5 on-page SEO factors to check for poorly performing content

The SEO landscape is constantly changing, and so is on-page SEO. As a result, we now have to think beyond the title and meta description to optimize our pages for major search engines.

There are many different elements and aspects that you can focus on. Ideally, you will have a comprehensive on-page SEO strategy that includes best practices and innovative optimizations that will bring long-term success.

But if you face challenges with time, budget, or other limiting factors, you may need to prioritize your efforts and demonstrate quick wins to justify further investment.

In this column, you’ll find tips on on-page SEO elements to start tweaking for better rankings, and context to help you understand why you’re making those changes in the first place.

What are the most important elements of on-page SEO?

There are two basic types of on-page SEO elements:


Your content elements include your website’s written, visual, and video content.

The content you write and the content you include on your website should focus on providing value to your audience.

If your content doesn’t have a clear focus, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to provide your audience with the information they need.

Your content should make good use of keyword research, too.

If you don’t focus on keywords that are relevant to your audience, how can you create relevant page content that meets their needs?

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An HTML element is any part of your web page defined in HTML, the default code behind the scenes. This includes items such as the title, meta description, and alt text for the image.

It also includes the HTML elements that display the page.

HTML elements play an important role in telling Google what your page is and how it should rank in its search results.

If you do not use these items correctly, it may have a negative impact on your ratings.

Image created by the author, December 2021

5 on-page SEO elements that you can adjust to get better Google rankings

There are many ways to optimize your website for search engines, but some basic elements should be present on every page.

Here are five on-page SEO items to test and improve if you find that your pages are performing poorly – as well as a best practice for new web pages.

1. Written content

Of course, the first place you want to draw your attention to is the written content of your page. If your primary purpose of writing content is to convert your audience into paying customers, you will want to make sure that each page is focused on providing value to your audience.

Ensure that the content you write makes good use of keyword research. If you don’t have a clear focus on your content, your audience will be hard pressed to interact with it.

Use HTML subheadings to give your content structure and invoke cues of objective relevance to both readers and search engines.

And while we know EAT is especially important in YMYL topics, all web content can benefit from being made to show more expertise, credibility, and trustworthiness.

2. Title cards

The title tag is the “title” of your page and is the main element that search engines use to determine what your page is about. The title tag should focus on the specific keyword your page is targeting, as Google has confirmed that it is a “small” ranking factor.

If you target the word [Boston Baltimore pets], your title tag will need to include this phrase. This will help your page appear higher in search results and make it easier for your audience to find it.

See this full title tag optimization guide to learn more.

3. Page URL

URLs play an essential role in SEO and user experience. Each web page generates a unique URL, and you should take the time to make sure your site has the right keywords.

Try to include your target keyword in the URL in a way that makes sense to your audience.

If they are looking for a product, you may want to include the name of the product in the URL. If you’re targeting the “Boston Baltimore pets” keyword phrase, for example, the URL might look something like this:

https: //www. Pets.something/boston_baltimore_pets

Including a keyword in the URL is an easy way to help Google determine the content of your page and how to rank it.

You also want Make sure your page URLs are shortSweet, and to the point. Long and complex URLs are difficult for search engines to understand and are a challenge for searchers.

Your URLs should be easy to decipher and remember or identify – making it easier for your audience to type in the search bar if they need to return to a particular page.

See The Ultimate Guide to SEO Friendly URL Structure to learn more.

4. Alt text for image

While more and more content creators are starting to understand how important the visual elements of a website are, many are still ignoring an important on-page SEO component: video and image alt text.

Alt text is a description of the image or video that is displayed behind the visual element. They don’t usually appear on a well-functioning website because they are used as an alternative way for viewers to see what they mean.

For example, if the image does not display correctly once your webpage is fully loaded, the alt text will replace it so that the viewer can still understand what you were trying to show.

If you don’t include target keywords in your alt text, search engines won’t index your visuals, which can be detrimental when your audience decides to do a video or image search instead of a standard Google search.

Alt text also ensures that your content is accessible For everyone who watches it.

That’s because alt text is the easiest way to tell someone using a screen reader that there is audio or video associated with a page.

These tools can be useful for making certain types of content accessible to users with visual or hearing impairments.

5. Internal and external links

Internal links are links that point to other content within your website. It helps Google understand the context of the page and how it relates to other pages on your site.

Check out the best internal linking practices that can help support your SEO strategy.

On the other hand, external links point to content outside of your website. They can help you build reader confidence by linking to reputable sources and providing more information on complex or less understood topics.

Do regular audits to make sure your on-page SEOs are up to par

Ensuring that on-page SEO is up to par is an ongoing process and should always be a part of your SEO strategy.

If you have the manpower and resources to conduct regular audits on your site, you should conduct them at least once per month. Review the 9 Page Level Factors to rate as part of your SEO audit for a checklist to help guide your efforts.

With the right support, you can be sure that your on-page SEO is top-notch and that your site generates high-quality leads and conversions.

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Featured Image: BestForBest / Shutterstock

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