With OnPage optimization to success

  1. What is OnPage-Optimierung?
  2. Why is OnPage optimization important?
  3. Which elements are fundamental for OnPage optimization?
    1. Technical Adjustments
    2. Content Adjustments
    3. Structural Adjustment
  4. Which tools help with an OnPage optimization?
    1. Tools for the general OnPage analysis
    2. Tools to optimize loading times
    3. Content Analysis Tools
    4. Tools for mobile optimization

What is OnPage Optimization?

Search engine optimization consists of two pillars: OnPage and OffPage optimization. Often, these areas are also referred to as OnSite and OffSite Optimization.

OnPage optimization revolves around all the adjustments you can make to your own website, in order to subsequently achieve a better ranking within the search engines. These measures are therefore also not influenceable by third parties. The optimization methods on the page can go in three directions:

Sub-areas of OnPage optimization
  1. Technical:
    Source code optimization (meta elements, alt attributes, title
  2. Content:
    Qualitative, unique and topic-relevant content
  3. Structural:
    Formatting of content

In addition to these methods, it is also important that you optimize the internal link structure of your site, as this will improve user experience as well as crawlability and indexing.

Why is OnPage optimization important?

There are several factors that have an impact on ranking within search results (SERPs). For this reason, there are some factors that can ensure the quality of websites and their content.

From this some basic principles can be derived:

From the basic rules, Google derives clear recommendations for action.
From this, you should urgently avoid the following methods:

So, Google compares all websites against each other according to these guidelines and evaluates which of the pages has the most relevant content for your search query. This is how the ranking is created. Through targeted optimizations of your website, you manage to send signals to the search engine
and it afterwards communicates the following:

  1. What subject is your page relevant to?
  2. What is the connection between a single web page with the other pages in the domain?

The better you make the adjustments on your page, the higher your position in the organic search results.

Which elements are fundamental for OnPage optimization?

As mentioned above, there are three overarching areas that you can influence through adjustments: Technical, Content, and Structural. However, Google does not officially confirm all influencing factors officially, which is why many aspects were determined by pure trial and error by SEO experts. There is also the possibility that measures overlap, since they are not always quite clear separable from each other.

Technical Adjustments

Page Load Time

Everyone knows it: you want to look at something on a website, but it loads and loads and loads. Of course, you don’t feel like waiting for that. The loading speed of a website is therefore a particularly important factor, because with it the bounce rate of the visitors stands and falls. There are several measures you can take to influence the speed at which your site loads.

Mobile Customization

Google has been weighting mobile adaptations since its mobile update in 2015. Therefore, make sure your website is also available in a mobile version or in responsive design. Again, it is important that the page load time is optimized, otherwise the bounce rate on mobile devices is even higher than on the desktop version. This is primarily due to the fact that data transfer via the mobile network is often worse than a transfer on the computer via LAN or Wi-Fi. So try to avoid unnecessary data and optimize all others to reduce loading times. This works by

Tracking Analysis

To be able to constantly optimize your site, it is important to set up a well-functioning tracking that evaluates various factors. For example, you can not only find out at which point of your page the users bounce, but likewise learn whether you need to explicitly improve certain areas. Also, A/B testing is always very helpful when you want to find out which method is most effective for your site. This makes it easier for you to determine what adjustments you’d like to make.

URLs

Also, with the URL, there are some pitfalls you can avoid. For example, make sure that appropriate keywords are included in the appropriate landing page URL. Additionally, you should urgently avoid filler words, special characters and umlauts and separate words with hyphens. Try to build the URL structurally logical and provide intermediate directories. It helps if you make your URLs all uniform, and they have the same spelling throughout. It’s best to use static URLs, as the dynamic ones are more prone to being considered duplicates by the search engines.

Redirects

If the URL of a resource changes, the old URL should redirect to the new one. There are different HTTP status codes for this. For you, the following two codes are especially important:

So, when using 301 redirection, you make sure that you don’t lose the trust you already gained with the one URL. In plain language, this means that already created, external links are not simply given away. You should always adapt internal links to the new resource (i.e. URL 2). Google itself also recommends this procedure.

Error Pages

“404 – Page not found.” This page is probably familiar to anyone who is often on the Internet. The meaning is simple: The requested resource is simply no longer available. It is particularly important that the status code 404 are transmitted to the browser and the search engines. Attempt to keep error messages as clearly and understandably as possible for the user as well. That helps them to always understand what went wrong.

Set a certain amount of humor to turn the negative user experience into a positive one, and create an appealing error page in case an error occurs.

