The Only On-Page Optimization Guide You’ll Ever Need
What is on-page optimization?
On-page optimization refers to process of enhancing or improving the various elements found on the pages of a website in order to improve the site’s search engine rankings.
On-page SEO factors include:
- URL of the page
- title tag
- content of the web page
- header tags (h1, h2, h3 – h6)
- image optimization and image alt text
- video optimization
- mobile-friendliness (responsive design)
- Keyword usage and densities
- internal linking
Is on-page SEO the same thing as on-site SEO?
Make Sure Your URL’s Are SEO-Friendly
You’ve probably seen blog articles with URL’s like this:
That URL tells the search engines absolutely nothing about the topic of the web page.
Try To Include Primary Keyword In Your Domain
Whenever possible, it’s best practice to include your keyword in the URL when building out a new webpage, such as a blog post.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’re a personal injury attorney in San Diego, and you write an article for your blog about what to do (or not to do) when you’ve been in a car accident.
You might choose a URL like this for your article.
See how we worked the key phrase ‘car accident’ in there?
Getting your target keyword (or phrase) in the URL helps both your website visitors, as well as the search engine crawlers understand what your new web page is about.
There is one very important exception to this rule, however…
If you already have the target keyword (or phrase) in the root domain for your website, repeating it again in your URL could put you at risk of over-optimizing the page, as well as keyword cannibalization.
So if the URL for your website was:
www.CarAccidentLawyerSanDiego.com … you would NOT want your blog article URL to look like this:
And yes, people actually do create ridiculously over-optimized URL’s like that.
Even a lot of SEO companies do it without realizing the problems they are creating.
Here’s a typical example of a ridiculously over-optimized URL.
When you have a keyword (or keyword phrase) in your root domain, you have to walk a fine line when it comes to creating the inner-URL’s for your website.
Many companies that provide SEO services for law firms fall into the trap of over-optimizing the inner-URL’s for their clients, and cause their websites to get stuck on Page 2 – or worse.
What is HTML?
Before we cover the important HTML elements (like title tags, and header tags) that affect the on-page SEO of your site, it would probably help to understand what HTML stands for, right?
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, which is a standardized language (or system) that specifies how elements on a webpage should be rendered by web browsers.
A title tag is an HTML element that does exactly what its name implies… it specifies the title of a specific webpage.
The title tag’s purpose is to let both the search engines, and potential website visitors know what they can expect from the content of the webpage.
Here’s how a title tag looks in the HTMl code of a webpage…
<title> The Definitive Guide To Perfecting Your On-Page Optimization | Monopolists Law Firm SEO Experts </title>
And here’s what a title tag looks like on a search results page…
Start Your Title Tag With Your Primary Keyword
When you’re crafting the title tag for a webpage, choose your most valuable keyword for that particular page, and put it at the beginning of your title tag.
NOTE: If you’re a local business, don’t include your City with your primary keyword just yet. That comes next.
Title Tags For National Websites – Include Keyword Variations
If you’re competing for rankings in national search results, you’ll want to include a variation of your primary keyword next.
So add a pipe symbol | and a space.
Then add a variation of your primary keyword.
Once you enter your keyword variation, you can add another pipe symbol, and then put in your brand name – the name of your company.
Title tags For Local Websites – Include Your Geo-Location
If you’re a local business, competing in local search results, you probably won’t have room in the title tag to include a keyword variation, because you need to get your your city and state in there.
So, for a local business website, you would add a pipe symbol | and a space after your primary keyword.
Then enter your City, St (abbreviation).
After your location, add another pipe symbol and a space. Then, just as you would for a national website, enter the name of your company – your brand name.
Meta descriptions don’t necessarily have a direct affect on your search engine rankings, but… well-written meta descriptions can have a huge impact on your click-through-rate (CTR), and your click-through-rate does factor into where search engines are willing to rank your site in the SERP’s.
Header tags (H1, H2, H3…) help search engines understand what a web page on your site is all about. H tags (as they’re also referred to) allow the the search crawlers to understand which content is the most important.