How to Do On-Page SEO in 9 Easy Steps for 2020

This 9 Step On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide will help you refine your website pages so that your target audience will have the best chance at finding them. This guide outlines the key factors to consider when optimizing each page of your site.

On-Page SEO Illustration
On-Page SEO

These steps go in order of importance, so we highly recommend that you do not skip any of them. Also, always try to remember that producing fresh, optimized content every week is vital to achieving long-term SEO success.

SEO Keywords Illustration
SEO Keywords

Step 1: Keywords

Read the web page and identify two keywords that are most relevant to the content of the entire page. Choose one primary keyword and one keyword variation (e.g., plural variations or two closely related keywords) for each page.

If you can not define a primary keyword for a page, you may need to build new website pages to distinguish between different contents. If you don't know what a page is about, your visitors and the search engines won't be able to interpret the page either.

SEO Page Titles & Meta Descriptions Illustration
SEO Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

Step 2: Page Titles

The page title appears as the blue, bolded and underscored text on the Google search results page, as well as on the browser’s navigation bar at the top left.

The page title must follow these guidelines:

  • Be under 70 characters and have no more than two longtail keywords per page title

  • The primary keyword must appear first

  • Use pipes (|) to separate each keyword phrase

  • Each page title should be unique

  • The page title cannot include your business name except for the ”Home” and ”Contact” pages

Step 3: Meta Descriptions

The meta description appears on the Google search results page under the page title. The meta description allows users to determine which search result to click. Think of a meta description as being similar to a call-to-action.

Meta descriptions should follow these guidelines:

  • Be between 100-150 characters to maximize the allotted space

  • Include the main keyword and, if possible, the secondary keyword as well

  • Provide a valid and persuasive reason as to why someone would click and visit the page

  • Include keywords in a conversational format (do not keyword stuff)

URL & Search Animation
URL & Search Animation

Step 4: URL

The URL of the website should contain the primary keyword. Use dashes (-) to separate words in the URL, e.g.,

SEO Heading Tags Illustration
SEO Heading Tags

Step 5: Heading Tags

The page should have one H1 header tag that includes the same primary keyword as the page title and URL. This H1 tag should be at the top of the page, and the first thing people see when they land on the website.

SEO Content Illustration
SEO Content

Step 6: Content

Use the primary keyword many times over the entire content of the website page. Don't overthink the density or location of the keyword. Try to bold or underline the keyword as this affects how relevant it is to the article. Also, if possible, incorporate the secondary keywords into the page’s content as well.

Step 7: Call-to-Action

Websites and blogs should have at least one call-to-action located above the page fold on the ”Home” page. The call-to-action should be immediately visible to your visitors so that they do not need to scroll down to see it. The call-to-action can also help SEO by providing an internal link to a specific landing page on your website. Many call-to-actions are images; therefore, the image’s filename and alt text must be relevant to the primary keyword you are targeting for a specific page.

Step 8: Internal Linking

If you mention a page's primary keyword on the other pages of your site, then use the primary keyword as the anchor text to link to this page. For example, you should use the anchor text "SEO marketing techniques" to connect to a page about SEO services. To ensure this, take a moment to build one or two links on similar pages that link back to the page that you're optimizing.

Step 9: Images

All of the website’s images must be optimized so that search engines can read them. Use the primary keyword to optimize the most prominent image on the page, and then use the primary and secondary keywords for any other images.

Optimize your images in two ways:

  1. Filename: Use Dashes (-) to separate each word, e.g., SEO-marketing-techniques.jpg

  2. ALT text: The alt text should match the filename and should not contain any dashes, e.g., SEO Marketing Techniques

If you can't change the name of the image file or if it takes too long, just change the alt text of the most prominent image using the primary keyword.

Finally, repeat the nine steps above for each of your website pages and watch your SEO drastically improve.