You can design this page in a simple and effective way by:

Of course, the best thing to do is to avoid taking the user to an error page – even if it’s not always that easy. There are several tools that can help you track down and fix 404 errors on your website. Probably the best known is the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tool). Here you can find the pages and content that have errors under “Coverage”. These can then be corrected or filled with new content and linked internally again.

Content Adjustments

Keywords

When it comes to keywords, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. On the one hand, you should pay attention to the placement of the keyword:

  1. Use the keyword within your H1 heading.
  2. Include the appropriate secondary keywords in as many subheadings as possible.
  3. Include them in the alt tag and the names of the images on your website.
  4. Mention the keyword occasionally in the external links (Attention: Not in every one – that looks too spamy!).
  5. Always link with the focus keyword in internal links.
  6. Use the keyword in the title tag of the page, as that will show up in search results. (This is also an official ranking factor from Google).
  7. Use it in the meta description as well, since the user will see this with the title as the very first thing in the SERPs. This is even a secondary ranking factor due to the user signals.

In addition, you should perform a found keyword analysis to locate the optimal keywords for your website. Note that your web pages are not only optimized for main keywords. Side keywords, synonyms and long tail keywords are now just as important and increase your web presence. To increase the relevance of your page to a search query, it is recommended to perform a semantic analysis using WDF*IDF tools.

Optimized Texts

The most important characteristics of good SEO texts are:

Most of all, Google values the last point particularly strongly, since only user-oriented content can give searchers added value. Therefore, make sure above all that your content is high quality. The text must also be easily understandable and well-structured. Sentences should therefore not be nested, but short, concise and simple. Also, if at all possible, avoid jargon, hype terms or foreign words if they are not part of your keyword set. This will make it easier for your users to absorb content. Try to write in a varied and interesting way. In plain language, this means, that you can also use synonyms, plural or variations of the keyword. This will prevent you from sounding monotonous and repeating yourself too often.

The following steps will help you to create an optimized text:

  1. Find the correct keywords to your topic. Also pay attention to the search volume to really find the most relevant Keywords that bring the most traffic to locate.
CAUTION!

The Search volume is not everything! Is your topic rather niche, the keywords are very specific. Make sure they fit the topic.

  1. Define your target group and explicitly match your content explicitly with their desires and demands.
  2. Lay out the purpose and the goal of the content.
  3. Consider on which platform your text should appear and align the content accordingly.
  4. Determine a uniform a consistent address, with whom you want to reach out to your target audience.

Have you considered these points, you can start with creating your text. If you don’t know exactly how to start or what content is fascinating for your users, you can do a SERP analysis of the top rankings. This will show you which content is relevant and appreciated by both, search engines and users. In addition, you can use Wh-question tools, such as seorch and answerthepublic, to find out what questions are most frequently searched for on a particular topic.

Last but not least, of course, make sure that everything is grammatically and spelling correct.

Optimized Media

Of course, it is important that not only the texts are optimized, but the entire content of the page. Therefore, make sure that your media is compressed so that it does not have a negative effect on the loading time of your page. Also, significant is an appropriate naming of the media. Use here, if it fits, also gladly your keywords. In addition, you should store an alternative text for all images used via the alt tag. This helps the crawler to better understand the content of the image, as it receives the information about what the file is about via the alt tag. At the same time, you ensure accessibility on your website, because thanks to the alt tag, content can be read by visually impaired users through a screen reader, for example. It is therefore best if you try to describe the image as precisely as possible and again pick up on the keywords of the page. For videos, make sure you tag them according to schema.org.

Structured Content

Pure continuous text is too tiring for your users in the long run. Online users read differently than offline. Especially the following factors differ greatly:

Therefore, try to get some structure in your texts to get to loosen them up and make them attractive to the user. You can create this by paying attention to the following points:

  1. Subdivide the text clearly using reading aids such as subheadings (H2 to H6) and graphics.
  2. Include bulleted lists, bullet points, and tables to break up the text.
  3. Summarize content into tables.
  4. Use infografics that visually explain the content and images that bring it to life.
  5. Create readability. 60 to 80 characters per line (with 65 characters corresponding to 10 words on average) is considered optimal. The reason: longer lines make it harder to find the beginning of the next line. In addition, the head must be moved along with increasing width, which is naturally tiring. Both too short and too long lines are uninviting. With short lines, the lack of hyphenation on the Internet also leads to unsightly breaks and holes. An unattractive text image is the result.

You also need to make sure that the font type, size and color are legible. In addition, you can ensure that important content on your page is displayed “above the fold“. This means that you provide interesting content in an area where it is visible to the user at first glance.

