Creating content for your webpage is easy. What’s hard is creating content that Google and searchers want to see. On-page SEO is a process to optimise your web content to get more website traffic and rank higher on search engines. When done correctly, it brings visitors and customers to your website.
That’s why it’s important to know how on-page SEO works and how to optimise your website. Who doesn’t want to rank number 1 on search engines and get higher web page visitors? If you want to learn how to do on-page SEO, keep reading. This complete on-page SEO guide will help you rank higher and get more traffic, even if you are a beginner.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, optimises a site’s different front-end and back-end components to rank higher in search engines and attract more site visitors. These components include web content, title tags, meta description and more.
The goal of on-page optimisation is to assist Google and searchers in better understanding and digesting your content. In effect, your page will rank higher on SERPs, entice searchers to click and make visitors dwell longer on your site. You should update your website and match high-quality content with optimised on-page SEO.
Why is on-page SEO important?
On-page SEO tells search engines like Google what your page contains and if it provides value to searchers. These are essential factors Google uses to determine whether a page matches a user’s search intent. If your page is relevant and optimised, you rank higher on SERP, which means getting more clicks and visitors. That’s why it’s insufficient to create valuable content matching user intent. You must also optimise your on-page components to benefit your page’s discoverability and visibility on search engines and create organic traffic. In other words, you can convert casino leads to sales when prioritising both on-page optimisation and high-quality content creation. Plus, you’ll have higher authority as a Google-acknowledged site with high-ranking pages.
On-page SEO vs Off-page SEO: What’s the difference?
Off-page and on-page SEO are vital components Google considers when crawling, indexing and ranking your website. The difference between them is the area that needs to be optimised. Off-page SEO includes factors you can optimise outside your site to improve its ranking. This mainly includes building backlinks to establish web authority.
In comparison, on-page SEO is anything you can do internally on your webpage to raise your rankings. This includes using keywords, adding external links, writing relevant meta-descriptions and putting the title and heading tags to create a hierarchy. When optimised, all these factors help Google acknowledge your page’s relevance and rank you in SERP.
On-page SEO guide: How to improve on-page SEO in 12 steps
This optimisation process is not just about adding keywords to your web pages; it’s more than that. Google considers various factors when determining what a website is about and how it should be ranked. Because of this, you need strategies that ensure these elements will interact in ways that work for both users and search engines.
Here are the basic techniques you can do to optimise your on-page SEO and maintain your competitive edge:
- Do keyword research
One of the essential steps to SEO optimisation is creating high-quality content that matches the user’s search intent. To do this, you must first conduct keyword research about your topic to know the relevant topics searchers look for. Only then can you write high-quality content using these keywords that Google will use when indexing your site.
This step might look like a daunting task, but it can be easy with the help of top SEO tools like Semrush. You can do keyword research and analysis here to get useful insight into the queries your target audience searches for on Google. Afterwards, you can write your content and use different KWs related to your topic and their variations. This will help your content rank higher on search engines.
How to conduct keyword research
One of the best keyword research tools is Semrush Magic Tool. To use it, enter the topic in the section provided and click the ‘Search’ button. Then, you’ll get a list of KWs related to your topic, sorted by the search volume. The example provided shows that ‘on-page SEO’ has a high search volume or user intent, meaning it is useful to target. But your decision in using a KW should also be based on the keyword difficulty (KD). The higher the KD score, the more difficult it is to rank with it.
Now that you know which KWs to use, you can avoid keyword stuffing or using the same keywords multiple times throughout the content. Otherwise, it will sound unnatural, which won’t be helpful to searchers and appealing to search engines. Keyword stuffing is no longer a ranking factor, but avoiding it ensures that your content is friendlier for both Google and readers, making it an essential part of SEO. To summarise, it’s best to keep a low KW density and use keywords only when relevant to the content.
Tools for keyword research
Here are other keyword research tools that you can use besides Semrush Keyword Magic Tool:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keyword Surfer.
