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On-Page SEO: How to Optimize your Site in 2023

On-Page SEO: How to Optimize your Site in 2023

If you’re looking to improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic, then it’s crucial you perform on-page SEO. 

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, involves optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines.

We touched a bit on how to do it in our complete SEO guide, but On-Page SEO is such a crucial part of successfully ranking a website that we decided to release a whole post dedicated to the process.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about on-page SEO, from the fundamentals of an optimized website to the finer points. 

By the end of it, you should have a solid understanding of what on-page elements are and how to optimize yours for better search engine rankings.

Understanding On-Page SEO

Simply put, On-Page SEO is the process of optimizing the content and structure of a page.

On-Page SEO works because it satisfies one of the 2 main factors Google takes into account when ranking a website:

  • Relevancy
  • Trust

A good on-page optimization tells search engines what your page is supposed to be about, which satisfies the relevancy factor.

To get a better understanding of On-Page SEO, here’s an example:

Let’s say you got invited to someone’s Halloween party and you want to look your absolute best. Being that it’s a Halloween party, you’d want to come dressed up in a costume. You might come dressed up as a movie character, a monster, or even something comedic. However, you wouldn’t be coming to the party in a suit or dress clothes (unless it’s a part of the costume).

In this example, On-Page optimization is essentially the process of choosing the best costume.

To optimize your pages for On-Page SEO, there are several factors to consider. Some of these include:

  • Title Tags
  • Header Tags
  • Content
  • Internal Linking
  • Mobile Friendliness

By optimizing these On-Page SEO factors, you can improve your website’s relevancy and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.

The 3 Biggest On-Page Signals

One of the 1st page results for "Plumber New York". As you can see, the URL, SEO Title, H1 tag and even the Meta Description contain this keyword in some way, shape or form.
One of the 1st page results for “Plumber New York”. As you can see, the URL, SEO Title, H1 tag and even the Meta Description contain this keyword in some way, shape or form.

When it comes to on-page SEO, there are three main signals that you need to focus on in order to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). These signals are your SEO Title, your H1 Tag, and the URL of your website. By optimizing these three elements, you signal to search engines what your page is supposed to be about, enabling it to come up for the appropriate search requests.


Your URL is one of the first things that search engines look at when determining the relevance of your page to a particular search query. Therefore, it’s important to include your main keyword in your URL. This can help signal to search engines that your page is relevant to a particular topic and improve your chances of ranking well for that keyword.

If your page already exists but doesn’t have your main keyword in the URL, you’re better off leaving the URL as is and remembering this practice for next time. 

Do NOT try to alter the URL to include the main keyword. Not only will this hurt the authority of your page, but it will also break every link back to it.

SEO Title

Your SEO Title is the title that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for a particular keyword. It’s important to include your main keyword in your SEO Title, as this can help signal to search engines that your page is relevant to that keyword. 

For best results, put the main keyword you’re trying to rank for as close to the beginning as naturally possible. Additionally, your SEO Title should be compelling and encourage people to click through to your page.

H1 Tag

Your H1 Tag is the main heading on your page. In many cases, it is also considered the title of the page since it’s usually the first bit of text someone will see. The H1 tag should include your main keyword. Additionally, your H1 Tag should be clear and concise, and accurately reflect the content of your page. This helps search engines understand what your page is about and can improve your chances of ranking well for that keyword. 

Content Creation

Creating high-quality content is one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. Your content should be relevant, informative, and interesting to your target audience. There are 2 factors to consider when creating content: Quality, and Freshness.

Quality of Content

The quality of your content is crucial when it comes to On-Page SEO. Not only does it need to be relevant to your target audience, but it also has to be engaging and easy to read. Content quality is so important that it’s actually possible to rank just by providing a lot of value even if every other factor is subpar.

To create high-quality content, you should:

  • Conduct thorough research on your topic
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Use bullets and subheadings
  • Use short paragraphs to make content easier to read (avoid walls of text)
  • Include relevant images and videos
  • Use internal and external links to other pages
  • Add relevant keywords, but do so in a natural way

Content Freshness

Content freshness is another important aspect of On-Page SEO. In fact, Google has a whole algorithm dedicated to it. It’s important to update old content and add new content to your website.

