This article was updated December 20th, 2022
Your on-page content needs to be sharp and on-point to rank for keywords in the top positions. There are some specific guidelines that you need to follow. In this guide, I will cover every challenge you might have. Let’s begin…[ez-toc]
Why is on-page SEO important?
On-page SEO refers to the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It involves optimizing the content and HTML source code of a page to both increases its relevance to specific keywords and to make it more attractive to search engines.
There are several reasons why on-page SEO is important:
- It helps search engines understand the content of your website: By including relevant keywords in the title, headings, and body of your content, you can help search engines understand what your website is about and how it can be helpful to users.
- It can improve the user experience: By making your website more organized and easy to navigate, you can improve the user experience and increase the likelihood that visitors will stay on your site and interact with your content.
- It can increase the credibility of your website: By including high-quality, informative content on your website and optimizing it for search engines, you can improve the credibility of your website and demonstrate to users that your site is a reliable source of information.
- It can help you rank higher in search results: By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results and attracting more traffic to your site.
Overall, on-page SEO is an important part of any successful search engine optimization strategy because it helps search engines understand the content of your website and improve the user experience, which can ultimately lead to higher search rankings and more traffic to your site.
Content & Headlines
Ideally, you want to analyze your competitors for a given keyword and stick to the average wordcount they have on their site. Stick to the word count of the MC (Main Content). You can use a Chrome Extension like Word Counter Plus if you want to check competitor wordcounts quickly.
If there are no competitors, aim for a minimum of 1500 words on your main landing pages and do not publish any content below 1000 words as this would be categorized as thin content. Mention your keyword once in the first 100 words.
Your content should always be written with your user’s search intent in mind. This means, that you should always answer the questions your visitor may ask her/himself when searching. If the visitor is searching for “cheap car insurance,” he/she most likely wants:
- A list of cheap insurance companies
- Insurance for both young and experienced drivers
- Without credit check
To get more ideas for content, you need to use the related searches that Google will provide you. See the below image.
You should also use the “People also ask” to get related questions you need to answer in your content.
Now that you have found more than enough ideas to write about you need to setup your content technical correct.
External links can be super powerful in your content. Keep them relevant and avoid linking to wikipedia and wikihow pages. You should never link to your competitors. Keep all external links do-follow to show Google you’re not afraid to link to relevant sources. Find something unique, extremely relevant, and high authority page you can link to. Research, News articles, government pages, etc.
Internal links are “must-have” optimization for your content. Lead Google to your internal pages with internal links and increase your crawl rate and make the link juice flow through your website! If your content is 1000 words make 2-4 internal relevant links. Don’t force them; only place them if they seem relevant and useful for your visitor.
For a page about car insurance it will be relevant to link to articles about high risk drivers, discount for students or an article about how credit scores affect your insurance price. Connect all your internal links together and create topic clusters.
A primary headline – typical the title of the page and the technical tag for this is <h1>Your page title</h1>. Make sure this includes your main keyword – in our case “Cheap car insurance”. For our page I would use the <h1>Cheap car insurance</h1>
Secondary headlines are everything below the primary headline. These can be both <h2>, <h3> and even <h4>, <h5> and so on. I would stick to using <h2> and <h3> only. These should include your keyword or some variant of your keyword. In our example the secondary headlines could be:
- <h2>Best insurance car company in UK</h2>
- <h3>How do I find the cheapest insurance company?</h3>
- <h2>Why do I need car insurance?</h2>
- <h3>What types of car insurance are available?</h3>
- <h3>Can I transfer my old car insurance to a new car?</h3>
TF:IDF Analysis & Keyword Density
Content analysis and keyword density in 2019 are much more difficult than back in the days. Since the panda you can no longer keyword stuff your pages and you should now write for your audience instead.
For content analysis you should use the Website Auditor tool and you can download it for free here. This tool can give you exact content changes and recommendations based on your location, keyword, current page and competitors.
I have not yet done a full in-depth guide to this program but I plan to do it in the future. Instead contact me if you need a guide.
