April 10, 2024

On-Page SEO: A Guide For Beginners

Published By
Chris Isaacs
Reading Time
5 Min

After keyword research and selection, the next step for SEO is implementing your targeted keywords that were brainstormed and researched into your site’s content.

Imagine your website as a tree. The tree's trunk is the main framework, every page on the website is a branch, and on each of those unique branches is a canopy of leaves which are the keywords unique to that branch. Sometimes a tree needs to be pruned and maintained and that is what on-page SEO is. 

Just as the name suggests, on-page SEO refers to the optimizations you make to a specific page on your website to get it to rank higher on the SERP for queries related to the keyword it’s targeting. Some optimizations are visible on the page while others are behind the scenes. This translates to more relevant traffic to that page, and the more pages optimized on your website, the stronger your tree becomes.

Some of the ways that on-page SEO is improved;

  • Image Optimization
  • Meta Data
  • Content
  • Keywords
  • HTML tags
  • Internal Links
  • URL’s
What alt text, file name, file size, and dimensions look like in Webflow


Images keep users engaged on a page instead of just reading a wall of text increases time on page which is a factor that is taken into consideration when ranking. Images are more than just visual mediums on a website, and these factors must be taken into account:

  • Filenames:  When uploading an image file to your website, ensure the file name includes the keyword you are aiming for. Additionally, use dashes or underscores instead of spaces in the file name. To keep a cleaner more trustworthy look when shared.
  • Load speeds: To enhance loading speed, adjust the size of your images so their width matches or is less than the maximum width of your webpage. While your site may automatically resize larger images, doing it manually reduces server requests. Also, compress your images to decrease file size without compromising their quality. Use newer or next-gen image file types like WebP and AVIF.
  • Alt Text: Alt text serves as a text substitute for an image. It's a way to communicate to Google, as well as to screen readers for the visually impaired, the content of your image. Make sure to include your targeted keyword in this alt text.

Meta Data

Meta data is snippets of code that tell search engines important information about your web page, such as how they should display it in search results. They also tell web browsers how to display it to visitors. The most common of these are, meta titles and meta descriptions.

Meta titles are the page title that Google and most other search engines show in search results.

"Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages." - Google

Meta descriptions are a hidden HTML element that can be edited in your website's code but isn't visible on the page itself, it acts like an extra piece of advertising copy for your site. While Google sometimes alters what appears in search results, which meaning your meta description might not always be displayed, if you have a captivating description, it can significantly boost your page's click-through rate if it does appear. It's crucial to remember that appearing in search results is a very important step – remember that the ultimate goal is to attract visitors to your site and encourage them to take the desired action.

Meta description tips:

  • Keep it between 155-160 characters.
  • Include the keyword you’re targeting, and related keywords if it makes sense.
  • Make it actionable and communicate benefit.

Google might not always display the meta description you set; instead, it often generates them dynamically from your content, depending on the search query. This is why incorporating heading tags in your content is essential. Additionally,  your meta description also shows up in preview snippets, such as those visible on social media platforms.

Meta title, and meta description example on google.


The quality and nature of your page content are very important. Different types of pages serve different purposes - for instance, your key content that you want many to link to should be distinctly different from your support content, which is designed for users to find and get quick answers from. However, it's worth noting that Google has been favoring certain types of content. As you develop your site's pages, keep a few key points in mind:

Rich and Unique Content: There's no exact number for ideal word count. Having a few short pages with a few hundred words each won’t necessarily harm your Google standing, but generally, longer and unique content is preferred, generally about 2000 words of unique and informative content. Beware of having numerous very short pages (50-200 words) or lots of repetitive content where only the title tag and a few words change. Evaluate your entire site: if many pages are sparse, repetitive, and of low value, consider enriching them. If they don’t draw much traffic, you might want to exclude them from search results using a noindex meta tag to prevent the appearance of trying to flood Google’s index with low-value pages.

Engagement: Google increasingly values user engagement and experience. Enhance this by ensuring your content directly answers users' queries, encouraging them to stay and engage with your content. Also, ensure your pages load quickly and avoid design elements like intrusive ads that could drive visitors away.

Shareability: Not every piece of content will be widely shared or linked. But, just as you avoid creating many thin-content pages, think about the shareability of new pages. Consider if they're likely to be shared or linked to before making them live. Having many pages that are unlikely to be shared or linked can negatively impact those pages' ability to rank in search results, and can create a poor overall image of your site for search engines.


Headings help your content by help structuring it into clear, organized sections and subsections, making it easier for readers to follow the hierarchy of information. However, Google doesn't recognize headings through visual cues like font size or boldness, as humans do. It relies on HTML to understand the structure and relevance of your content to the targeted keyword.

There are six types of heading tags in HTML, ranging from H1 to H6, although for SEO purposes only H1 to H3 are relevant. Most Content Management System (CMS) have a built-in editor which allows you to select these heading tags in a drop-down menu in the editor, where you can also customize their sizes. Alternatively, you can directly apply these heading tags in the HTML code of your page.

  • <H1>: This is the title of the page; only one H1 per page.
  • <H2>: This labels the main sections of your content. Depending on the size of the content, you might have a few or a lot of H2s. You should always have at least two that contain the keywords you’re targeting—which should be easy to do with one section in your post and the conclusion.
  • <H3>: these are used to further label the different points made in each H2 section. Use these as needed, but don’t force it and don’t worry about having keywords here.

Heading options for Webflow


Most Content Management Systems automatically create a URL for your page, which may be based on the title you’ve assigned or sometimes just a sequence of numbers. It’s good practice to check and see if your URLs are following proper SEO practices:

  • Include the keyword you're targeting.
  • Use dashes in place of spaces.
  • Keep it concise, often just the keyword itself is enough.

Why do URLs matter? There are 3 main reasons why.

  1. Enhanced User Experience: A well-structured URL benefits both users and search engines by clearly indicating the content of the destination page. Even without the title tag, a readable and meaningfully constructed URL can convey the page's subject matter. This enhances the user experience by setting accurate expectations for what they will find upon clicking the link. It's important to note that Google often replaces the URL in search result snippets with the site name and breadcrumb path.
  2. Rankings: URLs are a minor ranking factor that search engines use when determining a particular page or resource's relevance to a search query. While using a URL that includes keywords can improve your site's search visibility, URLs themselves generally do not have a major impact on a page’s ability to rank. So, while it’s worth thinking about, don’t create otherwise poor URLs simply to include a keyword in them.
  3. Backlinking: Clear and descriptive URLs give an idea of the content on the page, making it easier for other websites to see the relevance and value in linking to your content. If your URL explicitly indicates what the page is about, other sites are more likely to consider it a credible and relevant source to link to.
the different types of urls and why some are good and some are bad

Successful SEO is not that different from nurturing a tree - it requires ongoing care and attention to the health of the branches. By strategically integrating targeted keywords into various elements of your website, from images and metadata to content and URLs, you enhance not only your site's visibility in search engines but also its overall user experience.

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