To keep your content fresh, you should:

  • Regularly update the existing content on your website with new information
  • Regularly add new content to your website
  • Use social media to promote your new and updated content
  • Encourage user-generated content, such as comments and reviews, to keep your website active and engaging

When updating existing content, it’s especially important that you’re adding new information. Make sure you’re bringing something new every time. You can’t satisfy freshness just by changing the year of your article. 

A lot of subpar SEO’s will change from “2022” to “2023” and expect Google to treat it like fresh content. According to Google’s John Mueller, it won’t

By focusing on the quality of your content and keeping it fresh, you can improve your on-page SEO and provide value to your target audience.

Meta Descriptions

A Meta Description is an HTML tag that provides a brief summary of your web page on search engine results pages. They do NOT directly impact search engine rankings. They CAN however influence click-through rates and user engagement, so you should always have one on your webpage.

Here are some best practices for writing meta descriptions:

  • Keep them under 155 characters to avoid getting cut off in search results pages
  • Use descriptive language that accurately reflects the content of your page
  • Include your target keyword, but avoid keyword stuffing
  • Use a call-to-action to encourage users to click through to your page

Internal Linking

Internal linking is when you link to other pages within your website. It is an essential part of On-Page SEO. It helps search engines understand the structure of your website along with the relationships between different pages. They also help users navigate your site and find relevant content.

Here are some best practices for internal linking:

Use Descriptive Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that appears in a hyperlink. It’s best to use descriptive anchor text that gives users and search engines a sense of what the linked page is about instead of using generic phrases like “click here” or “read more” unless you really want the user to navigate to that page.

Link to Relevant Pages

When linking to other pages on your site, make sure the linked pages are relevant to the content on the current page. Linking to irrelevant pages can confuse users and harm your SEO. For example, if you have a page on your site about exotic cars and a page about carpentry, it would make absolutely no sense to be linking either of these pages to each other (unless some kind of ultra specific context calls for it).

Use a Logical Structure

Organize your internal links in a logical structure that makes it easy for users and search engines to navigate your site. Use categories, subcategories, and tags to group related content, and link to the most important pages from your homepage and navigation menu.

Avoid Over-Linking

While internal linking is essential, too many links can be overwhelming for users and dilute the value of each link. It also dilutes the value of the page. What good is your content if half the things you say take you somewhere else? Avoid overdoing the number of internal links on each page. Focus on linking to the most relevant and important pages.

Monitor Your Internal Links

Regularly monitor your internal links to ensure they’re working correctly and leading to the correct pages. Broken links can harm your SEO and frustrate users. If your page is hooked up to Google Search Console (which it should), you should be getting notified of any broken links on your page. Address them whenever they come up.

Image Optimization

Images can significantly improve the user experience of your website. However, they can also slow down the loading speed of your pages if not optimized correctly. Since slow site speed can have an adverse effect on user experience and ultimately ranking, it’s something we want to avoid at all costs.

 Here are some tips to ensure that your images are optimized for search engines and users:

1. Choose the Right File Format

There are three main file formats for images: JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. JPEG is best for photographs, PNG is best for graphics with transparent backgrounds, and GIF is best for animated images. Choose the right format for the type of image you are using.

2. Compress Your Images

Large image files can slow down your website’s loading speed. Compress your images to reduce their file size without sacrificing image quality. You can use online tools like TinyPNG or Photoshop to compress your images.

3. Use Descriptive File Names

Use descriptive file names for your images that include relevant keywords. This will help search engines understand what your images are about and improve your website’s SEO.

4. Add Alt Text

Alt text is a description of an image that appears when the image cannot be displayed. You should always be adding alt text to your images that accurately describe what they’re about. Not only will this improve the experience for some users, but it will also help search engines understand the content of your images.

5. Use Responsive Images

Responsive images are images that adjust to the size of the device they are being viewed on. Use responsive images to ensure that your images look good on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

By following these image optimization tips, you can improve the user experience of your website while also improving your website’s SEO.


