What is On-Page SEO in Digital Marketing (For Beginners)

On-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are actions taken directly on a webpage to help increase search engine value with the aim to rank higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). 

On-page SEO is an aspect of SEO which is very much within the control of the website owner as it refers to any optimisation done on the actual pages of the website.

On-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are actions taken directly on a webpage to help increase search engine value with the aim to rank higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). 

On-page SEO is an aspect of SEO which is very much within the control of the website owner as it refers to any optimisation done on the actual pages of the website.

How does Google work?

Before we explain on-page SEO it’s important to understand how Google works when crawling your website. You have to understand that Google always wants to give the best answer (or the most accurate answer) from a search query imputed into the search engine.

For Google to analyse this information from millions of websites it has to analyse each of them in 4 stages:

  1. Google constantly crawls public websites, collecting on-page data such as text content and images.
  2. Then Google indexes all that information on its own servers. Imagine the Google index as a huge library that organises each book into categories depending on the content.
  3. When someone makes a search query using the search engine, Google goes through their index (or library) to see which sites most closely relate to the query.
  4. Finally, Google displays the information in a SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

As you can see, your on-page optimisations must allow Google bots to understand your page.

Text based / Content on-page SEO

This type of optimisations usually refers to optimising text on a page to help Google understand that particular page.Google rewards cited, useful and well written content and so this must be kept in mind while planning the written content on your site.

However, there are several best practices which should be implemented on any site which wants to drive organic traffic from SERPs.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first and most important step before you implement any on-page SEO. This stage is important because of two main problems:

  1. If you are writing content for queries that people are not searching for, you won’t drive any organic traffic because no one is searching for the information of the webpage..
  2. If you optimise text content for keywords which have extremely high competition, you won’t drive any organic traffic because your page will be ranking very low.

Keyword research allows you to find search terms which have low enough competition to rank but enough search volume (searches per month) to drive organic traffic. Some SEO audits will find opportunities for new content though keyword research.

Types of Keywords

Another aspect to keyword research that should be mentioned is types of keywords. We will go into this in another blog post but here are some definitions to help you understand some of the terms:

  • Long-Tail keywords: broad queries which usually contain 3+ words. These keywords usually have less competition.
    • Example: “large sports clothes for men uk”
  • Navigational keywords: queries used to determine a specific brand or website.
    • Example: “under armour”, “asos”
  • Informational keywords: queries used to display information.
    • Example: “best clothes for men”, “what are the most stylish clothes”
  • Transactional keyword: queries entered with the intention of completing a commercial action.
    • Example: “buy mens clothes”

You should direct your keyword research towards types of terms for which you want to rank.

Keyword Research Tools

You may be wondering what tools you would need to use to conduct keyword research. Here are three of our recommended paid and free online options for keyword research:


E-A-T content for on-page SEO

You may have seen this term floating around before “E-A-T”. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. These terms speak for themselves but on-page SEO can help increase these metrics.

Make sure you cite your information from trustworthy sources and link to each of the sauces to increase expertise. Make sure you credit the author for each piece of content as this will also help increase trustworthiness and expertise.

Authoritativeness is mostly built from external linking from other sites, known as “off-site SEO”.

You can read the full Google guidelines to quality content here.

SEO Titles Tags (H1s, H2s etc.)

Structuring your titles properly can help Google understand each of the sections of your content as well as being good for user experience. Make sure you tag your titles appropriately in a succinct format. CMSs such as WordPress can make this very easy to do.

Because I don’t want this post to ramble I will be writing a blog post about titles tags in the future But in the meantime, if you want to read more about H1s, this article by Niel Patel is a great resource which goes into more detail.

Image SEO

Images are often overlooked in on-page SEO as you don’t see an immediate change. Image SEO is extremely important which can help boost rankings as well as ranking for keywords you wouldn’t otherwise rank for.

Here are a list of important things to keep in mind when optimising your images for the on-page SEO of you site:

Image Size

Image size can have an impact on load time for your page. Google has said in the past that load time has an impact on your page’s rank. Make sure your images are small enough to load quickly but still look good on your site!

If you use WordPress, there are many plugins which can help you quickly optimise the size of your images.

Alt Text

The ALT tag is text that displays when the browser cannot load the image properly. This was initially designed for users which have vision difficulties. However, Google uses this information to better understand the image. 

It’s recommended that all images, apart from decorative images, use alt tags. Place alt text like any other piece of content; utilising your keyword research. This will give Google the full picture (pardon the pun!) of your piece of content and is likely to rank it higher for your targeted keywords.

Image file name

Google takes into account the name of the picture file. Similarly to alt text, Google uses the file name to understand the picture (it is a lot easier for a bot to read text than an image). Make sure the image file name is succinct and related to the content surrounding it.

Final thoughts

Hopefully this gave you a better idea what is on-page SEO and how it is implemented from a slightly technical perspective.

On-page SEO is one of those aspects to SEO which is in total control by the site owner and/or the SEO expert implementing the changes. This means these changes will give an instant boost to your sites ability to rank higher in the SERP.

Womix Digital