On Page SEO – The Basics

On page SEO or, search engine optimisation is about making sure that your website is as search engine friendly as possible. If your website is not optimised then you have less chance of getting good results in the search engines. Here is a quick guide towards good on-site SEO which includes information about meta tags, internal linking, URLs and more.

I hope that you find this on page SEO article useful and please share it out on social media.

Meta tags:

Getting your meta tags right is one of the most important parts of SEO. It is best to come up with unique meta tags for each page of your website and here are a few other tips to help you out.

  1. Google shows the first 60 or so characters of your page title tags in your listings, so make sure you get your most important keywords in there. You do not want them to be too much longer than that.
  2. With meta description tags, Google displays somewhere around the first 135 characters, so it is best to make them very close to that length. Be sure you get your keywords in there and that they read well whilst, enticing people to click on your listings.
  3. Don’t waste your time with doing meta keyword tags for your pages. The major search engines have not paid any attention to these for many years.

Internal Linking:

Another crucial part of on page SEO is making sure that the links within your website are set up correctly. Here are a few pointers.

  1. Make sure that all of your web pages have at least one crawlable link from somewhere on your site, so that the search engines will pick them up and include them in the search results.
  2. Always make good use of descriptive anchor text links within your website. If you have a page about blue widgets, use the phrase blue widgets in the text that links to it.
  3. If it makes sense, with the really important pages of your website you may want to include links to them in the main navigation or the footer of your site. This will give the pages more link juice and could lead to them ranking higher.


Getting the URLs for the pages of your website set up right can really make a difference. Here is some solid URL advice.

  1. Make sure that there is only one version of your website. 301 redirect all non www. URLs to the www. ones or vice versa. Pick one version and stick with it.
  2. Having only one version of your homepage is more advantageous. 301 redirect the index or default page back to domain.com.
  3. Most content management systems these days will automatically make your URLs SEO friendly but, check to make sure they are. For example domain.com/blue-widgets/ is better than domain.com/?p=123.
  4. Include the keywords you are targeting for each page in the URLs, separate them with hyphens or underscores, make them readable and try not to make them too lengthy.


Structuring your content properly can lead to better results in the search engines and even featured snippets on Google which can send plenty of traffic. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Make sure that you have unique content on all of the pages of your website and try to make sure they are not too thin on content. Pages with more original content tend to rank better.
  2. Use a H1 tag for the main heading on each of the pages on your website and use H2 or H3 tags for the sub-headings. You can learn all about H tags by reading this article.
  3. Try to include the keywords you are looking to target in the titles of your web pages and think about adding modifiers such as ‘best’, ‘guide’ or ‘review’ so that you come up for more long tail stuff.
  4. Including stylish pictures and videos in your web pages and blog posts is usually a good idea. They can reduce the bounce rate and increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site.
  5. Don’t be afraid to link out to other websites. Adding links to useful resources can add credibility to your articles and blog posts.
  6. If you are being paid to link to an advertiser or you are doing a sponsored post you should link to the websites using a rel=”nofollow” tag or a rel=”sponsored” tag in the link html so that they don’t pass link juice. View information about these tags on SEMrush.


Good image SEO can increase the chances of you showing up in the image search results on Google and other search engines. This can send lots of extra traffic to your site.

  1. Choose the right file format for your images. There are a number of options including JPEG, GIF and PNG. Learn about which ones to use by checking out this infographic.
  2. Include relevant words in your image addresses and if it makes sense the keywords you are looking to target. For example domain.com/blue-widgets.png would be a good image address.
  3. Make sure that you label all of your images with descriptive alt attributes. This is crucial if you want your images to come up high in the image search results.
  4. Having responsive images on your website is the way to go, so that your pictures look good on PCs, tablets, mobile phones etc.

Social Media:

Think about social media when you are creating content for your website. Here are a couple of good tips.

  1. If you are creating articles or blog posts that you want people to share on social media it is a good idea to include an og title, og description and og image. This will make you look appealing on social sites and can get you more traffic. Here is a great guide.
  2. Adding social media sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest to your blog pages and articles is definitely worth doing and can get you lots of extra exposure.

Website Stuff:

To finish off the guide here are two final pieces of on page SEO advice.

  1. Having a mobile friendly and responsive website is vital if you want to come up high in the search engines. I know first hand that if your website is not mobile friendly it can really ruin your search engine rankings.
  2. Check that your website loading speed is at optimum. People despise slow loading websites and Google uses site speed as a ranking factor. Ideas like using a CDN, compressing images and better web hosting can help.

If you follow these guidelines you are on your way towards good on page SEO and to good rankings in the search engines.

This SEO article was first written in 2007 and was fully updated in April 2020 by David Eaves, a UK-based search engine optimisation specialist.