Meta Description & Meta Title
The meta description and meta title are in my opinion the second most important SEO factor after linkbuilding. You want these to be on-point and you need to spend some time to make them perfect.
How to write a good meta title
The meta title should always start with your keyword – unless it’s the frontpage of your website then it should start with your brand name. You should also try to put at least one related keyword in the title. The blow title is my best shot at doing a meta title for they keyword “Cheap car insurance”. UK, Prices, Young and New are all related keywords.
Meta title example
Cheap Car Insurance – UK insurance prices for young and new drivers
How to write a good meta description
The meta description is your place to add related keywords to reach the long tale searches. The meta description should also describe what people can expect to find on your page. This is to increase CTR and lower the bounce rate on your website. Start the meta description with your keyword.
Meta description example
Cheap car insurance in UK. Get a quote today on your new car and find insurance prices for experienced, young and new drivers on our website.
I recommend using Yoast SEO or Rank Math (both free plugins) for your WordPress site.
Here’s how this meta title and description will look in Google.
Images in SEO are pretty simple. There are only five things you should think of when adding images to your page:
- The filename
- The alt-tag
- The image size & compression
- The uniqueness of the image
- Copyright & EXIF info
Before uploading an image to your website you need to make sure that the filename represents your keyword and that it is relevant for your page. Lets stay in the car insurance business. If you upload an image with a car salesman and a car make sure you call it “car_insurance_sale” or similar. You can also go simple and just call it “car_insurance.jpg”
The alt tag is your way of telling Google what your image is about. You want this to be either your keyword or a relevant and related keyword. The alt tag will also show for people with a poor internet connection.
Image size & compression
Image size is very important when page speed optimizing your website. There are tons of software and online services that can help you with this. Personally I use tinypng.com for this. Other than this make sure that:
- If your image does not have transparent background make sure its .jpg format
- Make sure you images are not huge when only showed on a mobile phone (don’t upload 4000 px x 4000 px images when they’re showed as 600 px x 600 px)
- If you optimize your images using Photoshop make sure you use the feature “Save for Web (Legacy)” function and chooses “None” to Copyright information.
Unique Photos & Images
This is not a huge part of the ranking factor in Google but it does have a little say that might push you onto page 1. Google loves unique images. Stop using stock photos and start taking your own photos, create your own images or make your own graphs.
Copyright & EXIF info
Showing where you image is from is always a footprint for Google. These are saved as EXIF info You can easily delete all EXIF information with these few steps:
How to remove EXIF data from an image or photo in Windows
Total Time: 5 minutes
Choose your image
First find the image you want to remove the EXIF data from. You need to have the image downloaded on your PC.
Right click and choose Properties
Choose the ‘details’ tab. Inhere you can see all the data stored in the image.
Click “Remove Properties and Personal information”
Click “Remove Properties and Personal information” . This will open a new window.
Choose “Remove the following properties from this file:”
Choose “Remove the following properties from this file:” and click “Mark all”
Click OK on both windows. That’s it!
Schema Mark Up your page
The last important part of on-page SEO is the schema.org markup. This allows you to get all sorts of extra features listed with your website in Google. You have most likely seen both the star snippet, the sitelinks and the featured snippet directly in the SERP. This is (almost) all done with Schema, so let’s take a brief look at how you do this.
The most popular and most important one is the Rich Snippet markup. This will give you stars directly in Google. If this is the only schema markup you want then you can install the Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets by Brainstorme Force is the easiest way to implement them.
If you want more advanced schema markups such as the Coorperate Contact/Customer Support, SiteLinks Schema and Sitelinks Search Box then you should look into Schema Pro (my personal favorite). Yoast SEO also have schema markups for FAQ and How-To Schema Markup directly in the new wordpress Guthenburg editor.
I hoped you learned something new during this blogpost and as always – feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
On-page SEO Presentation 2019
Here’s my SEO presentation for on-page SEO in 2019. Feel free to use it internally in your team but credit my page if you intend to use it for commercial purpose.
This is oudated!
1 thought on “My 2023 On-page content guide for SEO”
Another great post, Kris! Nice work putting it together! 👏👏