Make sure that your page follows a logical structure that the user can follow.

Duplicate Content

The most important tool related to duplicate content is the canonical tag. It helps you link duplicates to the original page so that Google recognizes which is the original page. This way, content is not considered “duplicate”, but simply ignored. This is important for you especially in the following cases:

If it comes to duplicate content concerning international websites, you should use the hreflang-attribute. Our hreflang-guide tells you everything, you need to know!

Usability

The best content is of little use to you if it is not designed and built in a user-friendly way. Boldface in the text helps to maintain clarity and highlight the most important parts. Additionally, when using icons, make sure that they are always unambiguous to understand. Link from one of your pages to an external one, you have to pay attention that the links work. In case of an error, you must prepare a corresponding error page, which explains to the users exactly, what is not working. For internal links, you have to make sure that they work as well.

Structural Adjustments

Title und Description (Meta-Snippets)

Snippets are the short description of a website that are played out in search engine results pages. The content of the page and the USPs are summarized in a title and a description. This tells the user what to expect. A snippet always consists of three basic elements:

Snippet-Beispiel mit allen Bestandteilen
Example of a snippet with all containing parts
  1. Title of the Webseite
  2. URL
  3. (Short) Description

Title and description are also called metadata. Here you should make sure that really all the important data is specified. Beside the data for the extensions of the Rich Snippet you should primarily optimize the title and the meta description.

For the title the following features are particularly important:

There are also a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to the meta description:

Overview title tag and meta description

Besides this standard snippets, there are two special features: Featured and Rich Snippets. Rich snippets add value to your standard snippet – they expand or enrich it, so to speak. This can happen, for example, in the form of breadcrumbs, rating stars, images, price information, etc.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are highlighted in a box above the organic search results. They often consist of definitions or concrete answers to a question. You can use the following markups:

To submit this information to the search engine, you must mark it up in the source code to schema.org. Make sure this is complete.

Social Sharing Snippets

On your website you can also use Social Sharing Snippets. This is a supplement that is not yet too widespread in Germany, which offers you the opportunity to incorporate social networks or the profiles there. This is especially useful since social signals, i.e. likes, shares and comments in social networks or blogs, have a continuously growing importance. As several studies confirm that there is a correlation between social sharing snippets and the ranking of your page. Even if this has never been officially confirmed by Google.

The following social networks can therefore be added to the Knowledge Graph:

Meanwhile, Google finds matching profiles primarily through the Google MyBusiness account. The search engine then adds these to the respective businesses. If you yourself are the officially authorized representative, you can also proactively suggest changes. Your social media profile will then be played out in Google’s Knowledge Panel, along with other information.

Page Architecture

Optimal structure of the page architecture

The page architecture has a great influence on how the search engine perceives your page. Through it, the distribution of internal linkjuice is determined. Only with a successful, logically comprehensible structure, the user will find what he is looking for. Therefore, roughly stick to the classic structuring of:

  1. Startpage
  2. Supercategory
  3. Subcategory
  4. Product/Service

Make sure you make your most important pages available in one click. All other pages should be accessible in a maximum of four clicks. This way, you make sure that the user does not lose his orientation. A well-structured website navigation helps here. Also, the fading in of a breadcrumb navigation on the individual web pages gives orientation and supports the crawling of the search engines. Give your website visitors the possibility to get back to the start page from any point on the page. You can do this, for example, with a linked logo.

Internal Links

Similar to a good page structure, internal links also help to increase the usability of your website. You can thus provide your users with added value. This way you give your users direct access to topics that could also interest them, without them having to search for them.

However, there are some tips here as well that you should stick to:

Navigation and Menu

A sophisticated navigation helps users find their way around your website. You should therefore structure it logically.

There are different ways you can build your navigation menu:

Whichever of these navigation options you choose, make sure to build in an additionally a Breadcrumb navigation on all your pages. This shows the users the path they clicked to reach the page. This way they can
easily find their way around the hierarchy of the domain and jump to previous places.

XML Sitemap

The XML sitemap is sort of a table of contents. Through it, you have a listing that shows which pages are available on your site. It serves as a signal to the search engine. An XML sitemap is essential for this, as it makes it easier for the search engine to discover and crawl all the relevant addresses of the individual pages. Via Search Console you can submit your sitemap including all URLs and then also test it. This way you can make sure that they work. Many CMS systems also offer you a function that automatically creates the sitemap. Plugins for WordPress can also make your work easier. The following are particularly useful:

It’s important that you don’t include pages in the sitemap that are on noindex, point to another URL via canonical tag or are blocked via your robots.txt. So keep only indexable URLs in your sitemap.

