SEO Basics: What is on-page SEO?

Every SEO strategy is focused on ranking as high as possible in the search engines. To do this, we all try to design and develop a website that Google’s secret algorithm will love. That’s basically what SEO is about. The factors in Google’s algorithm can be divided into two categories which will determine the ranking of your website: on-page factors and off-page factors. Here, I’ll discuss the differences between the two, explain the importance of on-page SEO and go over the most essential on-page SEO factors.

On-page and off-page SEO

On-page factors all have to do with elements of your own website. On-page factors include technical set-up – the quality of your code – textual and visual content and user-friendliness of your site. On the other side, there are off-page factors, like links from other websites, social media attention and other marketing activities outside your own website. If you focus on off-page SEO, you mostly aim to get more links to your site. The more relevant links you get, the higher your ranking in Google will be. Want to get more links to your site? Read our series about link building.

Importance of on-page SEO

On-page SEO consists of all the elements of SEO you can control best. If you own a website, you can control the technical issues and the quality of your content. We believe on-page issues should all be tackled as they’re in your own hands. If you create an awesome website, it will definitely start ranking. Focusing on on-page SEO will also increase the probability that your off-page SEO strategy will be successful. Link building with a crappy site is a very tough job. Nobody wants to link to articles that are badly written or boring.

Essential on-page SEO factors

In our view, there are three major on-page SEO factors. These three pillars are the ones you should focus on:

Technical excellence

The quality of your code should be high. Check if you’re not unintentionally blocking crawlers from indexing your website (we still see this happening!). WordPress is an SEO-friendly platform and our free Yoast SEO plugin takes care of most remaining technical SEO challenges, without you even noticing it. So if you’re using WordPress and configured Yoast SEO well, you’ll have most technical aspects of your on-page SEO covered.

Want to dive deeper into the technical side of SEO? Read our articles on technical SEO or take the Technical SEO 1 training.

Awesome content

Why do people visit your site? Most likely because it contains information they’re looking for. Therefore you should write excellent content. Search engines like Google read your text. Which site ranks highest is for a large part based on the content of a website. That content should be about the right keywords, informative, and easy to read.

Learn all about writing high-quality content in our Ultimate Guide to SEO copywriting.

Flawless UX

The third and final pillar is User eXperience. Users need to easily understand your website. They should be able to find what they want in a heartbeat. They should know where to click and how to navigate through your site. And it should be fast! A beautifully designed website is nice, but you should definitely make it your top priority to create a user-friendly website first!

Read more about usability. If you want to learn more about combining SEO, UX and conversion we’d advise you to take a look at our all-around SEO training course.

Read more: SEO basics: what does Google do »

26 Responses to What is on-page SEO?

  1. Newsklic
    Newsklic  • 4 years ago

    Great share…keep it up..

  2. Emiratisation
    Emiratisation  • 4 years ago

    Hi Marieke,
    Aswesome post! you nailed the on-page factors of SEO. I agree, it is very important to understand the search engine ranking factors and their weightage. Having more positive factors will increase positive change of keywords ranking on Search Engine Result Page.

  3. Befuddled
    Befuddled  • 4 years ago

    Really great article. Optimising your sites on page content will really help your rankings as I have found out.

  4. Royal Chauffeur
    Royal Chauffeur  • 4 years ago

    On-Page seo is best for creating the rank of your website to the top. So every website holder should know it.

  5. Franks Ross
    Franks Ross  • 4 years ago

    Hi Marieke,
    Thanks for sharing valuable perception on On Page SEO. I would say that on page SEO is the basically technical introduction of your website for Google and how we do implement on page elements for better website ranking

  6. Domen Solo Ads
    Domen Solo Ads  • 4 years ago

    On-page is crucial for ranking – I’m learning that more and more in 2017!

  7. Benjamin
    Benjamin  • 4 years ago

    Always make sure that your content is interesting to your customer. You can also consider writing in their native language to reach them better.

  8. Rahul Digital
    Rahul Digital  • 4 years ago

    This post is beautiful in its simplicity:)
    I’m a SEO amateur (but hopefully a quality-copy writer) and this info is really helpful to me. You’ve just given me a big job to go back over my blog and edit it with all of the ideas above. Thanks! Glad I found you.

  9. Leon Ridge-Cooke
    Leon Ridge-Cooke  • 4 years ago

    Don’t forget to check for 404s in Google Search Console

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Hi Leon, Thanks for the addition. Monitoring 404s is definitely a great idea to keep your site healthy!

  10. Blogger Dashboard
    Blogger Dashboard  • 4 years ago

    Yeah On page seo always best for website

  11. Lanzarote | Sergio
    Lanzarote | Sergio  • 4 years ago

    Thanks again for the article, it is easy to read and interesting to know. Thank you very much from Spain!!!

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Hi Sergio, you’re welcome. Thanks!

  12. Kelley Stewart
    Kelley Stewart  • 4 years ago

    Thank you for writing this informative article. Honestly, I only thought there was one form of SEO…yikes…and I’ve been editing older articles to improve SEO. Once I get that up to par I’ll start working on the other.

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Hi Kelley, thanks for your comment. Starting with on-page SEO, so for example updating older articles, does make sense. After you’ve updated one, you can share it again: that’s already an off-page SEO activity! Good luck.

  13. Alat pemadam api
    Alat pemadam api  • 4 years ago

    thanks for information factors on page SEO

  14. Specspricebuy
    Specspricebuy  • 4 years ago

    On page SEO have always been a strong point on any site I build, of a truth I do give less priority to Off page because it is quite tasking to me.

  15. Holiday
    Holiday  • 4 years ago

    One more thing i want to add is the ‘broken links’ scenario. Try to monitor the broken link on your website and fix them as broken links also have a negative impact on SEO. If you have wordpress website then go for any of the broken links plugins to find and fix broken links.

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Hi Holiday, Agreed. Broken links can be detrimental to our site. Checking for 404s is always a good idea. If you connect Yoast SEO with Google Search Console, you can see them directly in your WordPress install, which will help you fix them.

  16. Pattipie
    Pattipie  • 4 years ago

    Technical SEO training is the best! Great tips!

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Glad you liked our course, Pattipie!

  17. CarterCoupons
    CarterCoupons  • 4 years ago

    I think if we more focus on on page seo in the start i will pay later by reducing time consuming tactics to rank. I am Yoast user for all my sites really helpful to mark my goals.

  18. Mr. Toons
    Mr. Toons  • 4 years ago

    Very nice article, thanks for helping us to grow our online presence.

  19. Jazib
    Jazib  • 4 years ago

    It’s a great post Marieke, I am learning a lot of stuff after becoming a regular reader of Yoast and above all the fundamentals of SEO and on page SEO is very well explained.

  20. Bradley
    Bradley  • 4 years ago

    Great post Marieke; It’s always great to go back to the fundamentals of SEO and just focus on the things we can change and have some power over.

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 4 years ago

      Thanks Bradley!