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How to Master On-Page SEO

What good is a web page if it can’t be found? Not much good at all, unfortunately.

Luckily, there are a lot of different things you can do to make a web page more visible, including on-page SEO (search engine optimization).

By getting the on-page SEO of your webpage right, you can ensure that it’s visible on popular search engines, like Google and Bing, and drive low-cost organic traffic. Here’s how:

Your guide to mastering on-page SEO


Keyword research

Keyword research should be the first step when optimizing any page for search engines. Getting quality organic traffic to your website starts with choosing relevant keywords to optimize it with.

When doing keyword research, start by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. When they’re searching for the products or services you offer on Google, what terms are they using?

If you’re doing SEO for a page detailing your plumbing services, you’ll want to choose keywords, like “drain repair near me” or “plumbing repair in Denver.” Or, if you’re doing SEO for a product page for bright pink stilettos, you’ll want to rank for keywords, like “pink stilettos” or maybe “cute pink pumps.”

Search volume

One thing you’ll want to look closely at when doing keyword research with a tool, like Google’s Keyword Planner, is the search volume of each keyword.

The higher the search volume, the more people are searching for the keyword, and the more competition there will be for that keyword. Highly competitive keywords are often so hard to rank for that they probably aren’t worth your time.

For example, it’s much harder to rank for the term “stilettos,” which has a monthly search volume of 368,020, than it is to rank for a more descriptive keyword, like “pink stilettos,” which has a monthly search volume of 2,420.


Writing content

Keyword research should come first, because you need to know what keywords to include in your content. Just make sure that you don’t use them so much that your content appears spammy. More on that later.

When writing content for your website, keep it simple. Don’t use unnecessarily big, $10 words or industry lingo. Just tell your visitors who you are and what you have to offer. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that.

Using keywords

Keywords should be used throughout your content, but only if you can do so naturally. Forcing too many keywords into your content is called keyword spamming, and it’s a blackhat SEO tactic that not only makes your content read poorly but can actually be penalized by Google.

Luckily, the more relevant your keywords, the more likely you are to use them naturally in your content anyway. If you have to put too much thought into how to use keywords in your content, they probably aren’t a good fit.


The way you format your content is a very important part of providing a good user experience, especially for visitors on a smartphone or tablet.

No one wants to read a wall of text, and many people will simply click away when they come across poorly formatted pages. Break up your content into short paragraphs (a few lines at the most), use bulleted lists and include headings for easy scanning.



Not all aspects of on-page SEO are visible on the page itself. Metadata, for example, isn’t visible on the page at all. It’s what shows up on Google for the organic listing of the page.

Optimizing the metadata on your page will not only tell Google which keywords to rank the page for, but it impacts whether or not someone clicks on the organic listing.

Title tags

The title tag is an HTML element specifying the title of the page. While it doesn’t show up on the page itself, it does show up in web browsers, as well as when the link to the page is shared on some external sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook.

The title tag of the page should be short (50 - 60 characters), descriptive of the page and include a keyword as well as your business name.

Meta descriptions

The meta description is an HTML element describing the contents of the page. And, like title tags, it’s what shows up in web browsers.

Meta descriptions should be a bit longer (around 120 characters), give a quick summary of the page (without giving away key information) and entice people to click the listing.


Image optimization

One important and often overlooked component of on-page SEO is page speed. Since users want and expect pages they visit to load in a few seconds, Google favors fast pages in the search results. And, nothing can slow a page down like unoptimized images can.

Large, clunky images will slow your page down, which will ultimately hurt your rankings on Google. And, the first step to getting that speed up through image optimization is to compress your images.

Image format

Believe it or not, the way you save your image will actually impact how quickly your page will load, as well as how clear the image looks on your site to visitors.

For example, PNGs provide the highest resolution but take the longest to load. Whereas, JPEGs are lower resolution but load much more quickly.

Alt image tags

Another important aspect of image optimization is the alt image tags. These tags are what help Google’s bots understand your images and what help your images rank in Google image searches, and are used to describe your images to visually impaired visitors.

While it’s ideal to use keywords in alt image tags if you can do so naturally, it should never appear spammy. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your alt tags accurately describe your images and that they read naturally.

Websites 360® websites are designed with SEO in mind, come with built-in SEO tools, like schema markup and site-wide image compression, and make it easy to find and update metadata and alt image tags.

Take the first step toward mastering SEO by building your small business website with the Websites 360 website builder, and get to the top of page one of Google and Bing for relevant keywords with the help of the Marketing 360® content team.

Originally published on 3/4/21