SEO 101: The Beginner’s Guide To On-Page SEO

SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking in the top organic results in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo changes the game for businesses on the web. 

Traffic that comes via SEO is over three times more likely to click on your site than traffic from paid ads or social media channels. 

This means improved organic ranking can help you get more customers at a fraction of the cost of other types of digital marketing. So don’t miss out! Make sure your business has optimized its website for SEO – it’s well worth it.

The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO for Beginners – YouTube
Key Takeaways
Understanding the basics of on-page SEO techniques.
Importance of optimizing meta tags and headings.
Learn about keyword research and content optimization.
Implementing internal linking for better site structure.
Strategies for optimizing images and multimedia content.
Importance of user experience and page loading speed.
Using schema markup and structured data effectively.
Role of mobile responsiveness in on-page SEO.
Monitoring and analyzing on-page SEO performance.
Building high-quality and relevant internal and external links.
Ensuring proper URL structure and hierarchy.
Utilizing social sharing and engagement for SEO benefits.

Why Is On-Page SEO Important?

On-page SEO is what you do to optimize your website and make it as search engine friendly as possible. Why? Because this is where most people begin their SEO journey, and because it’s a necessary first step in improving your search engine rankings.

On-page SEO helps search engines understand what your content is about, how relevant it is to their users’ searches, and how high quality that content is. 

That doesn’t mean that you should ignore off-page strategies like social media marketing or link building (more on those later).

But getting started with on-page optimization will have immediate benefits for both visitors to your site and Googlebot/BingBot/Yahoo! Slurp (or whatever they call themselves these days).

Learning the fundamentals is essential when venturing into the world of SEO. Take a look at our step-by-step guide on SEO for Beginners: 10 Steps to Achieve Google Page 1 to gain insights into optimizing your website for search engines.

On-Page SEO Best Practices

The most important on-page SEO best practices are simple, but they can be easy to forget in the rush to get your content out there. Here are the basics you need to know:

Remember that a good title is key. Your title should be clear and concise, and it should use keywords appropriately.

Don’t forget about meta descriptions either! Meta descriptions are short snippets of text that show up below your search result snippet in Google’s SERPs. 

They should tell users what they can expect when they click through to your page but make sure not to go overboard with them; Google has made it clear that very long or overly vague meta descriptions won’t do you any favors when it comes time for rankings!

Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. It’s the first step in understanding your audience and how they search, and it can help you discover new keywords that will expand your reach.

You’ll start by identifying the topics that are relevant to your business or website, then narrow down those topics into specific keyword phrases. 

Once you’ve got a list of potential keywords, it’s time to choose the ones that will drive traffic to your website and convert visitors into customers.

Building a strong online presence involves more than just on-page SEO. Discover the art of effective link building with our comprehensive resource: The Definitive Guide to Building Backlinks, and learn how to enhance your site’s authority and visibility.

Keyword Research Continued

Once you’ve completed your keyword research, it’s time to put your findings into practice. 

The next set of steps involves refining your on-page SEO strategy based on the results of your keyword research and ensuring that each page of your website contains the right keywords to optimize its search rankings.

Here are some ways you can use the data from your keyword research to improve your site’s overall performance:

Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to find new keywords and learn about their popularity across different search engines; this will help you determine which terms are worth targeting with each page of content. 

For example, if a specific type of product is more popular than another search for “women’s shoes.” 

Then it makes sense for that item category to be mentioned first when discussing women’s footwear options on a page about shopping for shoes online (even though there could still be value in including any number other products as well).

Use tools like Ubersuggest or Long Tail Pro (both are available through Moz) to find longtail keywords that may not be as popular but still bring plenty of traffic potential based on their search volume alone.

Especially if they’re related closely enough with high-level terms already targeting by other content online.”

Optimize Your Page Title, Meta Description, And Links

When it comes to optimizing your on-page SEO, there are several things you can do to improve the visibility of your website. First and foremost, optimize your page title and meta description. The page title is what appears in search results when someone searches for a keyword-relevant to your page. 

This means that if you want people looking for “how to make strawberry jam” to find your recipe blog post on how to make strawberry jam, then you need to include some variation of that phrase within both of those elements (such as How To Make Strawberry Jam).

