OnPage SEO: Step by step. Help Google understand your website correctly, as good rankings start with the content of your website. From content to page structure, to internal linking and META tags, the field of OnPage search engine optimization includes a multitude of levers.
In this introductory SEO tutorial on OnPage optimization, I’ll explain to you a practical example of how you can optimize your website in a few simple steps for search engines to achieve better long-term positions in the search hits on Google & Co.
What is meant by ” OnPage SEO”?
The OnPage optimization is part of the search engine optimization and is also called OnPage SEO in professional circles. It means all technical and content adjustments that are made directly on your website so that it is more accessible to search engines and more structured and relevant to the user.
Search engine optimization for beginners: 9 elements for successful OnPage optimization.
OnPage SEO in practice
The following OnPage SEO tutorial will show you step by step in detail, which set screws you need to turn on your website to optimize for search engines like Google or Bing. Although OnPage optimization involves a lot of effort, it contributes significantly to a better ranking in the search hits.
The optimization measures are divided into the following areas:
1.) Keyword research
The keyword research forms the basis of a successful search engine optimization because, with it, you lay the foundation for the further development of the website. To reach out to many users and achieve the highest possible reach, you first need to know what users are looking for – and often that is not the same thing you would look for yourself (keyword: operational blindness).
I do the following in terms of keyword research: I open an Excel spreadsheet and first write down all the terms that are important to me. Afterward, I go to the Google search and look at which search suggestions are given to me by Google Suggest when I type my terms in the search field:
The resulting recommendations I include in my Excel spreadsheet and then copy all the search terms that I have now noted in the Semrush – Keyword Research Tool – because here I can get an overview of the possible range, the search behavior, and the Gain competition and get back valuable new keyword ideas that I can incorporate into my spreadsheet:
I include the search volume and the competition factor in my Excel spreadsheet and after that sort the keyword in Tier structure. Put the highest volume keyword in the Tier-1, average volume keyword in Tier-2 and lowest in the Tier-3 and thus have a first overview of which terms are the basis of OnPage optimization. Here, then, it means finding a middle ground between what the users are looking for and what I want to convey.
This approach is, of course, only a rough outline, but still represents an excellent introduction to this topic dar.
2.) Content Research / Content is King!
An essential part of OnPage optimization is the creation of unique, high-quality content because especially with the Panda update, Google itself focused on the quality of the content. Concentrate on adding value to the user. Write your content to the user, not the search engine – because if the user loves your content, Google loves it too! 🙂 for that you need to do content research.
The content search is based primarily on the following questions:
- How do my competitors appear? (Google top rankings)
- What sets my offer apart from the competition? (USP)
- What questions does the user ask about my offer? (FAQ)
- Which topics are hotly discussed at the moment or seasonally? ( Google Trends )
- Are there meaningful statistics/infographics? Optimally by myself?
- Are there any well-known customers/partners/ references that I can show?
- How can I add value to the user with my content?
Think in advance about how you can inspire the user for your offer! They have to stand out from the crowd, offer unmistakable added value and immediately attract positive attention, because OnPage SEO does not only mean to “tune” its website for search engines but above all to the user – so that he is convinced of you, contact them and optimally recommends! But later more in the field of social signals.
Content is the most important factor when it comes to optimizing a page! You can still place so many keywords or define racy META tags and even if your page loads super fast and has an optimal structure: With bad content, you have no chance for an excellent long-term placement! So again: Write your content for the user, not for the search engine!
3.) Structure and construction
The page structure and content structure of the website play an essential role in Google in the evaluation of the core issue. Using different formatting, highlighting, and keyword placements, it’s possible to get the search engine to focus on what you’re focusing on.
3.1) Permalink and HTML header tags
Individual page title <TITLE>
Each page on your homepage should have its page title matching the content of the page. The page title is defined as follows:
<head><title>SEO Tutorial – On-Page Optimization</title>
As you can see, the title already contains all terms for which the page should be found. The maximum length of the page title should not be longer than 60-65 characters – or even less so that it is completely displayed in Google SERPs.
