What is On-Page SEO? A Guide to Ranking High in Search Results

What is On-Page SEO? A Guide to Ranking High in Search Results

On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, means optimizing content, HTML tags, and URLs for search engines and users. The optimization of pages results in a higher rank in search engine results like those of Google's. It is an important technique that increases your website’s visibility. When talking about on-page SEO, a local SEO service can greatly help in improving your website's ranking.

Google says it looks for specific keywords for ranking purposes. Although Google works on more refined algorithms these days, it still ‘crawls’ for keywords.

What Are On-Page SEO Elements?

On-page SEO guidelines and factors may have increased over the years with our web interactions' complexity; the common denominations remain. Here we shall discuss the most important on-page SEO factors and how they help improve your site’s visibility in search queries.

Content Elements

Content should be tailored to match certain standards. These include the following:

High-Quality Page Content

Starting off our guide to on-page SEO and we begin with the most important part of your website - the content. As the old saying goes, content is king! Whether you stuff keywords in or not, people come to your website for the content.

Google doesn’t just look for content, they look for relevant content that is also unique. Sometimes, you use borrowed terms, but the content must be engaging and hit the nail on the head with its material.

In short, it should attract the user’s attention, which in turn will increase user dwell times and thus increase your page’s ranking. The quality of the content is just as crucial as stuffing the relevant keyword for on-page SEO.

Topical Keyword Research

Perhaps the most critical part of on-page SEO and a traditional concept is the topical keyword research. Keywords are the search queries users input in a search engine. Keyword research is a vital on-page SEO technique that understands how users look for a specific item.

The keywords are then analyzed and prioritized according to their occurrence. The content is tailored to meet the users' as well as the search engine’s needs. Keyword research is critical to producing content that engages everyone.

Image with graphics, depicting the evolution of keyword research impacting on-page SEO from 2000 to 2021.

Search Intent

Search intent relates to the reason behind someone’s query in a search engine. Trying to figure out this reason helps content creators and on-page SEO professionals to tailor their content in a certain way. Search intent can be typically classified into an informational, transactional, navigational, and commercial investigation. 

It means you could be looking for a website, asking for the pros and cons of an item, or simply looking for information regarding something. Understanding search intent and then employing on-page SEO techniques to tailor your content results in considerably better traffic to your website.

HTML Elements

Not only does the content matter when you’re aiming for on-page optimization, but HTML elements are also vital in getting you better results.

Page Titles

Page titles are one of the most important parts of your page. It offers an insight into what to expect from such a page and the main theme. Like any user visiting the website, Google also views the page title and uses relevant keywords to rank pages. Hence, it is important to use target keywords in a page's title.


Headers are important for on-page SEO. The headers offer a structure to your web page, break up the text for better readability, and help with on-page SEO using keywords in titles.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are an HTML element that showcases the intention of the content on your page for the benefit of users and the search engine. The importance of meta description for on-page SEO is fairly solid since Google uses this hard-coded description in SERP about one-third of the time. 

To create a decent meta description, you need to use a keyword, be concise (restrict yourself to 120 characters), be relevant, and capture the user’s intent. Meta descriptions help in elevated on-page optimization as users know what to expect from the website page.

Image utilizing graphs depicting how pages meta descriptions have a higher click through rate an impact on-page SEO.

Image Alt text

Search engines cannot search images but read their descriptions in the form of alt text. Alt text describes an image on your page and hence should be descriptive, relevant, concise, accurate, and avoids keyword stuffing. Google’s image search rankings can help your on-page SEO rankings.

Image of bar graph demonstrating how keyword in ALT tag in an image increase on-page SEO.

Structured Markup

Structured markup or schema markup is a code that conveys information regarding your page to a search engine. This information is embedded in the web page's code and helps search engine crawlers easily find the intent behind a certain text. It helps improve the on-page SEO of your website.

Site Architecture Elements

There are certain architectural elements that need to be considered as well when it comes to on-page SEO:

Page URLs

Page URLs can help you rank better by employing on-page SEO guidelines by using keywords in them. Short and simple URLs help users and search engines get to know your web page's content and thus contribute towards its ranking.

Internal Linking

Your website’s different pages can be linked together via internal linking to increase the website’s overall visibility. Internal linking is an excellent on-page SEO tool as search engines will navigate better if internal links are present.

Mobile Responsiveness

Mobile usage has increased tremendously over the past decade, so have the search queries made from such mobile devices. To perform better in on-page optimization, websites need to have a mobile responsive design. It helps Google elevate the page's ranking due to its ease of use, and the ease users find in navigating through it.

Site Speed

Just like a user sifts through a website, a search engine crawls through a web page looking for results. A site that is easier to navigate and loads quickly will be read and thus made into the engine's first few search results. It thereby results in better on-page SEO.

Bar graph image showcasing how page load time can impact on-page SEO


Final Thoughts

The on-page SEO factors and guidelines are ever-changing. However, some of the basics still hold, such as the correct keyword density, relevant content, well-thought-out HTML markers, and so on. On-page SEO services can improve your website's visibility online - and we have just the perfect team to help you achieve that goal!

  • Cyril Allgeier, III

    Cyril Allgeier, III

    Sales Executive

  • Svetlana Orel

    Svetlana Orel

    Sales Executive

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