On-Page SEO Techniques: 11 Tactics That Just Work in 2021 (Free Checklist)
On page SEO techniques 2021 that’ll double your search traffic
Looking for the exact list of on-page SEO techniques in 2021that can double your search traffic?
I’ve got your back covered!
On-page SEO is an integral part of the whole website SEO or search engine optimization process. You need to follow certain SEO techniques to help optimize your blog/website so that search engines can decipher it better and probably rank it higher up in the SERPs.
SEO in 2021 is much more complex than churning out content & pointing backlinks to them to boost your rankings.
You need to optimize your blog further with proper On-Page SEO techniques and Off-Page SEO optimizations.
That’s when this post on top 10 on-page SEO techniques for 2021 will come handy.
Feel free to download the on-page SEO checklist below.
If you’ve gone through our blogging guide, you’d know that Google is one of the best search engines in the world with a market share of over 78%. You can get a lot of exposure, traffic and ultimately leads & sales by ranking on the top of the first page in Google’s SERPs.
To increase your Google rankings you have to have the right ratio of natural backlinks, perfect content with optimized for your target topic, a great website that is Google friendly and nice social signals that show your authority and so on. The whole search engine optimization process can be broadly divided into on-page SEO & off page SEO.
However, in this post we will not be doing a on-page SEO vs off page SEO case study.
In fact, we’ll talk about how to optimize your article for the higher rankings with the best and latest on-page SEO techniques 2021 and that too without voiding any of Google’s quality guidelines.
I have a handy on-Page SEO checklist so you can get it printed and gauge your articles for proper white hat blog SEO optimization.
What is On-Page SEO? The Definition
On-page SEO is the process of making your blog post (individual web pages) optimized for search engines so they rank higher and get more clicks (traffic) from the SERPs.
These On-Page SEO techniques include optimizing the text content (meta tags, permalinks, web copy, images etc) and optimizing the HTML (includes removing unwanted codes, mobile friendly site, no iframes, loading time etc.) of the web page.
That was just the gist of the whole game, let’s discuss the whole process about how to do proper on-page SEO and make your blog totally Google compliant.
Benefits Of on-Page SEO Optimization in 2021
Before jumping into the latest on-page SEO techniques, wouldn’t you want to know advantages of on-page SEO optimization?
The simple answer to this is, through optimizing your site for search engines like Google you can funnel a heck load of traffic from them to your business website.
This stands true for every online business and they invest in SEO efforts no matter they are bloggers, small business website owners, freelancers or big giants like Amazon and Techcrunch.
Every form of online business takes the effort to optimize their website for search engines.
Here are the main benefits of on-page SEO optimization and why you should consider it:
- Most on-page SEO strategies focus around one topic, that is user experience. Better user experience = more conversions.
- Following the latest on-page, you can easily get higher rankings on SERPs, which means your website will be visible to as many people in your niche as you want.
- Better ranking = more traffic = more leads, sales, ad-clicks and overall revenue.
- SEO leads have a far higher close rate (14.6%) than other methods of outbound lead generation like direct mail or print media (1.7%).
- Per dollar spent, small business SEO generates approx 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
- 75% of the users never scroll past the first page of the search result. And hence, you need to make every effort to optimize your site to rank on the first page. And for that, you need a great on-page SEO techniques strategy.
Now that you know what On-Page SEO is and the advantages of following on-page SEO techniques, let’s quickly jump to optimize the various on-page SEO factors that’ll ultimately double your search traffic.
To make your on-page SEO task list easier, I have categorized the whole white hat SEO Strategy game into 3 steps for better understanding. They are:
- Optimizing the content
- Optimizing the HTML section &
- Optimizing the meta data
Want To Know The on-page SEO Techniques 2021 And Implementation Examples?
Here are the latest on-page SEO techniques you should know and follow
OPTIMIZING THE CONTENT FOR ON-PAGE SEO
1) Write Original And Detailed Content
Write original, in depth content for on-page SEO
Your content on the blog is by far the most important SEO techniques that you have to look after.
Writing original content might take effort and time but that is what gets love from the search engines. Copied content on your site might harm your reputation as your readers will be quick to identify your tone and content.
This can be even worse if your content gets detected by the owner who can sue your for copyrights infringement. At the least, you can get your site removed if he files a DMCA.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you write original and fresh content. If you’re outsourcing content from writers, make sure they are not spun content (copied content with jumbled wordings) with the help of best plagiarism checker tools.
How to optimize blog content for on-page SEO?
- Words per page: Gone are the days when you could rank your keywords with 500-700 words per article. With increasing competition, you literally have to write the best articles that cover everything about the topic you are writing.
