On Page SEO

Best On Page SEO tips for beginners in 2023

In order to make your website visible to potential customers, you need to ensure that it appears high up on search engine results pages. This process is known as search engine optimization, or SEO for short. While SEO may seem like a daunting task, this guide will break down the basics of on page SEO so that you can get started in no time!

What is On Page SEO?

On page SEO are the techniques and practices used to optimize a website so as to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is a subset of SEO that focuses exclusively on the optimization of a website’s elements in order to improve its ranking in SERPs.

The main aim of on page SEO is to make a website more search engine friendly so that it can rank higher for relevant keywords. There are many different factors that contribute to on page SEO:

  • User-friendly URLs
  • Focus keyword in URL, Title and Description
  • Keyword Density
  • User Friendly Fonts
  • Hierarchy Tags
  • Schema Markups
  • Image Names
  • Anchor Texts
  • Internal and External Links

Let’s take a look at each and understand their importance.

User Friendly URLs

There are several types of URL structures that you can use depending upon your website type. In general, most websites use a post permalink or a custom permalink structure. This type of URL structure is the most user and crawler friendly as well as gives you a great opportunity to include your focus keyword in the URL.

Generally, all pages that rank in Google top 10 have either a post permalink or custom permalink structure.

POST PERMALINK – https://mywebsite.com/ (blog title)
CUSTOM PERMALINK – https://mywebsite.com/blog/ (blog title)

We call it a user-friendly friendly URL because the potential audience can easily recall the URL in the future, if required. The default URL setting generally has a string of random characters like – https://mywebsite.com/#867cdsdcbyu7sd6sdc5sf6dc8/ which is difficult to recall.

Where as, a post or custom permalink structure is easier to recall – https://mywebsite/blog/the-article-I-saw-earlier

It’s crawler friendly because you get an opportunity to inform Google (crawler) what your article is about by introducing the title in the URL as well as your focus keyword.

Focus keyword in URL, Title and Description

A focus keyword is the primary keyword that you have shortlisted to rank for. This is the keyword that is a result of your keyword research and the entire content revolves around that keyword.

Let’s discuss why it’s important to have the focus keyword placed in those sections of your website with a revelation. Google or any search engines crawler isn’t capable of understanding the written content. As an SEO we need to make sure it’s clear to the crawler as to “what is the content all about”

This brings us to our focus keyword. Although the crawler isn’t capable of understating complex sentences and their meanings, it is capable enough to ASSUME what is the content all about with the help of keywords.

Hence, I advised you to include your keyword in the URL by opting in for a POST or CUSTOM URL structure. The reason why it’s recommended, is to create and exploit an opportunity to ensure we can clearly communicate the focus keyword to the crawler, right from the start!

By including the focus keyword in the URL, Title, Description, Hierarchy Tags, Schema Markup and through out your content, we are informing Google as to what the content is all about.


You can write a title of any length honestly, however, Google can and will display only up to 70 characters. The rest gets truncated which is represented as “…” at the end of the visibility limit. Hence, it is good practice to ensure that your title is under 70 characters and consists of the focus keyword.

Another good practice while writing titles is to understand – what makes people click? You might have written great and useful content but, don’t expect many clicks if you have a bland, boring or a neutral title.

It’s no secret that people engage with content that evokes an emotion whether positive or negative. Here is an example of the 3 types:

Positive – 10 Awesome Tips to Increase your Instagram Followers.
Neutral – Learn How To Improve your Instagram Followers.
Negative – 10 Reasons why your Instagram Followers count is Low!

NOTE – The focus keyword in all 3 instances is “Instagram Followers”

I’m sure you’re someone who has either seen such posts or blog titles and clicked on either the positive ones or the negative ones. Very rarely you will click on the neutral ones. Here is why you do that:

We are constantly trying to improve ourself and at the same time doubt ourselves if we are doing things the right way. The positive and negative title appeal to one of the two emotions, depending on your frame of mind at that time.

Another reason why the positive and negative titles work well, is because they aren’t ambiguous like the neutral one. You don’t really know what to expect inside the article titled – “Learn How To Improve your Instagram Followers”, where as, the other two articles have clearly stated the content of their article which is either “10 Awesome Tips” or “10 Reasons Why”

These types of titles attract us in this fast paced world where we don’t have a lot of time to invest into reading. We are looking for quick answers and the positive or negative titles are very clear, it’s 10 Awesome Tips or 10 Reasons why which can be inferred as maybe a 2-3 minute read.

Meta Description

The meta description along with the title and URL are the 3 MOST IMPORTANT areas of On Page SEO. The information within the 3 is the very first bit of information that you see on SERP. You can stop here and open a new tab and google anything, you will see the URL, the Title and the Meta Description of the website on SERP.

Hence, it’s super important that your focus keyword reflects in all 3 and is clearly visible (not truncated).