Individual page description <META>
The next step in optimizing your page is to design a page description that will highlight your offer as best you can and, in turn, include the main keywords. The page description is the part of META tags and is defined as follows:
<title>SEO Tutorial – OnPage Optimierung Schritt für Schritt</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”OnPage SEO Tutorial: Step by step guide on on-page optimization!”>
The page description offers enough space to briefly and succinctly convey the essence of your offer so that the searcher knows immediately what he will find in you. The page description should not be longer than 160 characters.
Define Talking URL (Permalink)
A talking URL is simply the ability to convey the main content in the address of the landing page. Instead of a meaningless address such as? P = 123, the file or path is named to produce a meaningful URL:
Example 1: www.digitalgarg.com/onpage-seo-optimization/
Example 2: www.digitalgarg.com/onpage-seo-optimization.html
SERP snippet preview
If you followed the previous steps, your search hit in Google Search Results (SERPS) would now look like this:
SERP-Preview: This is what your search hit on Google would look like.
As you can see, the combination of title, URL, and description is the ideal basis to instantly convey to the seeker what he will find on your page. Furthermore, Google is also unequivocally stated that the focus of the page is on the field of OnPage SEO or search engine optimization.
3.2) headings and highlighting
Their appearance in the search engines is only a small part of what is important for proper placement in the search hits. You must try to keep the visitor on your side by tying it to interesting, well-made and high-quality content! For the search engines, it is important to use different formatting features to redirect the focus back to the core areas that you have already specified in the header tags.
Work with headings
Use headlines to highlight the key features of your offer. There are different sizes from <h1> to <h6>, which Google rates differently. The most important headline is the main heading <h1> – this should, in any case, contain the keyword and be used only once throughout the document! All other heading sizes can also be used multiple times.
Working with highlighting
Highlight important and relevant terms by using bold <b>, underlined <u>, italics <em> or in lists <li>. Google recognizes these formatting and assigns a higher weighting.
3.3) Keyword Placement in Content
Note: – Place your keyword in the first 100 to 150 words to make it more relevant to Google.
Natural keyword distribution
The more often you place your keyword in page content, the higher its weighting – but you should not overdo it! The keyword distribution should stretch evenly across the entire content and be as natural as possible without negatively impacting the text and reading flow.
Synonyms, variations and relevant terms
Do not just stupidly place your keyword, but also use synonyms and variations of it. In addition, you should include as many matching terms as possible to underpin the importance of your keyword.
There is no such thing as an optimal keyword density, and you should never stare at placing the keyword as often as possible when creating/writing your content. Excessive keyword placement interferes with the reading flow, is unnatural and in no way contributes to a better ranking.
3.4) Images, graphics, videos, downloads…
Media elements are significant for lightening content and keeping the visitor relevant to the topic. In terms of OnPage SEO optimization, these can also be used to underline the core of the content.
Pictures and graphics:
Place your keyword in the file name of an image matching the theme and also give a meaningful alternative text. On the one hand, the ALT text is used for barrier-free presentation and, on the other hand, it can be found in Google Image Search.
<span style=”font-size: small; color: #99cc00;”><img src=”on-page-seo.png” alt=”OnPage seo”></span>
Infographics and videos:
Creating infographics takes a lot of time but, if done well, can be well worth it. Infographics are very much shared and therefore provide a high (viral) spread. Informative and entertaining videos keep users connected to your page, increasing retention time and reducing bounce rates, both of which are essential factors in getting a good ranking on Google. In addition, with a 60-second video, you can usually get more than 1,000 words of text!
If you have the opportunity to provide the user with unique information material for download, then do that! It increases the positive perception of your performance, it strengthens your competent appearance and the user can, should and should use it and distribute it as he pleases – the main thing is that your name stays in the conversation!
3.5) Internal and external links
If you work with internal or external links, be sure to provide them with meaningful link text and use the TITLE tag to describe the link target. It is also advisable to set the goal = _blank command for external links so that a new tab opens and the user does not leave your page.