Articles that are 2000 words or longer get more shares, more links and better rankings.
- Include a lot of LSI keywords: LSI keywords or latent semantic index keywords are the side-keywords that are related to your main keyword logically. These LSI keywords help Google and other search engines perceive what your page is all about.
For example, if you are writing about “Squash” it might be confusing (both for users and search engines) that you are speaking about squash the vegetable or squash, the indoor sport.
However, if you content contains terms like drive, drop, game or racket which is normal to be included if you’re writing for the sport then Google’s bot can get a clear idea that your page is about indoor sport and not the vegetable. This will help your site get ranked for sport related queries instead of food related queries. So a win-win.
- Grammatically correct: Correct grammar and punctuation is very important for good impressions and authority. You can use the free Grammarly chrome extension (read my Grammarly review) to write grammatically correct articles.
Additional Resources You Should Read:
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Original Content is the key to High Rankings. More #SEO Tips ››” content=”Original Content is still the key to rankings.” style=”default”]
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2) Have A Solid Keyword Placement Strategy
Keyword placement strategy for the perfect on-page SEO
Keyword Placement is the most important thing in the on-page SEO optimization. You have to be very smart when placing the right keywords at the right locations.
How to optimize keyword placement for better on-page?
- Make use of H1, H2, and H3 tags. Make sure you use your target keyword in at least once in any of them. However, don’t overdo it by stuffing so many keywords multiple times in these heading tags.
- Sprinkle the target and LSI keywords throughout the content in a natural manner. They should be placed in a way that the content flow is not disturbed.
- Use keywords in the first 100 words and try to make the things as natural as possible.
- Always try to keep the keyword density equal or less than 1.5% for better optimization.
- Optimize your images (we’ll talk about them in detail below) for your keywords too.
PRO TIP: Always use the target keyword at least once in the first and the last paragraph of your content. For LSI keywords, you can use tools like SEMrush (check out my SEMrush free trial to get access to 30 day free trial of SEMrush) or free ones like LSIGraph.
Using LSI keywords is a topic in itself, you can read more about LSI keywords in the resources give below.
Additional Resources You Should Read:
[socialpug_tweet tweet=”My #SEOTip: How To Place Keywords To Rank higher? Read➜ https://goo.gl/yWz4mb by @DigitalGYD pic.twitter.com/KB8MqTRAgu” display_tweet=”Place Keywords Wisely For Higher Ranking” style=”5″ remove_url=”yes” remove_username=”yes”] [ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”How keyword placement affect your rankings and how to do it right ››” content=”Keyword placement, if done right, can boost your search engine rankings.” style=”default”]
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3) Optimize Your Images With Alt Tags, Title Tags & Captions
How to optimize your images for on-page SEO
Images are the most underused on-page SEO factor but if optimized properly they can bring you loads of traffic and improve your site’s SEO health.
I have been getting a lot of traffic to my site from image search too, and that’s because, in most of the blog posts, I have optimized the images.
Below are some on-page SEO techniques to optimize images for SEO and rankings.
How to optimize blog images for on-page?
- Rename the image file to something that is human readable and about the topic. For example, change file names like 123.jpg to seo-strategy.jpg. It helps the image show up in the image search when someone searches for SEO strategy.
- Give an Alt text to describe the image. Alt text is the text that appears in place of image when someone with a slow connection fails to load the image. This also makes it easy for search engines to know what the image is about.
- Use a caption whenever possible because captions are read 300% more than the body text. So why miss this chance?
In WordPress, it is quite simple to add alt text and captions since the option is given when you upload an image.
How to add alt tags, title tags & captions for SEO
In the technical part, keep the image lighter so that it doesn’t impact the page loading time. If your screenshots are heavier, you can try to reduce their size using online tools like Kraken or Optimizilla (both are free but charge for more usage).
If you use a premium theme like Thrive Themes, they come up with inbuilt image optimizer so that it reduces the size of any image you upload without any change in quality.
This way you save time by bypassing the compression stage for each of your images and also saves you the extra subscription for the compression services.
Additional Resources You Should Read:
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”How to optimize (correctly) images as a low hanging fruit for perfect On-Page SEO ››” content=”Images are often the easiest On-Page SEO techniques that can move the needle.” style=”default”]
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The next on-page SEO technique pretty much summarizes the whole SEO game.
Ready for it?
4) Boost Dwell time: (What is dwell time & how to optimize it?)
Dwell time is defined as the actual length of time a user spends on a page before returning to the search results. Having a dwell time of 2 minutes or more is considered a good SEO signal while if a user returns (back to search) in a few seconds you are said to have a poor dwell time (and hence bad on-page SEO).
