What is On-Page SEO?

If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard someone mention how vital SEO is for your website. While the comprehensive understanding of the term is that it makes your website perform better and get more visitors, SEO is an entire group of different functions that work together to achieve the same goal: creating a website excel by fine-tuning it to the frequency that search engines like the most. So, what is on-page SEO? Today our SEO experts take a look at on-page SEO, what it means and why it’s crucial.

What Is On-page SEO? It’s Basically What The Name Says

No cryptic meanings or technical jargon here, really. On-page SEO is a term for optimising any content that exists on a page of a website so that it ranks higher in search results and so that it will be rated as more relevant by search engines.

On-page content

what is on page seo

On-page content includes front-end content, in other words, what you visually see; and back-end content, which is the source code used to build the website and all of its pages. Some of these elements that would need to be optimised for SEO are:

  • Headlines/ header tags
  • Website copy
  • Title tags
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Image alt tags
  • Internal links
  • URL’s

Optimising on-page content

search engines

To optimise page content, you would need a firm understanding of how search engines function such as:

  • What they look for on the website
  • How they connect the relevance of your copy with popular search terms
  • How to write content that not only looks useful to humans but to AI as well

It’s a delicate and intricate skill of balancing several aptitudes and is something that can only truly be mastered with years of ongoing experience.

So, what is on-page SEO? It’s a translation process that helps you communicate with search engines by changing your language to one they understand and speak. Sort of like how visiting a foreign country and being able to speak the native language makes the locals immediately like you WAY more.

Implementing on-page SEO

As with any SEO practice, on-page SEO can be applied to existing websites or pages that aren’t performing well, although ideally these best practices should be implemented from the start of a new build so that there won’t be a need for audits and edits down the line.

Auditing your existing website

website audit

If you have an existing website that isn’t performing well or getting you the results you hoped it would, an SEO audit by a professional will quickly help to determine where the problem areas are.

Content Revision

This is typically followed by a content revision plan to align your website’s core messaging with the trigger markers and keywords that search engines scout for and tag as premium content.

These steps can be implemented at any time, but your website won’t perform as well as it potentially can until you invest in proper SEO practices.

How is on-page SEO done right?

The right keywords


The main – but not the only – focus of on-page SEO is ensuring that your page copy contains the same words that people are likely to search for when looking for your product or service. Crawler bots – the worker ants of the search engine colony – always scout for and investigate web content, checking how well someone’s search query matched with the results they find on your page, and also how accurate a result it was based on relevance.

Relevance of your copy ie. Less bouncing

This is where it gets a little bit more involved. Sure, someone may have searched for ‘cheap shoes in Durban’ and landed up on your page as a result, but what they find isn’t what they were expecting, and so they close the browser tab within five seconds and carry on searching elsewhere. This is called bouncing off your site. Search engines track this information as well, as it’s a very telling indicator of whether the result they gave the user was a good match or not, as search engines are essentially the matchmakers of the digital realm.

on page seo content

Interesting and enough content to scroll through

Aside from time spent on the page a user lands on, the search engine monitors whether the person scrolled through the page to view all the contents or if they just left it at loading point – which can mean they were distracted or wandered off to make some coffee.

Quick loading speed

on page loading speed

In addition to all these factors, search engines favour pages that load quickly because people favour pages that load quickly.

We’re sure you know that feeling of staring at a loading icon, waiting for a web page to load. If nothing’s happened within two seconds, you lose interest and close the tab. That’s why it’s an essential factor to search engines: they are designed to give you the best user experience in every way, and they’re continuously improving to become more intuitively accurate at knowing what exactly we need or mean when we search for something.

While on-page SEO isn’t involved in page loading speeds, it’s crucial when it comes to matching what you offer or are trying to say with what users are looking for, and making search engine bots like what you’ve got going on.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is on-page SEO?”, you can probably understand why it’s so important to optimise your website with on-page SEO. Unless you’re totally okay with being overlooked and average, of course. Allow us to get your visibility up with optimised on-page SEO that will get you ranked on Google within three months. Contact us today for a strategy call.