On-Page SEO 101: Tips for Keyword Optimizing the Most Critical Parts of Your Website

SEO can sometimes feel like it stands for "Something Extremely Obscure."

As marketers, we're responsible for staying on top of what can feel like endless Google algorithm updates. And if we fail to do so, we run the risk of not showing up in search for important target keywords.

But keeping pace with all of those changes isn't easy. Thankfully, when it comes to achieving SEO success on your website, there's one rule of thumb that remains a tried-and-tested technique: optimizing your website with relevant and targeted keywords.

By having a well-optimized site, you'll start to see results like improved visitor quality, higher conversion rates, and in the end: more closed customers.

In this article, I'm going to cover how to add keywords to your website once you've already completed your keyword research. So before you dive into this post, be sure to read this awesome blog post on how to do keyword research.

Got your keywords ready? Alright. Read on to learn what on-page SEO is, where to add those keywords to your website, and how to avoid search penalties.

What is On-Page SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about creating content, optimizing it, and promoting it. When we talk about SEO, we often talk about "on-page SEO" and "off-page SEO."

What's the difference? In short:

  • On-Page SEO is what a site "says to a search engine."

  • Off-Page SEO is what "other sites say" about a site.

On-page SEO, or "saying something to a search engine," means optimizing individual webpages so that they rank higher on search engine results pages. The term covers both the content itself, as well as the HTML source code -- both of which can be optimized for search.

Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to external ranking signals like links.

Improving your on-page SEO can help your inbound marketing efforts immensely by helping you attract the right visitors to your website. You want to optimize your pages for search engines so they can understand who you are, what you do, and what you're writing about. Again, when you improve your on-page SEO, you'll help increase the organic rank of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs).

On-Page SEO Tips to Help Your Webpages Rank Better in Search

1) Start with an SEO audit of your website.

Every time you add new site content, you'll want to create that content with the specific keywords you're targeting (1–2 per individual webpage) in mind. But if you already have a bunch of webpages published, then your first step will be performing an SEO audit on your current website.

An SEO audit will give you an idea of how SEO-friendly your website is overall. That way, you can update and optimize your current content for search starting with your highest-traffic webpages. The audit will also help surface any other issues you may have, like duplicate content, so you can address them immediately and start ranking better in search.

Watch this quick video series to learn how to perform an SEO site audit in detail. It'll cover how to check whether your site is being blocked by search engines

, make sure your XML sitemap is working, monitor and improve site performance, spot and remove internal duplicate content, and check your site's popularity and trustworthiness.

In short, here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Export all of your site pages into an Excel spreadsheet.

  2. Sort by the most frequently visited pages. (Learn how to sort in Excel here.)

  3. Decide which keyword category each one falls into, and add that category into a column beside the page name.

  4. Add another column in your spreadsheet to add more specific keywords that you want to add to that page. Keep in mind that they must be relevant to the content on that page, as well as terms your target audience would be searching for.


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