factors in detail in the next sections.
Improve on-page SEO
Technical optimization is a big part of on-page SEO. It’s a necessary thing for many, but learning the basics isn’t that difficult.
Make sure that robots can access and index your pages.
Technical SEO’s basis is getting traffic to websites. The most relevant results are displayed to visitors by search engines by crawling and indexing web pages.
To find out if your pages have been indexed, Google Search Console is the tool we use to verify this.
Set it up now if you haven’t already!
Search Console: How to set it up?
To verify your domain you need to add DNS to your Host or Domain provider, adding a DNS isn’t hard just search for how to add DNS to your domain provider.
This tool from Google provides information on keyword rankings, click-through rates, Google penalties, and indexing status for your website.
How to check if your pages are on Google?
Open the Google Search Console. Select URL inspection from the left menu and submit your post URL (links).
If you go to Coverage, you’ll see a lot of pages that have been indexed. An issue might or might not exist. The excluded pages will be listed in Search Console, and you will have the option of deciding whether or not to have those pages indexed by Search Console.
You may see pages like this:
- Auto-generated URLs in CMS – /embed/, /feed/, /wp-admin/
- URLs using parameters -? ref,? tags, utm, ?amp
- pagination pages -? page=2, /page/2/
You needn’t be worried. Indexing these pages is not necessary.
However, if you notice any important URLs for landing pages, blog posts, categories, or products, there may be a problem.
If the “noindex” tag is misplaced on the website, or if there is a lot of duplicate content, this problem happens.
Try to figure out what’s going on (Hobo Agency has a wonderful guide to indexing issues) or hire someone to assist you if this is the case.
If you want to know if your website has been indexed, there is an alternative method. This is all you need to do: type in the following into Google search:
Site: yourdomain.com/page to see if a specific page is indexed
You may have an indexing problem if you see a strangely low number of indexed pages or no indexed pages at all.
Create a perfect website structure
Because it’s tough to make changes once your website is live, the structure of your website is an important factor even before you publish it.
For two important reasons, having a well-structured page is critical:
- Helps make the site more crawler friendly
- Improves the user’s experience
A good website structure can be done in a number of ways. Here are some examples:
A sitemap is a helpful tool for websites with hundreds or thousands of pages.
A sitemap is nothing more than a file (often sitemaps.xml) that lists all of your website’s URLs. Crawlers can use it to find and index all of the pages you provide.
The Yoast SEO or RankMath WordPress plugins can generate a sitemap automatically.
The structure of a website should not be overly complex so that search engines can easily access all of the relevant content and visitors can discover the information they need fast.
The three-click rule can be applied to website navigation.
The user should be able to find any information on your website within three mouse clicks of the main page.
To do this, you’ll need to use two different kinds of links:
- Structural links (for example, menu and footer navigation, breadcrumbs, and call-to-action buttons) placed vertically according to the page hierarchy.
- Contextual links (for example, text links or read more links) – do not rely on hierarchy.
The internal links are closely related to the structure’s depth.
Let’s look at the importance of internal links in more detail.
Keep your viewers on your site by using internal links. User engagement and value are increased by providing relevant resources or sites.
Also, search engines use internal links to tell them which pages are important and how to get there.
Note: Anchor text is an important factor when creating internal links. It’s full of useful data about the linked page’s content.
When it comes to blogging, the topic group model is an excellent method to use internal links. Helps “collect” relevant content and display the most essential aspects of the content by highlighting the most relevant articles
As part of the topic group model, there are only 2 types:
- Pillar content: A long post or page that generally covers a topic.
- Cluster content: Support for blog posts that explain subtopics in detail.
How many internal links should you actually be using?
In most cases, the length of the text is the primary factor in determining this. Having multiple internal links on the same page is great for SEO, as long as you don’t overdo it and make it look natural.
You may see this in the number of internal links in this guide, for example.
Internal links don’t matter as long as they’re useful and give a good user experience for the reader.
High-Quality Outbound Links
Many SEO beginners are worried about linking to other websites. They believe that if their ‘link juice’ spreads to other sites, their authority will suffer.
The truth is that backlinks may be beneficial to your website.
In a Webmaster Hangout, John Mueller from Google said:
John MuellerOutbound links, in our opinion, are links to other sites, so links from your own site to other sites are not specifically a ranking factor. However, it can add value to your content, which may be acceptable for us in our search.
This excellent case study by Reboot Online shows how Google can use outbound links as a ranking factor.
In short, they created ten websites focused on a fictional keyword. Five of them had links to other reliable websites, while the other five had no external links.
