On-Page SEO: Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing On-site SEO

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s content so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because it helps visitors find your website faster and more easily, leading to increased traffic and revenue.

There are several different techniques that you can use to improve your on-page SEO, but the most important thing is to make sure that you’re using the best SEO techniques that are white hat on your site.

This article provides an overview of on-page SEO and how to optimize your website content. Additionally, at the end of the blog is an on-page SEO template that you can follow to help you rank better and increase website traffic.

On-page SEO is one component of the entire optimization process. Whereas, in digital marketing, webmasters should include elements of technical SEO as well as off-page SEO as well.

Let’s jump right into it and discuss what on-page SEO is.

Table of Contents

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is improving the ranking of a website’s content on search engine results pages (SERPs). This can be done by optimizing your website’s titles, headers, meta descriptions, internal linking, and external linking, to name a few.

Optimizing your website’s on-page SEO can help you increase website traffic and improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages. It can also help you attract new customers by making it easier for them to find the information they’re looking for.

To optimize your website’s on-page SEO, you’ll need to have some basic knowledge about search engine algorithms and how they work. You’ll also need to have a basic understanding of what is SEO, as well as web page design principles well and know how to apply them to ensure it is mobile-friendly and optimized for page speed. On-page SEO includes techniques that can be done in-house and with minimal effort. Many businesses will not require external assistance or SEO expertise to ensure their website follows the basic best practices for on-page optimization.

A few of the primary areas to optimize while performing on-page SEO techniques include:

  • Performing keyword research
  • Using target keywords throughout the page
  • Optimizing your titles and meta descriptions
  • Optimizing the URL structure and permalink of your page
  • Using high-quality images and videos with titles and alt text that is optimized with keywords

These tactics will help people find your website when looking for information about a specific topic on search engines. In addition, by improving your site’s overall search engine ranking, you will be able to increase its visibility. At the bottom of this blog, we have included an on-page SEO template to help walk you through the areas that need to be optimized!

Why is on-page SEO important?

On-page SEO is important because it helps to improve your website’s visibility and ranking on search engines. This means that more people will be able to find your website, consume your content and learn about the products and services you offer.

Without focusing on on-page SEO, your website may not rank well on search engines. Additionally, this means that your website won’t be found online by as many people, and your business will suffer as a result. Many small companies that neglect their on-page SEO efforts struggle to keep up with their competitors.

What are the benefits of on-page SEO?

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s content and structural elements to make it more visible and successful in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can include improving the quality of your website’s titles, meta descriptions, headings, and links. On-page SEO has many benefits, and it’s one of the most important aspects of online content marketing. Here are just a few:

  1. On-page SEO improves your ranking in search engine results pages because it helps you attract more visitors. Not only does this increase your site’s traffic volume, but it also increases its chances of converting those visitors into customers.
  2. On-page SEO also helps you improve your site’s visibility by increasing the number of links pointing to it. This increases your site’s authority and credibility, enhancing its chances of being found by potential buyers or clients.
  3. Finally, on-page SEO can lead to other benefits like increased brand awareness and better customer retention rates. One way to supplement your on-site SEO efforts to attract and retain customers is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) software.

How to create SEO content

SEO content is important in order to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, creating good content that will help you achieve your SEO goals is not easy. Therefore, to ensure that your website performs well and your on-page SEO pays off, you should focus on the following four aspects of SEO content:

1. Be relevant

When it comes to on-page SEO, the most important thing you can do is write relevant content for your target audience. This means writing about topics that interest them and providing solutions to problems they’re experiencing.

To ensure you’re writing quality content, always consider what your readers want and need. Consider these questions while writing content:

  • What questions do they have? 
  • What problems are they having? 
  • How can you help them solve these problems? 

Once you’ve identified the users’ needs, start researching and writing about the topics that will address them. Always writing content for the user first and not for search engines is essential. This is even more relevant today as Google is releasing a new update that focuses on helpful content.

Another important factor in good on-page SEO is ensuring your content is well-structured and easy to read. Make use of keywords throughout your article, including in the title, in the body text, and the headings.

