On-Page SEO: A Beginner's Guide

What is On-Page SEO?

It is the process of optimize your webpages so that you can rank higher on search engines and earn organic traffic.

Basically, on-page SEO is all about content. How do you optimize your content. There are many factors to consider.

Meta Title, Meta Description, headings, URL, etc.

Let’s talk about the on-page SEO checklist one by one, deciding which we should do and which we shouldn’t.

On-Page SEO: Dos and Don’ts

Now it’s time for dos and don’ts regarding on-page SEO. Let’s start with those things that you should not do at all. If we do these things, not only can we affect our rankings but we can also be penalized.

On-Page SEO: Don’ts

Thin Content

If you are writing three different posts on the same subject, Everything will be the same except location and content. And there you go, it is called thin content. Yes, ranking higher should be our goal, but we should write for our users first. If we can satisfy our users, then we will be able to satisfy crawlers as well, because users are coming on the Google platform, and users will be happy with Google, and Google will credit us because we are contributing to it. We can see that in this way as well.

For example, If you have three keywords that fall under one category and you are writing three different posts, Then it will hurt your rankings because if a user searches for keyword 1, then your post will be shown for keyword 1.

Instead of writing thin content, you should make a single post and add the things that you are talking about in different posts.

Ranking is important, yes, so that users can come to our website. It is a guide. Our purpose should be to make things easy for users so that they can understand what the purpose of the website is.

Thin, low quality content. Google banned this content when it came up with the Panda update. It penalizes low-quality content, and with the help of this, top quality content takes the top spots in SERPs. Do not make low-quality content because Google will ban it.

Keyword Stuffing

It should look natural. If you stuff your keyword, it will not look natural and will lead to a bad user experience. Google scans the pages of your website for keywords and related ideas, therefore the page has to provide something extra in addition to just using keywords. If your page has valuable content, it won’t sound like it was written by a robot, and it’ll look natural.


If you are showing one thing to search engines but a different thing to your users, this is called cloaking. If your code is hidden in your HTML code and only search engines can see it but not users, that’s not a good thing. You should show the same thing that you’re showing to search engines.

If you break this guideline, search engines will come and take action, so these pages that are breaking this guideline, won’t be able to rank in search results.

Duplicate Content

You surely don’t want to do that. Same Content that is on different domains or on multiple pages of the same domain.

There is also scraped content, which is copying what people wrote with so much effort, and they come and copy and paste it. Or modifying it a little before republishing it.

Ai Content

If I am not mistaken, then it’s 80% allowed to have AI content. But you need to have that human touch, and the content should be of high quality. Whether humans wrote it or AI and humans, it should be of high quality.

Things that we should do that can help boost our rankings, time for;

On-Page SEO: Do’s

Meta Title

The meta title is what you see on search engines when you search for anything. Your title should be less than 75 characters. If it’s more than 75 characters, then it’ll show “…” and this is called an ellipsis.

Your title should be catchy, so users can click on it. And make sure your title contains keywords at the beginning.

Meta Description

A meta description is basically what your content is. It’s not in the content, but a short description of what your content is? Just like the meta title, it should be catchy. The total length should be 160, and if you reach the limit, then it will show “… – Ellipsis.” 

Meta description is not a ranking factor, but it can increase CTR (click-through Rate). And it’s possible that Google can change your description.


There are six headings (h1-h6). H6 is the smallest and, H1 is the highest.

Make sure you use H1 only for the title. You can use h2-h6 types of headings multiple times.

And always remember, your h3 heading will be coming from the h2 heading since it will be connected to the h2 heading. Your h3 heading should explain your h2 heading. It’s kind of a sub-category, like the SEO category, and technical, on-page, and off-page SEO will come under SEO, so these three will be called sub-categories of SEO.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A URL is a link, which is what you see or read at the top of the page.

Always have a static URL instead of a dynamic one because a static URL is easier to read. Not for users only but for crawlers as well, and it can give crawlers an idea of what the page is about.

Make sure you use keywords in your URL as well.

Also, it’s possible that the URL and title can be different, but make sure your URL stays true to what the content is about.

Just like the meta title and meta description, the url also has a length, and it should be less than 75 characters.

10x Content

If we shouldn’t do above things, then what can we do? Well, make your content 10x better than your competitors that are ranking at the top on search engines.

But What Is 10x Content?

10x content means in content marketing that your content should be ten times better than that of those who are ranking at the top for a keyword.

Pages that are ranking highly because Google has determined that they provide the best results for the searcher’s query.

Let’s say, your content isn’t broken, spammy, or even duplicate. Still, your page should provide some value to users and should be better than those pages that are currently ranking at the top.

Our content should be keyword based. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Search for keywords you want to rank for.
  2. Identify those pages that are ranking highly for them.
  3. Observe what the quality of the page is.
  4. Create content that will be better than your competitors.

If your content is 10x better for a given keyword than those who are ranking highly, then not only will you be at the top, but people will link to it naturally. But making 10x content is hard work, but then there is nothing easy in this world that people can get.

And don’t try to cut your content if it’s long; keep it that way. And the same is true if your content is short. It completely depends on what your topic is.

For example, if a topic is, how to turn off an iPhone 12, You won’t be writing for too long.

If you already have content, then check if it is bringing in a good amount of traffic. If it is, then share it on other social platforms.

Then focus on those pieces of content that do not lack quality. Make them new, and then share them. There’s no need to start all over again.