After a while, sites that linked to other sites started to rank higher in Google searches for the intended keyword.
Of course, the link must meet the following requirements:
- This should be done carefully.
- You should link to high-quality websites (rather than vulgar, spam, or low-quality websites). It should
- be natural and relevant.
Another benefit of outbound links is that they provide information about the topic of your site.
You may ask:
How many external links am I allowed to include?
Our only advice is to use them naturally without overdoing them and think about the reader.
Credible websites will usually link to other legitimate websites, but not to low-quality spammy websites. It is thus very simple to detect unwanted websites in this way. Prove to Google that you are part of reputable websites.
Improve Website speed
There is no surprise as to why page speed is a ranking factor.
No one wants to wait for information from a website if there are other, faster options available in this fast-paced world.
What happens if you open a page and wait three seconds? You could click the back button and look for a different result.
Google gathers these factors and includes them into its algorithm.
Google PageSpeed Insights can be used to test page speed. You will receive advice and tips on how to improve site speed in addition to the speed score.
PageSpeed Insights will only show you results for one page at a time. As a result, the results are limited to this page. Choose several page types to test (home page, blog post, product page, etc.).
Pay close attention to page speed on mobile phones.
Note: It’s nearly impossible to achieve 100% on mobile devices, so don’t be too concerned.
You might need a developer to do all of the technical work perfectly (unless you know something about minifying HTML and CSS or DOM elements).
However, even if you are not a web developer, you can use a caching plugin like WP Rocket to do all that automatically and improve your website speed.
To keep website speed at a satisfactory level for most users, it is necessary to follow the following best practices:
Choose the right web hosting
Because hosting has a significant impact on page speed, make sure to select the right provider.
You don’t need to be concerned about milliseconds, but don’t expect great performance from providers offering hosting for as little as $0.10 per month or $10 per year for example.
When it comes to page speed, image SEO is one of the most critical factors.
Large images take a long time to load (that can mean a few seconds in the SEO world).
There must be a balance between the size of an image and how well it serves its purpose.
In addition, don’t forget to compress your image files as well. TinyPNG is a great option that you need to use, it has a WordPress plugin too.
The most common cause of slow page loading is large images. Make sure that they are compressed.
Enable browser caching
What exactly is caching?
When someone visits your website, all of the elements are loaded. These assets are saved in their browser’s cache, which is a type of temporary storage. If they return to your site, the website will be loaded from the cache.
Caching ensures that your website loads much faster for repeat visitors.
If you use WordPress, you can install some great cache plugins to take advantage of browser caching benefits and speed up your website, such as W3 Total cache (free but not recommended for beginners) and WP Rocket (Paid and beginners friendly).
Make your website mobile-friendly
As previously stated, Google prefers to index mobile-optimized content first.
There are numerous mobile options, including a separate mobile website or a responsive design. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but the responsive version is the best approach for SEO and analytics today.
Most WordPress themes are responsively designed.
To be sure, test your mobile-friendliness with this Google tool or look for any issues in the Search Console, Mobile Usability section.
Secure your website with HTTPS
Is your website secure and using HTTPS? If you continue to use HTTP (which you should not use), you may experience some issues.
Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS had become a (lightweight) rating signal.
In other words, having a secure website can help you rank higher, particularly if your page is compared to another of equal quality but missing an SSL certificate.
NOTE: Most WordPress hosting providers include SSL certificate free and can be installed easily.
Creating short and simple URLs
How do your page URLs appear in search results? Does it help you in understanding the content?
Here are some URL best practices:
- Shorter is better.
- Use a dash to separate the words –
- It should include the target keyword.
- Use of numbers or other special characters is not allowed.
On-page content and SEO optimization
People are less likely to find your content if it is not optimized for Google. On the other hand, you should not optimize mainly for search engines. You must pay attention to both your viewers and search engines at the same time.
Although most on-page SEO guides do not cover keyword research, it is a necessary step when creating new content. So it certainly deserves to mention here.
Why is keyword research important? Because it helps you to:
- Look for new topic ideas.
- Look for phrases that are popular, relevant, and simple to categorize.
- Understand what matters to people.
These tips are important when it comes to optimizing on-page SEO.
there are other factors we will cover in another article:
- Optimizing the content for the target keyword
- Writing high quality, readable content
- Content Length (500 to 2000 words)
- Improve your click-through rate
- Write an irresistible titles
I hope this guide helps you understand what is on-page SEO, and as always if you have any questions join our Facebook group or leave a comment below.