Every SEO strategy is focused on ranking as high as possible in search engines. To do this, we all try to design and develop a website that Google’s algorithm will love. That’s basically what SEO is about. The factors in Google’s algorithm can be divided into two categories that 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 on your own website. These factors include your technical set-up – the quality of your code – textual and visual content and the 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 that take place outside your own website.
If you focus on off-page SEO, you’re mostly aiming 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? We have several posts and a training course on link building.
Importance of on-page SEO
On-page SEO consists of all the elements of SEO that you have control over. If you own a website, you can control the technical issues and the quality of your content. We believe you should be able to tackle all of these factors as they’re in your own hands. Remember: if you create an awesome website, it will definitely start ranking. Focusing on on-page SEO will also increase the chance that your off-page SEO strategy will be successful. Link building with a crappy site is very tough. Nobody wants to link to articles that are badly written or sites that don’t work properly.
3 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:
1. Technical excellence
The quality of your code should be high. If you’re looking for an SEO-friendly platform, we would definitely recommend WordPress. Another reason to consider WordPress is that it helps you set up a website without needing too much technical knowledge. If you have or choose WordPress, our free Yoast SEO plugin can take care of most of the remaining technical SEO challenges, without you even noticing it. So if you’re using WordPress and you’ve configured Yoast SEO the right way, you’ll have most technical aspects of your on-page SEO covered.
Another thing I’d like to mention here is indexing. If you’re not familiar with this term, allow me to quickly explain what it is and what it has to do with Google. To be able to show your page in the search results, Google has to know about that page first. It has to be indexed by Google, which essentially means that this page has been stored in their index. And for that to be possible, you need to make sure that you’re not blocking Google from indexing your post or your whole site. So check if you’re not unintentionally doing that (we still see this happening!) and make sure to get your site indexed.
Want to dive deeper into the technical side of SEO? Read our articles on technical SEO or check out our Technical SEO training course.
2. Awesome content
Why do you think people visit your site? Most likely because it contains the information they’re looking for. Therefore it’s important to write excellent content that corresponds with their needs. Search engines like Google also read your text. Which site ranks highest for a certain search term is largely based on the content of a website. That’s why your content should be informative, easy to read, and focused on the right keywords that your audience uses.
Learn all about writing high-quality content in our Ultimate Guide to SEO copywriting or take our SEO copywriting training course.
3. Flawless UX
The third pillar we want to mention is user experience. Simply put, 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 your site 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.
If you want to learn more about combining SEO and UX to get more people to your site, we’d advise you to take a look at our other articles on user experience. Or check out our all-around SEO training course.
We’ve talked about the most important on-page SEO factors. First of all, make sure that your website is working properly and that your technical SEO is up to par. Secondly, create content that is user-centered and focused on the right keywords. Thirdly, work on the usability and speed of your site to help users and search engines around your website.
As these factors are all a part of your site, you can work on them to make sure that your on-page SEO is top-notch! That being said, do remember to also work on your off-page SEO. Although you may not have total control over these factors, you can still put some effort into creating that exposure on other sites as well!