On-Page SEO Elements And Their Importance

If you’re looking for a way to rank your webpage higher on any search engine, then you clicked the right article.

In this Must Read On-Page SEO Actionable Guide, I will share with you 12 steps that you can follow to help you optimize your site and also rank better on any search engine.


Before you use this guide, I will assume you have already done your keyword research and created your content asset around your chosen keyword.

If this is something you’ve done already, then let’s get to it:

On-Page SEO: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

On-page SEO has to do with optimizing a page on your website to help it rank well on search engines. A lot of people ten to confuse On-page SEO with On-site SEO– On-site SEO has to do with optimizing your website as a whole.

However, these two types of optimization are not mutually exclusive.

While on-page SEO is what you need you need to rank, you’ll usually need an adequate amount of off-site SEO plan which will help you acquire backlinks to your pages and website.

And though it could be possible for your web page to rank without many backlinks, you’ll need them but in most cases.

Why Is On-page SEO Important?

Most newbies with a fair knowledge of SEO usually think on-page SEO is just about placing keywords on a page, well, it goes beyond that.

Truth be told, no one can deny no deny the fact that keywords are essential for on-page optimization. As you’ll find out soon in this article, on-page optimization includes:

  • Keywords
  • Links
  • User experience
  • Load Time
  • Copywriting skills and many other

So, understanding the whole concept of on-page SEO and executing all of the factors I will share with you would help you rank higher than your competitors.

What I’ll be sharing with you wouldn’t just be based on ranking though, however, this checklist will also help with the optimization process of your pages to the fullest extent.

It will also help you:

  • Increase time users spend on your page
  • Build your page’s rapport and your brand and
  • Help you drive conversions.

Step 1: Search Intent – Think About What The User Is Searching For

When it comes to search engine optimization, the number one thing is search plus intent. When you’re looking at a keyword, you do not just want to look at the keyword, however, you want to think about what the intent of the user of that keyword is, what are they searching for around that term? Are they searching for:

  • Reviews?
  • A news article?
  • A how-to guide?
  • A video?
  • An image?
  • or even a definition?

These are all different types of content that a user may search for in a search engine and not just articles anymore.

So, first, before you do anything, you need to dictate your on-page SEO checklist around whichever type of content that you’re creating. So, do not only figure out the keyword but also, match it to the intent of the user.

Step 2: Title & Meta Description

Title tags are the single most important on-page metric that we have access to. If you do not know how to structure your title tags, you’ll never get ranked. These are texts that we get to write that show your page’s intent and the purpose on the internet.

Title tags are crucial because search engines use these text that we get to provide in their search results directly. So, we get to write what becomes the headline of the searched results itself.

Title tags in addition to the meta description are the two factors that you have a whole lot of control over that influence both click-through rate and people’s first impression of your brand.

Meta descriptions explain the content of a webpage. They are a little confusing because it is texts that we get to provide the search engine– but more often than not, search engines overwrite what we provide and try to choose something that is better opinion.

But what’s important here is that we get to provide what would normally we would have had to pay for with AD copy, we get to provide it for free. Also, we get to customize it to however we want to entice clicks, and the search engines are happy to promote that and show that in the search results.

How Do I Structure My Title Tag and Meta-Description:

You must use these meta-tags and title tags to further brand your site. When optimizing your title tag, you must note the following:

Optimizing Title Tag:

  • Google usually truncates your title after 50 to 60 characters. So, you must make your title unique and descriptive as possible within this range.
  • Get Your primary keyword up the front. Generally, you have two to 5 keywords assigned to each webpage, well, what you want to do is to take the most important keyword and try to get that up towards the front of your title as much as possible.

    The closer to the front that the main keyword is, the better chance you have to rank for that keyword in Google. And then have your secondary keyword behind the primary keyword.

Optimizing Meta Descriptions:

The best way to optimize your meta description is by writing it like an Ad. This is because people used to optimize the description tag by stuffing keywords in, well, that doesn’t work again. So, now, the best way to do this is to give potential visitors a compelling summary of what the page is about by making use of meta tags.

When writing meta tags, all you need to worry about is writing a description that will make people want to click your link, this is because it will improve your click-through rate which will then imply that your page is relevant for that specific topic hence improving your ranking.