In summary: Writing quality content is essential if you want your website to rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs). By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving this goal.

2. Be comprehensive while covering the topic:

When it comes to content writing for SEO, you want your content to be as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible. This means you must write content covering the entire topic from start to finish.

To help you create content that is both informative and well-organized, here are a few tips:

  1. Start with a clear idea and topic: This will help you focus your writing and ensure that all your points are organized.
  2. Research the topic before writing: Make sure you understand the basics of what you’re writing about so that your readers will too.
  3. Provide citations and evidence: To be an authoritative source, you must use external resources to prove your claims. This will provide evidence and statistics to your writing and valuable information to your readers.
  4. Use concise language: You have probably heard that longer content is better. However, adding extra words that are not helpful only takes away from the user experience and overall value of the content. Be concise with your language and only write content that provides value to the reader.
  5. Be unique, and provide a new perspective: One of the most important factors when creating SEO content is making sure that it’s unique. If you can create unique and valuable content, you’ll be in a much better position to rank high in search engines.

This means that you should focus on writing informative, unique, useful content that adds a new perspective to the topic you are writing about. Moreover, you don’t just copy and duplicate the SERP results content, hoping you will rank.

You can write unique content by focusing on: 

  • Understanding the search intent of the search query
  • Tailoring your content to the specific needs of your target audience
  • Use primary data. Conduct research or conduct surveys to gather new information about your topic
  • Include photos, videos, and infographics that help illustrate your points

3. Be clear and concise

To succeed with SEO content, you must be clear and concise while writing. This means that your sentences need to be well-organized and easy to read. You must also ensure that your words are chosen carefully to pack the most punch possible. Moreover, it means avoiding thin fluff or thin content that adds value to the overall topic you are writing about.

You can use some of the following tips when writing SEO content: 

  • Start with a catchy headline that describes what the article is about
  • Use short, snappy paragraphs.
  • Use meaningful keywords throughout your article.
  • Use images and videos where appropriate to illustrate further a point you are trying to make
  • Keep your language simple and easy to understand
  • Don’t use filler words like “you know” or “like.” These words are unnecessary and only take up space on the page.
  • Keep your sentences short and to the point. Don’t ramble on or go off on tangents. Stick to the topic and provide readers with as much information as possible in a concise way.
  • Use active and passive voice when appropriate. Passive voice can make your writing sound more formal, while active voice makes it more conversational. However, both styles have their benefits and should be used judiciously depending on the situation.

How to optimize your content for on-page SEO 

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One of the most important factors that determine your website’s SEO is the quality and quantity of your on-page content. You must ensure that your articles are well written and follow SEO best practices. This means you optimize your content as much as possible by knowing where to place keywords

Let’s dive into nine different elements to focus on while optimizing content for on-page SEO.

1. Use Your Target Keywords in the First Paragraph:

One of the best ways to optimize your content for on-page SEO is to use your target keywords in the first paragraph of your article (first 50-100 words). This will help by informing Google about what the article will be about. It is important to tell search engines and your readers as quickly as possible what your content will cover.

To do this, you need to know what keywords are relevant to your topic and which ones are popular among your target audience.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when writing your first paragraph:

  • Make sure that your target keywords are used (first 50-100 words)
  • Use active and keyword-rich language as well as synonyms if possible.
  • Do not use keyword stuff. Although it is important to include as many descriptive words as possible, this will end up hurting you as it will come off as unnatural to your readers.

2. Use H1 and H2 Tags for titles, headers, and sub-headers:

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Using header tags helps create visual hierarchy

When optimizing your content for on-page SEO, the first and most important thing you need to do is ensure that your titles, headers, and sub-headers are well-written and keyword rich.

Your headers should be short and catchy, while your sub-headers should be long enough to provide a detailed explanation of the topic but not so long as to be tedious or confusing. Together, these two elements help provide valuable information to search engines and your readers as to what each section of your article will be about and how it relates to the overall topic of your blog.