Which tools help with an OnPage optimization?

Now you have an overview of what all can be done. Maybe you’ve spotted a concrete problem on your site at the one or other point. Of course, there are a variety of tools that make it easier for you to find errors, which you can then carry out the optimization. Some of them will now be presented to you.

Tools for the general OnPage analysis

  1. Seorch.eu SEO Spider
    With the SEO Spider from seorch.eu you can simply enter the domain you would like to have analyzed in the corresponding field. Afterwards, the tool crawls the content and sends you an analysis via e-mail. Technical problems and errors as well as suggestions for improvement of the meta data or the content will be sent to you comfortably.
  2. Dareboost.com
    Dareboost also provides an extensive analysis of the entered domain. The visual preparation of the analysis, which you can also download, is very nice. Through the reporting you get optimization potentials, errors and also concrete tips on what you should change.
  3. SEO Workers SEO Analysis Tool
    This tool also gives you an exact insight into the issues of the website by entering the URL to be analyzed. You have to answer a security question after entering the URL, then the analysis of the page starts. In the process, various factors are checked. Among others, the following:

With this tool, however, only the URL that you enter is analyzed, not other pages of the domain.

  1. Sistrix Smart
    This tool is primarily designed for beginners and webmasters with smaller projects. Sistrix Smart not only analyzes OnPage, but also checks rankings, performs a competitor analysis and checks both the accessibility and the response times of your website. You can then have a weekly report sent to you by e-mail.
  2. Xovi DomainValue
    With the help of this tool, you get deep insights into SEO-relevant criteria. Not only do you get more detailed information about the general data of your site, but you can also view an analysis of visibility, keyword rankings and other important factors.
  3. Ryte Free
    Ryte is one of the most popular SEO tools for OnPage optimization and website analysis. If only one domain with a maximum of 100 URLs is used, you can crawl it once a month in the free version. Afterwards, Ryte provides you with an evaluation and gives you tips for better optimization of your site.
  4. Seobility SEO Check
    Similar to Ryte, there is also a free version of Seobility that covers one domain. Here, a maximum of 1,000 pages can be crawled daily and up to 200 external links can be checked. The tool provides you with an overview of compliance with all search engine guidelines and suggests what you can improve.
  5. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
    This desktop tool is very well known and popular among SEOs. This is mainly due to the fact that it analyzes very extensively. All the content of the page is examined and can then be filtered for better clarity. Even though the tool seems complicated for the time being due to its scope, if you get to grips with it, you can achieve excellent results. In the free version, the tool crawls 500 URLs, but can hardly be configured.
  6. Varvy SEO Tools
    Varvy combines several tools in one and provides you with this information below. It checks not only whether your page complies with the current Google guidelines, but also the links, the loading time of your website and much more.
  7. Browseo
    With Browseo you can see how the Googlebot sees your website – without styles, without media and without bells and whistles. So you can see the bare display and get an idea of the actual content of the page. The tool detects for example hidden texts, alt tags of images and links of the page.
  8. Microdata Generator
    In order to properly evaluate a page and its content, Google needs microdata. These mark certain information and thus improve the hit rate on specific search queries. The tool converts your company data into HTML or JSON-LD. Use the free test tool for structured data from Google to check the correctness.
  9. Google Analytics
    This tool helps you to take a close look at your site visitors. It provides you with professional web analytics and visitor statistics. So you can find out where your users come from and which areas they visit on your website. You also get more detailed information about the users, which in turn helps you with your
  10. OnPage optimization.
  11. Google Search Console
    The all-purpose weapon if you want to learn more about how Google perceives your website and where your organic traffic comes from: Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). This tool shows you where there is room for improvement and what problems the Googlebot might encounter. Since it’s an “over-time” analysis, you still get all the information you want about a specific time period within the last 16 months, even retroactively. From crawling errors to access numbers to the submission of the sitemap to Google, you can do everything here. Therefore, you should use this tool in any case.
  12. Bing Webmaster Tools
    Bing Webmaster Tools is the Microsoft counterpart to Google Search Console. It also analyzes where issues with the website occur within the Bing and Yahoo search engines. Through various reporting and diagnostic tools, you also get concrete improvement potentials displayed.

Tools to optimize loading times

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights
    By entering your page URL at Google PageSpeed Insights, you get a clear evaluation of your page’s performance. At the same time, you will also be provided with concrete suggestions for solutions that will have an impact on your page load time.
Einblick in Google Page Speed Insights
Einblick in Google Page Speed Insights

Besides checking the regular desktop version, the tool also offers an area where you can test the mobile load time. Here, however, only mobile is checked.

