The Do’s and Don’ts of On-Page SEO

When optimising a web page’s SEO factors there are many important points to consider. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at some of the key do’s and don’ts of on-page SEO.


... your research

By research, I mean keyword research. Keyword research is critical to help identify which keywords your web pages should be focused on, as well as what visitors to your website might well be looking for.

Some good tools for doing this include the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, as well as Moz’s Keyword Explorer, which can help you to find a range of related keywords you could target.

In addition, it is a good idea to look into longer-tail keywords around these topics, such as any commonly asked questions by searchers. One tool that allows this is Answer The Public, which will show you questions about a keyword grouped into ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘Where’, ‘Which’, ‘Why’ and ‘Are’, allowing you to see many of the potential questions searchers have about a keyword and enabling you to plan content around them.

... Think about mobile

Equally, before you get started, it’s critical to ensure that the expanding market of mobile internet users can get the best experience on your website. The first place you’ll want to test this is Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which tells you how quickly your website loads on mobile devices and also offers recommendations for improving the mobile experience.

In addition, consider the impact that voice searches on mobiles might have for your business. Are customers likely to be making that kind of long-tail enquiry about your business? If they are, you’ll want to have content for those type of searches, as well as a presence in local search results.

... Carefully consider your content

Make sure to carefully consider what type of content you intend to put on your pages and the length of the content you create.

A study back in 2012 by SerpIQ showed that long-form content ranks better in search engines. While there is no hard and fast limit to how much or how little content should be on a page, providing users with as much useful information as possible will also help the ranking of your website. 

... Make the most of internal linking

Make sure to include internal links across your website. Creating relevant internal links with anchor text related to key search terms for your business is an excellent way to enhance a search engine’s understanding of your site.

Additionally, it helps to spread link equity throughout the pages on your website, and also assists in making sure that search engines are able to crawl the site without missing pages.

... Get your on-page elements right

Make sure that you get your on-page elements right, with appropriate page titles, heading tags (H1’s, H2’s etc.), URL, image alt text and content. All of these basic on-page elements need to be considered and checked to make sure that they are implemented correctly and that they also will provide value to users of the page.

Check out our free to download eBook, The Beginner’s Guide to On-page Optimisation to find out more.


... Forget about the user

When doing on-page SEO, it is absolutely critical not to forget about the users of your website. These are your potential customers, and you want your web pages to provide them with the best possible experience while on your site, giving them all they need to fulfill their intent.

So, make sure to always consider user experience (UX) on your website and look for ways to achieve a positive balance between SEO and UX. It may be that you have to make some on-page sacrifices to better suit the user intent.

... Keyword stuff your pages

Publishing content on your website that is stuffed full of keywords is a black hat SEO tactic, and one that provides a poor experience for users. In addition, it can lead to penalties from search engines if your site is caught abusing this technique.

To avoid doing this, make sure to check over your content, making sure it reads appropriately and provides useful information to users. Equally, make sure you use your keyword a few times in the content. Remember though, keyword density is long gone as a metric, and as such, there is no hard number on how often you should use your keyword.

... Forget about page titles and meta descriptions

While the meta description isn’t an on-page factor, like the page title, they are a key part of the listing that appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and as such, needs to entice the user to click through to the website. After all, the goal of SEO is to drive more traffic!

If a meta description and page title aren’t specified, then search engines will attempt to populate it themselves, which may produce irrelevant or poorly written SERP results.

... Add too much bloat to the page

If your web page has too many plugins or too much media on it, it will load much more slowly. This provides a more negative experience for users, and in addition, also negatively affects the ranking of the page due to load time issues.

To keep on the right side of this, make sure your site is only running the scripts and plugins you need, and that you’ve taken all the steps in the PageSpeed Insights recommendations to speed up your website.


It’s important to remember that your web page isn’t just for search engines, but for users as well.

On-Page optimisation has become much more user-focused, including mobile users, as well as all about the quality of the content on the website. By keeping their experience in mind and providing high-quality, relevant and useful content for them, you have a much better chance of delighting them and keep them coming back to you.

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