In this new guide on-page SEO in 2021 you’ll learn:
How to optimize your content
How to create SEO-friendly URLs
How to write titles and descriptions
Let’s get started.
On-Page SEO Basics
What is On-Page SEO?
Onpage optimization (AKA on-page SEO) refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings. Examples of this include measures to optimize the content or improve the meta description and title tags. Conversely, off-page SEO refers to links and other signals.
Analysis and Monitoring as Prerequisites for Onpage Optimization
Effective onpage optimization requires a combination of several factors. Two key things to have in place if you intend to improve your performance in a structured way are analysis and regular monitoring. There is little benefit in optimizing the structure or content of a website if the process isn’t geared towards achieving goals and isn’t built on a detailed assessment of the underlying issues.
In extreme cases, optimization measures that aren’t based on a solid, evidence-based plan can have the opposite effect to that desired – potentially harming the stability of keyword rankings or creating a drop in conversion rates.
Elements of Onpage Optimization
There is no standard, universally-recognized workflow for onpage optimization. However, analysis and measures for implementation should be as comprehensive as possible, to ensure that every opportunity is exploited for improving search engine rankings (or other KPIs).
Even if there is no simple step-by-step guide to improving the onpage aspects of websites, the following list attempts to cover the majority of the most common elements, sorted into four main areas:
1. Technical optimization
There are three main technical components of a website that can be optimized:
1.1. Server speed:
As website load times are considered by search engines as part of their evaluation for ranking purposes, speeding up server response times is an important part of onpage optimization.
1.2. Source code:
An efficient source code can contribute to improved website performance. Superfluous functions or code sections can often be removed or other elements can be consolidated to make it easier for the Googlebot to index the site.
1.3. IP addresses:
These can be used to find out if, for example, you have a Bad Neighborhood issue. Ideally, you should always have a unique IP address for each web project. This signals to Google and other search engines that the website is unique.
Content, in this context, doesn’t only refer to visible on-screen elements like texts and images. It also includes elements that are initially invisible, such as alt-tags or meta information.
For a long time, text optimization was conducted on the basis of keyword density. This approach has now been superseded, firstly by weighting terms using WDF*IDF tools and – at the next level – by applying topic cluster analyses to proof terms and relevant terms. The aim of text optimization should always be to create a text that is not only built around one keyword, but that covers term combinations and entire keyword clouds in the best way possible. This is how to ensure that the content describes a topic in the most accurate and holistic way it can. Today, it is no longer enough to optimize texts solely to meet the needs of search engines.
2.2. Structural text elements:
This covers the use of paragraphs or bullet-point lists, h- heading tags and bolding or italicizing individual text elements or words.
All images are important content elements that can be optimized. They can help to increase the relevance of the content and well-optimized images can rank on their own in Google’s image search. At the same time, they can increase how attractive a website appears to users. Appealing image galleries can also increase the time users spend on the site. File names of graphics are one part of image optimization.
Much of what applies to images also applies to videos. SEOs and webmasters should pay particular attention to ensuring that audiovisual content offered on their pages can actually be viewed by users.
Meta titles, as a page element relevant for rankings, and meta descriptions, as an indirect factor that impacts the CTR (Click-Through Rate) in the search engine results pages, are two important components of onpage optimization. Even if they are not immediately visible to users, they are still considered part of the content because they should be optimized closely alongside the texts and images. This helps to ensure that there is close correspondence between the keywords and topics covered in the content and those used in the meta tags.
3. Internal links and structure
Internal linking can be used to guide a bot’s visit to your domain and also to optimize navigation for real users.
3.1. Logical structure and crawl depth:
The aim here is to carefully structure menus and to ensure that a website hierarchy contains no more than four levels. The fewer levels there are, the more quickly a bot is able to reach and crawl all sub-pages.
3.2. Internal linking:
This determines how link juice is managed and distributed around a domain and can help increase the relevance of a sub-page regarding a particular keyword. A good sitemap is one of the most important onpage SEO basics there is, and highly relevant, both for users trying to navigate around the domain and for search engine crawlers.
