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On-Page SEO

Understand the importance and how we help!

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As an experienced SEO agency, we understand the importance of on-page SEO and how it works within a successful digital marketing strategy. Many of our clients do not understand the differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO and it is our pleasure to better explain what it is and why it is essential to search engine optimization. Throughout this article we will explain the fundamentals of on-page SEO and how we implement these ranking factors into your website. When on-page SEO is properly done then you will see an increase in organic traffic and higher rankings.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO or another term for it is called on-site SEO. This is the practice of optimizing each and every page on your site to rank better in search engine results pages. In turn, when done properly, it will yield more quality traffic. During this process, meta tags, meta descriptions, heading structure, image optimization, URL structure and internal linking are all carefully crafted to match the relevance of your pages targeted keywords. 

By adhering and following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, we are able to prioritize user experience and effectively communicate the web pages relevance to search engines.

Now that you have a very basic definition of on-page SEO, we’ll discuss in more depth about the key components that range from keyword research, and creating high quality content that engages your target audience. On-page SEO isn’t just about content structure. It also has some technical elements to it as well such as optimizing pages for page speed, mobile-friendliness and a few other technical factors that make for a better user experience.

With our agency’s firm grasp of on-page SEO, we’ll be able to better communicate to you how our agency uses these strategies to improve your company’s website structure and design.

Understanding On-Page SEO Factors

On-page SEO is a top-ranking factor so it needs to be methodically planned out to achieve the best results. If Google or other search engines don’t know what your page is about, then your website will not show up where you expect it to. Let’s break down all the elements of a web page so you have a better understanding of what we are blabbing about.

Title Tag Optimization

Title tags are one of the first things you see when you are doing a search. It is specifically an HTML element that clearly states what the title of your web page is about. For example, if you search for Plaid Agency, the title that displays in the search results and on your browser tab will read, “Plaid Agency | A Digital Marketing Company” 

This clearly tells the searcher and the search engine what the page is about. When these title tags do not match the user’s search intent, then Google will not rank the page very high. The title tag must also match what the content on the page is about also.

Title tag best practices: Limit your title tags to 50-60 characters so it does not get cut off in search results. This ensures the user knows exactly what your page is about.

tite tag meta descriptioni example of on page seo

Meta Description Optimization

Much like meta title tags, the meta description of the page is right beneath the title. The meta description should complement the title and content of the article. Your descriptions need to be clear and concise about the topic being discussed on the page. 

Typically, these days, if you write a poor description, search engines will just replace it for you based on what it thinks your page is about. Based on the description that the search engine replaces for you is a good sign your description needs work or your content is not aligning with your main topic.

Meta Description Best Practices: Make sure to include the targeted keyword or related keyword within the description that summarizes the content of the page. Make sure it is no longer than 160 characters in length or it will not fully display in the SERPS.

Header Tags

Header tags are often referred to as (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6). If you do any type of writing in word programs you may have seen these. Headings need to be in descending order and used properly. When used properly it clearly shows the hierarchy of your pages content, so it makes for a great user experience. This also helps algorithms scan your page and identify what your article is about. 

If you look at the article headings of this post, you will notice that our title is the largest heading which is an H1 and then each section after that is broken down to H2 and H3’s respectively. Rarely do we go past H3 unless it is a super in-depth article and each topic needs to be broken down into subsections.

Header Tag Best Practices: Optimize header tags from H1-H6. Only use H1 headings once! Also, do not stuff keywords in headings. Search engines are able to understand the context of your article, so keyword stuffing your headings is considered spammy and bad practice.

header tag

Content Optimization

The goal of content optimization is to make sure that your piece of writing is clear, concise and all the topics your keyword relates to are fully covered. When optimizing content, you also want to make sure that the right semantic keywords are being used, knowledge graph entities are applied and that you are covering the topic thoroughly. A piece of optimized content will signal to the search engines that you are an authority in your space, and you will be rewarded with better rankings.

Content Optimization Best Practices: Avoid using the keyword too many times unless it is absolutely necessary. There are some topics and keywords that don’t have many synonyms or semantic relations to other words which forces you to keep repeating them. 

Keyword Optimization

Each of your webpages needs to have a carefully researched keyword. By choosing the right keywords, you can effectively drive the right kind of traffic to your page. Keyword optimization is done by thorough research with various tools such as SEMrush to determine user intent, keyword search volume and how competitive the term is. It’s not as simple as picking a keyword and just going with it! Keyword optimization that is poorly done can make clients wish they never started working with your company.

