If you’ve spent as much time researching SEO best practices as we have, you’ll know they can be pretty confusing.
Search algorithms change all the time. Google might love your website one day and penalize it the next. Just like that, you’ve lost a bunch of traffic!
But, complexity aside, organic search is important.
According to BrightEdge, SEO accounts for a whopping 53% of all website traffic.
Not only that, but B2B companies generate twice as much revenue from organic search as from any other channel.
But SEO isn’t just one “thing.” It comes in many different flavors, including:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Local SEO
- Technical SEO
- YouTube SEO
In this article, we’re going to dig into why on-page SEO is important. But first, let’s clarify exactly what we’re talking about here.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is about optimizing individual web pages to help them:
- Rank more highly on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Bring in more organic (i.e. unpaid) traffic
As the name suggests, it involves optimizing elements within the page itself. Those elements include:
- Meta titles
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword density
- Structured data
- Image alt tags
- Internal links
Beyond those specific factors, it’s also worth noting that content quality is an on-page ranking factor.
It’s generally agreed that Google uses engagement metrics — things like bounce rate and average session duration — when deciding how high a page should rank.
The more interesting and useful your content, the more likely people are to read it in full and click deeper into your site. That means your engagement metrics will improve, which in turn can help your rankings.
On-page SEO differs from off-page SEO, which — as you can probably guess — is about factors that aren’t within your direct control because they happen off your webpage. This includes elements like:
- Backlinks from other websites
- Brand mentions
- Social shares
Why On-Page SEO Is Important: What are the Benefits?
Google uses hundreds of different ranking factors to determine its search rankings.
While there’s plenty of debate around a lot of those factors, SEOs generally agree that at least 200 known factors have — to a greater or lesser extent — been proven to affect search performance.
Of those 200 factors, roughly 60 exist at the page level. Or, to put it another way, just under one-third of all known ranking factors are related to on-page SEO.
So if you’re serious about organic search, and you want to generate more traffic to your site from Google (without paying for search ads), you simply can’t afford to ignore on-page optimization.
But on-page SEO isn’t just about higher rankings and traffic volumes.
There are lots of other benefits to nailing your on-page SEO, including:
- Helping Google understand your page content. On-page SEO plays an important role in explaining what a page is about to Google’s search crawlers. When Google understands your content, it’s more likely to display your page for relevant searches.
- Building long-term page value. The beauty of organic search is that once you’ve done the work of building a page, it can keep generating traffic over time without a ton of additional investment.
- Improving click-through from SERPs. Ranking on the first page is only part of the battle. Compelling headlines and meta descriptions — both key on-page SEO factors — increase the chances of people clicking on your page rather than a competing page.
- Boosting your website speed. People hate slow websites. If your web page takes too long to load, don’t expect users to stick around. Optimizing your on-page SEO can help pages load faster.
- Growing brand awareness. The more often your content appears in your audience’s searches, the more familiar they’ll be with your brand. That means you’re more likely to be front of mind when they’re ready to buy.
What Happens If You Don’t Invest in On-Page Optimization?
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why on-page SEO is important.
However, if you don’t do any on-page SEO optimization, it’s going to hurt your website in the form of:
- Lower rankings
- Less organic traffic
- Worse click-through rates
- Greater reliance on paid channels (i.e. more expensive traffic)
- Reduced brand awareness
- Slower website speeds
How Does Blogging Support On-Page SEO?
We’re a managed content service, so it’s only natural for us to look at on-page SEO from a blogging perspective.
Specifically, how can your blogging activity support the on-page optimization of your website?
The answer is: in lots of ways!
More Keyword Opportunities
Every time you add a new page to your website, it should generally be geared toward targeting one primary keyword.
For instance, an ecommerce store shouldn’t have one page that targets both the terms “ankle boots” and “knee-high boots.” Rather, those should be separate pages — likely nested under a top-level category page called “boots.”
So it stands to reason that the more pages you have on your website, the more keywords you’ll be able to target —and the more keywords you rank for, the more traffic you’ll generate.
And what’s the simplest way to add more pages to your website? Via your blog, of course! Creating a blog doesn’t add new levels to your site navigation or bring unnecessary complexity to the user journey, but it does give you the opportunity to target more keywords.
More Internal Linking Opportunities
Internal linking is one of the simplest and most effective on-page SEO techniques.
When you add internal links to key pages and accompany them with descriptive anchor text, you make it easier for Google to understand:
- Which pages on your site are most important
- What those pages are about
And just like with keyword targeting, one of the best ways to add a bunch of new internal links to your website is through your blog content.
Every time you publish a new blog post, try to add a handful of internal links to relevant older posts or important landing pages.
Next, go through your older articles and look for a similar number of opportunities to link to the new post.
Pro tip: The more descriptive your anchor text, the easier it is for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about. For example:
- Bad anchor text: For more information on SEO-friendly blog posts, click here.
- Better anchor text: Want to learn more? Check out our article on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts.
As a note, this isn’t the be-all and end-all of internal links; there are more advanced strategies you can follow to truly maximize their SEO power.
For instance, if you’ve got a massive site — like an ecommerce website with thousands of different products — you’ll want to explore the potential of link sculpting to ensure you’re passing authority to the most important pages.
But for the majority of sites, it’s fine to work with the assumption that where internal links are concerned, more is better.
Improved Engagement Metrics
We’ve already noted how most SEOs believe that when people spend a lot of time reading your content, Google takes that as a signal that they like your content.
As such, Google feels more inclined to help other people find your content by ranking it more highly.
So it’s in your interest to increase the amount of time people spend on your website — and one of the most effective ways to do that is by writing longer, more engaging content.
It stands to reason that people will dwell longer on a 2,000 word blog post than on a 100-word landing page (provided the blog post is valuable and interesting, of course). For this reason, it’s generally true that, the more high-quality blog content you produce, the better your site’s engagement metrics will be.
Is On-Page SEO Worth the Effort?
We know what you’re thinking:
“I already spend a bunch of time writing content. I don’t have time to worry about internal links and optimized meta descriptions.”
But on-page optimization is crucial when it comes to generating organic traffic.
And, unlike off-page SEO, on-page SEO is totally in your own hands.
If you’re already writing regular blog posts, it doesn’t require much additional effort to add a meta description, include some internal links, optimize your headings and subheadings, and add alt tags to your images.
Trust us, the rewards make it all worthwhile!
Need help creating content? Lack the resources to improve your on-page SEO? We’d love to help! Get in touch with Content Conquered today.