To ensure that your headers and sub-headers are properly formatted, you need to use the H1 and H2 tags. The H1 tag is used for the page’s title, while the H2 tag is used for headings within the page. For example, if you wanted to include a title in your content that was also a heading, you would use the following:


<h2>This is a heading.</h2>


H1 tags emphasize the most important content on a page, while H2 tags introduce more detailed information about the title. And H3 tags are used to further break headers and ideas into subheadings and supporting topics.

Using these tags correctly will help readers find your content more easily, boosting your rankings on Google and other search engines by sending positive signals about your page’s topic.

Internal links are when a website references another page within its site. This helps increase the page’s authority and improve its ranking in search engines. By linking to other pages within your site, you’re also providing valuable information for visitors looking for related information. Internal links build a network of information on your website, which also helps Google find and crawl new pages on your website.

External linking is when a website references another website outside of its site. Using external links in your content helps provide supporting evidence to your claims and ideas. You are using them as a source or citation by linking to an external website, which helps validate your information from other thought leaders and research.

Both internal and external linking play an important role in improving a website’s SEO, so it’s important to make sure that all your content includes both types of links. By doing this, you’ll be able to improve your site’s ranking in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and generate more traffic from people who are searching for what you have to offer.

4. Optimize URLs:

One of the most important steps you can take to optimize your content for on-page SEO is to ensure that your URLs are optimized. You’ll need to choose a unique and keyword-rich URL slug for each page and post. Additionally, ensure that each URL contains the correct keyword phrases and is easy for humans to remember. 

By using a permalink structure with an optimized slug, you are sending signals to search engines about the exact topic you will cover on the page. This will help rankings for your particular keyword. Additionally, a descriptive permalink helps readers know what the web page will cover.

5. Optimize Title Tags and Meta Descriptions:

Title tags play a major role in determining how well your page will rank in search engines. They are the titles that show up above the main body of your content when users search for it. And, since they’re so important, you must keep them as clear, concise, and interesting as possible. 

Meta descriptions are another essential part of on-page SEO. These are the brief snippets of text that appear underneath your articles and photos when people view them online. They should be focused on describing the content on your page rather than promoting it or selling yourself (though they can certainly include those things, too!). 

Both title tags and meta descriptions are important because they help Google understand what your page is all about. This information can then be used to improve your site’s ranking in search engine results pages and click through rate.

6. Write unique, original, and optimized content:

Content is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO. In order to rank higher on Google and other search engines, you need to write content that is both unique and optimized for the search engines.

When writing content, ensure that your topics are relevant and interesting to your target audience. This will help you attract readers who are also interested in what you have to say. You also must ensure that your content is well-written and easy to read. Keep in mind that Google loves clean, concise language that is easy to skim and consume. This is because it will provide readers with a better user experience.

Additionally, ensure that your content is unique and original. This means you should avoid using common phrases and keywords too often, lowering your ranking in the search engines. Instead, focus on creating interesting and useful content for your target audience.

Also, make sure that your content is properly optimized for SEO. This means it should be well-written, easy to read, and free from errors. You also need to ensure that it’s keyword-rich and includes relevant keywords throughout the text. Finally, create separate pages for each article – this will help improve their rankings in the search engines.

7. Utilize optimized images and infographics:

Images and infographics make your content look more interesting and engaging, which can help you improve your on-page SEO.

When it comes to images, make sure you use high-quality ones optimized for SEO. This means they should be sized correctly, have a good file format, and be well-composed. The same goes for infographics – make sure they’re easy to read and feature relevant information to your target audience.

You can use Infographic visualization tools like Canva to create stunning visuals and infographics for your content. Finally, make sure that you use keywords throughout your infographic text, image titles, and alt text so that Google can better understand what it’s seeing.

8. Optimize content for user engagement:

Well-written, engaging content is one of the key factors that will help you optimize your website for on-page SEO.

Engaging content is not just important for Google Rankings; it’s also important for keeping your audience interested and engaged. This means ensuring your content is well-written, interesting, and relevant to your audience. You need to target your audience and produce appropriate content for them.