How does dwell time affect search engine rankings? Or if it is even a ranking signal?
The dwell time of a site is a strong ranking signal for search engines like Bing but Google hasn’t cleverly not said anything about using dwell time calculation as a ranking signal.
But if you are smart enough to spy back Google’s algorithm history, you can know that they did include dwell time as a ranking signal which they have never officially removed.
As a gesture that Google considered dwell time as a ranking factor you can check the screenshot below which shows that you can block a specific site after you hit back to search (after clicking on the result) due to low quality content.
This shows dwell time is logically related to better rankings because it signifies valuable content (that is why reader is dwelling on your page), user satisfaction (user loved your article hence reading more posts). Now let’s see how to use dwell time as an on-page SEO factor and the exact on-page SEO technique you need to increase dwell time of your site.
How to boost your website dwell time and increase on-page time spent by users?
Here’s an excellent video where Brian Dean reveals 3 of his best strategies to keep users sticking to his page. Do watch it for some crucial on-page SEO tips to boost your dwell time.
I highly recommend you to watch this video and take notes so that it’s with you forever.
- Add multimedia: Easy as it might seem, I don’t see a lot of multimedia on most blogs even if they know that adding images, videos and .gifs are the best way to keep your readers on site. A related video embedded might keep your readers on your site a few more minutes.
- Write long content: People often consider old content a boring task but for readers, they are a resource. Most of my long content like this article on Facebook marketing for business perform really well. The article has nearly 5000 social shares which clearly shows readers like it.
- Write engaging content that interacts with your audience. Use conversational tone and write as if you are speaking to the single reader who is sitting directly in front of you.
- Stay away from false show off: Do not optimize your content for multiple keywords or use a different keyword for your title. These posts clearly mislead the reader into your site who is sure to return back to search results promptly.
Additional Resources You Should Read:
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Dwell time and how it affects your On-Page #SEO strategy ››” content=”Dwell time is directly proportional to how much Google likes you.” style=”default”]
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5) Have The Most SEO Optimized Permalink Structure
Permalinks are very crucial for a site’s SEO.
However, the value that it had in the past diminished a bit because Google prefers more of the content part, but still, it is good for SEO if you have really nice, clean, human and search friendly URLs.
Ideally, in the anatomy of a URL, a permalink is the part of the URL that comes after the main domain as shown in the screenshot below:
Using SEO friendly URL structure
If you are just starting your blog, make sure you choose the best permalink structure which is short and simple. That is one-time task.
Having a simple URL structure for your blog will help to make your blog optimized for search engines and improve traffic.
Now, whenever you draft a blog post, you can edit the permalink to something that describes that particular blog post.
WordPress, by default includes the whole article headline in your URL, you don’t have to do it.
How to optimize permalinks for perfect on-page SEO?
- In fact, make your URLs short and to the point.
- Google gives preference to the first few words in the URL, so always try to include your main keyword in the beginning of the URL.
For example, in the above screenshot you can see, I kept “screen-recording-software” as that post’s permalink because the post is all about the list of screen recording software.
It also helps the users identify the content they are going to read once they see the URL in the search pages.
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”How to optimize your article URLs to boost On-Page SEO ››” content=”How to optimize your article URLs to boost On-Page SEO.” style=”default”]
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6) Do Internal Linking For On-Page SEO Optimization
Internal linking of your articles is very important because it creates a better structure for your blog and provokes the readers to click on those links to read other articles on the blog as well.
It does help to keep your site’s overall bounce rate lower which is good for SEO. When it comes to interlinking, Wikipedia is the best example.
Start doing it, and you will gradually learn the right way to interlink your blog posts.
How to optimize internal linking for maximum on-page SEO benefit?
- Link to resource articles: When you are writing an article, link to other resources that are related to the topic. For example, in the this very article, I linked to various content tools in the section about optimizing content. Interested readers will check out and help reduce my bounce rate while reading one more resource on the topic.
- Link both pages and posts: The bad thing about pages is they become quite excluded from the whole content archive. No reader can ever find them unless you link them properly in your menu or blog posts.
Make sure to include important pages like your blogging toolbox page so that readers can find them easily.
- Do follow your internal links: Nofollow links make it impossible for search bots to follow the linked page. So if you are internal linking your blog posts, make sure they are dofollow so that your old content gets some link juice and keeps ranking.
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Correct internal linking can help link equity flow, point users to the right resources and boost your SEO. Here’s how it works ››” content=”Correct internal linking can help link equity flow, point users to the right resources and boost your SEO.” style=”default”]
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7) Add Outbound Citation Links
Using citation links helps to boost your website SEO (authority outbound links = better relevancy)
A SEO study by Reboot shows that outbound links do have a positive impact on SEO. Google considers your site as a good source of information since you offer good content with good resources linked as well.
