Semalt Shares 10 Important On-Page SEO Factors For 2021

SEO is a rather vague concept for many people. As an SEO Expert, we regularly receive questions from clients about what exactly we will do when we start working with SEO for them. What exactly is it - and what exactly do we do? Today, we're not going to get into the answers to those questions.  

We want to talk about an important part of SEO. About one of the elements of the "golden triangle of SEO", namely on-page SEO. We're going to talk about the most important factors of on-page SEO in 2021.

Not to explain in detail what it is. But mostly to show you in a practical overview exactly which on-page SEO factors you can apply and influence your search engine ranking.

Think of it as a kind of on-page checklist that you can use, for example, in your work as a marketer or to show that you are already doing very well with your company's website.

10 SEO on-page factors

Think of it as an SEO checklist to determine whether you have the most important things for your website in order. Can you tick all the boxes or do you still see opportunities or points for improvement for your website?

1. Start mapping your keywords

Your pages should (almost) always contain text. Before you start writing that text, it helps to know how people search for your product or service. You can find this out by doing a keyword search.

You then use Google data and a powerful keyword generator tool such as the SEO Dashboard to research what words and phrases people use when they search for what you offer. Several tools can generate keywords for you. But the fundamental reason I recommend the Dedicated SEO Dashboard is its ability to give you all the information you need about each keyword. Its particularity in this field is that it can also show you the keywords that your competitors are using to rank better. This will make it easier for you to make decisions and will considerably increase your organic reach.

2. Give each page a good title

Every page on your website should have a good title. This should also contain the most important keyword for that page. That's why step one is doing (or even smarter, having it done) keyword research. Make sure the title of your page is short but sweet.

In the title (also called title tags or SEO title) you often put the target keyword. So the keyword that is most important for this page.

3. Make good use of headings

Of course, it's no surprise that you put content on your website. But, how you package that content is an important factor in on-page SEO, especially with the help of headlines.

The title of your page is an H1 heading. In general, you can only use one H1, unless your page is built in HTML 5. After that, you are fairly free to use headings. Place cups in logical places. Usually every one or two paragraphs.

You can use an H2 and H3 heading interchangeably. We usually don't use H4, H5 or H6, but you can of course just use them. Make sure that the text still looks neat. Try to make keywords appear in your headings in a natural way.

4. Use Images and Videos

Not only do you make your content a lot more lively if you add images and videos to it. But also, adding media as an on-page factor ensures that your bounce rate often decreases, your dwell time goes up and visitors stay longer on your page to view the media.

These are indicators for Google that you offer relevant content because visitors stick around for a long time. This can indirectly lead to better organic positions. 

5. Alt tags

Google is not human. That sounds logical and not like anything new. Yet many marketers forget that when they add media such as videos and images to their content.

Google cannot read images. So how do you 'tell' Google that the image or video you add does contribute to your content and the keyword you are targeting?

By adding an alt tag. In the alt tag, you put what Google 'sees'. So not 1537_64353.jpg, but brown dog in basket.jpg. This description is also called an alt text and this allows Google to determine whether the image adds value to the content and the keyword.

In addition, you make your website user-friendly for blind and partially sighted people. They often have websites read to them and then the program will also 'read' your images. Then a brown dog in the basket entry is much easier to understand than the aforementioned 1537_64353.jpg. Just think of what you see…

6. Content, content, content

The amount of content you produce affects your rankings. You can indeed post one tip of one or the other every day. This will not effectively contribute to your rankings. But content is definitely an on-page SEO factor that can influence your ranking.

Google values relevant content and it is still a fact that the length of your content affects your rankings. However, it is no longer the case that the motion applies the longer the better. Google finds it very important that your content answers a question from the target group. That you inform and be useful. That you actually answer the question 'What is an on-page SEO factor?'

Do not only create new content but also take a critical look at older content. If you have a blog from two years ago, check whether the content is still current. Isn't that so? Then it is wise to update this blog and ensure that it has current content.

Another important thing is the uniqueness of each content. Indeed, as we all know, it is very dangerous to fall on Google's judgment regarding stolen content. Because this has a great impact on your ranking. So, make sure that every content on your site is unique. And to do this you need a tool to check the uniqueness of your content. In this, you don't have to look far! The Dedicated SEO Dashboard has this feature that will allow you to make sure that each content of your site is unique.

7. Responsive design

Usability is a very important factor in on-page SEO. Is your mobile site out of order? Then it's your number one priority. We live in a mobile-first world, if your website thereafter does not display properly on mobile or tablet, it will negatively influence your ranking.

You must also include your mobile website in your SEO check, because if it is not user-friendly, you will certainly not be found in Google. This way, visitors will abandon your site when they browse on mobile devices.

8. Inbound and Outbound Links

You write content and base it on the information you have found. Then make sure you link to that too. Keep in mind that you refer to relevant pages. So it is important that you think about external links in your content. If you write about SEO or on-page factors, a link to a daycare center is less relevant than a link to an SEO news website.

Outbound links are important, but so are internal links. Make connections between your newly posted content with previous content or important pages.

The longer your content, the more relevant information you share and where you tap other topics. On average, the number of internal links is 2 to 3, but with this on-page factor, it is mainly your own insight.

Internal links ensure a good user-friendliness of your website. You indicate from the content that someone reads what could also be interesting. Also, spend time adding a good anchor text. A link with 'read here' means nothing to Google, but tells what you are linking to by briefly highlighting the content.

9. Loading time and technique of the website

How long does it take to load your website? Do visitors first see a white page, where they think you have nothing on it? Your loading time is a signal to Google for your ranking. And especially the higher your loading time, the more your rankings suffer.

And not only that. Some points that are important for a technically sound website include:
  • The loading time of the website
  • The presence of an XML sitemap and robots.txt file
  • The access to an SSL certificate
  • The hosting of the website
  • The mobile-friendliness of the website
From May 2021, the loading time of your website is even a ranking factor, measured in 3 KPIs, also called Core Web Vitals. 

So, you should periodically check the loading speed of your site in order to frequently solve any problems related to its slowness. To do this, you need a tool that can help you to know the problems related to its slowness. Once again, you won't have to worry about that! The SEO Dedicated Dashboard has this feature specially designed to show you all the problems that might be causing your site to be slow. In addition, this tool will make detailed proposals on what actions to take to reduce the loading time of your site as much as possible.

10. Provide a good XML sitemap

The XML sitemap is a kind of signpost for robots that come to visit your website. Make sure that this sitemap only includes pages that you really want Google to see. Think of pages that are important or change content regularly.

Exclude pages from the sitemap if they aren't important, so you don't let the crawlers visit unnecessary pages, wasting their time, so to speak.

An important tip to finish

One on-page factor is more important than the other, but by taking these SEO factors into account, you ensure that your website can be found in the search results.

SEO continues to evolve, but if you follow our blog we will keep you informed of the most recent developments. Use your common sense, don't overdo it and put your visitors first. This may sound like a cliché, but it is the very best tip I can give.