What Is On Page SEO? How To Perfectly Optimise Your Page

  • Matthew Woodward
  • Updated on Jun 10, 2024

On page SEO is one of the most overlooked (but vitally important) parts of marketing.

It forms the foundation of good SEO and can make or break your website’s performance.

Without it, all of the other tactics you implement are a waste of time.

And, here’s the kicker…

On page SEO is…

  • Free to do
  • Easy to implement

…and can have an instant impact on how your website ranks for your target keywords.

What Is On Page SEO?

On Page SEO is the process of optimising your website, content and code.

 If you do this correctly is helps you rank higher in search engines.

This process (often referred to as On Site SEO) can be broken down into two parts which when optimized can both affect the performance of your website:

  1. User experience: Formatting and displaying your content to provide the most benefit to the reader
  2. Code optimisation: Making sure the HTML code and other elements of your site can easily be crawled by search engine crawlers

Doing this allows a search engine and its users to quickly decide if this content is relevant, valuable and worthy of a high ranking for a specific search term.

increase search traffic with on page seo

By following on page SEO techniques

  • You can boost your page’s rankings
  • Drive more relevant traffic back to your website

Why Is On Page SEO Important?

On page SEO is important because it helps a search engine to fulfil its primary role;

To connect people with search queries, to the most relevant content.

They crawl your website and look out for elements that indicate your content is a good fit.

why is on page seo important

Want to know the best part about on page SEO?

 You have complete control over it. Everything that takes places on your site:

From the source code to the quality of your website content and the internal links…

They’re all your responsibility

Ensuring everything on your site is in tip-top condition before you focus on off-page SEO tactics like link building is the best decision you can make for the health of your site’s SEO.

For example, I won’t accept guest articles on my blog that come with bad code.

All guest bloggers must remove bad code from their blog posts before I’ll publish them.

When I say bad code I’m talking about elements like:

  • Span tags

Which can often appear when an article is copied and pasted from a word processor.

These can clutter your content and make it harder to crawl…

Which devalues your content in a search engine’s eyes.

Trying to build an SEO strategy around a website filled with bad content and even worse code is hard work and doesn’t bode well for the long-term SEO of your website.

How On Page SEO Improves Rankings

To improve your on page SEO rankings, understand that…

Google is constantly trying to determine the quality of the content on your page.

They look whether:

  • Your content is valuable: by looking for elements like headings, content length, images, videos and external links
  • Your content has a good user experience: by looking at the speed, structure and style of your page

By optimising your content to be as strong as possible in both of these categories…

You can see a dramatic increase in your website’s ranking.

content and user experience equals search traffic

Wall Street Oasis an online finance community forum, have a great example of this.

For five years they struggled to improve their website’s traffic and felt like a lost cause.

After trying lots of different external methods, they turned their attention to their website.

They found:

  • Many of their website pages were poorly structured
  • Their site contained messy elements (like super-long URLs)
  • Their content was quite short and often duplicated in multiple threads

So they focused on improving the quality of the content on their website…

By improving the quality and structure of their website pages.

Namely they:

  1. Increased content length
  2. Consolidated duplicate content into single pages
  3. Structured their pages using headers
  4. Added “support” content like images and videos

The result?

Their organic search traffic increased 32%.

The first rise in traffic they had experienced in years!

By making their pages more valuable to their visitors and structuring them in a way which made them easier to understand and crawl, Google viewed their website more positively.

This isn’t the only example of on page SEO increasing traffic, either.

In another case study, Cognitive SEO increased their website’s visibility 70%

By revamping and improving old content on their website.

Google is clearly looking for content that is:

  • Fresh
  • Valuable
  • Well-structured

…to rank in its search engines and  on page SEO forms the foundation of it all!

Although off-site factors like backlinks are often made out to be more powerful…

They are only effective if the content they’re pointing back to is of high quality.

If you ensure your content is ticking all of these boxes, the rest of your SEO strategy will fall into place much more easily.

Wrapping It Up

On page SEO is the process of optimising your website for both…

User Experience and Search Engine Algorithms.

It is heavily influenced by:

  • Your website’s structure
  • Your website’s coding
  • The quality of your content

A simple way to improve on page SEO is to remove “bad” code.

Removing code like   from your site’s HTML, will make your site easier to crawl.

But the most important results, as you saw from the Wall Street Oasis case study, comes from  improving the quality of your content and structuring it appropriately.

Now that we have answered the question “What Is On Page SEO?”

It’s time to look at the 27 on page SEO factors you need to pay attention to with my On page SEO checklist (that you can complete with my 45+ steps SEO checklist).

(But if you want more detailed explanations about on-page or SEO in general, I recommend you to read one of these SEO books or listen to my favourite SEO podcasts).

What Are Your Thoughts?

18 Responses

  1. An eye-opener for me. I always write posts in a word processor and then copy-paste them into WP, so you can imagine how many bad code elements I have there. Oh my. I am removing them today. Thanks for the info, Matthew 🙂

  2. Hey Matthew, Your articles are simply awesome. I am regular reader of your articles. It helps me a lot. Thanks for sharing your amazing knowledge with us and providing us such great articles. Keep up the good work

  3. Great Article.. !! Found your content quite interesting and useful. Thanks for posting this valuable information.Keep Blogging !!

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