- Optimise title tags
Title tags are part of the HTML code that shows your page’s title and appears in each webpage’s head section. It’s what searchers usually see on search engine results pages (SERPs) as a clickable link. It’s one of Google’s ranking factors you can tweak to convince searchers to click on your page. If your target market reads the blue link in the SERP and finds it answers their query, they will likely click. That’s why the contents of your title tag can make or break a searcher’s decision to click through to your site. You will lose valuable web traffic if your title tag isn’t click-worthy. Thus, it’s best to optimise your titles.
How to optimise title tags
Here are ways to optimise your title tags:
- Include target KWs – Your SEO title tag must contain your target KW and a close variation since it will tell Google’s algorithm and your target audience that your content is relevant to their queries. However, don’t use over two KWs here; it’ll be considered keyword stuffing.
- Keep it short – The recommended length of title tags is between 50 and 70 characters of 580 px, so Google doesn’t remove some of it. You can use the SERP Snippet Optimisation Tool to know if your title tag exceeds the recommended length.
- Match user intent and content – Be direct and show searchers you have the answers to their queries. But also, ensure also that your title tag is aligned with your content.
- Write unique title tags – Avoid duplicating them, as it won’t help searches and search engines. You can see if you have a duplicate title tag in Google Search Console. You also need to be descriptive and avoid generic titles.
Examples of optimised title tags
To help you further, here are examples of optimised title tags.
The example above has 34 characters or 292px and shows what the page is about: 5 tips for writing engaging content.
The example above has 42 characters or 292px, showing that the page is about building a website through WordPress.
- Write engaging meta descriptions
Just like the title tag, the meta description is an HTML element. It informs users and search engines with a relevant summary of the topic or page. You can see this metadata below the URL and title page on the search engine results page. The URL, title tags and meta descriptions are called the search snippet.
Even though meta description isn’t a ranking factor, it is still an important on-page SEO factor since it can influence your page’s click-through rate (CTR). This metric tells the number of clicks your link gets on the SERP and affects the rank of your page. More clicks mean more visitors, which makes your site more competitive and authoritative.
How to optimise meta descriptions
Here are ways to optimise your meta descriptions:
- Beware of the length – Just like in title tags, Google will cut off your meta description if you exceed 160 characters on desktop and 120 characters on mobile. Thus, follow the suggested length to avoid truncation. You can use SERP snippet optimisation tools to check the length.
- Include target keyword – Including your target keyword in the meta description helps users know if your page matches their search intent. They’ll be inclined to click on your page if it does.
- Use active voice – Using active voice directly delivers your message to searchers. This works better than using passive voice in targeting your audience and giving them the information they need.
- Include call-to-action – Encourage users to visit your page using phrases like ‘find out more’ and ‘click here to …’. Make sure you avoid vague directions and specify what searchers should do exactly.
Example of optimised meta descriptions
To help you further, here are examples of optimised meta descriptions:
In this example, you can see that it includes a call to action ‘here’ to entice users to click right away and find out how to write meta descriptions. It also includes the references used, namely Google and official HTML specifications, to establish authority and legitimacy. Lastly, it fits the length requirement, so no information is cut off from the snippet.
Here’s another example summarising the article’s topic and including a call to action.
- Optimise header tags
The header tag in your content introduces the sections below them. These headings and subheadings separate the body of your page into sections and detail what each one is about. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your page. It’s arranged by importance with heading 1 (H1) for the title, heading 2 (H2) for section titles, and until H6.
Even though header tags aren’t confirmed ranking factors, you still need to use them to organise your blog post. They help users browse your page and get a preview of your overall content. If they’re looking for specific info on your page, they can quickly scroll through, find that section and go to it directly.
On the other hand, Google’s search algorithm can easily crawl your page thanks to the context and hierarchy heading tags provide. This results in a more readable, accessible and user-friendly page.
How to optimise header tags?
To optimise header tags, know first where you can use different headings. You can customise them depending on your content.
- Header 1 – This is the title of your post. H1 is usually keyword-focused, centred on the idea of your page or post.
- Header 2 – This is like book chapters that separate sections. It describes the topic you’ll be covering in every section. Ensure it has relevance with H1.
