The Definitive Guide To SEO, Chapter 4: On-page Search Engine Optimization

The Definitive Guide To SEO, Chapter 4: On-page Search Engine Optimization

On-page SEO will make the difference between being found or not, so it’s essential to get it right. This chapter will cover the ins and outs of on-page SEO. We’ll begin with some technical advice about how search engines like Google read your site and how you can apply those keywords to your page. Then we’ll look at the main things you need to know – headings, keywords, links, and more.

How To Apply Your Keyword Research?

It’s best to use similar keywords throughout your website for consistency. If you used the Google Adwords keyword tool mentioned in the previous chapter, you should now have a list of relevant and high-volume keywords. The next step would be to integrate these words into your content.

According to Google’s Search Algorithm guide, “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.

You can then follow this simple yet effective formula:

  • Instead of creating different pages for different keywords, group them according to topics and intent. Then, create your pages based on those categories.
  • Check Google’s SERP and look at high-ranking content for each of your keywords.
  • Based on their characteristics, you can now determine what type of format your content should take:
  • Will these topics be written in long-form or short?
  • Are these similar to tutorial articles that consist of heavy and large-sized images?
  • Will these be bulleted, on a list or paragraph form?

The DON’Ts Of On-Page SEO

  1. Keyword Stuffing: This refers to the act of making your page look unnatural by stuffing it with keywords. Your readers want content they can understand and relate to – not wordy internet marketing spam.
  2. Cloaking: Cloaking is another way of fooling or tricking search engines. It is essentially showing one thing to users and something entirely different for Google site crawlers.
  3. Thin Content: This is another poor technique that involves creating very little and meaningless content on your website. Usually, this is done by people who want to use their site to steal or build links.
  4. Auto-Generated Content: A lot of people who are new to SEO use auto-generated content. In this approach, pages are made up of only their chosen keywords, often without any form of meaningful content.

The key to ranking well in search engines is not a mystery. Pages are ranked highly by Google because they are the top answers to searchers’ questions, and internet users today want quality over quantity. Therefore, make sure to provide what they’re looking for.

The DOs Of On-Page SEO

Aside from creating great content that appeals to and meets the needs of your audience, here are a few optimization tips your website needs:

  1. Title Tags: Also known as Header Tags or H1. It helps if you use the exact keyword phrase along with a few variations for about 70 characters or less.
  2. Internal Links: Internal linking means directing your readers to other pages or posts on your site so they can get more information about your topic. This helps navigate and discover other content relevant to what they are looking for.
  3. Backlinking: This means linking to other websites that are relevant to what you are writing about. This is considered as one of the best ways to your site’s ranking because it’s an indirect way of telling Google that there are other sites out there that can provide what your audience needs.
  4. Image Optimization: Avoid large-sized images as these are the leading cause of slow-loading web pages. Optimize your photos to make them smaller but still keep their quality. Also, do not forget Alt Text—this is very useful in telling search engine bots what they’re looking at.
  5. Site Structure: This simply means the organization of each page on your site. If you have too many pages that contain less than 200 words, it’s time to reorganize them into sub-menus and sub-pages so they can be found through search engines easier.
  6. Site Readability and Formatting: Remember that your web content aims to provide information to your readers, not just search engine crawlers. Make sure the text reads well, and the paragraphs are short and concise so readers won’t have a hard time scanning each page.
  7. Mobile Compatibility: The majority of people today use their phones as an information hub. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s missing out on potential visitors using their phones.
  8. Sitemap: If you have a large website with many web pages, you should make a sitemap. This is an index page that shows your readers the structure of your site and tells search engines how each page is linked to the others.
  9. Content Updates: Search engines love new and updated content. This tells readers and crawlers that your site is active. This also helps to improve your backlinks and ranking factors because of the fresh content it has right now, thus increasing search engine traffic.
  10. Keyword Density: When you’re writing a post or page, remember to use your keyword phrase 3-5 times or not more than 70% of your web page’s total word count. Using them more than this is considered keyword stuffing.

Creating Title Tags and Meta Description

Customizing your title tags and meta description is critical because people see these first on search engine results pages.

Meta Description is a short piece of text found right below your site’s name and URL in the SERPs. This is used to tell readers what they will see if they click on your link. It should only contain 155–160 characters or less, depending on how long Google considers a good description to be.

Title Tags, also known as Header Tags or H1, is basically an SEO term for a web page’s main heading. It’s best to keep them under 70 characters because long heading tags are not displayed in most browsers and can result in truncation.


Using these tips can quickly improve the ranking factor of your site and will put you ahead of the competition since not everyone knows how to do this well. However, you have to always remember that SEO isn’t just about optimizing your content for search engines. It’s also about finding out what your audience wants from you and meeting their needs.

That’s it for this article. This is the 4th installment of an 8 chapter tutorial on SEO. Next up is technical SEO in Chapter 5!

Remember, if you need help or have questions, just leave a comment below. For more information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), visit DBWebs now!

Nick is a former digital marketing company owner with a wealth of experience in SEO, marketing, and digital technology. He genuinely enjoys presenting and sharing great ideas and knowledge, and always trying to provide exceptional value.