Also, most people do not write these meta descriptions or do not even complete them, and what happens is that Google will use the first text of your page as the meta description.

Finally, you want your meta description to be under 300 characters. So, you must make it read well.

Step 3: H1, H2, H3 – Optimize Your Header Tags

Meta-descriptions and Titles are pretty fairly well-known, and most companies do a pretty good job of putting those in, however, the heading tags are typically ignored. Well, unfortunately, title tags and heading tags are probably the two most influential things to Google when it comes to ranking your site.

Headings are basic elements of the HTML code of a webpage. They range from H1 to H6. Heading tags are essential because they make it easier for web crawlers and users to understand the content of your page. Let’s take a look at these headings.

H1 Heading Tag: <h1> This is the format of an h1 tag </h1>

The H1 tag is the essential tag element. It refers to the main title of your page, and it also informs users and crawlers the main topic that your content covers. The h1 tag along with other heading tags plays a very important role in SEO.


Well, search engine crawlers will use the information they get from your headings to send in users who are looking for the specific topic your webpage covers.

You must know that some issues can arise while you’re using the h1 tag on your site. Today, website builders like Squarespace and Wix give you the option to drag and drop sections of your website or better still, you can duplicate your website. When you use those functions, you tend to encounter two common mistakes:

  • The h1 tag usually gets misplaced on your page
  • Or the h1 tag gets duplicated.

Well, other website builders avoid these mistakes and they automatically update your h1 tag in your code when you publish your website. All the other headers use the same format as the H1 tag, however, you use an h2 tag for subtopics under the main topic and then for other minor headings, you can use the h3 to h6 tag.

How Do I Optimize My Webpage’s Headings?

Well, it is really simple. All you need to do is to have one H1 tag per page by doing this you’re telling Google: this is the main headline of this page. Your H1 must describe what’s on your page quite accurately. If we take a look at how Google examines bounce rates from searched results, you’d notice that H1 tags are important.

For example, if you’re searching for weather in Dallas on Google, and you see search results and you click on it and then go to that page, but the H1 tag tells you something else altogether, well, you’re most likely going to bounce back to your search results page. You bounced back because that page wasn’t relevant to your search.

When Google sees that bounce back to search, it indicates that that page is irrelevant which pushes down your ranking. So, ensure that your H1 tags accurately describe the content of your pages.

You also need to think about the intent of the search. Since Google’s Hummingbird update, which tries to figure out the intent of a search rather than the words people are using, it makes it important for people to write heading with intent.

So, think about one of the pages, for example, you need to ask yourself what will be the intent of someone who lands on that page? And how can you make sure that that person’s intent is reflected in your h1 tag? It is a great idea to use your keywords for your h1 tag, however, do not stuff them full– write them naturally.

Normally, it is recommended you have between 20 to 70 characters in your H1 tag but then you can have multiple H2 tags for about 200 words and above.

Step 4: URL Structure:

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. These are the addresses of web documents online– just like you have a street address for your house, on the internet we use URLs for any given document anywhere. URL is highly important for your page’s relevancy.

How do you write the perfect URL?

First, you want to make sure that the keywords you’re trying to rank for are included in your URL.

Secondly, you want to keep your URLs short this will make it easy for people to share your URL. So, it is not okay to just put a whole lot of words you wanna rank for in your URLs.

So, you need to remember, that humans are those using the internet and they try to share URLs, they try to say them over the phone and this makes it extremely important for you to keep these short and succinct so that people can easily share them and connect to your page.

How Do I Structure My URL?

So, let’s take a look at this URL structure: Example.com/subdirectory/files.html

Domain Name:

From the URL above, the domain name is example.com. The domain name represents your business online and it is the first thing that people see. To write the perfect domain name, do the following:

  • Choose a name that best fits your business model.
  • Ensure that your domain name is easy to spell, pronounce, and share. If you have a very spammy looking domain name, or one that is hard to spell, people are going to make a bad initial impression off of that. So, you want to make sure that you have a domain name that is going to have a great first impression.
  • Include keywords, but do not go overboard. You must add keywords to your domain name for SEO, but you do now want to take it too far. Also, make sure that the keyword is easy to share.


