What is “on-page” optimization?

What is on-page optimization?


We have mentioned in many places on this website that optimization is a complex and long-lasting process that does not depend only on the specialists optimizing the site, nor only on its owners.

The overall Internet environment, including the websites of your competitors, over which you have no control, also plays a huge role in the success of your site.

Therefore, it is important to carefully and competently work above all on what is fully under your control: the optimization of the pages on your own site.

What is ‘on-page’ optimization?

On-page optimization (also known as on-site optimization) is the process of optimizing multiple elements within the pages of a website so that search engines (primarily Google) can successfully find, index, and rank the content of the website when searched by users.

Unlike ‘on-page’ optimization, ‘off-page’ optimization takes care of the external factors that have an influence on the authority of a given site in the Internet environment, and hence on its ranking in the “search engines”. Such factors are, for example, links to your site or citations from your site that can be found in other authoritative sites in your industry.

As we’ve already said, and as is obvious, ‘off-page’ factors are much less under your control, which is why it’s critically important that you and your optimizers do a really good ‘homework’ on the site itself – something above which you really have complete control over.

This is exactly what ‘on-page’ optimization takes care of.

What does ‘on-page’ optimization involve?

Of course, not only this page, but also this entire website will not be enough for us to describe all the elements and secrets of ‘on-page’ optimization, and the purpose of this article is far from being a textbook on ‘on-page’ optimization.

There are, however, a few elements that Google and all other search engines (are there really other search engines?) pay particular attention to, and they certainly have a serious impact on a page’s search ranking.

  1. First of all, of course, the presence (quantitative and qualitative) of the searched keyword or expression in the text of the page.
  2. The volume (length) of the page.
  3. The quality and quantity of titles and subtitles.
  4. The quality and quantity of links on the page (internal and external).
  5. Page URL structure.
  6. Quality of the page’s so-called “meta tags”.
  7. Page load speed
  8. The ability of the page to adapt to any device (responsive design).

This list, of course, is far from exhaustive, but it certainly contains the most important factors that can both make your site successful and fail if not taken into account. Therefore, let’s dwell on the most important of them.

Keywords and phrases

Personally, I find it strange that I have to say it one more time, but let me remind you again: If the exact word or phrase the user is looking for is not found in the text of your page, then this page has NO chance whatsoever to rank on Google for this search. Let’s say it again: no chance whatsoever!

Let me give a simple example to illustrate: if you, for example, sell t-shirts and your site is saturated with the keyword “t-shirt“, and a Google searcher searches for the word “shirts“, your site will most likely not appear in the results at all.

It is also important that the keyword is contained in the text of your page in a certain proportion to its total length. If the keyword in question is present too often (which happens when the “optimizer” overdoes it), Google may even penalize your entire site and “drop” it from its results altogether.

Therefore, be especially careful to whom you entrust the optimization of your site. Here, people with a lot of desire, but no experience, can be dangerous.

Page length

Things seem to be obvious here, but let us nevertheless remind you that in order to “read” how relevant your page is to the search term, Google needs a sufficient amount of text.

Although unofficial, it has long been accepted that Google hardly pays attention to pages containing less than 300 words of text, and a truly informative page “worthy of the search engine’s attention” usually contains at least between 800 and 1500 words of text.

So, don’t expect brilliant Google rankings if your page content is limited to a few pictures and a couple of sentences, no matter how attractive they may be!

Headings and Subheadings

A common mistake even among experienced copywriters is the clumsy and even incorrect use of headings and subheadings.

In addition to creating clarity and readability of the texts, page headings and subheadings are for Google an important indicator of which parts of the text carry more weight than others.

It is especially important that these headings and sub-headings not only stand out visually (for example, with larger and bolder fonts) but also be set by the appropriate means of HTML so that Google really “understands” the true structure of the page.

If you fail to “harness” the power of headlines and subheadings, you’ll be missing out on a major asset in your fight to rank well.

Loading speed

Finally, in order not to become boring, I’ll skip the rather technical aspects of optimization related to metadata, URL structure, and website responsiveness, to pay special attention to site loading speed.

Recently, Google experts have been insisting that site loading speed will play an increasing role in ranking in the results.

The search engine even created a special document called Google PageSpeed ​​Insights and a tool for testing these indicators, with which developers can test and analyze all parameters affecting the loading speed of their sites.

There are really serious reasons for this. On the one hand, the breakneck development of technologies in the field of digital photography and videography allowed uploading to the Web really huge volumes of material, and sites became more and more complex and with more and more possibilities.

All this sea of ​​information, however, must be “flowed” through the already fairly overloaded communication channels, and processed by slow and low-resolution phones or other mobile devices in most cases … and this is already a serious problem.

Therefore, Google briefly advises:

If pages on your site take more than 3 seconds to load, you need to take action if you want to appear at the top of the search engine.