On-Page SEO: Complete Guide 2021
What is on-page SEO and why it is important?
On-page SEO optimization is the technique of optimizing your web page for the search engines and the end-users.
On-page SEO is important to rank a website in search results. It plays a very crucial role in getting your blog post on the first age.
One of the main factors of on-page SEO is having a targeted keyword in place.
Some of the important on-page search engine optimization techniques include user experience, bounce rate, page loading speed, and optimizing posts for click-through rate and optimizing your title tag, meta tag, Internal linking, optimizing images, permalinks, etc.
There is also a technique called off-page SEO, but this technique is out of the scope of this article.
But it is well known for building backlinks and building authority of your website off the website.
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Why On-Page SEO is Important
Google has got smarter day by day and in 2021 they have multiple parameters that determine the ranking of your website. But they still use their old school method of Keyword relevance for ranking your website.
Like they try to find if the keyword is in the title of your article or if the keyword appears in the content.
If you use the exact keyword in your title tag, and your Meta tag there is a high chance that your article will get ranked.
Tough it is important to have keywords in your article and even in title tags and the meta tag, but there is a lot more to on-page SEO than just stuffing keywords in your article.
Optimize Your Content for SEO
Now we know that what is search engine optimization and why it is important, it is time to start implementing it and start optimizing our content.
In this section, we are going to discuss how to optimize our keywords for every page on our website.
This is the exact method that I follow to rank my article on Google.
Use your Targeted Keyword in the first paragraph
You should try to use your targeted keyword in the first paragraph.
For example, I have used the “start a blog” keyword in my how to start a blog article in the very first paragraph.
This is important because Google gives more importance to the terms or keywords that are present in the first paragraph or the first 100 or 150 words.
Let’s consider that you are reading the article and you are searching for a “How to lose a weight” and if you don’t see that targeted keyword in the first paragraph or the first hundred words, you know that this article is not relevant to you, and you just close that article, the same way Google also looks for that title keyword in the first paragraph or the first hundred words.
This is why you should always try to put your targeted keyword in the first paragraph. This sends a signal to Google to rank this article for that keyword.
Make Your Title Tag H1 Tag
H1 tag helps Google understand the structure of your website or your article.
CMS platforms like WordPress automatically puts your Title tag in the H1 tag, but this is not the case with others. So always check your site structure and ensure that your title tag is wrapped inside the H1 tag.
And also remember that you should put your keyword inside the H1 tag.
Make Subheadings H2 Tag
If your article has subheadings make sure that you wrap those readings inside the h2 tag and try to put your targeted keyword at least in one subheading.
This is important to give your keyword more weightage.
It is important to have targeted keywords appear multiple times in your content.
In my experience, I have observed that the article that has Keyword appear multiple times in the article had performed better than others.
Avoid keyword stuffing. keyword stuffing will harm your article rather than helping.
But why keyword frequency is important?
If you have your keyword to appear multiple times in your article this helps Google to be confident that yes, this article is about that specific keyword and they should rank this article first.
You should try to put your targeted keywords in your article naturally, you should go with the flow of your article. This will surely help you to rank higher in Google search results.
Link to External Authority Sites
Some people may argue that we should not pass SEO link juice to other sites by using external links, but this is not true.
External links to related high Authority sites helps Google to figure out your page topic and it also helps Google to understand the quality of your article and this certainly helps to rank your article in Google search result.
To prove that external links help your article to rank in Google the folks at reboot online ran an experiment to see if external links help them to rank their article.
They created 10 new websites and half of them linked out to Authority sites, like Forbes, etc and other have did not have any external link.
And they have published their results on their website.
The websites with external links outranked the website without the external link.
Optimize Your URL For SEO
Most of the bloggers ignore the importance of URL structure for SEO. your URL structure plays a vital role in improving the overall SEO of your website.
I usually try to have my targeted keyword in the URL, this helps Google understand that this is an article about this particular keyword and this helps in ranking my article in Google’s search result.
Optimizing URL for SEO is not a difficult task. It can be done in two simple steps.
- have a short URL.
- use your targeted keyword in the URL
and that’s it. That’s all you have to do to optimize your URL for search result.
For more information on optimizing content for SEO, you can check out the SEO content optimization post by searchengineland.
Optimize Title And Description Tag
In this section, we are going to discuss how to optimize title tags and meta descriptions for SEO.
Optimizing title tag and meta description is important for ranking your article on Google search results.
The title plays a vital role when it comes to having a good click-through rate and also helps Google to know the relevance of the article with your keyword.
The meta description may or may not help Google but it certainly helps your end-user to have an overview of your article and which increases the click-through rate which helps Google in knowing that this article is information that people are on clicking on this which helps Google to believe that the article is of good quality and in return it helps you to rank your article in Google search result.
Let’s understand what I mean by optimizing the title tag and meta description tag.
Optimize Title Tag
I give a lot of weightage to my title tag as it can make or break an article. we have to optimize the title tag for the end-user as well as for Search engines.
Try to put your keyword at the beginning of the title tag and this helps Google to get an overview of your page.
You might have experienced this if you have used SEO Optimisation plugins like Yoast SEO or RankMath. They also have guidelines to ensure that you have your keyword in your title tag and they also mention that you should use your keyword at the beginning of your title tag.
Sometimes putting a Keyword at the beginning of the title tag doesn’t make sense in the context, at that time you should try to put your keyword at earliest as possible in the title tag.
One thing that I have noticed that if you use the words like best, checklist, fast, review, top, etc. in your title. This type of article tends to rank higher and get a high number of page views because people tend to click on these types of titles.
Optimise a Meta Description Tag
Google recommends that you should write your meta tag description as you know your content best.