Unlike the URL and Title, you can increase the frequency of your focus keyword in the meta description. It has a limit of 155 characters which can be used to your advantage. Here is an example of a meta description I would write using the same example:

Meta Description – Gaining Instagram Followers is easy as long as you know the tricks. Here are 10 Tips to increase your Instagram Followers in 2023

The total count of the meta description above is 129 characters. As you can see, I have used my focus keyword twice. This helps me increase the keyword density which I will discuss later in the article, but know that, this is important. Here is how my website would appear on SERP

10 Awesome Tips to Increase your Instagram Followers
Gaining Instagram Followers is easy as long as you know the tricks. Here are 10 Tips to increase your Instagram Followers in 2023

At this point, I have successfully injected my focus keyword 4 times (without keyword stuffing) and is visible on SERP itself.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is a term used to indicate the number of times a particular keyword appears in your written text. As we have established earlier, the crawler cannot understand the written content (meaning). The way it has been designed to overcome this issue is to reply on keyword density.

So, as per the crawler, if a particular keyword (which should be your focus keyword) appears the most within the written text is probably what the content is all about. This is an indicator for the crawler to understand what you are trying to communicate and appropriately place you on SERP when the focus keyword is searched.

There are other ways as well which we will cover later in the article, however, for now you know the importance of keyword density.

Keyword stuffing is a term used when you have used the focus keyword way to many times in the text. For example, the focus keyword appears in the text for about 3% or more. If you have written a 1000 word article and the focus keyword has appeared 30 or more times, then, you have over optimized and Google sees this negatively.

keyword density - on page seo

The message that comes across is, that this article is written for the search engine and not the reader. Google hates this and often DOES NOT rank such articles.

Hence an acceptable percentage of keyword density is between 1-2%

However, this is just an estimation that all SEOs have collectively agreed upon. You will often find articles where the keyword density is between 2-3%. The reason why such articles rank is because they are written for the reader and not the crawler.

Sometimes, you will have to use the focus keyword over and over again in an article when required. As long as the article is helpful and it was absolutely necessary to use the focus keyword several times, it’s okay! SEO is not a defined practice.

User-Friendly Fonts

Another important aspect of On Page SEO is the usage of correct fonts on your website. Google isn’t going to rank you higher because you used a super cool font. Google’s vision is to ensure that the information shared is relevant for the reader which can be read conveniently

As long as the reader doesn’t have to squint or enlarge the page size in order to read, you are good. Make sure you use a font keeping your audience in mind. Depending on your website, the content might be for people between the age of 16 – 60 year old people.

There are no SEO recommended fonts! You can use whichever font you like, as long as people from various age groups can read the text with ease, whether they’re on a desktop, tablet or mobile.

Hierarchy Tags

Hierarchy tags define the structure of your content to the reader as well as the crawler. In on page SEO we call them H-Tags which range from H1 to H6

The two most important ones are H1 and H2.

The H1 Tag informs the reader of the main title (focus keyword) of your article (H1 Tags are generally title tags) where as, H2 tags are the subheadings or subtopics that fall under the main topic (H1 or Title Tag)

Similarly, H3 tags are the subheadings or subtopics of the H2 tag and so on…

At the very first glimpse the reader should understand what you topic is about and what subtopics (which are related to the main topic) you are covering. You can simply scroll up and look at the Table of Contents for the article that you are currently reading.

You can see that all subheadings have a serial number that starts from the number 1. All of those are subheadings or H2 as they are all related to the main topic which is the title of my article. Serial number 3 has 2 subtopics or subheadings which are a part of the H2 heading – Focus keyword in URL, Title and Description

This is important for the crawler too because it understands the relevance of topics that you are going to cover in the article, and all mini topics (H3 onwards) that you have also covered. It presents itself as a well defined structure which we the readers as well as Google appreciates.

Makes it easy to scroll for the relevant information that we are seeking, rather than reading everything from start to end. I’m sure even you haven’t really read everything on this article from the start, have you?

Schema Markups

To put it simply, a schema markup is an additional piece of information which helps the search engine (crawler) understand the content better. This is actually a piece of code which is invisible to the readers as it’s intended for the crawlers alone.

As established earlier, a crawler cannot understand the content of the article or website. It relies on certain ON PAGE SEO activities to better understand the content. A schema markup is a direct download of information for the crawler, defining exactly what the website or content is about.

There is no advantage for the reader (in most cases) but the crawler can understand your content faster and as a result, indexes your website quicker for the relevant search term (or your focus keyword). There are several types of schema markups (100+) available for use, depending on what you want to convey.

Try picking up any random URL and plug it into the Rich Results Test to see what information has been conveyed to the search engine behind the scenes.

I’m not going to dive deep into schema markups here but just to give you a general idea, look at the SERP when you type in a keyword such as “Buy Nike shoes”

You’ll see a wealth of information displayed such as product ratings, FREE delivery and the cost of goods right there on SERP without you having to click and open the URL. That’s few of the several types of schema markup!

Image Name and ALT TEXT

Combining two points into one because they are related to one another. An image name is the name of the image that you store on your workstation. I’m talking about the name of the image that is there before the .jpg or .png.