- Subsequent headers – Headers 3 to 6 are additional headings to split the topic within H2.
Here are ways to optimise your meta descriptions:
- Include keywords – Google gathers context for your page using header tags, meaning you have to include keywords in your header tags, as with anything Google considers important. However, avoid being spammy and stuffing them with more than one keyword.
- Use one H1 – Every page or book has only one title, so your web page should only have one H1. Because H1s are typically large, using them in every section will confuse readers.
- Keep H1 short – Just like meta-titles, H1s should be under 60 characters only so Google doesn’t truncate the SERP snippet.
Example of optimised header tags
Here’s an example of using header tags in a content page for structure and easy browsing. The title is in H1, and the first section title is in H2, which is further divided into subsections with H3 titles.
- Create optimised content
This is the most important on-page SEO step you should remember––write high-quality content that matches user intent. Writing web content goes beyond just using your target keywords. Optimising your content ensures it ranks and reaches a larger audience. It includes using targeted keywords, writing the right length and emphasising readability in all content.
The more optimised your content is, the higher its page’s rank. That’s why writing engaging content for your target audience is a must. Doing so increases user engagement, a key factor search engines monitor to determine if your content benefits searchers.
One metric Google considers is dwell time, or how long a visitor spends on a page. If your target audience finds what they’re looking for in your content, they’ll stay longer on your page. The longer the dwell time, the higher your chances of converting web traffic to leads and sales.
How to optimise content
Here are ways to have optimised and high-quality content:
- Check readability – Your article should be easy to read, so your target audience can find the necessary information.
- Avoid keyword stuffing – If Google detects your page is stuffed with repeated keywords, it may remove it from the SERPs.
- Keep your sentences and paragraphs short – Lengthy sentences and paragraphs can drive readers away, so keep them brief and concise.
- Use bulleted lists – Using bulleted lists is an excellent way to break down your content into bite-sized information.
- Answer the query – Ensure your content is helpful to users and matches the search intent of your target keyword.
- Interlink – Interlink other articles on your site into your content to establish site hierarchy and make your page more crawlable to search bots.
Example of optimised content
One example of optimised content is the blog ‘The website QA checklist your casino needs in 2023’ by QWERTYlabs. It uses related keywords, such as the QA process, to match the search intent of the target keyword and has a Flesch score of 53.2%, which is respectable for a technical article. This page has a word count of over 2,500 words and has internal linking for better crawlability. It is authentic and helpful content for users searching about the ‘website QA process’ for casinos.
- Include and optimise your images
Including visual elements like images or videos in your content can add value to your web page. And as with the rest of its visible components, they also have to be optimised. When optimising images, you need to follow a specific format, include alt attributes and use descriptive file names, which can help Google know your image. All these steps make your content easier to read and more accessible to users with special conditions. With this data, search bots can also crawl and index your page more accurately. In effect, this improves your content’s user engagement, rankings and visibility in Google.
How to optimise images
Here are techniques to have an optimised image:
- Include file name – File names give clues to Google about your visual content.
- Use descriptive alt-text – Google uses alt-text to understand your visual content, so ensure all images have descriptive text.
- Use jpg/jpeg format – .jpeg is an SEO-friendly image format thanks to its faster loading time. Use this instead of other formats like .png.
- Follow the suggested file size – Aim for a file size of less than 70 kb.
Example of optimised images
Here’s an example of an optimised image with descriptive alt text.
Images from Image SEO
As you can see, the alt text includes a description of the image which bots can understand. This is the text screen readers read aloud, so visually-challenged users can still easily access it. If the file cannot load, this text will appear on the page instead to still give context.
- Create an SEO-friendly URL
URLs were once a ranking factor, but this doesn’t mean they’re irrelevant. They’re still part of your web page’s overall score. To optimise it, Google recommends using a simple URL with your domain name and target keywords in the URL slug to entice users and increase web traffic. Doing so also makes your web pages easily identifiable and shows that your site is trustworthy.
You also need to add canonical versions of URLs in your sitemap. A canonical tag, also referred to as ‘rel canonical,’ is a tag that tells search engines that a master copy of the page exists. Search engines use these canonical tags to index the correct URL and avoid duplicate content.
