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What is On-Page SEO? A Step-by-Step Guide in 2020

What is On-Page SEO? On-Page SEO is one of the only things you have full control of in Search Engine Optimization. Learn the tactics that are generally used to optimize website pages. 

Short Page URLs

Use a short URL for your posts and web pages. Research shows that short URLs tend to rank better than long URLs.  Whenever you publish a new post or page, make sure the URL is short. 

Include Target Keyphrase in the URL 

Make sure you are including the target keyphrase in the URL. For example, in this post I’m targeting a Long Tail Keyword “What is On-Page SEO”, so I made the URL short and included my target keyword in the URL “”. 

LSI Keywords

LSI stands for “Latent Semantic Indexing”. SEO experts believe that Google looks for words or phrases in your post that are semantically related to the topic. Let’s say, you are writing about cars, then your post should have LSI Keywords like automobile, engine, road, tires, vehicles and automatic transmission. 

A simple strategy is to search for the target keyword in Google. Then scroll to the bottom, where Google autosuggest shows you the searches related to the Keyphrase in bold. 

Google autosuggest image

These usually make great LSI keywords to sprinkle into your content.

Publish Longer Content

Longer content tends to outrank shorter content. The average result on Google’s first page is 2300 words. One would wonder, ‘why does longer content work better’? For one, longer content tends to contain more of those LSI keywords that we just talked about. When the author writes long in-depth content, he includes more LSI keywords. Google has a preference for longer content because it wants to show the best result for a given keyword.

Optimize the Title Tag

Include your target keyword in the title. Including the target keyphrase in the title tag improves your Click-through-rate (CTR). High CTR is a ranking factor in Google Search rankings. And they’ll likely give you a ranking boost.

How can you optimize the Title Tag for CTR

Here are two quick tips that work well:

  1. Include the year 2020 in your title. Numbers grab attention and add freshness / timeliness to a post.
  2. Add brackets and parentheses to your Header. Writing “The Ultimate Guide to On-Site SEO (2020)” is better than say “The Ultimate On-Site SEO Guide” 

So changing your title tag can significantly boost your page’s CTR. 

Use External Links

The question is how can you use External Links on your site. Simple, include two to five links to authority resources in every single article for example I have linked out to Wikipedia, HubSpot, Hemingway Editor etc. These resources help readers expand their knowledge if they don’t know the meaning of a technical term. These external links make a significant difference to search rankings.

Use Internal Links

This one is fairly easy. On a new post, just link back to two to five old articles on your site. Not just any page. Pages that are relevant to your current topic or in some way related to it. Which means using two to five per page and linking to pages that are relevant and need a  boost.

Maximize Site Speed

A faster site gives you an edge in Search Engine Rankings. Make sure you have the right plugins to boost speed {Plugin AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page)} is specially good if you want URLs that load faster on a smartphone), memcache and Dynamic cache enabled

How can you make your site load faster:

  1. Make sure you subscribe to a premium hosting service provider with a good reputation for speed and consistency (SiteGround is good). The boost and speed these high-end hosts provide make it well worth the investment. 
  2. Use a CDN – CDN delivers your site’s content closer to where your user lives which makes your site load much faster. 

Include Multimedia in Your Content

Use a lot of relevant screenshots, videos and charts in your articles. Multimedia makes the content more enjoyable and colorful to a reader. Remember that User experience is something that Google directly measures. For example if your Page has a high bounce rate and a low time on site Google will drop your ranking. On the other hand, if people stick to your content and stay on your pages for a longer duration, Google will show your content to more people. Using lots of relevant multimedia helps people stay on your site longer. 

No More Than 20 Words in a Sentence

Use this online tool called, Hemingway Editor, to ensure clean, readable english that can be easily understood by a 5th Grader! SEO rules specify that sentences should be short and simple. No more than 20 words per sentence will make it easy to understand. If you have ever used WordPress to write a blog, Yoast SEO plugin clearly specifies this as an SEO parameter.

Yoast SEO Plugin

No More Than 150 Words in a Paragraph

Again, Yoast SEO advises that one should not have more than 150 words in a paragraph. Make sure you are following this in your blog posts.

Yoast SEO Plugin

I would love to know which On-Page SEO tip from this article are you going to use first. Is it sentence and paragraph length or maybe publishing longer content? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Please share on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the social media buttons on your left. Follow us on Instagram for the latest posts.

Don’t forget to check out our posts on “Introduction to Digital Marketing” and “How to Start a WordPress Blog”.

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