What is On-Page SEO and How Does It Work?

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Let’s take this one step at a time. To begin with, SEO stands for search engine optimization; this is how people find you in search engines, and on-page SEO is simply the keywords that people type into search engines to find you. These keywords, that searchers are looking for, are strategically embedded into your website. Now, not all websites do this, which simply means that the website probably isn’t ranking in Google where consumers can find your site. You will find On-Page SEO in a website’s headings, titles, domain names, images and any content found ON your site relating to your products or services.


Google Algorithms and On-Page SEO

Algorithms work in a searcher’s favour so they aren’t searching through millions of websites to find the best one. Google ranks websites based on the freshness of content, your region, and Page Rank. Now, what in the world is Page Rank? Basically, it is the value of your website compared to others. To increase your Page Rank, the number of links off of your page that link back to your site must increase.


For example, another person finding something useful on your site and sharing it on their website. Google takes the links into account like a voting system. The more links going back to your site must mean you are distributing important information. This is why it is important to have your On-Page SEO done correctly and efficiently; it needs to be useful for people, so they link it back to your site and then… BINGO! You are ranked better in Google! Most people never flip to the second page of Google because they find what they are looking for fast, thanks to Google and Page Rank.


Top On-Page SEO Practices

The best On-Page SEO Techniques to get links to your site and better your Google ranking are:

    • Optimize the site around one keyword or topic – Keywords should appear in the page title, heading, image text, and naturally, throughout the content of the page. be sure NOT to stuff your page with keywords, as Google will penalize you for this.
    • Realize keywords are essential but they are not precise – AdWords no longer relies on exact match keywords. This allows your content to flow more smoothly; for example, if your content states “Inbound link” and someone searches for “inbound links” the words are essentially equivalent. Also, if the searcher misspells the word, Google still helps them find your website.
    • Utilize the URL to determine page rank –  URLs should be short, descriptive, and categorize your site to keep it aligned with the topics and keywords of each page.
    • Optimize page titles – this will be found at the top of your browser, and they tell searchers and search engines what the page is about. Titles should be under 55 characters and keywords or topics should appear first.
    • Apply proper heading tags – Heading tags tell a search engine the importance of the content. For instance, subheadings are tagged as [H2] and [H3]. Steer away from using generic terms such as “Home” or “Products.”
    • Test your site speed – Google ranks sites according to their speed. If a searcher waits for your site to load you will be left behind by a site faster than yours.
    • Ensure it is mobile-friendly – who isn’t searching on their phone nowadays? If your site is not mobile-friendly, meaning blocked media or content, faulty redirects, or slow load times, Google will penalize you. Then, your competition that does have a mobile-friendly site will outrank you, and guess what… take your business!


On-Page SEO Practices to Avoid

Now, we know good On-Page SEO techniques to get you ranking but what techniques should we NOT do? Here they are:

    • Duplicate Content – Duplicate content will hurt your rankings. If you are putting the same information from your home page onto blogs, other pages on your site, etc., Google may see this as spam and penalize you. They do have some leeway in this aspect, but it is best to ensure you avoid this or you risk your competitors outranking you.
    • Page Load time – as mentioned above, if your site takes too long to load, you will be left in the dust and your competition has already taken your business.
    • Having Old Content – Google loves new and up-to-date content. Don’t neglect your site, ensure that you go in and update links, content, and produce new content.
    • Incomplete Meta Descriptions and Title Tags – These errors are common mistakes. Technically, the meta description is not a ranking factor, but shouldn’t the description of your site describe what your site is all about? A searcher looks at the description quickly to determine the content, and if the searcher doesn’t feel that your site is relevant, they are unlikely to visit your site. Guess what happens then; they go to your competitor.
    • Hiring a bad SEO Company – If they promise you a ranking that sounds too good to be true, then trust me, it is! When hiring an SEO company look at their clients and how they rank in Google, do your research, and ask the right questions.
    • Not Using Long-Tail Keywords – Google wants searchers to get exactly what they want, and fast. This method boils down to what people key into search engines. A long-tail keyword will be more specific; for example, one searcher might type in “SEO Company Calgary” whereas another searcher wanting more precise results will search “SEO Company with outstanding results in Calgary.” This would be considered a long-tail keyword. Your page should use both long-tail and short-tail keywords to reach both types of searchers.
    • Not Mobile Friendly – As mentioned earlier, our day and age is categorized by searchers looking for information on their phone – even my grandma looks stuff up on her phone! If your site is not efficient on a mobile device you can kiss that potential customer goodbye – they already went to your competition.


On-Page SEO Checklist

Here are some questions to ask yourself the next time when you’re looking for correct On-Page SEO:

    • Is your content on topic to the keywords of your site?
    • Is the URL short, descriptive, and on topic?
    • Are your Page Titles and headings optimized? Does it tell search engines what the page is about? Stay away from being generic.
    • Is your website speed up to par?
    • Is it mobile-friendly? Test it on your phone; how does it look?
    • Is there duplicate content? Look at all the pages of your site.
    • Is your content fresh? Keep it up-to-date and new!
    • Are your Meta descriptions relevant to your site and pages?
    • Are you using both long-tail and short-tail keywords?


It is a lengthy and precise process in achieving great On-Page SEO, but with these key practices, I hope it will be easier for you. Now that you have the fundamentals of proper On-Page SEO, get out there and get ranking!

We hope you enjoyed our post and got the information you require!


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