What is On-Page SEO?

If, a few years ago, we considered SEO as a propensity to insert the highest rate of keywords on a page, this vision has now changed. Indeed, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) concentrates various actions to be implemented on a website to allow its optimal referencing. Focus on On-Page SEO.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO is a set of techniques aimed at optimizing the referencing of a website in the SERP. These techniques are applicable to the content of the pages: editorial content, visuals, videos, internal and external linking, etc. On-Page SEO essentially concerns content and therefore directly affects the work of the web editor and the person responsible for integration. .

What is the difference between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO?

Also called “On-Site SEO”, On-Page SEO concerns the criteria for optimizing a page or a website visible to the user. On-Page SEO refers to specific optimizations that will make the site user-friendly. It is distinguished from Off-Page SEO which concerns more technical aspects such as site loading speed or the acquisition of authority. Basically, On-Page SEO refers to actions visible to the naked eye, unlike Off-Page SEO which concerns those actions that are visible only to the Google algorithm.

What are the On-Page SEO optimization criteria?

On-Page SEO is a whole, it is a totality tending towards perfection. Also, it is imperative to respect many criteria which may seem extra-numerary at first sight, but which must become systematic habits for the writer and for the integrator (who are often and ideally one and the same person). Here is a non-exhaustive list of On-Page SEO criteria to take into account to optimize your natural referencing.

Original content

We cannot repeat it enough: the content must be original. That is to say that it is not a question of repeating or paraphrasing the texts unearthed on competing sites but of bringing one's stone to the building and offering added value. In the context of certain articles or certain issues, it is sometimes difficult to see how to create original content: it will be a question of confirming all the information collected (to cut off the head of a priori) and to propose an easy and pleasant to read with if possible a tip that we will not find anywhere else. For example, this article is written by On-Page SEO experts, unlike some competing SERP articles (but we won't mention which ones!).

Structure of the text

To be favorably received by crawlers, editorial content must follow a precise structure, which depends on their readability. A bit like we imagine a dissertation plan in philosophy class so that it will please the proofreader, we create the plan for our SEO editorial content so that it will please the robots.

Thus, the titles will consist of questions in 80% of cases.

Paragraphs should be no longer than 150 words and each should express a specific idea.

The title tags will respect the subtitle hierarchy (h1 for the main title, h2 for the level 2 subtitle, h3 for the level 3 subtitle, etc.).

Sentences should be short and concise.

Quality content

Some content, known to make it easier to read and summarize information, is favored by Google. That is, Google improves the placement of pages that have one or more of these elements among search results. Quality content includes:

  • Tables,
  • Bulleted Lists,
  • Checklists,
  • PDF Information Sheets,
  • Videos,
  • 360° Views,
  • 3D Perspectives.

So rather than writing a long paragraph about the pros and cons of a product, consider creating a table that lists them. Rather than listing a list of ingredients for a cooking recipe, go for the bulleted list. Instead of a long sentence listing the rules of conduct to follow when traveling abroad, insert a bulleted list. But also, to describe the many technical specificities of a product in engineering, offer a deliverable document in PDF, the information of which will only be suitable for potential buyers. Videos, 360° views and 3D perspectives, on the other hand, make it possible to appropriate a specific object such as the plan of a building or a product that a user wishes to buy.

Media optimization

When inserting images or videos, consider highlighting the content. Thus, for the images, we will not forget to fill in the Alt tag, allowing to describe the title and the content of the latter. The Alt tag concerns more Off-Page SEO but it is useful when the browser expresses difficulties in displaying the image: in this case, the title and description of the image that you have integrated appear and precisely serve the SEO On -Page.

Phrases in the text

Down with content stuffed with keywords! But yes to the right optimization: make sure to clearly define its problems and to deal with adjacent questions to answer users in a complete way. Our advice: equip yourself with a dedicated tool or prepare a list of keywords, it will allow you to deal with all the questions related to your problem.

Avoid over-optimization

Directly related to the previous advice, over-optimization is a practice to be absolutely avoided. What you need to understand is that indexing robots no longer focus on the density of keywords within editorial content. Now, what interests Google is the relevance with which a website responds to a user's problem. It is important to use keywords to appear in the list of pages linked to a query and to allow the user to distinguish your content among others. On the other hand, placing a keyword countless times to hope to gain places in the SERP is not only useless, but also counterproductive. Indeed, this technique exposes itself to manual sanctions from Google moderators and technicians. Remember that Google now penalizes content that overoptimizes one or more keywords.

