On page SEO has been the traditional core of SEO since its conceptualization in the late 90s. At the time, there was little to a page aside from the content that it contained, so making sure that that content was optimized was the way to increase traffic.
In short, on-page SEO is the content on a website: the URL, the organization, the content, links, and meta information provided.
Of course, that is a very simplified list – but it covers the basics.
And, the fundamental, core elements that are vital to ranking well on the SERPs through on-page SEO remain the same.
5 On-Page Elements That Influence Search Engine Ranking
Optimization – URL(s)
People greatly underestimate URLs as part of good SEO.
Whatever page a user or crawler may land on, one of the first things that they see before getting there is the URL. As such, it’s important to have a well thought-out and optimized URL to your website.
Every URL is split up into several parts, but the most relevant for SEO are the domain and top-level domain, or TLD. The domain is the website name, and TLD is the .com or .co.uk that the URL has. For example, coffeetree.com. With the domain being important for both marketing and relevancy (with our example being a coffee website), it is the most customizable part of a URL and is entirely up to you.
The TLD is relevant because it narrows down your target market and primary audience. Having an all-encompassing .com address is good in and of itself, but sometimes is too broad, especially if you have a competitive name/keyword domain. So, choosing the TLD to be the most relevant to your website’s purpose and content is important as well. A .co.uk address for UK sites, .org for organizations (such as Wikipedia). These can be on the region as well– so research your main audience well and take the steps to further optimize your website to that region if you choose a region-specific TLD.
There are several other parts of the URL that are important to consider, such as subdomain (e.g. store.coffeetree.com) which can help indicate the type of website, or sometimes select a language. These come into play when structuring your website and pages.
This structure is the final part of building a good URL – making sure that you structure your URL hierarchy and layout so that you can add new pages and sections without having to restructure your URLs and website, and risk having dead links. This can risk deindexation by the search engine, and you will lose precious traffic.
Make the structure logical, relevant, based on keywords—and most importantly, make it last. Years down the road, if you need to add a whole new section to your website, make sure that you can.
Keywords are vital to on-page SEO. For all content written on any page of your website, for the URL, for the meta descriptions and every other part of it – keywords are important. It is through keywords that people will find your website and having a balance of competitive keywords (with LOTS of search volume) and relevant keywords will indisputably improve the ranking of your website. It is vital to research keywords that will allow you to get to the very top of your niche, and place on the most popular and competitive SERPs as well. It will also ensure healthy traffic through this search volume and competitiveness balance.
Having well-balanced, relevant keywords is one of the absolute best ways to quickly rank higher as your website gets indexed.
Titles and Header Tags
Titles and header tags are simple parts of on-page SEO but very important parts of SEO. Make sure to prioritize Titles and Subtitles with appropriate <h1> and <h2> tags that organize their relevancy. Have appropriate image captions, organized appropriately.
In general – make sure that each title and header tags on your website are well structured and optimized with your keywords in a logical fashion. This will immediately boost your rankings on the SERPs, and will greatly help human and web crawlers understand what your website is all about.
Have you seen a medium or high competitive keyword with more than 2000 monthly search volume without backlinks? None.
Links are a core function of any webpage, so having them be properly structured, organized, and keeping them relevant to the topic is always important. Relevant links on relevant pages is key: for a page about optimization companies in Toronto, adding a link to such a website with an anchor text, like Toronto SEO, will help both the user experience and SE ranking.
The links to your page serve several purposes – once again, both with the user and the crawlers that index your website.
For users, having links with additional information or relevant webpages improves the user experience, and increases their trust in your website. As a result, they are more likely to navigate through other pages of your website as well.
For crawlers, links to and from your website also increase trustworthiness – though according to an algorithm rather than experience. Having links to websites with authority, websites/pages relevant to your topic, and more links, in general, will improve your ranking. A combination of internal links and backlinks (other websites to yours) will get you a much better rank when getting indexed.
You might have come across the phrase “content is king”. Content is key to ranking on SE.
An SEO consultant once quoted that
“You can rank a website or blog post without having to build backlinks if you have amazing content that resonates with your target audience”
Certainly, the quote above is debatable. However, the whole point is to emphasize the power of curating valuable content on your website or blog.
Keywords are also fundamental to content, (whether in short, medium, and long-tail formats). If someone searches for a general topic, as well as a subtopic—for example: coffee café latte with traditional recipes—the website title or header will show up among the search results in its original rank. The content on your website, however, will further increase the rank if it is more relevant and valuable than other websites.
Using the previous example; if your barista website has a section about the traditional ways of brewing coffee, with a point about café latte – and you added that to the description of that page, it will show up higher than less relevant websites!
There you go, the 5 On-Page Elements that Influence Search Engine Ranking. There are other onpage factors that influence ranking such as website speed (loading time), internal linking, just to mention a few. However, the above mentioned points are key to ranking websites and blog posts.