In addition, keywords should be included in alt text and image file names, link text (which is hyperlinked text on any website), anchor text (the words in links), and URLs themselves everywhere where it makes sense!

Optimize Your Images, Videos, And Other Media

Use Alt Tags

Alt tags are what you use when you want to add an image to a page, but don’t have the space for it. For example, if you were writing a blog post about how to cut your hair, and had to include a picture of some scissors (or something), then you would write in the alt tag “scissors”. 

This way, when someone with vision impairment visits your site they will hear the word ‘scissors’ instead of seeing them on their screen.

Elevating your website’s PageRank is a remarkable achievement in the world of SEO. Dive into our article on How I Increased My PageRank by 350% in 6 Months to explore strategies that contributed to this substantial growth in search engine rankings.

Use Image Captions

Image captions are just like alt tags, but they describe what’s happening in that particular image. They’re also super useful for SEO purposes because if someone searches for something like “how do I cut my hair?” 

And then clicks on one of your images with “cutting hair” written in its caption—then Google knows that this image is relevant to their search query! And as we all know…relevance = more traffic = money 🙂

Make Sure Your Images Are Relevant To The Page They’re Linked To!

Optimize Your Copy

Write For Your Readers First

People want to read your content because they’re interested in the topic, not as a way to find keywords so they can cheat the system. 

If you write with this in mind, it will be easier for search engines to recognize that you’re writing about a topic that’s relevant and useful to their users. 

This is why it’s important to always write for people first you can structure your content so that it gets picked up by search engines later on.

Use Keyword Research Tools When Writing For Both Readers And Search Engines

Using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty Tool, or SEMrush’s Keyword Tool will help determine which words are most valuable and easiest to rank for based on the volume of searches per month or year (monthly).

Difficulty (the percentage of websites ranking well above yours) vs demand (how much competition there is), CPC (cost per click), and CTR (click-through rate). 

Using these metrics will help inform how many times you should use certain keywords throughout an article before moving on to something new so as not to overdo it while still maintaining relevancy within context!

Create A Mobile-Friendly Site

The first thing you want to do is make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Mobile search traffic has been growing steadily, and it’s estimated that in 2020, more than half of all searches will be performed on mobile devices.

Mobile users are looking for answers quickly, so make sure to optimize the following:

Your content should load quickly and easily on any device. If someone can’t read something because it takes too much time or effort to load, they’re going to leave without reading anything else and Google won’t like that!

Your content should be easy for users to scan through using their thumbs while they’re out and about (this means no long paragraphs).

Make sure all links are clickable when viewing from a mobile device. This includes links in images as well as links within text (for example “click here”).

Crafting valuable content is a cornerstone of successful SEO and content marketing. Explore our guide on 14 Steps to Becoming a Content Marketing Machine to uncover strategies for consistently creating and promoting content that resonates with your audience.


If you’ve ever connected to a website via HTTPS, then you probably know why it’s such a big deal. HTTPS is the secure connection that guarantees your data is encrypted and cannot be read by anyone else while it’s in transit. 

It means that when you go to the Facebook homepage, for example, the “https://www.” part at the beginning of their URL means that all of your information is being securely transmitted from your computer or smartphone to Facebook’s servers and vice versa. 

This also means that anything stored locally on your device isn’t readable by anyone else either (for example passwords, and credit card numbers).

There are many reasons why this should matter to you as an SEO professional. First and foremost: HTTPS makes users more confident about giving out personal information online for fear of identity theft or other cyber risks posed by non-secure web pages. 

Secondly: Google has indicated several times over recent years how important they believe security measures like HTTPS are; they even penalize search results based on whether or not they show up with HTTPS instead of HTTP!

Check Your Page Load Time

Page load time is a ranking factor.

The longer it takes for your site to load, the more likely a user will click away from your site and onto a competitor’s. This is especially true for mobile sites, where users expect pages to load almost instantaneously when using their smartphones or tablet.

It’s important to check your page speed because if you don’t optimize it, Google might not show your content even if people are searching for keywords related to what you have written about!

Implement Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is a way to communicate with search engines. It’s like a set of instructions that tells the search engine what your website is about and what kinds of information are on it.