Ways of avoiding duplicate content include the appropriate use of existing canonical tags and/or assigning pages with a noindex attribute.
3.4. URL structure:
This aspect involves checking whether search-engine-friendly URLs are being used and whether the existing URLs are logically related to one another. URL length can also be looked at as part of onpage optimization.
Pages that don’t contain any particularly useful content and can be considered meaningless for the Google index, should be tagged with the robots metatag “noindex”, which will prevent them being included in the search results.
4.1. Mobile optimization:
This means adapting a website’s desktop content so that it can be easily accessed and viewed on mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers.
4.2. File sizes:
Images or graphics that are too large can drastically increase the load time of a page. As part of their onpage optimization, SEOs and graphic designers should keep file sizes as small as possible.
Specific page elements should be used to stimulate a user action by encouraging interaction with the website. More information on onpage (and offpage) optimization can be found in our JasaSEO.be Ranking Factors studies.
Why is On-Page SEO Important?
Does traditional on-page SEO still make a difference in 2021?
Even though Google is MUCH smarter than it was back in the day, they still use old school stuff (like looking for a specific keyword on your page).
And there’s data to back this up.
Our analysis of 1M Google search results found a correlation between keyword-rich title tags and first page rankings.
There’s more to on-page SEO than cramming keywords into your page’s HTML.
To rank your content in 2021, you also need to optimize your content for:
Bounce Rate and Dwell Time
Page loading speed
Optimize Your Content for SEO
Now that you’ve seen why on-page SEO still matters, it’s time to start optimizing your content.
Here you’re going to learn:
How much content is required per page.
How much content YOU need to optimize your specific webpage.
How to look at competitors’ pages to help you optimize your own.
Use External (Outbound) Links
1. How Many Keywords Per Page?
In general, write each web page around one primary keyword phrase and up to two secondary keyword phrases.
Focused content yields stronger keyword relevance. It also satisfies visitors because the page delivers what they searched for.
Site-wide, you may have hundreds or thousands of active keywords assigned to different pages. Your keyword list can grow as your website grows, as long as you have enough content to support your relevance to each keyword.
Always be careful not to overuse, or “stuff,” keywords on a page, write for users naturally and go for quality.
Just also incorporate keywords and related words strategically throughout the page. This helps search engines identify what your page is worthy of ranking for
2. How Much Content is “Enough” for a Keyword?
To rank for a keyword, how much text do you need per page? And how many pages do you need?
Well, the answer varies. Each page needs enough original text content to compete. The right amount will depend on what’s normal for that keyword.
For example, if all the top-ranking pages have 1000 words, then you’ll also need at least 1000 words of text.
Competition aside, here are some general SEO recommendations for page length:
Research pages: 500 to 600 words minimum per page
Ecommerce pages: 300 words minimum (shopping pages tend to have lots of product pictures)
Blog posts: 200 words minimum per post, but probably much more
As for how many pages will establish your relevance, you’ll need to match your competitors’ amount of content about that keyword.
The next sections give you an idea of what to expect.
Non-competitive keywords don’t require as much content.
Non-competitive keywords generally aren’t searched a lot. One relevant, high-quality content page about the keyword might be enough to rank if the keyword falls within your overall site themes.
Competitive keywords are tougher battles.
For competitive keywords, you’ll need a landing page plus some subpages to support your site’s subject relevance. Here are brief descriptions:
Landing pages are where you want people to “land” when they come from a SERP. A landing page should offer keyword-focused content. It should give searchers what they expected to find and provide a good first impression of your site.
Subpages link to/from the landing page and support its subject relevance. A subpage can be a blog post, article, video, or other that contains detailed, related content.
Brand terms and your brand’s main keywords might be easier to rank for.
Some keywords naturally appear across many pages, strengthening your relevance site-wide.
For example, our website is packed with resources on “search marketing” and “SEO.” Our main service descriptions and our brand name “JasaSEO.be” appear on almost every page.