Keyword Optimization Best Practices: Unless you are an established online authority and or have a huge amount of high-quality backlinks, it is best to choose keywords with less competition. Sometimes even using long tailed keywords can drive the best traffic to your website.

keyword optimization

Internal Linking Structure

Internal linking is a link that points to another part of your website that strengthens a topic in an article on your website. You may see these blue links on web pages you read. They are there for a very good reason! Those links will point to another topic that is related or briefly talked about in an article. By linking to other pages on your website, you are relating your topics and helping users find information. The whole goal is to keep customers on your website and increase engagement time. By doing this you will rank higher in search engines. 

Internal Linking Best Practices: Don’t just randomly link to any page on your site. Make sure the linking text or anchor text is relevant to the topic you are talking about. It needs to be useful for the reader to click on.

External Linking

External linking is making a link within your article that points to another source of credibility. When you link to an external source, you are providing the reader with more information on a topic that you aren’t fully covering. This also shows that you are willing to share information and credit sources with your content. If you are lucky and you write a good article, the website you link to may find your information credible and link back to you! This is a good thing!

External Linking Best Practice: Only link to other websites that have high authority and are credible sources within the topic you are writing about. A cool strategy we like to use, is to link to good articles that don’t have high authority and have them write something nice in return for us.

Image Optimization

Image optimization is a multifaceted strategy. The basics of it are simple though. You want to optimize every image on your website by changing the file names to explain the image, adding alt tags, image descriptions and use the proper type of image. Popular image types are in these formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, SVG. Some files are larger than others and this plays into page speed. Choosing the right file type for each section is also important. Your images need to be compressed, but this is more of the technical side of SEO, which we will cover in another article.

Image Optimization Best Practices: Make sure that your images have proper file names that correlate to the keyword you are targeting on your page. Use image alt tags and descriptions on each image where necessary. 

image optimization

URL Optimization

URL optimization is important to on-page SEO because it strengthens the keyword you are talking about in your article. For example, if you look at the URL of this article it is: https://agencyplaid.com/on-page-seo/. On-page SEO is our main keyword we are targeting. This strengthens your article’s topic with search engines. It also reinforces your keyword choice.

URL Optimization Best Practices: Always keep your URL concise and to the point. Use dashes to break up words so algorithms can read them clearly. Try to have your URL include the keyword also.

url optimization

Page Speed Optimization:

Page speed optimization is more technical SEO but is part of on-page SEO because there are things you can do on each page that improve page speed. You can improve page speed by properly sizing images, designing sections of each web page to not use as much html and JavaScript. 

Page Speed Optimization Best Practices: Reduce image file sizes and use the proper image files for each section of your website. Don’t overdo your page with JavaScript’s, because those are resource heavy and will increase page load time significantly!

Mobile Responsiveness

Your website has to be mobile friendly. This also falls into the web design and technical side of SEO but there are elements of being mobile friendly that are needed for on-page SEO. Each element on your page needs to convert to a mobile friendly format when customers view your website on their phone or tablet. By doing so you are signaling to search engines that your page is relevant, which will increase search rankings. 

Mobile Friendliness Best Practices: Make sure all your content is properly formatted so that it works with tablets and mobile phones. From analytics data we collected from our clients, nearly 60% of searches are on their phones. So, make sure your content is optimized for mobile.

Schema Markup & Structured Data

Schema markup is also known as structured data. This markup code helps search engines better understand what your website’s content is about. By easily understanding what your webpage is about, search engines can award you with rich snippets if your information is deemed to be unique and trustworthy. Schema markup differs from page to page on your site so it is important to have the right markup for your homepage and services pages for example.

schema markup

Schema Markup Best Practices: Make sure your structured data is kept up to date and accurate. Test it with Googles Schema Markup Tester before going live with it to make sure it is properly formatted. Also do not add schema that doesn’t belong on pages. Not only will it hurt your rankings, but you could face a penalty or manual suspension.

Canonical Tag Implementation

Canonical tags are a form of optimizing URL structure for articles and pages that are similar in nature. By setting canonical tags for similar or duplicate pages, you are telling search engines which page is the best to be displayed and which page is more important. You will need to add canonical tags to pages that closely talk about the same topic or keyword. For example, if you have two pages talking about “SEO”, you will want to differentiate them with canonical tags. Designate the secondary page as a canonical to the main topic page of “SEO”.

Canonical Tag Best Practices: When you are creating pages from the beginning, make sure you search your website for articles closely related to the new topic you want to publish. Do your best to make them different with unique URLs, keywords, and content. 

