OnPage SEO: OnPage optimization for beginners

Veröffentlicht: 25. November 2020

What you will learn

  • What is meant by OnPage SEO
  • Why on-page optimization is important
  • What good content is and how you create it
  • How and where you use keywords
  • The most important technical SEO basics

Onpage optimization is an important part of search engine optimization. The topic goes far beyond setting a few keywords. Today I’ll explain what OnPage SEO is and which factors you should pay particular attention to.

1. what is meant by “on-page optimization”?

The term on-page optimization basically covers all search engine optimization measures that take place directly on the website itself. The focus is on 3 sub-areas:

  • Content
  • Technology
  • (Usability)

On-page optimization should not be confused with off-page optimization: this involves measures outside the website, in particular link building.

2 Why is OnPage SEO important?

Or perhaps you should first ask: Is on-page SEO important at all, and does it work? To cut a long story short: Absolutely!

OnPage optimization ultimately aims to help search engines evaluate and assess the content of a website. And after all, we want to make sure that our content is interpreted correctly, right?

An absolute classic in on-page SEO is the targeted use of keywords (search terms). Even though search engines such as Google now include an incredible number of factors in the evaluation of a website, the correct use of keywords is still a basic requirement for successful on-page optimization.

Keywords are the easiest way to explain to search engines (and readers?) what a page is about. This is why they are so popular in titles, meta descriptions and headings.

Let’s take a look at the search results for the keyword “earrings” as an example:

It is hard to overlook how often the keyword “earrings”, or modified forms of it, was used.

Summary

Why is OnPage SEO important?

On-page optimization determines whether and for which search terms a website appears in the search results

3. the centerpiece: content

The content of your website is the most important, and I repeat: most important, ranking factor. If your page does not provide any added value, it will not achieve a special ranking. At least not in even semi-competitive niches.

Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to your content during on-page optimization!

What is good SEO content?

And how do you write really good SEO content? Here is a little help. Good content is…

  • unique. Nobody loves copied or copied texts. Apart from the fact that you can be penalized by Google for this. Bring in your own knowledge, your own experience and your own writing style.
  • really useful. Provide your users with real added value. You’ve probably read this many times before. But it’s so important, that’s why I’m mentioning it again. Don’t beat about the bush. Provide your users with specific information that will help them.
  • complete. Do you answer all your users’ questions? Could you have any further questions? Always try to provide content that is as complete as possible. If all your users’ questions and follow-up questions are answered, that’s a very good sign! This will be noticeable in your Google rankings.
  • current. Up-to-dateness plays a particularly important role in the field of technology. A comparison of the fastest computers that is already 10 years old? Virtually useless nowadays. So also update outdated content.
  • visually prepared. This starts with structuring and ends with the use of media. Use bold elements, larger headings and short paragraphs to structure your content. Infographics, images and videos are ideal for presenting more complex content. They also make your content more visually appealing.

Have you written a helpful, interesting and readable article? Very good! Then the right use of keywords is now on the agenda!

Optimize content for SEO

As already mentioned at the beginning, the correct use of keywords is a very important aspect of on-page optimization.

Keyword in the title & in the H1 heading

The keyword for which you want to optimize your content should be placed in the title and the

headline. Why is this important?

The H1 (i.e. “main heading”) and the page title fulfill one function: to briefly and concisely convey to both the reader and the search engines what this page is about. So it makes sense to place the most important keywords here, right?

When using WordPress, the page title / post title is usually also output as an H1 heading.

Note: There should only be one H1 heading per page/post!

If you are not sure whether this is the case with your theme, simply move the mouse pointer over the heading and right-click on “Examine”. Now you can view the HTML source code of the page. Your headline should be included in the <h1> tag. Something like this: <h1 >Your heading< /h1 >

Keyword in the meta description

In addition to the title and H1 heading, you should also place your most important keyword in the meta description. This is the small description that is displayed under the title in the search results.

It serves to describe the contents of a page in more detail and should arouse the reader’s curiosity. A combination of “clickbait” and a brief summary of the content is therefore recommended.

For all WordPress users, I recommend the Yoast SEO plugin at this point. This makes it easy to manage the Titles & Meta Descriptions, and you can also see directly whether the character length is correct.

Further recommendations for keywords

Another tip for your OnPage SEO: Place your keyword within the first 100 words of your content, and in at least one other subheading (preferably H2).

This usually happens all by itself. If you write a post on topic XY, it’s relatively unlikely that you’ll hardly mention the word in the text. Nevertheless, it is always worth carrying out a double check here.

You should also place your most important keyword in the URL. Never use URLs like “yourpage.com/post=12345”

Instead, use readable URLs, such as “yourpage.com/keyword”

Here you can find out how to customize your URLs in WordPress.

Summary

Where and how to use keywords?

Place your most important keyword in the title, the H1 heading and in the meta description. In addition, in at least one further subheading and within the first 100 words.

How often should I use a keyword in the content?

There is no general answer to how often you should use a keyword. The most sensible approach here is to simply write naturally. If you deal extensively with a topic, you will mention the keyword several times anyway. No need to overdo it!