Even though your site naturally uses your brand and main keywords throughout, each term still needs its own focused landing page. That way, the search engine knows where to send searchers looking for you by name
Compare Keyword Usage on Competing Pages
As you’re writing the title, meta description, and other elements critical to your webpage optimization, you may find it helpful to compare what your top competitors have written.
Use our Moz pro. You’ll be able to read the all-important title tag, meta tags, and H1 heading tag for many pages all at once, as well as whether the page has a rel=”canonical” tag.
So for your content to stand out and get noticed, it needs to be SUPER valuable.
Here are a few ways that you can make your SEO content insanely valuable:
Add details: Images, screenshots, and steps makes it easy for someone to put your content into practice.
Crisp writing: Strong copywriting will make your content more engaging.
Updated material: Brand new strategies, steps and examples go a long way.
Expert authors: Most content is written by people that have never done the thing they’re telling you to do. Content from someone with first-hand experience is almost always more valuable than something written by a random freelance writer.
The main thing that makes my SEO checklist post so valuable is the checklist itself.
It starts off with beginner-friendly stuff.
And gets more advanced as you work your way through it.
Along the way, you get a ton of specific details:
Content That Satisfies Search Intent
Unique, valuable content can get you to the first page of Google.
But if you want to stay there, your page has to satisfy Search Intent.
In other words:
Your page has to be EXACTLY what a Google searcher wants.
Otherwise, your page will likely be buried on the 3rd page.
This is a mistake that I had to learn the hard way.
Optimize for CTR
Your organic click through rate is important for two reasons:
Second, increasing your CTR can drive more traffic to your site.
In this article I’ll show you four practical ways that you can improve your organic CTR.
Use “Question Title Tags”
Last year we analyzed 5 million Google search results to figure out why certain pages get clicked on over others and one of our most surprising findings was that question-based title tags have an above-average CTR.
So whenever it makes sense, I recommend testing titles tags that have a question.
Fill In Missing Meta Descriptions
I talked about meta descriptions way back in Article 1.
Specifically, I pointed out that you want your descriptions to be super compelling.
But you don’t need to write an amazing description 100% of the time. Just HAVING a meta description might be enough.
In fact, we found that pages with a meta description got approximately 6% more clicks vs. pages with a missing meta description.
I recommend doing an SEO audit on your site to find pages that don’t have a meta description. Then, add in descriptions for pages that need them.
According to our analysis of 5.2 million websites, you can improve your site’s loading speed by moving to a faster host.
Removing as many third party scripts as you can.
Removing as many third party scripts as you can.
You want to give every image on your site a descriptive filename and alt text.
This helps Google (and visually-impaired users) understand what each image is showing.
And if it makes sense, make one image optimized around your target keyword. So use a filename that includes your target keyword (for example, on-page-seo-chart.png). And use that same keyword as part of your image alt tags.
Another reason to optimize your images for SEO: it gives search engines another clue of what your page is about… which can help it rank higher.
Put another way: when Google sees a page with pictures of “blue widgets” and “green widgets” it tells them: “this page is about widgets”.
Rank Your Content In Featured Snippets
Ranking in a Featured Snippet can make a HUGE difference in your CTR.
The only catch?
According to this industry study, you need to already be on the first page to have any shot of getting a Featured Snippet.
Which means you need to find first page results that have a Featured Snippet AND you rank for.
To find them whip open Ahrefs, Moz or whatever SEO software that you use.
And find pages from your site that rank on the first page of Google.
Then, filter for keywords that have a Featured Snippet already.
Then, look at the Featured Snippet in Google for each of those terms.
Voice Search SEO
Voice search is growing SUPER fast.
And the best way to optimize your content for voice search?
Create FAQ pages.
Our voice search SEO study found that Google loves to pull voice search results from FAQ pages.
We offers the best professional search engine optimization (SEO) services and Best SMM Panel. Contact us to learn how we can increase your online visibility!