On-Page SEO

April 27, 2023

What is On-page SEO?

On-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the optimization of individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. This optimization includes both the content and source code of a page.

Why is on page SEO important?

Although less sexy than creating and publishing great content - On-Page SEO is important not to overlook.

This is the part of SEO that helps search engines understand the content of your website and how you provide value to your audience - which is vital in order to rank and attract organic traffic.

On-page SEO is all about making changes to your website that visitors see. It's called "On-Page" because the tweaks made are visible, whereas off-page and technical SEO aren't always so obvious and typically behind the scenes.

How to have great on-page SEO

All on-page SEO elements fall into three main categories:

  • Content - High. Quality. Content. This is what the people are after. Creating great content and targeting the right keywords is at the heart of On-page SEO. As we have covered both topics in the Keyword Research and AI Writing sections, we'll cover this lightly here.
  • HTML - source code elements.
  • Site Architecture - how you structure your website.

Let's jump in.


Page content is your chance to show Google and visitors what you're made of.

It's the crux of on-page SEO, so it's worth putting in the extra effort to make sure it's worthy of that number one spot on the SERP.

We cover content heavily in the Keyword Research and AI Writing sections of this guide. For this reason, we'll only touch the aspects not covered there.

Google's E-E-A-T Guidelines

We all gotta eat. Google's notoriously hungry search algorithms are no different.

Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines are a set of criteria that are used to assess the quality and accuracy of online content. This criteria is used by Google’s search algorithms to determine how content should be ranked in its search engine results pages (SERPs).

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Experience: You have to know what you're talking about. Google wants to know "does this content demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced? There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand." 
  • Expertise: In a similar vein to experience, content should be created and presented by experts in the field - who have the knowledge and understanding to provide accurate and reliable information. This is important for Google’s search algorithms because it ensures that the content is more likely to be accurate, and add value.
  • Authoritativeness: This is the perceived level of authority and influence that the website or content creator has around a topic. If you are someone that established themselves as leaders or authorities in their field, your opinion is going to carry more weight with it. 
  • Trustworthiness: This means that users (in general) can trust that content is accurate, reliable, and free from errors or misleading information.

Improving the user experience has always been Google's goal.

These guidelines are intended to help Google ensure that the websites and content it ranks in search results, provide users with the best possible experience.

By keeping these guidelines top of mind, you have a much better chance of ranking well in Google search results, and attracting more organic traffic.


The easiest way to show that your website has the answers a user is looking for is the language you use.

Pages that have the same keywords as the query (in the body, headings, or both) stand a much better chance of showing up in relevant search results.

But while Google does take into account the keywords on your page, overusing them isn't going to do you any favors. In fact - techniques that overuse keywords can actually hurt your rankings.

For example, Google will likely flag the content below:

Keyword Stuffing SEO


HTML is the language used to build and format web pages. It defines the structure of the page, telling the user's browser what content to display, where to display it and how it should be ranked by search engines.

Without HTML, a website would be a lot more difficult to read for both human, and Google-y eyes.

Page Titles

Heading titles, (H1 titles) help Google figure out what your webpages are all about. Generally, you should use one H1 title per page.

Titles tell both users and our beloved Google what to expect.

When developing a page title, keep the following in mind:

  • Keep it short and sweet - it's recommended to keep your title at under 60 characters, as per Google's guidelines. Google results have a 600-pixel word limit, so you risk your title being cut off in search results if going over this limit.
  • Describe the page’s content accurately - choose a title that is easy to read, includes your primary keyword, and that tells the reader exactly what they can expect. Google tracks bounce rates (people leaving a website quickly) as an indicator of bad content - yet another reason to be adding as much value as possible.
  • Make titles unique - this helps avoid Keyword Cannibalization. Keyword Cannibalisation occurs when there are too many similar or identical keywords spread throughout your content. Because of this, Google may accidentally promote the wrong piece of content, harming the user experience, and your SEO at the same time.

We jump into more detail about how to create engaging blog article titles using AI in our support center.


Using headers (H-tags) makes your content much easier to read.

Content subheadings

The hierarchy is pretty simple - after the H1 title, use H2's for subheadings, H3's for sub-subheadings, etc.

To further optimize for SEO, incorporate your keywords in your H1 and H2 headers where you can.

For H3-H6 headers, a common tactic is to use these to target other long-tail keywords that fall within your topic cluster. 

This helps further the reach of your content as it answers more related questions, as well as avoiding Keyword Cannibalization.

Meta Descriptions

The meta description is the description of the content on a page in a couple of sentences.

Although Meta Descriptions are not an official ranking factor for search engines, it does help users identify relevant content and can influence click-through rates - so can affect organic traffic.

SEO Meta descriptions

  • Keep it between 430 pixels and 920 pixels (or around 70 and 155 characters respectively for those not fluent in pixels).
  • Make sure it is easy to read and contains your entire keyword or keyword phrase.
  • Keep meta descriptions unique for each page to make them easier for search engines to read and understand.
  • Avoid alphanumeric characters like —, &, or +.

Image Alt-text

When search engines crawl a web page, they cannot “see” images in the same way that humans can. Instead, they rely on the HTML code and Image Alt-text to understand what the image depicts.

This is important for a few reasons:

  • Accessibility: Alt text provides a textual description of images, making them accessible to people who use screen readers or have visual impairments.
  • SEO: Search engines use alt text to understand the content and context of images on a webpage. By providing accurate and relevant alt text, you can help your images appear in search results for relevant queries, increasing your website's visibility and driving traffic.
  • User experience: Alt text can help to improve the overall user experience of a webpage, as it provides additional information about images that may not be immediately apparent. This can be particularly helpful for complex or detailed images that require further explanation.