Here is what White Hat SEO expert Brian Dean suggests about outbound links and on-page SEO:
Brian Dean’s (of Backlinko) take on outbound links!
In short, when you add outbound links, you are actually sending readers to go to the other online sources for getting more information on particular topics.
And, this is what Google loves.
You might lose some traffic in this on-page SEO technique, but hey! giving your users a better experience and sending them to additional resources on the topic (because you can never cover all) is a good way to optimize your site for users as well as Google.
And, if Google loves your site, your ranking will be higher for sure.
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Why linking out generously can help boost your site’s authority ››” content=”Linking out generously not only helps foster relationships, but also boost your SEO.” style=”default”]
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Success! You just Completed first level On-Page Optimization.
In the next and the second section of our top 10 on-page SEO techniques, we’ll cover topics to purge your site’s code and make it for SEO friendly.
These are not anything like rocket science, but basic SEO techniques for HTML section of your site.
Don’t worry, you can do it!
OPTIMIZING THE BLOG (HTML) FOR ON-PAGE SEO
8) Focus On Branded Site, Credibility Boosting and Conversion Optimization
Your blog’s look is the first thing your visitors will see after they click on your article in the SERP.
If that looks ugly and cheap, they will bounce off but if you have a clean theme with a lot of white space which gives them enough space for reading, they will stick around.
Plus, a branded look will boost your site’s authority in their first impression which will trigger credibility and conversions.
Make sure your theme is responsive, because Google automatically ranks mobile responsive sites higher than those that are not.
If you’re just starting out, I would suggest Elegant themes (read my Elegant Themes Review) because they are clean, responsive, fully SEO optimized and lightweight. Plus, you can access Elegant themes coupons (87 themes for less than $1 each) or StudioPress themes.
However, you are serious about monetizing your blog (with affiliate & product sales) you should something more conversion optimized like Thrive themes. I use it here and it paid off barely within 3 months I used it. If you’re confused, here is a detailed comparison of DIVI vs Genesis vs Thrive vs MyThemeShop Themes. Choose what fits your need.
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Optimizing your branding can help boost your site’s E-A-T and hence SEO ››” content=”A branding that stands out will help you outrank those that don’t.” style=”default”]
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9) Improve Your Site’s Speed For SEO
Site loading time is directly related to rankings. Site speed is a core on-page SEO factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Not only this, fast loading site is also essential for user experience.
Do not at any cost miss this important on-page SEO technique. A loading delay of mere milliseconds can cost you sales and visitors.
According to a Kissmetrics research, 47% of users expect a site to load within 2 seconds and if it takes 3 seconds or more to load they will abandon the site forever.
This means you have to be very aware of how you decrease your page loading time and optimize this SEO technique.
How to optimize your site’s speed for on-page SEO 2021?
- Use caching plugins like Super Cache, WP-Rocket, W3 Total Cache.
- Use light images.
- Use a lightweight WordPress theme. Most fancy themes try to attract customers by adding features you eventually never use. These elements, however add to the site’s loading time. I suggest use something very light and optimized for speed.
The best you can get is Genesis (studiopress) theme for your blog. Most authority sites like QuickSprout, Problogger, Copyblogger, Shoutmeloud use it for the same reason.
- Remove unnecessary widgets from the sidebar. Most visitors are ad-blind so try subtle ways to include affiliate products within your article, not in the sidebar.
For more important sales posts, like my cheap VPS Buyer guide, I completely remove the sidebar. Most themes have that option. Try it to give your readers a better user experience and make your site more converting.
- Use a CDN.
- Use a fast web hosting server like WPX (for smaller sites) or a managed WordPress hosting like Flywheel (Check out my in depth Flywheel Hosting Review) for sites with huge traffic.
You can test your site’s loading time using Google’s page speed tool which also gives valuable insights about what’s wrong and how you can correct it.
This is how Google’s page speed testing tool shows you the things to improve on your site. You can check each, and work on that part to improve the loading speed of your site. [ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”Site speed as a low hanging fruit for your SEO Quick wins ››” content=”Not only Google, a faster site is something your readers will reward you for.” style=”default”]
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Still sticking around?
Good job! One last step to a perfect SEO optimized site left!
In this, we’ll discuss how to optimize your meta descriptions with recommended on-page SEO techniques and create a winning site.
Here we go!
OPTIMIZING THE META DATA FOR ON-PAGE SEO
Bloggers often misunderstand these two to be the same, but they are different!
