Article Optimization 101: On-Page Optimization Plan and Beginner’s Guide

On-page Optimization Beginners Guide
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Effective because it helps search engines and your audience to easily understand what your webpages are all about, On-Page Optimization is equal parts needed and beneficial.

It is also associated with the set of skills and experience an expert SEO possesses. Affecting things like backlinks generation, user engagement, user experience, and social media interactions, On-Page Optimization must be carried out with precision.

I will also share my personal step by step process for research, write and optimize a blog post.

This guide will give you a detailed overview of the different aspects of On-Page Optimization, why is important, how to do it, and how can affect your website ranks on search results.

What Is On-Page Optimization?

SEO Course for Beginners (by Ahrefs)

On-page optimization (also known as on-page SEO) is the process of optimizing individual web pages on a website to rank higher on the search engines, in an effort to earn more relevant traffic from search engines.

Google´s Search Console Help advice:

“Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do.”

There are no strict rules for On-page optimization, but it includes everything we do on web pages to help the website rank better.

These are the eight key target areas we should focus when optimizing a web page for search engines:

  1. Keyword Optimization
  2. Site Structure
  3. Internal Linking
  4. Usability
  5. Mobile Version of the Website
  6. Customer Reviews
  7. Rich Snippets
  8. Social Media Integration. 

Many are the trusted websites that show the importance of on-page optimization. In general, we can say:

  • A good on-page optimization increases the visibility of a website in the search results (SERPS)
  • Helps the reduce the loading speed of a website
  • Makes a website more user-friendly and easier to navigate
  • And finally builds trust with both search engines and potential customers.

For this reason on-page optimization is highly recommended for those who have a website, whether it is a blog, an e-commerce site, or any other type of website.

Ultimate benefits

A good on-page optimization is linked to several benefits:

Increased web traffic

More website traffic means more opportunities to convert leads into customers. The more people who visit a website, the more chances there are for someone to become a customer.

This is because potential customers can be exposed to the company’s products or services multiple times, which increases the chances that they will eventually make a purchase.

Additionally, website traffic can help to create brand awareness and generate word-of-mouth marketing, both of which can be beneficial for businesses.

Higher ROI

A good on-page optimization increases the visibility of a website in the search engine results pages (SERPs), which in turn generates more traffic and leads resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI) for businesses.

This is because on-page optimization helps to improve the quality of the website’s content, making it more relevant and useful to potential customers.

Improved usability

Optimized websites are easier to use and navigate, which makes for a better user experience. Improving the time users need to find the information they are looking for.

This is because optimized websites are designed with user experience in mind.

Builds trust with search engines

Search engines are more likely to trust and rank websites that are well-optimized. This is because on-page optimization shows that the website is making an effort to provide a good user experience and is relevant to the keywords being searched for.

Increased traffic = more customers

The whole point of on-page optimization is to increase traffic to your website. And more traffic usually means more customers.

Of course, not all of those visitors will turn into paying customers. But even if only a small percentage do, that’s still more business than you would have gotten without on-page optimization.

And even if they don’t buy anything from you right away, they may bookmark your site or sign up for your email list so they can keep in touch. So even if they don’t turn into customers immediately, on-page optimization can still benefit your business in the long run.

Improved customer retention

On-page optimization can also help improve customer retention.

When people can find what they’re looking for on your website quickly and easily, they’re more likely to stick around. But if they get frustrated and leave, there’s a good chance they won’t come back.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your website is easy to navigate and that all your important information is easy to find. If you do that, you’ll keep more customers coming back, which is good for business.

Emotional benefits of On-page Optimization

Feel like a successful business owner

You don’t want your website to be just another pretty face on the internet. You want it to represent your hard work, dedication, and passion for your business.

When you have a well-optimized site, it shows. It tells visitors that you are serious about what you do and that you’re here to stay. This feeling of accomplishment can carry over into other areas of your life, making you feel like a successful business owner.

Boost your confidence

There’s nothing quite like seeing your site at the top of the search results to give you a confidence boost. When you know that potential customers are seeing your site before your competitors’, it gives you a sense of pride in what you’ve built.

Enjoy watching your website rank higher and higher

On-page optimization is an ongoing process, which means there’s always room for improvement. As you fine-tune your site and add new content, you’ll notice your rankings slowly but surely start to rise.

It’s a satisfying feeling to watch your website move up in the search results, especially when you know all the hard work you put into it.

Take pride in knowing you’re doing everything you can to succeed

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to SEO. But by doing on-page optimization, you’re taking all the necessary steps to improve your site’s ranking. You’re giving yourself the best chance to succeed. And that feels pretty good.

Improve your relationship with your website

Your website is like a plant—it needs care and attention to grow. The more time and effort you put into on-page optimization, the healthier and stronger your site will become.

Just like any relationship, the better you communicate with your website, the better it will treat you.

How to Optimize Your Web Pages for On-Page SEO?

