On-site SEO – more than just keywords

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Posted on March 23, 2020

On-site SEO - more than just keywords

As we evolve and go deeper and deeper into the digital era, SEO seems to change almost every day. While you may think you’re the master of this, one small update in Google’s algorithm gets even the biggest SEO experts all shaken up. In recent years, the sub-category of SEO – on-site SEO itself has seen big changes in its rules as Google tries to ensure it’s displaying the best results. So if Google is getting smarter and updating its algorithms, your on-page strategies should too.

What is On-Page SEO?
If you type “on-page SEO” into Google, you will get plenty of articles elaborating on what is it and its uses. How did Google decide that the article featured on top is relevant with the keyword you match is part of on-page SEO? However, if you still find yourself confused and wish to read a little more on off-page SEO, read our article on the importance of a strong off-page SEO strategy. ? A small intro, however, would be to practice certain tactics on your individual web page, to rank higher and earn high and relevant user traffic. In search engines. On-page refers to making changes in both: the content as well as HTML source code of the page to be optimized, as compared to off-page SEO which involves making changes to links and other external signals.

Now while it may mostly seem that an on-page strategy mainly involves using keywords in the various elements of your page, that is not true. There are two subcategories to be included in your on-page strategy, namely

Keyword related on-site SEO
Non-keyword related on-site SEO

Keyword related on-site SEO

With the advancement of AI, it is possible for search engines to extract a page’s meaning by the use of synonyms, the context in which content appears, or even just by paying attention to the frequency with which specific word combinations are mentioned. While the usage of keywords still matters, writers or content creators can take a breather as they no longer have to use exact-match keywords in specific locations a requisite number of times. The relevance of your topic is more important. Ask yourself for every page present on your website, if your content is relevant to a user reading it based on your main keywords. Does it provide them with value?

Thus, on-site SEO is no more about keyword repetition and placement but more about understanding your users, who they are and where they come from, what they’re looking for, and what topics or keywords should be used to create content that best fulfills their needs.

Non-keyword-related on-site SEO

We agree that in the past, on-site SEO has been synonymous with keyword use — and experts lived by the rule, of including a high-value keyword in several key locations on a website.

However, in the past SEO seemed to be all about using words to rank higher and user experience was never a priority. It was always secondary, and the main aim was simply to make sure search engines found the keywords the site intended to be ranked for and this was at the heart of on-site SEO practices.

However, beyond the keywords used in a blog or the content of a webpage, there are several other elements that can influence a page’s on-site optimization.

Those include things like:

Link use on a page: Where do they point to? How many links are there? Are they internal or external?
Page load speed
Use of Schema.org structured data or another markup
Page URL structure
Page metadata

As you may have noticed, all of the above elements tie back to the same basic idea of creating a good user experience. The more usable a page is (from both a technical and non-technical perspective), the better that page’s on-site optimization.

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