5 On-Page SEO Factors To Check In Underperforming 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 improvements that will drive long-term success.

But if you’re challenged by 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 these changes in the first place.

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

There are two basic types of on-page SEO:


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 does not have a clear focus, you are missing out on a great opportunity to provide your audience with the information they need.

Your content should also make good use of keyword research.

If you’re not focusing on keywords that are relevant to your audience, how can you create relevant page content that caters to their needs?

programming language

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

It also includes the HTML elements that render the page.

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

If you do not use these items properly, they can have a negative impact on your rankings.

Image created by the author, December 2021

5 On-Page SEO Elements That Can Be Tweaked To Get Better Google Rankings

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

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

1. Written content

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

Make sure 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 engage with it.

Use HTML subheadings to give your content structure and call signals relevant thematically to both readers and search engines.

And while we know that EAT is especially important in YMYL topics, all web content could 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. Your title tag should focus on the specific keyword your page is targeting, as Google confirmed it to be a “small” ranking factor.

If you target the keyword [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.

Check out this complete 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 product name in the URL. If you’re targeting the keyword “Boston Baltimore pets,” 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 decide what your page is about and how to rank it.

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

Your URLs should be easy to decipher and remember or recognize – making it easy for your audience to type into the search bar if they need to return to a specific page.

Check out The Ultimate Guide to SEO-Right URL Structure to learn more.

4. Alt text for the image

While more content creators are beginning to understand how important website visuals are, many still overlook an important element of on-page SEO: video and image alt text.

Alt text is a description of the image or video that is displayed behind the visual. They do not usually appear on a well-functioning website because they are used as a proxy way for viewers to see what is intended.

For example, if an image doesn’t display correctly once your web page has fully loaded, alt text will replace it so that the display can still understand what you were trying to show.

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

Alt text also ensures that your content is accessible to 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 the page.

These tools can be useful for making certain types of content more 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. They help Google understand the context of a page and how it relates to other pages on your site.

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

On the other hand, external links refer 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 ensure your on-page SEO is up to par

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

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

With the right support, you can ensure that your on-page SEO is top notch and that your site is generating quality leads and conversions.

More resources:

  • How and why you should improve or remove your outdated content
  • Google SEO Mythbusting: Is More Content Better?
  • On-Page SEO Guide: Strategy, Trends, and Expert Tips

Featured image: BestForBest / Shutterstock

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