The benefit to using structured data markup is that you can specify how you want your site to be crawled by search engines and how they should display your content, which can help improve visibility in SERPs.

However, there are some drawbacks to using structured data markup:

  • It’s not yet widely adopted by webmasters (only about 10% use it)
  • Structured data markup isn’t yet recognized across all platforms (e.g., Pinterest)

Perform A Content Gap Analysis

As you’re getting started with your SEO campaign, it’s important to understand the difference between high- and low-value keywords. 

Your content should be geared towards your most important keywords (as identified in the previous step), with a focus on long-tail phrases rather than short ones that are more likely to appear in paid search results.

High value: These terms can get you really good traffic and conversions, but they are hard to rank for. A lot of work goes into ranking for these types of keywords because there’s so much competition.

Low value: These terms can earn some traffic, but not as much as higher-value ones do. To rank well for them (and get fewer competitors), you’ll need a lot less effort than you would with high-value terms.

One way to identify gaps between what your site currently offers and what it could offer is by performing a content gap analysis i.e., determining whether any topics aren’t covered by existing pages or whether any topics have been covered too many times already.*

Link Internally To Other Pages On Your Website

Internal links are also a great way to help users navigate your site. A link that reads “Check out our new blog post” will help the user know where they can find more information on the topic while they’re looking at your homepage.

They can also be used as breadcrumbs, which are helpful navigation tools for search engines and users alike:

Write For Readers (Not Search Engines) First!

Think of the users who visit your site, not search engines. Consider the people who will use your content to make a decision or find an answer. Write in a way that makes sense to them, not in a way that only makes sense to search engines. 

The difference between writing for humans and writing for search engines is subtle but important: when you write with readers in mind, you’ll be able to create more useful and relevant content because it’ll address their needs; 

When you write with search engines in mind, chances are good that what you produce won’t be very helpful at all or even helpful at all!

If you’re looking to enhance your local search visibility, you’re on the right track. Our comprehensive guide, How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search, offers insights and tips to help your business stand out in local search results and attract nearby customers.

Don’t Overdo It!

This may seem simple, but it’s a mistake that many beginners make. 

They assume that just because their website has an SEO plugin and they know how to use the keyword tool in Google Analytics, they can now drop as many keywords as possible into each page of their site and rank #1 on Google’s first page results. 

The reality is that there are limits to how many times you should repeat keywords throughout your site. When it comes to on-page SEO, the amount of times you should repeat a keyword depends on two factors: 

How often people will likely type those words into search engines and whether or not those words are relevant for the content at hand (i.e., if you’re writing about snorkeling in Australia versus hiking in Colorado).


While on-page SEO is still important, it’s not enough to get you to the top of the SERPs. You also need to create a strong backlink profile and generate buzz around your content to rank for competitive, high-volume keywords. 

At this point, you should focus on building up your backlink profile and optimizing your site for mobile.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to expand your knowledge of SEO:

Search Engine Journal’s Comprehensive Guide to SEO: Dive deeper into the world of SEO with this extensive guide that covers a wide range of topics and strategies.

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz: If you’re new to SEO, this guide offers a beginner-friendly approach to understanding the key concepts and practices.

SEO Basics: A Beginner’s Guide: Get acquainted with the basics of SEO through this informative article that breaks down essential concepts and terminology.


How can I improve my website’s search engine ranking?

Improving your website’s search engine ranking involves a combination of on-page optimization, quality content creation, building authoritative backlinks, and ensuring a user-friendly experience.

Is keyword research still important for SEO?

Yes, keyword research remains a fundamental aspect of SEO. Identifying relevant keywords helps you understand what your target audience is searching for and allows you to optimize your content accordingly.

What is the role of backlinks in SEO?

Backlinks play a crucial role in SEO by indicating the credibility and authority of your website. High-quality backlinks from reputable sources can positively impact your search engine rankings.

How can I optimize my website for local search?

To optimize your website for local search, make sure to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, use local keywords in your content, and encourage customer reviews.

What are the best practices for mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO involves ensuring that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly, optimizing page loading speed, and using structured data to enhance mobile search results.