Meta title is what you see in the search, and the page title is what you see on the blog as post’s title. Page titles are the perfect H1 tag examples, meaning they are by default the H1 tag of a post. You should not include a second H1 tag anywhere in the post, since it is reserved for the article headline.
Optimizing your meta title and page titles are very important SEO techniques to follow. You can keep both similar; in fact, most of the bloggers keep similar but to optimize better you can have two versions of titles, one for your readers and one (with keywords) for the search engines. Amazin’ SEO technique, isn’t it?
You can have a title of any length on your blog. However, Google keeps 71 characters in your site title before it truncates them. So it is very essential you have a meaningful title in the SERPs.
How Long Should Title Tags Be?
Title tags should be 71 characters long at most and no longer than 600 pixels wide.
You can use Yoast SEO plugin to set different meta title and page titles. You have to do this while drafting the post.
If you don’t edit in the Yoast, it does take the page title as Meta title by default. Below are the title tags best practices you should follow.
How to optimize page title and meta title for better click through rates?
In this video below, Neil Patel shares a surefire way optimize your titles to maximize CTR. (starts at 0.30)
- Keep the Page Title and Meta title relevant to the content. Don’t write something spammy in the Meta title just to optimize it better. Always keep it relevant.
- Always have the targeted keyword at the beginning of the meta title. This does impact the search algorithm as well. Keeping the target keyword makes the search engines understand more about the content.
- Feel free to add modifiers to your meta title because these help in boosting the CTR of your posts and thus more rankings. Power words like Best, Your, Wow, Unbiased etc can significantly boost CTR in the SERPs.
Additional Resources You Should Read:
- List Of Power Words To Boost CTR in SERPs. (SumoMe Blog)
Do not optimize your meta descriptions for something that your content is not about. This maybe succeed to bring you visitors from the search pages but they will bounce off because the content isn’t what they are looking for. This will trigger your pogo sticking which might bring you to the bad books of Google.
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”11 best On-Page SEO Techniques that you can optimize for instant #SEO boost››” content=”An optimize blog headline attracts the ideal reader.” style=”default”]
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Are meta keywords still relevant?
Yes! meta keywords are still relevant. Search engines like Bing still use it to know more about your content. However, Google clarified long ago that they don’t consider Meta Description as the ranking factor.
However, they do use Meta description to generate the search preview. Hence optimizing it can help you get the better CTR. Like all other on-page SEO strategies listed above, you should also optimize site description for SEO.
If you write the Meta Description in a better way, you can get more clicks by convincing your readers to click in. Therefore, not for the sake of SEO but for better user-experience, you must write a better description of your content.
To add your meta data, you need to fill it in Yoast as in the previous case. (Check the screenshot in the previous step.)
[ss_click_to_tweet tweet=”11 best On-Page SEO Techniques that you can optimize for instant #SEO boost››” content=”Although Google doesn’t consider meta tags, they indirectly affect your SEO.” style=”default”]
Wrapping Up: Top 10 On-Page SEO Techniques 2021 That’ll Double Your Search Traffic
On-page SEO isn’t something that is only for search engines, the hidden trick is to make your website ridiculously pleasing for your users too. In this guide to optimizing your blog and web pages for proper SEO, I have included the most important metrics which you should be optimizing to get better rankings and more organic traffic.
Since we are talking about user experience being an important parameter of any SEO strategy, let’s not forget that decreasing the bounce rate, making it easy for maximum social shares and getting more comments are also very important. They are beyond the scope of this article, though.
Kudos to your dedication for SEO! You’ve completed the whole SEO guide!
Now employ these on-page optimization tricks to boost your site SEO and increase your rankings.
Optimize one bit at a time and you’ll soon see a SEO boost that’ll double your organic traffic.
Let’s do it!
Additional SEO Resources You Should Read:
- How To Increase Your Domain Authority (DA easily).
- How To Build Backlinks?
- 10 blogging mistakes that might be killing your blog.
Since Everyone is asking about link building guide and the trick to get dofollow backlinks (let me tell you that building backlinks isn’t a on-page SEO technique, it is an off page SEO technique), you should not miss the post below which contains 10 actionable ways to get do follow backlinks easily.
Read the post now ››
Summing up: The On-Page SEO Optimization Guide To Increase Ranking (2021)
What SEO strategies you follow to give your site the perfect on-page optimization? Though this guide answers everything about what is on-page search engine optimization, is there anything I left?
Do you follow any specific techniques for SEO that I have not covered? Please comment below your favorite on-page SEO techniques that have given you instant rankings?
Recommended SEO Tools: