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On-Page SEO - A Simple Guide for Beginners

Est. Reading: 4 minutes
Updated: October 29, 2021

Don’t worry if the phrase ‘on-page SEO’ sounds like it’s in a foreign language. You’re not alone — many small businesses (and even some larger ones) struggle with understanding the technical jargon that goes along with building a great website.

On-page SEO is essential for your website, and it’s a concept that every website owner should understand. This form of search engine optimization is crucial for getting great rankings in various search engine results, but what is it exactly, and how can you use it to get more traffic to your website?

We’ll explain on-page SEO in a nutshell so you can see for yourself why it’s so important. Here’s a simple guide for beginners to help you better understand the ins and out of on-page SEO.

What is On-Page SEO, Exactly?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how your website gets higher rankings in search engine results. There are several different types of SEO, including on-page SEO, that you can focus on to help improve your website’s visibility.

On-page SEO involves optimizing specific things on your website to make it more valuable and attractive to your visitors and the search engines that index every website on the internet. It includes all of the things that you can directly control on your website, such as the content, images, etc. 

How Important is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is essential for your website — it helps your site be found by people searching for the products or services you offer. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, it won’t show up in the top pages of the long list of search engine results that crop up when a related search is queried. 

Being ‘seen’ online is trickier than it seems, especially considering the vast sea of competition on the internet. On-page SEO tells the search engines exactly what your site is about and why it’s a good fit for the people who are searching. It tells the search engines exactly what they need to know to send your desired audience to your site.

Since so much of your website traffic will come from online searches, especially Google, you need to make sure that these search engines see and promote your website. You can do this by utilizing on-page SEO (and other SEO techniques) to improve your site’s visibility online.

What Makes Up On-Page SEO?

There are a variety of factors that comprise on-site SEO. These factors all make good sense when you think about what makes a website useful for visitors. Each factor directly impacts how visitors interact with the website and how search engines will rank your site.

Some of the most important on-page SEO factors to focus on include:

  • Meta descriptions
  • Title tags
  • URL
  • Heading and Alt tags
  • Keywords
  • Loading speeds
  • Content optimization
  • Image sizing and compression
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Internal links

How On-Page SEO Factors Affect Your Site

Search engines constantly scan the internet for keywords and phrases to determine the best results and continue to hone in on returning the most relevant and accurate links. The information that the search engines look at is in your site’s basic structure and the content you include in it. 

As a result, criteria are put forth by Google and other search engine developers and iterated on to continuously. This means that website developers and businesses must be aware of both the stakes and the tenets of SEO-friendly website design, incorporating these elements into their site.

Keywords help search engines zero in on precisely what your site is about. They help ensure that search engines choose relevant sites to display in search engine results. Even your page URLs matter because they confirm what each page is about, helping those bots decide which ones to show potential visitors.

Likewise, ensuring that when someone visits your page, the experience is a positive one is a major factor in staying in Google’s good-books. This means website load times should be reduced as much as possible, images should be compressed and optimized for quick loads, and content on your site should be fresh and regularly updated to provide relevant and timely information to your visitors.

Ultimately, search engines want to know that your site is valuable and helpful for visitors. Ensuring that your on-page SEO factors confirm this means that your site gets prioritized in search results for related keywords and phrases.

Is Optimizing On-Page SEO Difficult?

The good news for website owners is that optimizing on-page SEO isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming. Ideally, you want to keep your website fresh by adding new, relevant content and focusing on keywords that your potential customers will most likely look for.

Paying attention to details like what you put in your meta descriptions for each page and how you structure your URLs can take time, but like pieces of a puzzle, these small details help search engines build a bigger, more precise picture of your website so that they can show it to more people. 

The bottom line is that even if you choose not to optimize your on-page SEO yourself, it is imperative that you ensure that your website is optimized for search engines one way or another. Many business owners are simply too busy handling the day-to-day of their business to spend time brushing up on SEO best practices and micromanaging the details of their site. That’s where a professional SEO agency can benefit businesses of all sizes.

Let Us Manage Your Site’s SEO

SEO optimization is essential for your website’s visibility in search engines, but if you don’t have time to optimize and maintain your site yourself, we can help. 

Based in Portland, Oregon, Stoute Web Solutions specializes in working with small and medium-sized businesses to enable them to grow and thrive online with affordable SEO services and web design. We let you get back to the work at hand while we set up your site for success online.

We can help you optimize your current website for SEO or design a custom website that fully meets your company’s needs. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation today.

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