To do this, you need to know your target market and what they want. Once you’ve identified these things, you can tailor your content to their needs. For example, if you know that most of your visitors are interested in travel advice, you would want to produce more travel-related content.

You also must ensure that your content is easy to read and navigate. This means using a clear writing style, catchy headlines, and helpful images and videos. You also need to ensure that all of your website’s information is easily searchable – this will help users find the information they’re looking for faster.

9. Revisit content and monitor performance:

After fully optimizing your content, is important to then monitor its performance of it. To track the progress you will want to use an SEO tool that tracks traffic and ranking such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With these tools, you can track how much organic traffic is coming to your website from each blog post, search result, and main keyword you have targeted. After checking the performance, you should revisit the content and update it to increase ranking and traffic.

Advanced on-page SEO tactics:

On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are several different tactics that you can use to improve your website’s on-page ranking. However, this section will cover three advanced on-page SEO tactics to take your website and blog posts to the next level.

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Google’s featured Snippets are a great way to attract attention to your website and get more organic traffic. They’re also a great way to improve your ranking on search engines.

To get started with featured Snippets, you first need to find high-quality content relevant to your website. This can be done using keyword research tools or asking your customers what topics are important to them. Once you have a list of relevant keywords, you can start writing your featured snippets around those keywords.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when writing your featured snippets: 

  • Make sure that they’re well-written and easy to read.
  • Use interesting and compelling language that will capture the reader’s attention.
  • Use images and videos if they help illustrate the content better.
  • Check SERPs to see which type of featured snippet is being displayed

2. Use schema markup and optimize for rich snippets:

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Schema markup is a way of describing the structure of your HTML documents. It allows Google to understand how your content is structured and how it should be displayed in search results. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), where rich snippets are prominently featured. 

Rich snippets are small bubbles that appear next to relevant search results when users start typing in a query. They contain information about the content on the page, such as title, excerpt, author name, and rating, which helps users make informed decisions about whether or not to click on it. 

Optimizing for rich snippets isn’t difficult – you need to include schema markup in your HTML documents and follow some basic guidelines.

3. Utilize topical relevance while picking topics:

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Topic selection is one of the most important factors in SEO. The right topics will help your website rank higher in search engines and attract more visitors.

When selecting topics for your website, it’s important to consider how your content relates to others you have already written. Websites with similar content are said to have topical authority and relevance, making them more likely to be found by search engine crawlers and users. This means that you can focus on writing about closely related subjects and build into one another. 

What are the top 5 on-page SEO factors?

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Best on-page seo techniques!
  • On-Page SEO Factor 1 – Keyword Research: Keyword research is the first and most important on-page SEO factor. Your website will not rank well in search engines without proper keyword research. To do keyword research properly, you must identify the right keywords relevant to your business and your target audience.
  • On-Page SEO Factor 2 – URL Optimization: Next, you need to optimize your URLs for search engine visibility. By changing the name of your page, including the .com extension, adding keywords in the URL, and using other strategic redirects, you can ensure that Google easily finds your pages.
  • On-Page SEO Factor 3 – Meta Tags: Meta tags are another important part of on-page SEO. They provide information about your websites, such as the title, description, and contact information. You should also include a meta tag for each of your main articles so that Google knows what content to display when someone clicks on one of those links.
  • On-Page SEO Factor 4 – Header Tags: Header tags are also important because they contain information about your website, such as the title, description, and H1 heading. You should also include a meta tag with all of your images so that Google knows where to place them when people browse through your site. Finally, ensure that your content is well-optimized for search engine visibility by providing that each article is well-written and contains high-quality content.
  • On-Page SEO Factor 5 – Content Optimization: Content optimization is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Your website content must be well-written, organized, and easy to understand. This will help you attract better search engine rankings and higher conversion rates. Additionally, write about topics that are relevant to your target audience. Don’t write about things you don’t know anything about or aren’t relevant to your industry. Another thing to focus on is to use keywords throughout your article, but be sure not to overdo it. Too much keyword repetition can backfire and decrease the readability of your content.