Mobile-friendliness has become a crucial factor in On-Page SEO. With a growing number of site visits coming from mobile devices, optimizing your website for mobile has never been more important. 

Google has a free tool to check the mobile friendliness of your website:

To access it, either search “Mobile Friendly Test” on Google or click here.

Google's Mobile-friendly test page.

Create Mobile-Friendly Content

Creating mobile-friendly content is the first step in optimizing your website for mobile. You should aim to create content that is easy to read and navigate on a small screen. Similar to our quality content tips, use short paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings to make your content as accessible as possible. Avoid using large images or videos that can slow down your website’s load time on mobile devices.

Use Responsive Design

Responsive design is a design technique that allows your website to adapt to different screen sizes. With responsive design, your website will look great and function properly on any device, including mobile devices. This is achieved by using flexible layouts, images, and CSS media queries that adjust the layout of your website based on the screen size of the device.

Optimize Your Website’s Load Time

Mobile users are often on the go and have limited time to wait for a website to load. Therefore, it is crucial to optimize your website’s load time for mobile devices. Use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify areas where your website can be optimized for faster load times. Some tips to improve your website’s load time include minimizing HTTP requests, compressing images, and using a content delivery network (CDN).

Page Speed Optimization

Page speed is an essential factor in On-Page SEO. If a site does not load within 3 seconds, the user will go back and look for another page. 

Faster loading pages also help to increase the website’s search engine ranking. According to Backlinko, Google has been using page speed as a ranking factor since 2010. Therefore, optimizing your page speed should be a priority.

There are several ways to optimize your page speed. Here are some of the most effective methods:

1. Minimize HTTP Requests

HTTP requests are made when a web page loads, and each request adds to the page’s loading time. You can reduce the number of HTTP requests by minimizing the number of resources on your page. Combine multiple CSS files into one, use inline CSS instead of external files, and remove unnecessary images.

2. Optimize Images

Images are often the largest files on a web page, and large files take longer to load. You can optimize your images by compressing them without losing quality. Use image compression tools like TinyPNG to reduce the file size of your images.

3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN is a network of servers that are distributed around the world. When a user requests a web page, the server closest to them delivers the content. This reduces the page’s loading time. CDNs like Cloudflare are easy to set up and can significantly improve your page speed.

4. Minimize JavaScript and CSS Files

Large JavaScript and CSS files can slow down your page speed. You can minimize these files by removing unnecessary code and whitespace. Use online tools like UglifyJS to compress files and remove unnecessary code.

5. Enable Browser Caching

Browser caching allows your website’s visitors to store some of your website’s files on their computer. This means that the next time they visit your website, the files will load faster because they are already stored on their computer. You can enable browser caching by adding caching headers to your server’s response.

By implementing these page speed optimization techniques, you can significantly improve your website’s loading time and search engine ranking.

User Engagement

User engagement is a crucial factor for on-page SEO. It refers to how much time users spend on your website, how many pages they visit, and how often they return. The more engaged your users are, the better your website will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicates that users are not finding what they are looking for on your website. The higher your bounce rate, the less search engines will show your site on results pages. This can negatively impact your ranking.

To reduce bounce rate, make sure your website is easy to navigate and has a clear structure. Make sure your site loads faster than 3 seconds as well. Ensure that your content is relevant and engaging, and that your website is optimized for mobile devices.

Time on Page

On the other hand, time on page refers to how long users spend on a particular page of your website. The longer users stay on a page, the more search engines will show your site on results pages. This tells search engines that your site is valuable and will positively impact your ranking.

To increase time on page, make sure there’s enough valuable content to the reader to keep them on your page for as long as possible. Exercise best practices for content quality.

Schema Markup

Schema markup is a form of structured data that helps search engines understand the content on your website. It provides additional information about your content, such as what it is, where it’s located, and what it means. This information helps search engines better index and display your content in search results.

Schema markup is important for SEO because it can help your website rank higher in search results. When search engines understand your content better, they can display it more prominently in search results, which can lead to more clicks and traffic to your website.

