On-Page SEO: How to Get Your Content to Rank Higher in Search Engines

This article will provide you with the basic understanding of on-page SEO. You will then be able to start optimizing your website for search engines.
Picture of Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC
Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC

On-Page SEO is basically anything you do on your website or blog to improve the ability of search engines to choose your site based on customer searches.

Basic On-Page SEO

Title Tags

The title of your page or blog post gets the H1 header tag applied. This tag tells search engines and readers that it is a title and it is important. The title is also usually a search term.

Headings & Subheadings

Within a blog post or page you may also have H2, H3, H4 (etc) tags for other headings and subheadings. For long-form content or epic content, you may have other H1 tags besides the title of the post too. The use of these tags can make a big difference to search engines and will help your readers digest your content easier.


Optimize your URLs to be short, pretty and include your keywords. Although WordPress defaults to the entire page title being the URL, this is not necessary. Instead, use the first three keywords in the URL for that page or post.

Optimized Images

Images with descriptive alt text, file names and titles can also help with on-page SEO. Naming the images correctly will help them show up in the search. Do not, however, stuff the Alt Text with keywords as that field is actually for accessibility, not SEO. 

Body Text

The body text of your page or post is also important. Your keywords should show up within the first 100 characters of body text after any heading is used. This confirms that the topic that the post is about matches the title.

Responsive Design

For a site to be responsive it needs to work on all types of browsers. You don’t need a separate site. You just need to ensure that your site, emails, and everything you send to your audience works across devices.

Outbound Links

Another way to tell the search engines and your readers that your content is accurate is to use high-quality outbound links. If you use questionable links that have been shown to be false it can downgrade your SEO efforts.

Internal Linking

To get the search engine bots to crawl more of your site use internal links between relevant posts and pages on your site.

Site Speed

Your site needs to load quickly for a good user experience and for SEO. If your site is slow, find someone who can help figure out why. Site speed can be impacted by image compression, how many images you add, the types of images, and so forth. There is a lot of technical information about fast-loading sites that can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to us… we’re happy to help.

Keyword Synonyms

Instead of repeating the same keyword throughout your content, it is better to use keyword synonyms. While you want your keyword to rank you want to limit that keyword phrase to less than 2 percent of the overall content.

Social Sharing

You want your audience to be able to easily share the content that they love. Sharing is part of SEO too since it gives you external links to your content. By including a social sharing app on your page that also makes it on-page SEO.

Long-Form Content

By including long-form (or epic) content on your site that can act as cornerstone content you’re using on-page SEO. When doing this it’s also important to use more H1 tags than just the title since the content is so long.

When you understand how on-page SEO works you can quickly understand how it also helps your audience in addition to search engines. Your content will be easier to read, understand, and browse. It also makes it easier to tell others about your content and makes it more user-friendly than if you didn’t use any type of SEO at all.


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