As already mentioned, there are eight target keys when it comes to on-page optimisation:

  1. Keyword Optimization
  2. Site Structure
  3. Internal Linking
  4. Usability
  5. Mobile Version of the Website
  6. Customer Reviews
  7. Rich Snippets
  8. Social Media Integration. 

Here are some tips on how to optimize your web pages for each:

  • 1. Do keyword research to find the right keywords to target. Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner and other tools to find the right keywords for your website.
  • 2. Optimize your website structure. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and that all your pages are reachable from the home page.
  • 3. Add internal links to help Google understand the relevance of your pages.
  • 4. Improve usability. Make sure your website is easy to use and that it loads quickly.
  • 5. Create a mobile version of your website. More and more people are using their mobile phones to access the internet, so it’s important that your website is mobile-friendly.
  • 6. Add customer reviews. Customer reviews can help improve your website’s conversion rate.
  • 7. Use rich snippets to enhance your listings in the search results.
  • 8. Integrate social media into your website. Social media can help you promote your content and attract more visitors to your website.

These tips are good and common for you to find on many websites on the internet. What you wont found so easy on the internet is the step by step process of optimizing the on-page elements of your web pages.

But, you are in the right site, because I will show you my personal walkthrough of how I optimize my web pages for on-page optimization.

Resources:

On-Page SEO Template Download

On-Page Optimization Process

First, I start with keyword research.

You first need to know the keywords that makes the topic of your page. You might have a good idea of what these are, but its important to do your research to be sure.

Having that keyword on mind you make Google search, as simple as that. Initially what you are looking for are four things:

  1. Who are the top 5-10 competitors for this keyword.
  2. What does their website look like.
  3. What type of content is Google ranking on the first page? Things like statistics, questions, videos, and other types of content.
  4. The average length of the articles.
  5. If a branded keyword, check how strong your competitors are dominating the first page of Google. If a not branded Keyword, check what other strong websites are in the top 10 positions.
  6. Check how many backlinks those pages on the 5-10 positions have.

Based on those observations you need to understand a few things:

  1. Do you have a chance to rank on the first page of Google with that keyword. If not, find another keyword.
  2. How much content you should write.
  3. How strong are you as a competitor?

After you have those answers you are ready to move on the next step.

Second, fixing the loading speed

The next thing you need to do is to go to the Google Page Insights and check each one of those 5-10 websites for the mobile and desktop version.

You want to make sure your website is as fast as possible, because that’s one of the ranking factors.

Consider this:

Loading speeds aren’t always the same because there are many technical factors that influence them. The average loading speed of a website is between 2 and 5 seconds.

But your goal, if you want to have an excellent on-page optimization level, is to do better than your competitors, if this is not possible, then at least you need to match their average loading speed.

Best tool to measure a website loading speed

When it comes to checking my web pages loading speed I use tools like GTMetrix, Google Page Insights, Pingdom, and WebPageTest.

Third, Optimize the title and meta tags

After you have fixed the loading speed of your website and made sure it’s as fast as possible, you need to optimize the title and meta tags of your web pages.

The title tag is an important on-page ranking factor, because it tells search engine algorithms and users what your page is about.

The meta tags are also important, because they give search engine users more information about your page in the search result pages. The two most important meta tags are the meta description and the meta title tags.

What is a meta description?

The meta description is a short description of your page that appears in the search results. It should be no longer than 155 characters, because that’s the maximum length that Google displays in the search results.

What is a meta title?

The meta title is the title of your page that appears in the search results. It should be no longer than 60 characters, because that’s the maximum length that Google displays in the search results.

You want to make sure you use your keyword in both the title and meta description, because that will help people from search results, to understand what your page is about and if it’s relevant to their search.

Fourth, Optimize the content

The next thing you need to do is to optimize your content.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you use your keyword throughout your content, do not over think this step. It is not about keyword density anymore.

Using your keyword wisely means to make sure you are using it in your title, in the first paragraph, in the body of your content, and in the last paragraph.

Increasing the relevancy of your topic with complementary related words

The second thing you need to do is to use related words to your keyword, what we call Semantic Keywords, in your content.

The idea behind this is to help Google understand the context of your topic and match it with the searcher’s intent.

For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “weight loss”, you want to use related words like “fat”, “obesity”, “diet”, and so on.

You can use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find related keywords to your main keyword.

Improving the readability of your content

Another thing you need to do when it comes to optimizing your content is to make sure it’s easy to read and understand.

You want to use short paragraphs, use bullet points, and use simple words.

You also want to make sure your content is scannable, which means people can easily find the information they are looking for.

Making sure your content is engaging and valuable

Make sure you are posting engaging and valuable content. This is one of the most important things you need to do when it comes to on-page optimization.

Your content needs to be better than your competitor’s content, if you want to rank higher in the search results.

You also want to make sure your content is at least 1,000 words long, because that’s the a good amount of words to cover a topic in-depth.

Longer content also means you have more opportunities to use your keyword and related keywords throughout your content, which is a good thing.