A good description helps to improve the click-through rate and I have mentioned several times that click-through rate helps in improving rankings in search results as it helps Google to understand the quality of the article and also helps Google to know that this article is helping people as people are clicking on this.
You should also use your keyword in the meta description as it helps search engines to know the relevance.
Writing SEO Optimized Content
Now that we have seen how to optimize title tag keywords.
Now it is time to write the content optimized for SEO and end-user.
Yes, it is important to have SEO-optimized content but at the same time, your content should be super valuable.
In this section, we are going to discuss how to write valuable content and how to optimize it for search engines.
Write Unique And Valuable Content
Duplicate content is a Big no and Google has very strict guidelines for Websites publishing duplicate content.
you must produce unique and valuable content for your end-user and Google will certainly rank your article on the top.
That’s because Google loves unique content.
I know writing unique content is a very challenging task and there is already a lot of information available on Google, so it becomes quite difficult to produce unique content but remember you can always add something to existing content.
That something can be a new strategy that you have discovered, a list of best resources that your audience can get the benefit from.
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You can publish a unique case study that you have researched about or you can write a step-by-step guide in your way that will help your end-user.
For example one of my post about affiliate marketing ranks on the first page not because I have used keywords and did a title or meta description Optimization, yes those things have certainly helped but I have written unique content.
It is not something that you can’t find that information on other websites but I have curated some of the best tips that I have learned over the years and have put those tips in that article and this way that article is unique in its own way.
Well, that’s about writing unique content but what about valuable content. unique content is a great starting point but your blog post must provide value to your readers.
we have seen so many websites only showing clickbait titles and when you click on those links, you get garbage content that has no value.
Don’t fall for these types of tricks.
Your content should satisfy the search intent of the user if the title of your post is the “best gaming laptop” then it must have information about “gaming laptops”.
Remember if you satisfy the search intent you have won the 80% of your battle with Google.
Produce valuable content. you want people to spend the maximum amount of time on your website, this will reduce the bounce rate and it will help Google to rank your article higher as it is providing value to end-user.
Below are the few steps that you can take to write SEO-optimized valuable content:
- Add images and screenshots to make your content visually apparent.
- Add infographics to present visual information at a glance.
- Use case studies or give references to case studies.
- Keep updating your post with new information over the period.
Improve Click-Through Rate(CTR)
As I have discussed so many times click-through rate is a very very important factor to rank your article at the top position.
The more the click-through rate the better will position.
below are the few steps that you can take to improve the click-through rate:
Add Curiosity and Emotions to the Title of the Post:
Have you noticed why news sites get a lot of clicks and page views? because they use a question tag in their title.
The question tag increases the curiosity of the reader and it strikes their brain to click on those links.
You can also add emotions to your title tag. A title tag with curiosity and emotions tends to get more clicks than a title with boring headlines.
But remember don’t make your title tags clickbait it should be natural and must have great content inside.
Add Current Year to Title:
Add the current year to your title to make it look like more up-to-date information.
For example, if I am searching for the best laptop, I am more likely to click on a link that has a current-year displayed.
For Example: Best laptops in 2021
Have a Meta Description:
Have you ever noticed? whenever you do a Google search you tend to read the text below that link that text is a meta description. That meta description tells the user what they can expect from this article.
You can write your own meta description describing what all the things that user can expect from this article.
Use plugins like Yoast SEO or rank math to add the custom meta description to your blog posts.
I have noticed that Post with custom meta description tends to rank higher than the posts without meta description.
Add a FAQ schema.
Adding FAQ schema is another way of boosting the click-through rate.
it is not an SEO parameter but it certainly improves CTR which indirectly improves the ranking.
See the below example here we can see the FAQ schema which answers certain common questions. This triggers the user to click on the link and explore the article.
You can check if your website supports FAQ schema bye by using the Rich Results Test Tool.
Bonus on-page SEO Tips:
Now that we have optimized the title tag, meta description and have well-written unique valuable content.
It is time to further optimize the blog post for better results.
Add Internal Links:
Internal linking gives your post a huge boost in SEO.
internal links are the links that are pointing to blog posts on your own website.
The one mistake that I have seen people doing is that they use any anchor text for their internal links.
Try to use keyword anchor text for that particular link to get maximum benefit.
A great example of an internal linking structure is Wikipedia. They have used keyword-rich interlink and this has had a great SEO boost for them.
Write Long Detailed Comprehensive Article:
Google wants to rank articles that are complete and provide every piece of information to the user on a single page.
In short, Google wants you to write a comprehensive article so that user don’t have to look for information on another website
Write the comprehensive article by using the skyscraper technique developed by Brain den of Backlinko.
Neil Patel, another great content marketer, has Written a post about why long-form content drives more traffic.
In his studies, he has discovered that the content that is long and has enough information to satisfy the user intent has outperformed the short-form content.
Optimise Images for SEO:
Adding images helps to create an interesting bunch of Information and this improves the user’s time on a post.
But remember to optimize images for the web and search engines. Try to upload a compressed version of the image and also add the alt tag to the image.
The one trick that has helped me to improve the overall SEO of a post is by adding a Keyword in an alt attribute of an image.
Improve the Page Speed:
Google has made it clear that they do consider page speed as a ranking factor. If your site is slow then it might affect the overall ranking of your site.
You can improve the page speed by using a good hosting provider. My favorite hosting provider is Bluehost, it is beginner-friendly and also has very good web hosting speed.
Checkout this excellent video by Neil Patel on on-page-SEO:
Over To You
I hope this article has helped you to understand on-page SEO, why it is important, and how you can improve the overall SEO of your blog.