What is On-Page SEO and Why Does it Matter?

On-page SEO refers to search engine optimization (SEO) of individual pages on your website. Improving on-page SEO increases the search engine rankings of these individual pages and makes it easier for search engines — and the people doing the searching — to discover them. On-page SEO specifically refers to two things: page content and HTML. 

Put another way, on-page SEO involves controllable factors on your website’s pages that increase the likelihood of search engines finding them. Since these factors impact how easily people can discover your website, boosting your on-page SEO should be a critical part of your SEO strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO covers all the many adjustments you can make to your website so automated crawlers — often called bots or spiders — used by search engines can find it. Once found, these crawlers determine your website’s quality and page ranking factors and where it comes up on SERPS (search engine results pages). For any web page to be successful, SEO strategy must be as close to ideal as possible, and that means you must have a robust understanding of how search algorithms work to increase your page ranking.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO focuses on individual pages, including landing pages, product pages, and blog posts, versus the entire website. This can be divided roughly into three categories: 

Page content:

High-quality content requires:

  • Keyword research and using target keywords, including long-tail keywords, for which you want to rank. Click here to read more about keyword research.
  • Content marketing is also a big part of your overall on page SEO strategy. Content can include blog posts, infographics, e-books, videos, and more. Click here to read more about content marketing.
  • All content should be sharable on social media to increase your ranking factor, build organic traffic, and increase your click-through rate (CTR).
  • Never duplicate content, as doing so may damage your page ranking.

HTML-specific factors for On-Page SEO

This means making sure that the coding of your page is optimized for Google’s algorithms. 

  • Appropriate meta tags, title tags, page titles, and subheadings allow crawlers to evaluate and rank the quality of your content.
  • Appropriate alt text for images is important not only for visually impaired individuals but also for search rankings.
  • Internal links within your page provide information about your site to crawlers.
  • File names of images should be optimized for searches. 

Technical SEO

This refers to more technical factors that can’t be handled within the content or HTML of your page. It includes page load time, page speed, site speed, and more. You should also make sure your site is responsive to various devices and viewer needs. 

What is Off Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO refers to elements that can improve your search engine ranking that occur off of your webpage. Off-page SEO involves good link building practices, getting backlinks from other websites, and making sure you have social media sharing that links back to your page. 

Why is On-Page SEO Important?

Improving your on-page SEO will lead to more prospective customers finding your webpage. It’s directly within your control, both in terms of the content you create and the way you structure your HTML. Having positive page SEO factors means more people will find your webpage and learn about your products and services. This, in turn, can lead to more conversions and sales.

As noted above, there are many things you can do, including keyword research and having the appropriate HTML factors that can increase your ranking factor. 

How to Improve On-Page SEO

Improving your on-page SEO is a matter of understanding what needs to be improved and how. It also means properly formatting your page as well as doing appropriate keyword research and knowing which keywords people will likely use to find your website. After that, it’s all about creating content to match those searches. 

Google’s E-A-T:

Google’s E-A-T refers to the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of a page. Google and other search engine crawlers take these three factors into account when calculating rank for your page. Google determines these factors using algorithms to evaluate the content quality and authority of external links. This will help users find credible search results. 

Title Tags

Your page title is one of the most important metrics for steering people to your page. Make sure your title accurately reflects your content.

A page title is what appears at the top of a page’s content, while a title tag is the HTML that you use for each page. The content should be reflective of the overall content of the page, but not identical, to maximize SEO.

Meta Descriptions

Every page on your website should have a meta description. This description will be used by various searchers to find your website. Furthermore, meta descriptions are what shows up on SERPs, so they are what searchers see when they use a search engine. The text used in your meta description should correlate directly with your H1 tag, anchor text, header, and other tools you use to increase your page optimization. 

Header Tags

Most pages have header tags, which can help divide content. Header tags tend to be weighted heavily by search engines. As such, make sure you have header tags that match your content.

Header tags work in a hierarchical order, running from H1 through H6. Just like any other content, you will put the most important information first, then gradually use additional subheaders to get more specific.

SEO Keyword Selection

Keyword selection is another important factor for your on-page SEO, as search engines will steer people towards your page if you use the right keywords. You should use search tools like Google Keyword Planner to find the right keywords. 

SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting is a specific type of writing that’s geared toward combining high-quality content with the right search terms. This writing is informative, easy to read, engaging, and links to authoritative sources. It’s a special kind of writing, as writers must write for search engines as well as readers and input keywords without the content seeming odd due to keyword stuffing.  

Image Optimization Matters for On-Page SEO

You want to make sure your image file names are appropriate for searches, and that you have the right alt text when describing what an image looks like. This can also be helpful when people are searching for your page through something like Google Images or another image search. It is also important to visually impaired people who use screen readers. 

Engaging Users

A positive user experience that keeps users engaged and clicking through your website shows search engines that you create high-quality, useful content. This will increase your rankings. 

How Do URLs Help On Page SEO?

Having the right URL structure makes it more likely that someone can find your page. Your URL structure should be similarly suited to meet the right search. 

How Many Times Should I Use a Keyword?

SEO tools like Yoast plug-ins for WordPress can help you find the right keyword density for a page. Generally speaking, you want to use a keyword density at or just under 1% (between .5 and 1 keyword use for every 100 words). You have to be careful to avoid keyword stuffing, which Google penalizes for, and use keywords naturally. 

How Much Does Formatting Matter for On-Page SEO?

Text structure matters to search engine crawlers that determine how your content is ranked. Keep your text arranged in an outline format, use subheading tags (H1, H2, etc.) properly, and make sure your text makes sense for the average reader.


On-page SEO is critical. You have to understand the search intent of your users and what they are looking for in a Google search or when using any other search engine. Following these pointers can help you enhance your SEO and make sure users are discovering your content.