Breadcrumbs Optimization

Breadcrumbs are important to implement to your on-page SEO. This will help website visitors easily navigate to different parts of your website. As you post more articles, they get farther away from your home page, and this will help customers navigate back to where they started. Not only do breadcrumbs help the user experience, it also helps search engines and bots navigate your website for indexing purposes.

Breadcrumbs Best Practices: Add breadcrumbs to every page of your website. There are tools such as Yoast and RankMath that can easily inject these into your WordPress site. We definitely prefer RankMath over Yoast.

breadcrumb optimization

These are the main factors that contribute to a healthy on-page SEO strategy for our clients. On-page SEO plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful digital marketing campaign. When these factors are done right on each page, your website stands a better chance of ranking in the top positions of search engine results for a given keyword. Technical SEO needs to be blended in with on-page SEO, which is a topic we will cover in another article because it is completely different form of SEO. It is important that all elements of SEO be given equal value for the best chances of gaining visibility.

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Our Agency’s Approach to On-Page SEO

At Plaid Agency, on-page SEO plays a critical role in our digital marketing strategy. It is often overlooked by other SEO professionals or not done properly. It is a very complex and ever-changing factor in ranking websites and we are constantly keeping up with all the search engine updates and changes. Our experienced team follows a strategic approach to optimizing each and every aspect of your website to improve your positions in organic searches. Provided below is an overview of how we implement our on-page SEO strategies for our clients.

Comprehensive Website Audit

After you reach out to us for help, we begin by examining every part of your digital presence. We will identify all areas that need improvement. This includes your social profiles, business listings, your websites content, and technical aspects. We will deliver a final report with all of our recommendations, or we can schedule a meeting to go over our findings.

Keyword Research and Mapping

Keyword research and mapping is important to identify the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business. Our team will compile a list of keywords that we feel would work best with our online marketing strategy. This ensures we create a highly detailed keyword map that outlines how we will target searches and new customers.

Content Optimization

For your content to rank properly, we will create high quality, engaging and informative content that your customers will want to read. With a preplanned content strategy, we will be able to identify all the important topics that your website needs to be talking about. This in turn will build trust with your searchers and with search engines. 

Technical Optimization

To squeeze out every bit of visibility, our expert team will make sure that all your I’s are dotted and all your T’s are crossed when it comes to technical SEO. Critical factors for technical optimization of each page include but are not limited to website overall speed, responsiveness, structured data, XML sitemaps and indexing issues are all taken care of and done properly.

Ongoing Monitoring & Tracking

On-page SEO is always changing and is an ongoing process that needs to be handled with care. That is why we track and monitor your websites performance, keywords positions and watch user behavior to adjust and improvements on a monthly basis. By doing this, you will keep your edge over your competition and will always be trending in the right direction. 

Unlease your online potential with plaid

The Milwaukee ON-PAGE SEO Agency That gets it!

Partner With Us For Expert On-Page SEO

By partnering with our agency, you can expect a data-driven approach to on-page SEO that drives new traffic and business growth. We pride ourselves on our commitment to delivering honest and transparent services. Our expertise guarantees that your website is fully optimized for success. 

If you are seeking a partner to elevate your online presence, then look no further than our agency. We have helped many clients reach their goals and business dreams. The power of a fully optimized website cannot be overstated. It is the way of the future!


On-Page SEO FAQs

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages on a website in order to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Some key elements of on-page SEO include optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, using header tags properly, creating high-quality content, optimizing images and other media, and ensuring a mobile-friendly design.

Keyword research helps identify which keywords and phrases potential customers are using to search for products or services. By including these keywords strategically on individual web pages, businesses can improve their chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

Internal linking helps search engines understand the hierarchy and structure of a website’s content. By linking to other pages on the same website using relevant anchor text, businesses can help distribute authority and improve the user experience.

Schema markup provides additional context and information to search engines about the content on a web page. This can help improve visibility and increase click-through rates by providing rich snippets in search engine results.

owner of plaid agency at a milwaukee brewers game with his daughter.

About the Author

Patrick graduated with a degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010. Since his family got his first computer in 1996, he has been building websites, creating PPC campaigns, and mastering search engine optimization ever since. Patrick has built and owned many multi-million dollar companies with his knowledge and expertise in digital marketing. He now focuses on helping small businesses in the Milwaukee area build their digital empires with Plaid Agency.

SEO Experience: LinkedIn Credentials