It’s good practice to ensure the image name is relevant to the image that you are planning to use on your website. In fact, if you are writing articles and uploading images (which you should) then make it a habit to save the image with your focus keyword.

ALT TEXT is used to inform the crawler about the image (again, consider it as an image name for the crawler). The aim is to rank for image search using your focus keyword.

Do you get why I have asked you to keep your image name and ALT TEXT as your focus keyword? Well, I’m simply trying to optimize the image in whichever way possible to rank higher by ensuring the focus keyword appears twice.

Right click on any image on a website and select “Inspect Element”, you’ll see a code which will consist of the image name (with the .jpg or .png) as well alt=”ALT TEXT that you have assigned to the image”

The ALT TEXT is the most important one, you should absolutely ensure that all of your images have the ALT TEXT. It isn’t necessary to just keep using the focus keyword, make sure the ALT TEXT clearly defines the content of the image(s), however, try to use the focus keyword in at least one of the images.

Besides the ranking advantage, this feature is meant for the visually impaired who will be listening to your article instead of reading it, by using the text to voice feature.

Anchor Text

Anchor texts are the generally the blue underlined text which are typically links (internal or external) placed on the article. These clickable texts allow the reader to either visit another section (article or page) on your website or visit another website.

It is an important part of On Page SEO as it indicates that a link is present on the text which the reader can clearly see and identify. If they choose to, then, they can click on it and go view the other information (page or article).

Generally, you would like to use a focus keyword of some other article on your website as an anchor text. However, for some reason, Google perceives this as black hat technique and may penalize you for it. Consider you are writing an article which you could link to 10 other articles on your website and choose to include the focus keyword of those 10 articles in the current article and use them as anchor texts. That is what will get you penalized.

However, you can use, let’s call it exact focus keyword match anchor texts in an article but NOT overuse it.

For example, if you scroll up to the “User-Friendly URL’s” section above you will see, a blue underlined text which redirects you to another one of my articles. The focus keyword for that article is “URL Structure” however I have used the text – “post permalink or customer permalink structure” as my anchor text.

This is because I’m using anchor texts which convey relevance and NOT the exact focus keywords. Semantically linked texts are appreciated and often used as anchor texts. You can open some other website and you’ll see the same type of linking.

I hope you get the picture!

Internal and External Links

I understand I have said this over and over again but, it is again a super important part of On Page SEO. Internal links are links which connect several pages on your website. In fact, a website is technically a compilation of several pages present on a domain.

Internal linking serves two important areas:

  1. It ensure the crawler is able to crawl the entire website when it enters via any page.
  2. It ensures that you can keep your audience engaged.

When a crawler enters your website it crawls all the links present on it as long as other pages can be reached. Think of a situation when the crawler has entered your URL via one of your articles and there is no way out of there. It just exits your website after crawling that page!

People who enter your page (when found on SERP) will also display similar behavior once they enter. If there are no links present on that page, then, the only option is to exit your website.

By strategically interlinking pages you can achieve several things, such as:

  1. More engagement if the user clicks on links and navigates to other pages.
  2. Crawler can move across several internally linked pages which can help build topical authority.
  3. The crawler can pick up new keywords from linked pages and quickly index them on SERP.
  4. The Domain Authority or Page Authority received by one page can be shared with other linked pages.

These are just some of the advantages I have mentioned out of several others, which, I am not planning to get into in order to ensure the article doesn’t get super boring and complicated.

More than half of SEO is self learning so I’ll just recommend you to follow what you have learned in this post, and in time you will understand all the benefits of internal linking yourself. Also dropping a guide below for all the curious cats reading this.

Why Internal Links are more important than External Links

External links in this context aren’t the backlinks that you might be thinking of. These are links which lead the reader on other websites. For example, the Rich Results Test page that I linked earlier in this article leads you to another website.

When you quote an authoritative website that leads your readers to a relevant piece of information on someone else’s website, you are effectively proving to google that your content isn’t all fluff! If you are linking to websites which are relevant in your niche and your to your reader, you are signaling Google that you are navigating the readers to a location (website) which has proven authority over the niche.

Although it doesn’t directly impact your Domain Authority in any way, it does show Google that you care for your readers. And for your readers it means that they can rely on you to guide them in the right direction.

To absolutely nail this concept in your head – Have you ever asked for directions and received wrong ones? Let’s say you circle back to that “intellectual man” who gave you wrong directions, would you ask him again?


To sum it up, this is what we call On Page SEO and quite frankly it’s the most easiest of the 3 types of SEO which you would call – On Page SEO, Off Page SEO and Technical SEO. This article may have taken you a few minutes to read but, I can assure you that you’ve saved over 6 months of struggling to understand the relevance of these concepts.

The intent of this article was to make sure you understand why certain things need to be done in On Page SEO. Rather than being a robot and just following the advice, it’s important to understand where the advice is coming from and why do we need to do these things in order to rank on SERP.

Share the article with the ones who can benefit from it!

Cheers and enjoy performing On Page Optimizations to your website!!

Image by Adrian from Pixabay

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