  • You do not want to include too many sub-directories in your URL. If you do that, it is going to be too confusing, it is going to be hard to share, and it is going to cause a lot of problems especially in old browsers.
  • Also, again, you want to make sure that you include your keywords in your subdirectories and files as well. This is one of those things that there isn’t a quantified metric for but again you want to add one or two keywords.

Step 5: Images and Image Alt Tag

Have you ever asked yourself: does this article need an image? You probably have. The answer to that question is fairly simple. Whether you write for a blog, an online magazine or newspaper, the answer is: yes. You should add images to every blog post online. Let’s find out why.

Why it’s important to optimize your images?

1. Images bring an article to life

If you use images with care, they will make your texts more appealing, and they will help readers better understand your article. Moreover, well-chosen images can also back up your message.
2. Images can contribute to SEO

Secondly, images are not only important for your readers, but they can also contribute to your website’s SEO. This is mainly because visual search is becoming increasingly important. Images can also contribute to your site’s SEO because images entice people to click your post. If a visitor has to choose which site to visit on Pinterest or Facebook, they will choose one with an image that’s compelling to them. A post without images is even less likely to be picked up on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

3. Images are part of your branding strategy

Finally, images are a very important aspect of your branding strategy. If you consistently use illustrations and photos that fit your brand, your audience will eventually recognize and remember your brand from simply looking at your images.

Image Alt Text:

Image Alt text becomes important when a user turns off an image in their browser or has any form of visual impairment. To prevent, the visitor or user from missing out on the information you want to put across, it is important that you use an image Alt text.

What you need to know is that computers do not see images the same way we humans do– they do not have eyes and they do not have the complex brains that we use to get meaning out of pixels. So, because of that, you have to come up with some other way of expressing meaning to these images.

Luckily, the creators of the internet were thinking and they provided us with a factor called: image alt text.

Image Alt Text is in the format:
<img src="/path/image.jpg" alt="example of alternative text" />

Alt Text is the alternative text that is shown when an image can’t load. This is done on purpose so that those who are blind can extract meaning from something when they can’t see it.

This works out well for search engines because they are effectively blind, and they can use the information put into the image alt text to understand the meaning behind images.

Step 6: Internal Links

An internal link is a link that sends a visitor on one page of your website to another page on your website. This is important from a relevancy perspective.

A typical example of internal links will be when you visit the homepage of a website, you’ll see tabs like: Contact us, About, Top products and so on, all these are internal links.

Internal links are important because they help humans and searched engines understand the sections of your website.

How Do I Do My Internal Linking?

Well, to do this, you need to first determine what pages are the most authoritative on your website. Or what pages have links pointing at them from other sites? So, what you can do here is to use a tool like Majestic or SEMrush, you can add these to your website and you can find the pages that are the most linked-to in the pages with the highest authority for that specific page.

Once you know what those pages are, you know which pages on your site have the most clout as far as search engines are concerned. This is because the more links you have pointing at a page that is high quality, the more authority that that page has.

Next, you want to look at those pages and then determine what they can link to that is on a theme that relates to specific terms that you want to get ranked for.

What’s going to happen is that when you are consistently linking from your top linked two pages to the pages that you want to have ranked the highest, that link weight and that external weight is going to get past the main page that you want to rank higher, and it is going to drive up the rankings for that page over time.

So, the most important thing to take away from here is that, if you’ve got a bunch of links pointing to a page on your site, or multiple pages on your site, you want to get as much as you can out of that.

So, go to that page, put a link from that page to the page that you want to rank with some type of hypertext that is very close to the keyword that you want the result page to rank for.

If you do that, the search engines are going to pick up on it and you’re going to rank that page higher

Step 7: EAT – Expertise Authority and Trust

Did you know EAT is mentioned over 200 times in Google’s quality rater guidelines? Well, this makes it a super big part of Google’s algorithm. So, we will take a look at each of the terms in E.A.T in this section.


Expertise can be broken down into two different areas, these are the Formal and Everyday type of experts. Formal expertise will a website that provides legal, financial, medical or any type of information that could affect the visitor or reader of your website.

Search engines want to make sure that whoever that is providing this information is a formal expert in that space.

Now, if it’s an everyday expert, that’s fine, but not for the fields mentioned above. So, everyday expertise can provide information for things like cooking, decoration, and things that you do not need to know as much to write on them because they wouldn’t harm people if you’re not an expert.