<span style=”font-size: small; color: #99cc00;”><a title=”OnPage seo” href=”www.digitalgarg.com/onpage-seo” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>OnPage SEO Tutorial>
The hint “rel = nofollow” at the end of the link prevents you from giving the “power” (link juice) of your site to third parties. As long as your page does not have a good ranking, it is recommended to set this entry for all external links.
Having a good internal link promotes indexing the entire site and can help make visitors curious about less-accessible content – so be sure to be generous. For external links, it is recommended to focus on the essentials. Link as strong, trustworthy and relevant pages as Wikipedia or public institutions, because that also increases the confidence in your page.
3.6) Loading times optimization
The loading speed of your website is a very important point in OnPage optimization because it depends on a lot. The user expects the site to build up in the shortest possible time, and he will rarely accept having to wait long. Too long loading times result in an enormously high bounce rate, which can be of existential importance, above all for online shops.
The most important optimization options:
- Avoid unnecessary and overloaded scripts
- enable GZIP for a compressed data transfer
- use page caching for static content
- use a CDN to deliver graphics from an external server, for example
- Use LazyLoad to deliver only the visible area
For Google, the website load time is an important ranking factor, and the load time should be under 2 seconds in any case.
3.7.) Avoid duplicate content
A small and yet enormously important area of OnPage optimization is the subject of duplicate content. The uniqueness of your content is the greatest asset that you possess to influence the visibility and positioning in the search hits in your favor.
Duplicate content is usually unconscious and is one of the biggest problems with websites, as they are sometimes responsible for a bad ranking in the search engines. In any case, avoid using content from other areas of your website multiple times and do not even think about simply copying content from other websites! Google will recognize it and certainly not rate it positively!
If you provide the content of your page as a print version or as a download (PDF document, PowerPoint presentation, etc.), then use the robots.txt on your server to exclude it from indexing.
3.8) Signals from social networks
If your business philosophy allows, then you give your visitors the power to interact with your website through social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or business networks like Xing and LinkedIn.
The presence and dissemination in the field of social media is playing an increasingly important role in search engine optimization. Above all, Google is putting its service increasingly into the foreground. Which channels you choose is entirely free for you – it does not have to be your profile or Facebook page right away … just the possibility of liking or sharing content for the dissemination and thus the reputation of your website and services be very beneficial.
4.) DOs & DON’Ts on OnPage Optimization
There is not much to say about the DOs in OnPage Search Engine Optimization.
Google loves pages that provide unique and high-quality content to your users. This highlights its own side of the multitude of competitors and gives the user added value, which is worth from Google’s view, higher placement in the search hits.
Use your many years of experience and expertise expertly to your advantage! If you convince the visitor of your competence and can convince him that he is in the right place with you, then you might not only win a new customer, but you will also satisfy the visitor through long stays, low bounce rates, etc. on your site finds exactly what he is looking for! Ideally, the user even recommends your page further and thus ensures a natural link building.
No hidden content!
Hidden content was a popular way to push a website to the top in the early days of search engine optimization. Be it in the form of font adjustments (white on white, font size 0, etc.), text behind images or hiding entire text containers with CSS – where it went only with keywords was packed text for the user invisible and search engines in the source code made visible. Meanwhile, such a procedure is a clear violation of the guidelines for webmasters and leads very quickly to punishment up to the total ranking loss.
No keyword stuffing!
Do not spam Google and the user with your keywords! Keyword stuffing retrieves search terms in the metadata and content at an unnaturally high frequency to increase their relevance. It’s fine if the keyword in the page title and the meta-description is unique and it makes absolutely no sense if every tenth word in the content consists of your keyword. Write for the user, not for the search engine.
Write your own texts and do not copy them from others.
Congratulation! If you have considered the individual steps in the creation of your page, then your page is already on an orderly foundation with regard to OnPage SEO! Now it just means: be patient and wait until Google rewards the effort! Contact me through available chat option if you need any kind of help – I am always happy to help 🙂