  1. WebPagetest Performance Analyse
    With WebPagetest you have the possibility to customize the test location. So you can adjust detail settings completely individually according to your needs. Afterwards, the results are divided into different categories, allowing you to take a close look at each area individually. The errors and potentials, which then improve your load time, you can work off so piece by piece.
  2. Pingdom Tools Load Time Analyzer
    This tool brings the test of page speed to a new level. With this, you have the ability to test website speed from multiple locations around the world with real browsers and real connection speeds.
  3. With Pingdom Tools you can analyze several things at once, which is why problems are often identified quickly and easily. The tool examines the following in the process:

If this has been analyzed, you will receive a detailed evaluation of:

Content Analysis Tools

  1. Yoast SEO
    his is the world’s most popular CMS for WordPress. You can activate it as a plugin in this case. The result is an extension of WordPress with many new SEO features. It helps you to define individual titles and meta descriptions for your pages. In addition, you can analyze content accurately. Using the traffic light system, the tool shows you how search engine optimized your content is.
  2. WDF*IDF-Tool
    This tool is used for term weighting. So you can see which other words are relevant in the context of your keyword. So these are terms that do not directly belong to the keyword, but are still important for the semantic context. By using these words, the relevance of your website for the search engine is increased.
  3. JSON-LD Schema Generator
    With the help of the Schema Generator, you can easily define contexts on your website. For example, by using structured data according to schema.org markup, you can specify exactly which part of your website belongs to

This will make your site easier to find, even for more specific queries.

  1. Textanalysis Tool
    With the text analysis tool you can check your content for readability. If a text is too difficult to read, it will not work, especially in the online world. If your readers find it difficult to grasp content without any problems, this will damage the quality of your content and thus also of your page. The readability index takes into account various factors such as perfect tense, nominal style, filler words, etc., which in turn tell you how comprehensible the text is.

Tools for mobile optimization

  1. Google Test for optimization for mobile devices
    With this tool, you can test the usability of your website on mobile devices. It then provides you with accurate error analysis. However, Google Test looks for problems on each individual page, not those of the entire website.
  2. Think with Google
    This tool is also a tool developed by Google. It analyzes the loading speed of both the website and on mobile devices. Afterwards, you will get a detailed report about what the tool has found out.

Of course, not all tools offer their service free of charge. Therefore, this is how the pricing for the individual tools looks like:

Free of chargeFree, but limitedChargeable
Seorch.eu SEO SpiderXOVI DomainValueDareboost
SEO Workers SEO Analysis ToolRyte FreePingdom Tools Load Time Analyzer
Sistrix SmartSeobility SEO Check
Varvy SEO ToolsScreaming Frog SEO Spider
BrowseoYoast SEO
Microdata GeneratorWDF*IDF-Tool
Google Analytics
Google Search Console
Bing Webmaster Tools
Google PageSpeed Insights
WebPagetest Performance Analyse
JSON-LD Schema Generator
Textanalysis Tool
Google test for optimization for mobile devices
Think with Google

Conclusion

These measures are a sample of all possible OnPage adjustments. Especially with the help of professionals, you can improve your site to the smallest detail. In the fast-paced online world, optimizing a page is not always easy. It requires a lot of attention, skill and time to react to innovations. But all the effort is worth it when your page ultimately ranks better for certain topics. In addition, a good OnPage optimization ensures that you have it easier OffPage. So it’s only logical that you do the OnPage optimization first and then the OffPage optimization. Only through a well-executed OnPage optimization can also be successful OffPage optimization.

FAQs

What are the most important factors of OnPage optimization?

OnPage optimizations can be divided into three areas: Content, structural and technical. In each of these sections there are possible adjustments. The most important of these include content, page load time, mobile adaptation and meta data optimization.

What goals can be achieved with OnPage SEO?

OnPage optimizations pursue two clear goals. The improvement of user-friendliness and the increase of rankings.

What is the difference between OnPage and OffPage optimization?

The difference between the two measures can actually be found in their names: While OnPage optimizations only take place onsite, OffPage optimizations are all methods that help you to do online PR. Therefore, OffPage measures are, for example, link building, social signals, public relations, etc.

OnPage or OffPage optimization – which should you take care of first?

Since you can only perform OffPage measures once you have created a page, OnPage optimizations are the first step. Nevertheless, both are continuous adjustments that, in principle, are never completely finished. Therefore, you should always make optimizations in both areas.

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