For example, if a random write a medical blog on how to perform some type of operation on someone, that would be a terrible idea, because that person wouldn’t have any idea on how to do such a thing. So, this is where formal and everyday expertise comes to play.


You can be an expert without any authority, we determine what an expert based on the context of the website and the subject matter of the website, but you can be an expert and then also not have any authority. So, what then goes into authority?

  • You need to be clear about who you are,
  • You need to be clear about what you do
  • You need to be clear about your experience

A good way to build your page’s authority is to have your picture and a bio on your page. Also, you can have very credible links that are pointing at the website and that you’re linking off of the website that supports the claims that you have. Finally, having a great reputation such as positive reviews helps build your site’s authority.


So, when it comes to trustworthiness, what you’re going to be focusing on:

  • Accuracy. You need to ask yourself if all the content you’re creating is accurate or are you just making stuff up.
  • Accessibility: Can each one of the things be reached on your website that people want to find? Is your website easy to navigate?
  • Sources: Are you sourcing all of your information? So, when you state a fact, you must show if there is a study associated with it.
  • Security: Also, is the website secure? Is it on HTTPs? Is there a privacy policy? Can it be hacked easily? These things make a big difference.

Step 8: Schema Markup – It Is Crucial These Days

Sometimes on the search engine results page or the SERP, you’d have noticed that there is extra information. For example, when you go to search for Disney World, you’d see a rating as part of the searched results, sometimes you might see some events or even reviews. Also, when you search for music events in your city, you would see a list of events that are scheduled to happen today or soon specifically in your city.

Usually, on Google’s search engine results page, you’ll see the title, followed by the URL, and then a small snippet or a piece of text explaining or describing what that page or post is about. So let me quickly break this down for you: the first is the title, the second is the URL, and the third is the snippet. Well, apart from these, you may also see these 5-star ratings or some event information right below that, this rating and event information are called rich snippets.

How Do I Integrate Schema Markup Into My Webpages?

Rich snippets are nothing but a little extra description of a piece of content. How do we do that? It is very simple, well, Google has made it so simple that you can just log into a tool called “Search Console” and on the search console, you have the option to use what is called a ” Schema Markup”. With this Schema Markup, you can highlight certain parts of your content, so, that those pieces of content show up as a part of your Google searched results.

Why Is It Important?

Well, Schema markup is a great way to grab the visitor’s attention. It shows the reviews of your website not just your Google My Business page or Google maps. So, when you get first-party reviews, you can use schema to show those star ratings and associate those star ratings with your website in the organic search results and not just your Google My Business or on the Map.

You can also show images which grabs the user’s attention, what do I mean by this? well, when you go to search for bakery shops near you and in the search results you see one shop with pictures, a 4-star rating or more and some description, and the other results you just see the title and the meta description with no images or review, I mean you’re most likely to click on the one with the image.

So, generally what schema markup does is to boosts your click-through rate which in turn shows Google that you’re a reliable website which will eventually boost your SEO. It also helps the search engines understand what it is you’re trying to display and associate with your website.

Google said that schema markup enhances your web page’s appearance in their search results.

Step 9: Outbound Links

Google loves links, this makes sense because the internet is simply pages of content that connect to provide an endless source of information. So, if these links are the characteristics that make the world wide web, then you should know that search engines care about it. And since Google cares about links, you and I should too.

So, outbound links link to a website that is outside of your own. Just like any other link, these tools help Google crawlers discern what site you’re linking to. Outbound links work directly with anchor text – what are anchor text? Well, anchor texts are visible, clickable, and hyperlinked text found within a webpage. The link is easy to identify because it is always the color blue and underlined.

Imagine that someone writes a blog about acoustic guitars, eager to learn more about the passion, he spends the majority of his day reading about guitars. So, as he’s researching through different articles and blog posts online until he comes across on a compelling read, it says: Various wood types produce unique tones. With excitement, he escalates as he reads. Upon finishing the article, he goes straight back to his website to blog about his findings, knowing that his followers will love the new information. During the process of creating the article, he’ll have to choose on what title to give his anchor text. He could use a less effective anchor text that states: Click here. Or he could choose a title that is relevant to the article, a more effective and SEO friendly choice of an anchor text will be: Various wood types producing unique tones. A reader who is following the blog can scan the text of the link, and know where exactly the link will take them. Doing something like what I said above will increase the click-through rates and give the blog visitor a greater interest in the content that they are reading.