By doing this, not only will it save you time, but it will also help attract new visitors to your website.

Internal Links

Internal links are important. It can pass link equity or ranking power, but it also helps users navigate your site easily, and crawlers crawl from one link to another. So, it helps crawlers as well. But make sure that when you use internal links, they are relevant to what you are talking about.

For example, if you want to read our article on how to do keyword research for SEO, You can visit that page by just clicking on that link.

What Is An Anchor Text?

The text that you link to is called anchor text. When you do it, it sends the search engines a signal about the destination page. 

Just like internal links, use them only if they are relevant to what you are talking about and also to the surrounding text of the anchor text and the page on which you’ve applied the anchor text. So, make sure it’s relevant.

But don’t do it too many times because it will look spammy, not natural.

Using the same keyword-stuffed anchor text doesn’t look good or natural. And when you use it too many times, it takes down the value of that link as well.

Image Optimization

Image optimization is important for SEO. It helps your website to reduce load speed and page is a ranking factor and no one likes pages with low speed. Use webp format. Not only it’s quality is better but it gives you so much space.

Img Alt Tag

Use img alt tag to properly describe your images. Crawlers can’t read what’s inside the image and that’s why it’s important to use img alt tag and it also helps search engines crawlers to crawl and index. Also, make sure that you are mentioning your keyword in the image alt tag.

Submit An Image Sitemap

Just like there is a sitemap for URLs. There is a sitemap for images as well. We can submit an image sitemap in our Google Search Console. Sometimes Google may miss some images, so submitting an image sitemap can help Google see even those images that have been missed.

Formatting For Readability & Featured Snippets

If you have the best content written on a subject. That’s good but if it’s formatted improperly, your audience might never read it. Some factors so that users won’t have any problem reading your content:

  1. Break your paragraphs. Don’t write long but short. Break your content in short paragraphs. It helps users to read what you have written.
  2. Make sub-headings of a heading. This way user can know what the user is reading and why.
  3. Use image and/or videos if you have to. It helps user to not only understand but also it helps you to communicate with users as well.
  4. Use bullet points if you there is a list.
  5. Don’t use too tiny text and color should also be okay for eyes so that users can read without putting strain on their eyes.
  6. If you are making a word bold and/or italic, it can add a emphasis. Do it carefully.

Formatting can help your page to show up in featured snippets.

Just be careful about what your content is and what you want to rank for. If you want to or are trying to rank “this vs. that,” you’ll need a table for that where you can compare both things in the columns. Or if you are trying to rank for “best restaurants to try in Florida,” that could indicate Google wants a list, so formatting your content in bullets could help.

Page Organization

If your website talks about multiple topics, then put those things in that category.

For example, if you are writing about football, it will go in the sports category or page.

If you are talking about Hollywood, it will go in the entertainment category or page.

Folders also send signals to search engines about the type of content they contain, not just the topic.

Also, be careful when you choose the URL format. Dated URLs can indicate time-sensitive content. While appropriate for news-based websites, dated URLs for evergreen content can actually turn searchers away because the information seems outdated. If you choose a date URL for What Is SEO? then it won’t be nice because the topic “What is SEO?” isn’t confined to a specific date. It’s best to host on a non-dated URL structure or else risk your information appearing stale. As you can see, what you name your pages and in what folders you choose to organize them is an important way to clarify the topic of your page to users and search engines.

Case Sensitivity

Use hyphens (-) to separate words in a URL because not all web applications can accurately interpret separators like plus signs (+), spaces (%20), or underscores (_).

And when they run together without a separator, even search engines don’t understand how to separate words in URLs.

Separate Your Words With Hyphen

Sites should avoid case sensitive URLs. Instead of example.com/football/man-city-vs-Liverpool it would be better to use example.com/desserts/chocolate-pie-recipe. Your developers can help if your site (the one you are working on) has lots of mixed-case URLs indexed. Ask your developer to add a rewrite formula, known as .htaccess file, and it will automatically make your uppercase URLs lowercase.

Things that are in this article are coming from Moz’s – The Beginner’s Guide to SEO – On-Page SEO. No, it’s not a copy-and-paste. I first understood these things, and then I wrote them in my own words.


When creating content, take care of these. Without doing on-page optimization of your content, it’d be very hard to rank on search engines. Everything matters and is useful, whether it’s internal links, thin content, anchor text, things that you should do, or things that you should not do at all.

Make sure to do all these things because they affect your ranking.


Q1. What is on page SEO and of page?

On-page SEO is about what you do with your content so that you boost your ranking. It includes keyword optimization, image optimization, title tags, and meta descriptions. Off-page is what you do with your content externally. In other words, to promote your content.

Q2. What is on-page SEO vs technical SEO?

Technical SEO takes care of your code, clean code, page speed, XML sitemaps, robots meta tags, and indexing. On-page SEO is about your content.

Q3. What is first step for on page SEO?

It starts with keyword research. Define your keywords, and then start creating content. Because before creating content, you check whether people are searching for that keyword, and if they are, what’s the intent? For in-depth guide on keyword research, check out this beginner’s guide: How To Do Keyword Research For SEO – A Beginner’s Guide

Q4. What is on page content?

On-page content falls under on-page SEO. It’s all about the content; you can publish it, and people can read it. On-page SEO includes many things: images, videos, image alt text, infographics, etc.

Q5. What are the 3 most important on-page SEO factors?

  • Keyword Research
  • URL Structure
  • Meta Title

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