How to optimise URL structure
Here are ways to optimise your site’s URL:
- Make your URLs brief – Like meta-titles and meta-descriptions, URLs can be truncated in the SERP snippet. Thus, keeping it as brief and descriptive as possible is essential.
- Include KW in your URL – Include your main KW even in the URL to keep all your on-page data consistent.
- Assess your URL by clicking if it leads you to the right path of your page – Make sure your URL goes to the right page to avoid any accessibility issues before posting. Otherwise, you risk losing user engagement.
- Use HTTPS to show your page is safe – If you don’t use HTTPS, Google will warn searchers that your site is unsafe, immediately driving away traffic. Always ensure your URL displays HTTPS to rest assured both search engines and users that your site is secure.
Example of optimised URL structure
Here’s an example of an optimised URL structure: https://qwertylabs.io/blog/complete-qa-checklist-for-casinos/. It starts with HTTPS, followed by the domain name, category and a URL slug with the main keyword. It’s short, brief and not truncated.
- Add internal links
An internal link is a hyperlink that points to other helpful pages on your site. These are a valuable part of on-page SEO that helps search engines understand how pages are related so they can index your site better. This means you can improve your website’s crawlability, user experience and chances of ranking higher in SERPs by optimising how you link to and from your pages.
The way you link your pages also shows which is your canonical page. Consistent internal linking makes finding the canonical URL easier for search engines. That’s why consistency between the canonical tags and the internal linking should exist.
How to optimise internal linking
Here’s how to optimise link building:
- Use anchor text that you want to rank for – To avoid making your links look spammy, use natural and unoptimised sentence fragments for linking anchor texts.
- Don’t overlink – Add 2 to 5 links per post only.
- Link-connected pages – When adding internal links to your content, you tell the user that the linked web pages will match your content’s context.
Example of optimised internal linking
Here’s a snippet of a blog optimised with internal linking. All links are related to the content; the anchor texts reveal what you’ll find when you click them. Moreover, the site’s most important pages (services and contact us) are linked, emphasising hierarchy.
- Optimise user experience (UX)
User experience or UX refers to what users experience and how they feel while using your site. It’s influenced by how your web page works and factors such as layout, design, interface, text, sound etc. It’s a metric you can get through web analytics.
Optimising UX makes your site navigable and more pleasing to the eyes. This improves the user experience of your visitors, which in turn, makes them inclined to stay longer on your page. When done correctly, quality user experience design ensures your site structure is optimised for better customer interactions. This eventually translates to a lower bounce rate and longer dwell time since it seamlessly delivers information.
How to optimise UX
Here are tips to optimise the user experience of your web page:
- Provide high-quality images – Users are more likely to remember content with images and videos, so add them whenever applicable.
- Create an appealing design – Use visual cues and utilise colours that appeal to your target audience.
- Encourage interaction – Provide a call-to-action button or use the best web widgets for online casinos to increase user engagement.
Example of optimised UX
See the example of an optimised UX above. The text with sans serif font is spaced out for more effortless reading, while the varying font sizes make the content easier to skim. Moreover, the colours complement rather than contrast each other, making the colourful CTA banner stand out against the light grey background. It immediately gets your attention.
- Optimise for mobile devices
This is a process of optimising your web page to ensure it functions well and looks great on a mobile device. It involves using automated tools and testing the features and responsiveness of your site on different devices. This is important since 25% of users won’t visit your page if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, according to statistics. So, if you have a mobile-friendly web page, you will have a positive perception from users. You’ll also be more accessible to a vast demographic of searchers.
How to optimise for mobile devices
- Make your web page easy to use – Offer the best user experience to your target audience by making it easy to navigate.
- Use consistent web designs – To maintain consistency, the layout on a desktop should be the same with mobile devices.
- Check the site on different operating systems – Different browsers and operating systems may have different formats or interfaces that can change your site’s appearance. Make sure it appears the same across all platforms.