Be cautious when using outbound links: though they can be powerful, when it comes to SEO purposes, it can also be a distraction if not used correctly. When linking to outside sources, you want to give credit to the source, however, not at the expense of your own time on site. Always ensure that when the outbound link opens, a new browser window appears, and doing so will lower the probability of viewers leaving your page.

Step 10: Website’s Load Time

Amazon did a study and they found out that for every one-second delay of their website, there is a 1% loss in revenue. Page speed is a factor in customer conversions, and at least one aspect of page speed is thought to be a factor in search rankings. Google wants your website to load at least as fast as your competitor’s websites. Your customers expect your website to load in about three seconds.

One aspect of page speed that few businesses know about is called Time to First Byte, or TTFB. This is how long it takes for the files that make up your web page to start downloading from the server once you type in a web address in your browser.

Here’s the thing, Time to First Byte is almost entirely influenced by the configuration of your hosting servers. Meaning, that $10 a month hosting you have is doing you more harm than good.
For WordPress sites, two hosts we recommend are Kinsta and WP Engine. These both have good Time to First Bytes, especially compared to most shared hosting.

If you look at the top page of search results, many are enterprise-level companies that have invested in fast hosting.

To be clear, if all you do is get better hosting, that will not make up for a lack of good site content or a weak backlink profile. You still need to build your brand through good content on your site and building links. In other words, acting like a big brand. If you’ve already optimized everything else on your site, it’s time to look at improving site speed.

Load time or site speed is a big part of user experience, and part of SEO, however, site speed isn’t going to make up for factors such as your site not having appropriate content, and no amount of page speed optimization will help overcome those obstacles.

How Do I Optimize My Webpage’s Speed?

Utilize Google’s, PageSpeed Tool

First, Google offers a tool called Google PageSpeed and what this tool does is to show you the factors that affect your website’s speed. All you do is to visit PageSpeed Insights and then type in your URL. The PageSpeed tool will analyze your site and give you a score. If your score is terrible, this tool will show you the areas you need to work on to make your page faster.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly:

Also, you can use Google’s AMP framework. Why? Well, we live in an era where most people use their phones to visit websites than their laptops. What this means is that most of your traffic is going to come from smartphones and tablets, so you must make your website mobile-friendly. This is where the Google AMP framework comes to play.

Cache Your Webpages:

Furthermore, you can cache your website. If your blog is hosted by WordPress, then this simple. You can integrate the W3 Total cache plugin into your WordPress site. If you do not use WordPress, if you use other hosting companies, feel free to contact them and they’ll guide you on how you can cache your website.

Use a CDN:

Finally, you can use a CDN which stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN makes your website global. Let me explain, assuming you have a visitor from Malaysia, even though your website might be hosted in the UK, the CDN will replicate your site by using a server in Malaysia, this makes your website easily accessible to people in Malaysia.

A CDN puts your websites in major regions across the globe. Even if your site is hosted in the UK or US, it will be put across the major regions in the US or UK.

Step 11: Sitemap:

There are two types of sitemaps, there is one for humans, and there is another for robots. or crawlers. The sitemaps for humans are called HTML sitemaps, and you’ve probably seen these before, they are generally in the footers of websites. Sitemaps show you the major sections of a website and usually provides some search functionality.

These HTML sitemaps help you understand as a human what the hierarchy of a website is– how does everything fit together and a quick way for you to get to something you’re looking for.

On the back end, there are also certain sitemaps called an XML sitemap. Now, this is something that you can look at but it is formatted for computers, so it is not going to be easy to read. An XML sitemap uses a format called XML to show the hierarchy and the priority of each of the URLs on your website.

This helps search engines understand and figure out how everything is interconnected.

Step 12: Make Use Of Reviews:

It is great to have reviews on your page in this day of SEO, especially if you are a directory site or a local site, generating reviews adds fresh content every time, and it can make you rank higher.

Furthermore, comments are great to have for your on-page SEO, however, you need to make sure they do not get out of control. No cuss words, no grammar errors, no spelling errors– these comments and reviews need to be highly relevant so, they can add quality to your page.

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