The Ultimate On-Page SEO Guide For Every Page on Your Website
Too many so-called “SEO gurus” try to make search engine optimization out to be an incredibly complicated process. Usually, this is because they want to sell you their course or scare you into being so afraid of messing things up that you just hire them to do it instead.
Well, in this guide, Dripfeed Nation is going to simplify the on-page SEO process.
It doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars in every piece of content you produce.
In this post, we’ll look at the top factors that our experiences have shown us to be the most important aspects of getting your sites ranking for real.
What is On-Page SEO and Why Does it Matter?
First, let’s talk about on-page SEO versus off-page, just to clear things up.
On-page SEO is the stuff that you do on your website—the stuff you have direct control over. It’s the content you publish, the headings you use, the images you add, etc.
All these little things add up to help Google better understand what your website is all about.
Off-page SEO is the stuff that happens outside of your website. It’s the backlinks you earn, the social signals you rack up, or the citations you build.
These factors help search engines determine whether your site is trustworthy enough to rank.
So why does on-page SEO matter?
It’s probably the most important part of your site…
Basically, it’s like the foundation of your website. As we mentioned above, your on-page factors help the search engines determine what each page or post is trying to say.
When a user searches for “Chicago plumber”, Googlebot will crawl the internet and use each competing site’s on-page factors to determine if they are at all relevant. If you haven’t set up your on-page SEO right, the search engines won’t see you as worth ranking.
In other words, without proper on-page SEO, all the backlinks and social signals in the world aren’t going to help you rank.
Primary On-Page SEO Factors
When it comes to on-page ranking factors, there are some that are more important than others. First, we’ll take a look at the biggest factors. The ones you absolutely don’t want to miss out on.
If you are looking for a means to make this process a little bit easier, we highly recommend PageOptimizer Pro. This tool will highlight some of the most important on-page ranking factors of any page you want it to. Even better, it will make recommendations for specific actions you should take based on what your competitors are doing.
[MAJOR NOTE]: Keep in mind that just like any tool, PageOptimizer Pro takes some getting used to. Be WARNED, it CAN mess up your On-Page if you do not watch the tutorials, understand it and use it correctly.
Despite what some people say, your domain name is still one of the BIGGEST on-page ranking factors.
Google still loves exact match domains (or EMDs). Sometimes!
If you aren’t aware, an EMD is when your domain name is exactly the same as the keyword you want to rank for. So, a roofing lead gen site built on nashvilleroofers.com, for example, is an EMD for the keyword “Nashville roofers”.
Now let’s talk about that big bold “sometimes”.
Basically, you have to analyze the competition. See what other sites are ranking for your terms. Sometimes, Google prefers to rank authority sites, particularly for a lot of affiliate marketing terms like “best organic hand soap”.
Oftentimes, EMDs are best left for local websites because they communicate high geographical relevance.
While you can’t always get an exact match domain—or they just won’t be a good fit for your niche—you can always put your keyword in the page URL.
This is basically a must-have. It’s one of the most obvious signs to Google about what your page is all about.
Title and H1 Tags
Let’s move beyond domains and URLs to talk about the two most important tags in your content: your title tag and your H1.
Basically, if your URL is the street address of your web page, these two tags are like the number hanging on the mailbox. In other words, they are another MAJOR signal to Google to indicate what your page is all about.
Here are the rules to follow:
- Use each of these tags only once per page
- For the title tag, include your exact keyword or a close match
- For the H1 tag, include a close match to your keyword
Here’s what we mean when we say “close match”. Imagine that you are trying to rank for “New York City painter”. Some close match keywords would be “painter New York City”, “painter in New York”, or “NYC painter”.
Your meta title is the title that appears on the search results page if you’ve done your work right and actually end up ranking.
Not only does it contribute to whether or not users actually click on your result, but it is also a major on-page ranking signal. If you’ve got a plugin like Yoast installed, you can very easily create your meta titles.
Here are some rules for these:
- Keep it between 50–60 characters, as this is the usual max that most search engines will display
- Use your exact keyword in the meta title
- Make it interesting, click-worthy, and clearly relevant to what users are searching for
Secondary On-Page SEO Factors
Beyond the primary on-page factors, there are several other things you need to be aware of. While these might not be as powerful in moving the needle in the SERPs, they can often be the difference between Google ranking one site over the next.
Other Heading Tags
We mentioned the importance of the H1 tag. Don’t neglect your H2s, especially. But even H3s and 4s can help you communicate the relevance of your post.
For the most part, you are just going to sprinkle keywords here and there in your headings. They are particularly a good place to put the secondary keywords that you want to rank for.
A lot of SEOs get really tied up on finding the perfect keyword density. Here’s a hint: it really doesn’t matter that much!
Rather than focus on achieving the perfect 0.7895% density that your competitors have, just write naturally. Then, go through and mix in some LSI keywords here and there where they make sense.
If you need help, LSIgraph can be a good place to go for brainstorming these keywords and it’s free!
If you want better and more in-depth results, then I would say to go with the tool I use which is Mangools KWFinder. It’s a paid one but it comes with that tool and many others for all your SEO needs.
Now, let’s get back to the secondary On-Page factors.
Images are another good place to up your SEO game. Again, this isn’t rocket science, and if you are spending more than 60 seconds optimizing your images, you are probably doing too much.
Here is a very simple method to employ for each image:
- Save the file as one of your keywords
- Make the alt text the same keyword as the filename
Bold and Italics
When it comes to bold and italics for SEO, use them in a way that helps enhance the readability of your content.
One ranking factor is dwell time. If users have an easier time digesting your page, they are more likely to dwell on the page longer, and thus Google is more likely to view your page as worth ranking.
Like using bold and italics, you want to structure your content in a way that is user-friendly.
Take this post as an example…
Notice how it is broken into small digestible chunks?
Notice how the headings make it clear what to expect?
Notice how most of the paragraphs are about 1–3 sentences long?
Structure your content for busy internet readers and they’ll be less likely to get overwhelmed and bounce away.
Final Thoughts About On-Page SEO: Keep It Simple!
As you can see, there is a LOT that goes into optimizing your on-page factors. But it is just a lot of little steps. All-in-all, you can likely take care of most of these in about 15 minutes total for most of your pages.
Use this guide as a checklist.
Apply the steps one-by-one.
And build yourself a strong foundation for those big, powerful link building campaigns you’ve got in the works.
Psst – Want to know a secret? Caleb (Dripfeed Nation’s owner) didn’t write this post, he just gave me a topic to write on and the main points of the content. A super, awesome freelance writer named Ish did…
I should know, I’m him! And I’m just gonna leave this little link here in case you like what you read and want to check out my services on Legiit.
Shhh… Don’t tell Caleb!
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