Optimizing the media of your content

Make sure you are using images and videos in your content, because that will make your content more engaging and enjoyable to read.

When it comes to images, you want to make sure you are using the ALT tag and file name to include your keyword. This is important, because it gives Google more information about what your image is about.

Your images need also to be compress, so they load faster.

You can use a tool like Compress-or-Die to compress your images in different formats.

When it comes to videos, you want to make sure you are using the keyword in the file name, title, and description.

Fifth, Internal linking optimization

After I have completed optimizing my content, the next thing I do is to optimize my internal links.

Internal linking is important, because it helps search engine algorithms understand the structure of your website and it helps users navigate your website.

When it comes to optimizing your internal links, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Keyword rich anchor texts

Make sure you are using keyword rich anchor texts.

What is an anchor text?

An anchor text word or words used to identify the beginning of a hypertext link.

For example, if I want to link to my on-page optimization guide, I will use the anchor text “on-page optimization guide” and add an URL to it.

The anchor text is the part of the link that is visible to users.

When you are linking to a page on your website, you want to use keyword rich anchor texts, because that will help Google understand what the page you are linking to is about.

Linking to relevant pages

Relevancy plays a huge role when it comes to internal linking.

You want to make sure you are linking to relevant pages, because that will help Google understand the context of your website and it will help users find the information they are looking for.

For example, if I am writing an article about on-page optimization, I will link to my guide about on-page optimization, because it’s relevant.

If I am writing an article about online marketing, I will link to my guide about digital marketing, because it’s relevant.

Not too many links per page

Yes it is important to have internal links well distributed across your site, but you don’t want to go overboard with it.

If you have too many links on a page, it will look spammy and it will be confusing for users.

A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 100 links per page. (Meaning all links, Menus links, footers links, etc.)

Anchor text diversity

You want to make sure you have a good anchor text diversity.

Anchor text diversity means using different kinds of anchor texts instead of just using your keyword as your anchor text all the time.

For example, if my keyword is “on-page optimization”, I will use that as my anchor text sometimes, but I will also use other variations of it such as “on-page SEO”, “optimizing your website for Google”, etc.

Anchor text diversity is important because it helps you avoid keyword stuffing, which is when you use your keyword too many times.

Sixth, Optimizing your website for mobile devices

Mobile devices are increasingly taking over desktop computers as the number one way people access the internet.

Because of this, it is important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.

Here are a few things you need to do to make sure your website is mobile friendly:

Make sure your website has a responsive design

A responsive design is a design that is adaptable to any screen size.

Responsive designs are important, because they make sure your website looks good on all devices, whether it’s a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to test if your website has a responsive design.

Minimize the use of pop-ups

Pop-ups can be annoying, especially on mobile devices.

If you must use pop-ups, make sure they are not intrusive and make sure they can be easily dismissed.

Use confortable to read font colours and sizes

Fonts plays a big role in the mobile friendliness of your website.

You want to make sure the fonts you are using are easy to read on all devices.

You also want to make sure the font sizes are not too small, because that can be hard to read on mobile devices.

And last but not least, you want to make sure the font colours you are using are confortable to read on all devices.

The last three things I do are not mandatory but they help increasing your on-page optimization effectives:

Customer Reviews

Reviews are a great way to show Google that your website is popular and relevant.

If you have customer reviews on your website, it will help increase your chances of ranking higher in the search results.

To get customer reviews, you can use a service like TrustPilot or you can ask your customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile page.

The more reviews you have, the better.

Rich Snippets 

Rich snippets are special types of markup that you can add to your website to make your listings stand out in the search results.

Here is an example of a rich snippet:

As you can see, the listing with the rich snippet stands out more than the other listings.

If you want to learn more about rich snippets, you can read this article:

Introducing Rich Snippets – Google Search Console Blog

Social Media Integration

Social media integration is a great way to engage with your visitors and to send social signals to Google Algorithm.

Meaning that using social media buttons on your website, will help increase your chances of ranking higher in the search results.

To get social media buttons, you can use a service like AddThis or you can use the social media buttons provided by your social media platforms.

The more social media buttons you have, the better, just make sure not to abuse them and to use the ones that you are active on.

Honorable mention: Your Page URL

It is not that Google puts a lot of emphasis on your page URL, but it is still a good practice to have a URL that is short, descriptive and keyword rich.

– Use your keyword in your URL

– Make sure your URL is short, ideally 3-5 words

– Use dashes (-) to separate the words in your URL

– Avoid using special characters such as &, %, $, etc.

Final Words

Now that you understand the basics of on-page optimization, it’s time to create your own plan. Start by taking a look at your website and identifying areas that need improvement. Then, develop a strategy for each page on your site, using the tips we shared in this article.

Always keep your customer’s needs in mind when creating your content; after all, they are the ones who will be reading it!

If you need help getting started or want someone to review your work before publishing, reach out to us and we’d be happy to assist. We hope you enjoyed this beginner’s guide to on-page optimization and found it helpful. Thanks for reading!