On-page SEO guide

On-page SEO vs Off-page Warfare

Hello again, JB here. I recently released a video explaining search engine optimization and what the difference between on-page SEO and off page SEO. If you need a reference on what the difference is, you can click here. If you are new to SEO all together then don’t be afraid to start with this post. Search Engine Optimization is an all out warfare with competitors and sometimes not even competitors for that first three organic search results. SEO strategies are formulated and depleted on a monthly basis but, at the core; On-page SEO remains the best method for increasing your search rankings with most search engines. Hopefully this on-page SEO guide should keep you in the loop for long term rank results and thus long term success. 

On-Page SEO guide

It might not seem like it but, just by typing this heading above, I was already practicing an SEO checklist. As you can imagine, the number of content for each niche is staggering. The amount of people, companies and websites out their producing the same exact type of content as you, is blinding. Therefore honing your on-page SEO skills, and setting up a perfect social media funnel for all you keywords, will grant you organic SEO score fir for kings. Search engines (Google, Facebook, YouTube) are all about attractiveness. They each use their own algorithm to determine how attractive your content is to the search queries. So thinking logically we start there: The search.    

On-page SEO guide


Keywords are those little words or phrases we type into a search box. A search engine runs a query cross-referencing the keyword to the appropriate content. This means we need to be thorough when it comes to keyword usage. You will notice that so many “blue chip” (big a##) websites are using these keywords to gain advantage. This means if you chose “shoes” as your keyword, then you are competing with everyone who has chosen shoes for their keyword. Edgar’s, Fochini’s- Retailers like these are dominating the shoes keyword advantage here in South Africa, meaning if you rely on your keyword alone, surely you will lose. This is where keyword research comes into play  

Keyword Research

Understanding your external factors is always crucial (pro general business tip). This is just as important when it comes to keywords, therefore keyword research is an absolute must. Simply typing in your keyword into google will give you an idea of what to expect and who to compete with. Knowing that most new posts, websites and product pages will have to compete, the usage of keywords needs to get creative. So instead of using “shoes” as your keyword, why not narrow it down to “men’s dressing shoes” or if you want to gain branded keywords you could use trendy words like “sleek men’s dressing shoes”. So buckle down, find keywords (keyword phrases) that you know you can compete with. To get an idea of where to start with keyword research, you can click here

Keyword usage & placement

Once you have figured out your keyword(s/phrases), you can start planning content around it. Ideally you should submit your keyword on your pages or on your posts with the help of a plugin (for WordPress websites) or with a string with code. A submited keyword will let a search engine know that the page/post it’s crawling is relevant to the search. Try to include the keyword in the page/post title, the page meta description, the  slug, and scatter the keyword(s/phrase) around the page with a main heading, 1-2 subheadings and at least two paragraphs. It’s not ideal but, the ordering of phrases does not need to be exact. Google does not like keyword spam, so remember not to overdo this. Yoast SEO (a WordPress SEO plugin) can help you figure out the keyword usage sweetspot. Pro tip, when writing content for a post or a page try tagging your keyword first, this helps you focused on the objective. 

User Experience

Search Engines ironically loves user experience focused content. That’s because they are looking for content the user might find most engaging. So when writing content and designing your layout, keep your users in mind. Make the content easy to read. Try using shorter sentences and ad some transition words for easy flow. Design wise try appropriate spacing of buttons, text paragraphs, headings etc. Have a clear reading structure. (Heading-paragraph-subheading-conclusion). Keep your website load speed  as short as possible, Google has announced that mobile usability and page speed is high priority. They know we as consumers prefer speed over looks, users will often want to get to their content faster than have their content better presented. Pro tip: google search console is a great little tool we can use to track what google thinks about our websites. They will list any and all problems that they can pick up. page speed insights from google can also test the loading times of your site. They also give suggestions based on the results. We have numerous performance plugin suggestions on our “WordPress plugins every website should consider” post.

Reliability & Relevance

Keyword choice: check – Keyword usage: check – Optimized for user experience: check. Along with these factors search engines love reliable and relevant websites more than anything else, there are numerous hacks methods to appear both reliable and relevant via Off-page SEO strategies however. We found that actually putting in the work to let search engines know how relevant and reliable you are will always trump any growth hack efforts in the long run. Domain age: The older your website is,  the more your website appears to be reliable. You also need to consider content: are you releasing content on a regular basis, how relevant are that content to the rest of your keywords. Therefore keeping your site updated, fresh, user friendly but, still relevant is arguably the best SEO efforts you can practice. At first you will appear to be a reliable source of content for search engines, making the crawling of your websites more attractive. Before you know it, you actually are a reliable source of content, and search engines will come to your keywords first, If everything checks out:Keyword match, speed, user friendly, relevant, reliable. Then you will have yourself 1st page results in no time.

My On-Page SEO guide conclusion

Off-page SEO has seen an increasing number in popularity over the past few years. This is because, solely relying on the above mentioned techniques to rank one on google search results: takes time and patience. As you can imagine, that is two resources a lot of the new start-up’s don’t have. Google hwoever has released a bunch of statements on how they feel with link building SEO strategies and how important on page methods are to them. In my humble opinion, that’s because Google and Google alone: understands their algorithm and the objective of said algorithm. By industry standards, yes. You will need to combine both on-page & off-page SEO to secure your search results. but, always master the requirements of google first, then you can seek alternative methods. I will be releasing a breakdown on off-page strategies soon, so don’t forget to subscribe to our blog. We will email you anytime a new blog pops out.

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On-page SEO guide
Recently in a video, @Koallabear covered the difference between on & off-page SEO. Read our On-page SEO guide
JB Smit

JB Smit

Founder of Graphic and Content. Designer, Developer, Writer & Digital Marketer

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