What is On Page SEO?
On Page SEO is the process of optimizing individual pages of content to earn better ranks in search and drive relevant traffic. It includes tactics that help a single page rank for a primary target keyword.
While On Page SEO relates to optimizing a single page of content, it is also supported by other types of SEO. On Page SEO alone may not be enough to get a page to rank. You also need an Off Page SEO and Technical SEO strategy to help your overall site look more attractive to search engines if you want to get a page of content to rank.
Well… Lets get straight to it then?
14 Point Checklist
Find the top keywords
The best keyword is the phrase or term that:
- Is relevant to the main topic or its content. The keyword always has to be an accurate description of your content. Something that you website should be know for. Something that you want people to search for.
- Is regularly searched for by your target audience. The search volume for the keyword needs to be large enough to drive traffic to your site.
- Is within your site’s competitive power. Higher the search volume, tougher it is to breakthrough. Your site has enough authority to rank above other sites already ranking for that keyword.
Select a primary keyword and make sure it isn't assigned already
The primary keyword should be unique to your site. It may be used already by other sites which is irrelevant.
If you assign the same keyword to more than one page. It can cause keyword cannibalization issues. Wherein search engines don’t know which page is more important and, therefore, rank neither page. SEO service providers such as Rank Math and Yoast provide a duplicator tool for convenient analysis of On Page SEO optimization.
Choose more than 1 related keywords
Related keywords are terms and phrases that are synonyms or semantically related to your primary keyword. They are sometimes referred to as latent semantic indexing keywords. Perform keyword research to find more keywords that are related to your primary keyword.
Include the primary keyword in a title with a H1 tag
On Page SEO optimization requires an appealing title to both search engines and audiences. Serve search engines by including the primary keyword near the beginning of the headline.
Wrap the title in an H1 title tag. An H1 title tag is a piece of HTML code that tells search engines that the copy is the title of the page and an important description of the content
600 words of body content
Be generous with the written content body and include 600 words. This is the bare minimum for on page SEO optimization.
But as a best practice, publish pages that have more than 600 words of written body content. Target 800 words when possible, more detailed the post is, higher the probability of ranking.
Write high quality content
Writing high-quality content doesn’t mean writing like it’s a college-level research paper. In fact, it means the opposite. Write your content for an eighth-grade reading level on the Flesch Reading Scale. That means using common terminology (not complex industry jargon) and writing short sentences and paragraphs.
Primary keyword density of 2% for on page SEO
Help search engines recognize the main theme of your content by using the primary keyword throughout the copy. As a best practice, use the term two times per 100 words to create a 2% keyword density. Try to avoid going over this limit to avoid keyword stuffing issues.
Use the primary keyword in subheadings and wrap as H2, H3 or H4
Tie your content back to the main keyword by using the primary keyword in at least one of the subheadings. Use it in more than one subheading if practical and makes sense.
Keyword placement in the first and last paragraph
Show search engines that the page is closely related to the topic by bookending your copy with a mention of the primary keyword. Try to use the target keyword near the beginning of your first paragraph and within your final paragraph to reinforce what your content is about. This will help make it clear to search engines why your content is relevant
Add internal and external links
Link your content internally to other content already in your site. Do the same for external third party sources too.
When a user clicks a link on your page, you don’t want them to leave your site completely. Set each outbound link to open in a new window so that your website remains open even if the user temporarily visits another site.
Mark or tag each and every internal and external link as “dofollow”. This is vital for On Page SEO optimization.
Add at least 1 image or video
On Page SEO should make the content more appealing and interesting to readers. Show search engines that the content is valuable by adding at least one image or video to the page. More the better as long as the aesthetics are preserved.
Keyword as image title and alt tag
When you upload the image, also add the primary keyword to the image title assigned to the graphic.
In one final place, add the primary keyword to the image alt tag of the graphic.
On page SEO friendly URL
Create a URL for the page that includes the primary keyword. Avoid adding any stop words, special characters, or unnecessary words in the permalink.
Add optimized meta data
Use an optimized Meta Title and Meta Description.
Meta title is a line of code that lets search engines know the title of a page. It is also the title that appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). Add a meta title for your page that has fewer than 60 characters, includes the primary keyword near the front of the title, and entices the user to click.
Meta description is a blurb of information that supports the meta title. It also helps search engines understand the content and is displayed on SERPs. Add an optimized meta description that has fewer than 320 characters, includes the primary keyword near the front of the description
On Page SEO Optimization is ever-evolving.
Every Search Engine Optimization professional would love to find the On Page SEO optimization magic formula that rockets their sites to the top of SERPs and keep them there forever. Unfortunately, SEO doesn’t work that way.