Example of optimised mobile websites
Here’s an example of an optimised website for mobile devices. The banner is the same size, unstretched and uncropped, while the text is well aligned and spaced out, just like in the web version. No element disrupts the viewing experience.
- Optimise page speed
Page speed is the amount of time your page takes to load. The browser cache, image compression and page file size are some of the web factors that affect this. You can use web tracking tools to know the speed of your page. While it seems a small factor to consider, it influences your ranking, your page’s conversion rate, and the percentage of the total visitors. Moreover, studies have shown that you will have better conversions if you have a fast page speed. That’s why it’s crucial to optimise the speed of your site.
How to optimise page speed
- Do website audit – Evaluate your page and conduct a website audit using web tracking tools such as GTmetrix.
- Compress your images – Large images can delay loading times, so compress them to retain their quality but with a smaller file size.
- Enable cache to store info, images and files – When you do this, your page won’t need to reload all data whenever a user opens a page they’ve been to before, resulting in faster loading times.
Example of optimised page speed
In this example, you’ll find the time it takes to load this page which is only milliseconds.
- Add schema markup
Schema markup is a technical language Google uses to understand the content on your pages. Using this turns your content into structured data, and lets search engines know what type of content you have. When Google understands your content, it can create rich snippets or enhanced descriptions on SERPs that increase your web page’s visibility and click-through rates. Moreover, adding schema markup feeds and enhances your brand’s knowledge panel, which is the block of information on the right side of SERPs. This quickly informs searchers about your brand and helps your website stand out from your SEO competitors.
The most common schema markups are LocalBusiness/Organisation, FAQs, Products and Breadcrumbs. Adding any of these makes your SERP snippet more informative and eye-catching.
How to implement schema markup
- Use schema markup tool – You can use tools to select the schema for your web page, such as Google Structured Data Markup Helper and Schema.org. You can quickly determine the type and then fill out the info needed.
- Test it with Google – Testing your schema markup is recommended before publishing your content so you can see if it fits your page.
Example of optimised schema markup
Here’s an example of a snippet when you use schema markup. All related links are displayed below the main page, which helps viewers know more about your site.
On-Page SEO Checklist: What you need to do
As you know now from this on-page SEO guide, ranking high on SERPs requires more than just publishing content. It involves being meticulous with ranking factors and elements that affect your page’s overall performance. Knowing the on-page SEO best practices is only the start. Doing them comes next. If you want your web page to rank higher than your competitor, here’s the checklist of what you need to optimise:
- Keyword research
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Header tags
- URL structure
- Internal linking
- User experience
- Page speed
- Schema markup
Reach rank 1 with the complete guide to on-page SEO by QWERTYlabs
Every web page’s goal is to rank higher, and you can do that by optimising on-page SEO features like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and more. Consider the checklist above as a list of on-page SEO techniques and recommendations for improving your pages and generating more sales. If your page has a low rank, we at QWERTYLABS can optimise all these for you. Trust that you’ll see improvements with the services we provide. Contact us today, and let’s discuss how to optimise your brand.
On-page SEO FAQs
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO definition reveals it to be the process of optimising web pages to improve SERP rankings and generate more traffic to your website.
How can I track and measure the success of my on-page SEO efforts?
You can track the measure of your page’s success by using Google Analytics to check your metrics such as CTRs, organic traffic, keyword ranking, bounce rate and conversion rate, to name a few. You can also use other SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
How often should I update my on-page SEO strategy?
It is recommended to update your on-page SEO every quarter.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when doing on-page SEO?
One of the common mistakes in on-page SEO is trying to rank the wrong KWs. Using high search volume KWs doesn’t mean your content will rank higher. When choosing which keywords to use, consider the KW difficulty, aside from the search volume. Another common mistake is neglecting site speed. Pages with slow site speeds have higher bounce rates which are bad since the goal is to make visitors stay on your site long enough to purchase your service or product.
How can I keep up with the latest trends and updates in on-page SEO?
Be in the know with Google updates since it pioneers all the changes in SEO. You can also leave that part to QWERTYLABS to avoid the hassle. We’ll make sure your site follows the latest trends and is up to the current standards.