One of the most significant benefits of schema markup is the ability to display rich snippets in search results. Rich snippets are enhanced search results that include additional information about the content, such as ratings, reviews, and images. Rich snippets can increase click-through rates and improve the user experience by providing more information upfront.

To implement schema markup on your website, you can use a variety of tools and plugins that generate the code for you. You can also manually add schema markup to your website using HTML tags. There are many types of schema markup available, including markup for articles, products, events, and more.

When adding schema markup to your website, it’s essential to follow the guidelines to ensure that your markup is valid and recognized by search engines. You should also test your markup using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that it’s working correctly.

On-Page SEO Mistakes to avoid

When it comes to On Page SEO, there are a few common mistakes that can hurt your website’s ranking. In this section, we’ll discuss two of the most important mistakes to avoid: Keyword Stuffing and Duplicate Content.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of overusing keywords in your content in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. This is a big no-no in the world of SEO. Not only does it look unnatural to readers, but search engines can penalize your website for it.

There was actually a point where keyword stuffing was an effective ranking strategy. People used to be able to rank #1 just by mentioning the same keyword over and over. Then in 2011, Google rolled out an update known as Google Panda, which put an end to this cheap ranking tactic.

To avoid keyword stuffing, focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Use keywords naturally throughout your content and don’t add them where they don’t fit. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a keyword density of around 1-2%.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content refers to content that appears on multiple pages of your website or on other websites. This can be unintentional, such as when you have multiple versions of the same page, or intentional, such as when you copy content from another website.

Duplicate content can hurt your website’s ranking because search engines don’t know which version of the content to index. This is especially the case when you have the same keyword appearing for the URL, SEO Title, and H1 tag of more than one page. 

To avoid this, make sure that each page on your website has unique, high-quality content. If you MUST use content from another website, make sure to give credit where credit is due and use proper citation methods.

Monitoring and Improving SEO

To ensure that your on-page SEO efforts are effective, it’s essential to monitor your website’s performance and make improvements as needed. Here are two powerful tools you can use to monitor and improve your SEO:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that provides valuable insights into your website’s traffic and user behavior. It can help you track the performance of your on-page SEO efforts by providing data on the following metrics:

  • Organic traffic: This metric shows how many visitors come to your website through search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Bounce rate: This metric shows the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page.
  • Time on page: This metric shows how long visitors stay on a specific page of your website.
  • Conversion rate: This metric shows the percentage of visitors who take a specific action on your website, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

By regularly monitoring these metrics in Google Analytics, you can identify areas where your on-page SEO efforts are falling short and make improvements to increase your website’s visibility and engagement.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) is a free tool that helps you monitor and maintain your website’s presence in Google search results. It provides valuable insights into how Google crawls and indexes your website, as well as data on the following metrics:

  • Search queries: This metric shows the keywords that people use to find your website in Google search results.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): This metric shows the percentage of people who click on your website’s link in Google search results compared to the total number of impressions.
  • Indexing status: This metric shows how many pages of your website have been indexed by Google.

By regularly monitoring these metrics in Google Search Console, you can identify technical issues that may be affecting your website’s visibility in search results and make improvements to increase your website’s ranking and click-through rate.


In summary:

  • Onpage SEO involves optimizing your site’s content and code to make it more favorable to search engines.
  • It satisfies the ‘Relevancy’ factor of Google’s algorithms and is a crucial part of successfully ranking your website.
  • Make sure your main keyword is in the URL, SEO Title, and H1 Tag.
  • Put out High quality content on a regular basis while regularly updating old content.
  • Meta Descriptions are not in Google’s algorithms but can still get readers to click your page.
  • Make sure your site is Mobile friendly.
  • Keep site loading speed under 3 seconds.
  • Adding Schema Markup to your website can improve click-through rates.
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing and Duplicate Content.
  • You can monitor the effectiveness of your On-Page SEO using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

We hope you found this guide to Onpage SEO useful.

If you have any questions about the content, or if you would like to have someone look at your page, click here to contact us and we’ll be in touch!

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