When creating Image Alt-text, keep in mind the following:

  • Be descriptive: The purpose of alt text is to describe the image to someone who can't see it. Be as descriptive as possible, using keywords and phrases that accurately convey the content and context of the image.

Example: cheesy-macaroni-pasta-recipe.jpg is better than pasta.jpg

  • Be concise: Keep your alt text short and to the point, ideally no more than 125 characters. This helps to ensure that it's easily scannable for both search engines and users.

Example: cheesy-macaroni-pasta-recipe.jpg is better than my-incredibly-delicious-macaroni-pasta-recipe-is-the-best-in-the-world.jpg

  • Avoid stuffing: While it's important to use relevant keywords in your alt text, don't use this as an opportunity to stuff keywords unnaturally. This can actually hurt your SEO rather than help it.

Example: cheesy-macaroni-pasta-recipe.jpg is better than macaroni-pasta-macaroni-pasta-macaroni-pasta.jpg

Site Architecture

Website structure refers to how the building blocks of your website are made up. 

Structuring your site clearly and logically is key for two main reasons - search engines are more likely to crawl it properly, and it'll provide a better user experience for your potential customer.

Both great for SEO.

Page URLs

A URL is a web address to a specific resource - normally a web page, image, video, or file.

A typical URL consists of several parts:

  • Protocol - used to access the resource. Example: "https://".
  • Domain name: - the name of the website or server hosting the resource. Example: "google.com" or "youtube.com".
  • Path - the location of the resource on the server. Example: "/search" for a search page or "/videos/" for a directory of videos.

If we look at the URL for the Google search page is "https://www.google.com/search", where "https://" is the protocol, "www.google.com" is the domain name, and "/search" is the path.


To make it easy to read and understand by humans and our robot friends, your URL structure should be clear, concise, and an accurate representation of the page content.

Internal Linking

Internal Linking is the deliberate and strategic linking of pages within a website - hyperlinking from one page to another within the same domain.

An internal linking strategy is important for SEO for several reasons:

  • Crawling: Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index a website's pages more effectively. Improving visibility and ranking in SERPs.
  • Authority: internal linking distributes link equity and page authority throughout a website, making it easier for users and search engines to find important pages - and also builds your reputation as a credible source.
  • User Experience: internal links make navigating a website easier - leading to longer session times, lower bounce rates, and higher engagement.

An effective internal linking strategy is a vital part of a Topic Cluster strategy. If looking to stamp your authority on a subject make sure you let your audience know the full breadth of your knowledge.

Mobile Responsiveness

Google has Mobile-first Indexing enabled by default for all new websites - even if searching on desktop.

Which isn't too surprising when you consider that 60.67% of all website traffic comes from mobile.

Mobile Responsiveness SEO

The below is taken directly from Google's Search Central:

There are three configurations you can choose from to create a mobile-friendly site:

  • Responsive design: Serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users' device (for example, desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can display the content differently based on the screen size. Google recommends Responsive Web Design because it's the easiest design pattern to implement and maintain.
  • Dynamic serving: Uses the same URL regardless of device. This configuration relies on user-agent sniffing and the Vary: user-agent HTTP response header to serve a different version of the HTML to different devices.
  • Separate URLs: Serves different HTML to each device, and on separate URLs. Like dynamic serving, this configuration relies on the user-agent and Vary HTTP headers to redirect users to the device-appropriate version of the site.

You can use Google's free Mobile Friendly Test to see how your website currently performs (in Google's eyes anyway).

Google Mobile Friendly Test

Site Speed

In general, humans aren't exactly patient.

Especially with the internet. Dial tones are nothing more than a bad memory for those that can recall them.

Now, if you visit a website and it takes longer than 7 seconds to load, you are 113% more likely to bounce off that page.

To see how your loading times are performing, Google offers a free PageSpeeds Insights tool, that issues a score of 0-100 to grade your loading times. It also provides a list of issues to fix if your loading times need some work.

Google Site Speed Test

There are a bunch of ways to increase the site speed of a website, but here are some of the most common ones:

  • Optimize images: starting with a more obvious one - large image files can slow down a website's loading time dramatically. By optimizing images, you can reduce their file size without sacrificing quality. This can be done by using image compression tools or by resizing images to the correct dimensions.
  • Shrink your code: CSS, HTML, and JavaScript can contain a lot of extra code that doesn't always need to be there. This excessive data can slow down your page. Google suggests minifying your code - removing anything that isn't adding value to the page.
  • Enable browser caching: When a user visits a website, their browser stores a copy of the website's resources locally. By enabling browser caching, you can instruct the user's browser to store certain files, such as images and stylesheets, so they don't need to be downloaded every time the user visits the website.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN): A CDN stores copies of a website's files on servers located around the world. By using a CDN, you can serve files from a server that is geographically closer to the user, reducing the time it takes for the files to travel over the internet.

Key Takeaways

  • On-Page SEO is important because it helps search engines understand the content of your website and how you provide value to your audience.
  • When creating content, follow Google's E-E-A-T Guidelines.
  • Be careful not to over optimize your content by using Keyword Stuffing techniques - Google will find you.
  • Use headers (H1, H2, H3, etc) to make your content easy to read for both users and search engines.
  • Write meta descriptions - they help users identify relevant content and can influence click-through rates
  • Use Image Alt-tags to improve accessibility for those using screen readers, and search engines crawling your site.
  • Structure your website clearly and logically, so it is easy to navigate.
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Keep an eye on your website speed