SERP Analysis

The SERP historically corresponds to the first page of results for the Google search engine. Now, with the infinite scroll regularly in place and especially on mobile, it is estimated that the SERP designates the list of the first 10 search results. Thus, analyzing the SERP consists of identifying the first search results on a given query to identify their Best Practices and above all to create better content, offering greater added value. Concretely, if we identify in the SERP a content offering a summary table, another offering a bulleted list and another with a media gallery, then we will try to include all of these contents on the web page if that is possible.

Google makes it a point of honor to provide quick answers to questions that users have. This is why the famous search engine recently introduced Featured Snippets. Featured Snippets are a box offering a direct answer to a specific question, and which allows the Internet user to have to browse a web page to find his answer.

screenshot featured snippet google

Example of Featured Snippet

Featured Snippets, like People Also Asked, are a particularly effective way to promote a website, much like displaying a product at the top of a gondola in a department store.

Also, when writing content, you can optimize your chances of appearing in Featured Snippet by offering a concise answer to a question. Here are some examples of Featured Snippets:

  • “How tall is Kobe Bryant? Kobe Bryant is 1.98m tall.
  • “Where do white rhinos live? White rhinos live in South Africa.
  • “At what age does a baby start to walk? A baby begins to walk between 10 and 18 months.”

Internal linking

The internal linking designates the links to other pages of the site present in a content (internal links). These links are used by the user to navigate easily and to refer to other pages that will allow him to better respond to the desired problem. For example, the page dedicated to Off-Page SEO provides a better understanding of On-Page SEO by differentiation. It is a way to facilitate user navigation and to highlight the different pages of a site. This is also the case when browsing an e-commerce and the site offers similar products.

screenshot maillage interne amazon

Example de internal linking

URL Optimization

The URL corresponds to the address of the web page. It is also called the slug. A few years ago, it bothered no one to publish pages with URLs that had neither head nor tail: succession of symbols, no keywords and no meaning for the Internet user. Today, it is recommended to create your own URL (many editors like Wordpress or WYSIGYG allow it) by simply indicating the breadcrumb trail: that is to say the category, the subcategory and the subject. For example nomdedomaine.fr/SEO/SEO-on-page.

Did you know ? Slug means slug in English and slugs always leave significant trails when moving. The slug therefore also aims to orient the user thanks to the navigation path that it indicates in its very construction.

Pay attention to cannibalization

The pages referenced on a specific issue generate what is called SEO juice: it is all their content in links, keywords and construction that allows them to direct towards a specific issue. The more a page is optimized, the more SEO juice it generates. Only if you create a page dealing with the same problem and offering the same links on your website, then the SEO juice is halved and is now shared between the 2 pages, this is called the phenomenon of cannibalization. It is not enough to create hundreds of pages to be well referenced, it would be too easy.

Indeed, referencing implies for each site to deal with a specific problem per page, and this to facilitate the search of the user. Also, we will be careful when creating a new page not to use the same links and the same keywords as for an already existing page, in order to eliminate any risk of cannibalization. Some specialized SEO tools make it possible to detect the cannibalization of pages between them, they are particularly useful for e-commerce which involves standing out in a specific market.

Pay attention to duplicate content

Since it is important that each content be original and unique, it goes without saying that Duplicate Content is prohibited. Also, we will pay close attention to the turns used and that they do not look too much like those of other pages. Similarly, if there is a drop in organic traffic and a decline in SEO, we will search the net if a competitor has not copied the content in place. In principle, Duplicate Content does not penalize the page(s) concerned but it does not optimize its ranking. Thus, it is useless to create a page containing Duplicate Content since it will not allow the site to optimize its natural referencing.

Avoiding 404

404 errors are pages that do not exist or no longer exist. Also, we will take great care to check that the links published on each page of its website are good. For a user, encountering a 404 is like coming across a door that would remain closed to him. It's frustrating and it penalizes the user experience. Unfortunately 404 errors are common on sites with many pages. This is why tools dedicated to tracking 404s exist and thus allow the webmaster to control what is happening on each of the pages.

Using a dedicated tool

Finally, the most effective way to optimize SEO via On-Page SEO is to use a tool dedicated to content creation. These allow you to control the SEO content of editorial content without risking over-optimization and without missing an SEO opportunity on a specific issue. In general, these tools check the content written and offer related keywords based on the analysis of competing pages.