Bay Area Inbound Marketing Blog

On-Page Website Optimization, Top 9 Elements by Bay Area Inbound

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 @ 11:12 AM

Here are the Top 9 Elements of On-Page Website Optimization

1. Page Title

Page titles are one of the most important on-page SEO factors. Page titles are the text you see at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page. They are also the title of a page that is presented in search engines.

Page titles can be found and edited in your site's HTML. The text that is surrounded with the <title> tag is your page's title.

The following are a few guidelines for coming up with effective page titles:

  • Include keywords.
  • Make it fewer than 70 characters long. Longer page titles will not be seen in your web browser or in Google search results.
  • Put keywords as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
  • Make it readable for site visitors.
  • Include your company name at the end of the page title, unless you are a big brand and people search for you through your brand name.
  • Use different page titles for each page. Each page is an opportunity to target different keywords.

2. Meta Description

Meta data is an often overlooked opportunity to attract visitors from search. It does not directly influence search engine rankings. But, it is a good practice to include keywords in your meta description.

Meta data is the text seen as the description of a site in Google search. These words attract a searcher’s attention and indicate if a search result is particularly relevant to the searcher. For this reason, including keywords in your meta description can draw in visitors, even though it does not affect search engine rankings.

3. Headings

If a piece of text appears larger or more prominent than the other text on a page, it's probably part of a heading. You can verify this by checking the HTML code of your website, and seeing if that text has an <h1>, <h2>, or <h3> tag surrounding it. Ask a developer to help you check this. Text in the headings is more likely to be read by search engines as keywords than text in the rest of the page. For this reason, it is good to include keywords in your headings whenever possible. <h1> tags give the text more weight as keywords than <h2> tags, and <h2> tags have more weight than <h3> tags.

4. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

HTML is the back-end code of your website that search engines read. Search engines extract relevant information from your HTML, such as keywords.

CSS, on the other hand, holds a template for the layout of your page. In the CSS, you define how headings, links, and other visual elements of the text should look. 

The takeaway here is simple: use CSS. Putting layout-related information in your HTML can dilute the relevance of the HTML text, which is what you want search engines to read.

5. Images

Images on a web page can certainly enhance user experience. However, when inserting images into your website, you should keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t use images excessively. More pictures means your page will take longer to load. This has a negative impact both on user experience and search engine optimization.
  • Associate text with pictures. Search engines do not ‘read’ images; they read only text. ALT text is an HTML attribute you can add to your picture so search engines replace the image with some associated text.
  • Include keywords in your image file name. This will help you draw in relevant traffic from image searches. Separate different keywords in the file name with a dash (-).

6. Domain Info

Search engine rankings favor sites that are registered for a longer period of time. Longer domain registrations indicate a commitment to the site and mean the site has a lower chance of being considered to be spam. Extend your website registration for $10-20 a year for an SEO boost.

7. MOZ Rank

MOZ Rank is a general measure of how much online authority your site has. A higher MOZ rank is better. Note that MOZ Rank factors in both on-page and off-page SEO. Improving your on-page SEO may help improve your rank, but there is much more you can do to improve it. Don't worry, we will get to all this.

8. Google Crawl Date

When Google crawls your site, it updates the information related to it, such as your keywords and other SEO factors. Therefore, you want Google to crawl your site as often as possible.

The best thing you can do to make Google crawl your site more frequently is to regularly produce fresh content and publish it on your website.

9. URL Structure

The URL of a web page is its web address. For example, HubSpot's blog has a URL of The URL structure of a website is about how the different URLs connect with each other.

Unfortunately, improving your URL structure is one of the more difficult aspects of on-page website optimization. The methods of fixing these issues depend entirely on the back-end parts of your website, such as your content management system or programming framework. Nevertheless, if you have a competent developer by your side, having him or her tackle these issues can significantly improve your SEO. Your best approach might be to hand your developer the following list.

Principles of Good URL Structure:

  • Apply a 301 redirect where required. A 301 redirect forwards an old URL to a new one after it changes. Make sure you do this if you change the URL of a page on your site. A common mistake is not applying a 301 redirect between and This can be quite a problem from an SEO standpoint, because search engines will give separate credit to both versions of your site.
  • Avoid pages with deeply nested URLs. Here is an example of what a deeply nested URL would look like: Deeply nested pages will get less SEO credit.
  • Include keywords in your URLs. If you've already purchased your main URL, then don't worry about buying a new one just for this sake. But you can clean the URLs of your interior pages to include keywords and not look like gibberish.
  • For your internal page URLs, separate individual keywords with dashes (-). For example: is a good URL that captures 'marketing' and 'resources' as keywords.

Create static URLs, not dynamic ones. This means that the URL for one of your pages should be the same, no matter what. Check if you see different URLs for the same page in your website. If there are, you can look into how to create static URLs with your web server software. Do a Google search on "create static URL" + (name of your server software).

Avoid 'Keyword Stuffing'

After reading this, you might think, “Keywords are really important. If having keywords all over my page helps me rank for them, I should just fill my page with these keywords."

I'm afraid it's not that easy. Apart from leading to a bad experience for site visitors, search engines are smart enough to detect these behaviors. Trying to 'trick' search engines is not a good SEO strategy, and sacrificing readability for SEO is not a good idea either.

On-Page Website Optimization takes time and it is helpful to have a good tool like Hubspot's Keyword Grader Tool.

SEO Website Optimization



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Topics: Keyword Strategy, keyword search, Keyword Optimization, On-page Website Optimization, SEO, Search Engine Optimization