On-page SEO template

Looking to take your on-page SEO techniques to the next level? Below we provide a step-by-step guide to finishing the basic components of on-page SEO. You can follow the on-page SEO template while developing your pages and posts. If you follow the steps outlined in the template, you will have an easier time ranking on Google and other search engines. 

The on-site SEO template follows SEO best practices and contains 14 steps.

StepActionWhy it’s important
1Choose your target keyword for your pageThe keyword is the main focus of the page and what you want Google to rank your content for. Make sure to do proper keyword research before choosing your target term
2Use your target keyword in your URL structure (URL permalink).

For example: example.com/keyword or example.com/keyword-guide
The terms in your permalink structure tells Google what your page is about
3Use your keyword at least once at the top of your content. Ideally it should be used in the first 50-100 words.Search engines will weight terms differently, depending on where they appear on the page. Places, like at the top of a page are considered more important
4Your page’s title tag should contain your keywordIn terms of Google SEO, a title tag is one of the most important places to utilize a keyword
5Your H1 and H2 sub-header should contain the target keyword phrase.Placing keywords in the H1 and H2 communicates the importance of those words to Google.  
6File images and their alt text should be keyword-richGoogle can’t see what an image is. So it utilizes file names and alt text to understand what the image is, and its importance to the content.
7Use internal links throughout your content. Try to use at least five internal links per page. Internal links are important as they help Google find, crawl and index content on your site. Additionally, they provide supporting evidence to your readers and help with the user experience. 
8Utilize external links that link to authoritative and trustworthy third party websitesExternal linking helps provide context and proof of concept to your readers and Google. By citing external sources, a website can build its trustworthiness around a certain topic. Additionally, linking to external sites help Google understand the context of the page it’s crawling.
9Use keyword synonyms and other terms related to your target phrase.By including additional variations of your target keyword, you are helping Google further understand the context of the page. Moreover, it will help your page rank for its main term and additional terms because of the depth of content you are writing.
10Write an exciting meta description to garnish attention in SERPsKeywords in your meta description don’t directly help with your page’s ranking. However, an exciting meta description will indirectly help with a page’s ranking as Google uses organic click through rates to understand how users view your content.
11Optimize your website and pages to be mobile-friendly.Google’s algorithm is a mobile first index and therefore needs to be optimized for mobile searches. Site speed and usability on mobiles is an important aspect to SEO performance. 
12Use structured data (Schema) on your website.Structured data or Schema will help provide additional information to search engines about your content. Additionally, it will allow your site to have rich snippets featured in the search results.
13Match the search intent of a search query.If your content doesn’t match the search intent of a particular query, more than likely it will not rank. 
Before you start writing content, check out the top SERP results on Google and see what type of post they are writing and what information they are including. This is a good way to understand what needs to be covered in your blog post. Just make sure not to duplicate their content. Focus on being unique and adding a new perspective while avoiding duplicate content.
14Decrease the bounce rate of your pageBounce rate does not directly affect rankings. However, Google monitors how users view and consume content. If someone lands on your page and quickly leaves because they didn’t find the answer to their query, Google will notice. This idea of going from one site to another is known as “pogosticking”, which will hurt a sites ranking.
On-page SEO optimization guide

Key takeaways: On-page SEO: Complete beginner’s guide

The main goal behind this article is to explain the on-page SEO basics in detail. After reading it, you should be ready to get started with your site’s on-page SEO. The only thing left for you now is a little bit of hard work and patience.

On-page SEO isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean you can’t improve your website’s on-page SEO. With the right SEO strategy and a bit of patience, you can boost the rankings of your pages without worrying about any negative effects.

A good website should have relevant and updated content that can increase website traffic to it over time, which in turn can increase its visibility in SERPs! If you need help optimizing your on-page elements, then reach out to Clear Door SEO. We are an SEO agency in Portland Oregon that provides on-page SEO optimization services.

If you want to improve your website’s ranking, and increase its website traffic, then contact us today!

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