By the way: Under no circumstances should you use so-called “keyword stuffing” (i.e. the abstract, completely excessive use of keywords) operate! Google does not like this, and in the worst case reacts with a penalty.

Links play a major role in search engine optimization. Although links are mainly used for off-page optimization, you can also make good use of them for on-page optimization!

Links are always a good idea if you want to provide further information on a certain point, but this would go beyond the scope of your article or does not fit your page.

Don’t be afraid to use links whenever they provide the user with added value at this point. This applies to both internal (i.e. within your site) and external links!

This will not only make your readers happy. Google will also appreciate your efforts. This applies in particular to outgoing links (hopefully to reputable sources).

By setting quality “outbound links”, you make your site a good place to go for information.

4. get your technology in order!

Even if your on-page optimization stands and falls with the content, you should at least acquire a basic knowledge of technical SEO factors.

Here I will give you an overview of the most important topics in the field of technical SEO.

Improve loading times

Improving loading times is a perennial issue in on-page optimization. However, a distinction should be made here.

While it is true that a slow website is associated with a higher bounce rate & poorer Google rankings, the reverse is not true across the board.

A loading time of less than 3 seconds is recommended, then you are on the safe side. Faster is always better, but at some point you will reach a point where the cost-benefit ratio is no longer right.

So don’t go too crazy with the topic of pagespeed! Just make sure that your page loads in a reasonable amount of time.

In addition to choosing a good hoster, a cache system, compression of HTML, CSS & JS, and image optimization are particularly important.

Tip for WordPress users

The best plugin for optimizing loading times for WordPress is WP-Rocket. It’s easy to configure and actually provides everything you need for your WordPress site.

The best plugin for image optimization for WordPress users is mMn. Shortpixel. Simply install and start the compression. This can easily save half the file size of images and videos!

Important for image uploads: Only ever upload images in the dimensions in which you display them on your site. This way you can avoid unnecessarily large images (and thus the amount of data transferred).

Summary

When is my site fast enough?

Make sure the loading time is less than 3 seconds. Faster is always better, but don’t get lost in PageSpeed optimization!

Crawlability & indexability

Unfortunately, all of the above measures are useless if your site cannot be crawled & indexed correctly.

What does that mean?

Crawlability” means that search engines can read and evaluate your site correctly. When it comes to JavaScript in particular, opinions are still divided on the extent to which Google & Co. can manage this perfectly.

The good news: Google is already at the forefront here. Their own JavaScript renderer is based on Chromium. To check whether your own site can be evaluated correctly, we recommend this article. Note: For most users there should be no problems here. However, if you implement a lot of your own JavaScript code, a double check be useful.

Of course, it is just as important that your site is always easily accessible and does not contain any 404 links. In short, this means that you are not linking to a non-existent URL. This is a dead end, so to speak, and unpleasant for both crawlers and users.

Index / NoIndex and the robots.txt

There is also another way to completely ruin your SEO success. This leads via the meta tags “index” or “noindex”. This allows you to ask the search engines not to index a page (i.e. to list it in the search results).

The “robots.txt” method, on the other hand, is more radical. This is nothing more than a simple text file in which you can prohibit search engine crawlers from crawling a certain URL at all. For example like this:

Now you might be wondering why anyone would want such a thing. In certain cases, the use of these methods can be useful. You can find out more here.

Above all, it is important for you to ensure that you have not inadvertently blocked your pages via plugins on “noindex” or even via the robots.

Summary

Crawlability & indexability

Use a robots.txt and “noindex” tags wisely. If you use a lot of custom code on your site, make sure that Google can interpret it correctly.

6. optimize user experience

The topic of usability / user-friendliness also plays a major role in on-page optimization. Although there is no clear evidence that user signals have an impact on the ranking of your website, there are many good reasons to look into them.

Ultimately, every website has a specific goal. Be it to inform, to sell, or to generate leads. To achieve this goal, you need to know your users well and offer them as pleasant an experience as possible.

It’s about much more than “just” delivering added value with your content. This should always make it as easy as possible for the user to reach their destination. Here are a few basics that you should always keep in mind:

  • Logical menu navigation & clear anchor texts: Structure your page navigation according to a logical pattern. Always put yourself in the position of your target group. Where would you expect to find the answers to your question? What do I find when I click on this link?
  • Use call-to-actions sensibly: The targeted use of CTAs (calls to action) can increase user interactivity with your site enormously. Actively support your users in reaching their goal. But don’t overdo it! Otherwise a page will quickly feel overloaded or overwhelming.
  • Visual presentation of the content: If you provide your users with good content, make it look good too. A large wall of text is unpleasant to read. Use short paragraphs, include graphics and images, use lists, etc.
  • Consistency in design: Your design should follow a uniform pattern. This ensures that the user can always find their way quickly on their journey through your site.
Hannes Kaltofen

Hannes Kaltofen

Gründer & Geschäftsführer

Seit über 7 Jahren in den SERPs unterwegs. Dank SEO konnte Ich das Affiliate Marketing, Blogging und Agenturgeschäft kennelernen und helfe Unternehmen tagtäglich bei ihrer Sichtbarkeit.

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