What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing a single page with the intent to rank well in Google. It is not the same as on-site SEO or off-page SEO.

On-Page SEO vs On-Site SEO

“On-page” focuses on a single page, while on-site SEO coordinates the optimization of an entire website.

The processes are entirely different.

For example, you can analyze quickly on-page SEO with the Detailed SEO Extension.

Scan the title, meta description, URL, and H1 tags to find the primary keyword.

If it is, you’ve handled a large part of on-page SEO.

But to take it to the next level, you’ll need to optimize the page for NLP (Natural Language Processing). It’s a fancy phrase for writing about topics relevant to the main keyword.

You can use a tool like Surfer SEO (read our Surfer SEO review) to find NLP keywords.

On-site SEO, on the other hand, focuses on the entire website.

Some areas to focus on (that have site-wide implications) include:

  • Site architecture
  • Page loading speed
  • Keyword cannibalization
  • Topic authority
  • E-E-A-T

On-Page SEO vs Off-Site SEO

These two are entirely different. Once again, on-page SEO is isolated at the page level. Off-site SEO is the process of acquiring backlinks (link building).

Check out our guide on how to get backlinks.

Why Does On-Page SEO Matter?

On-page SEO is critical for ranking in Google because of relevance. When you structure your page around a keyword phrase, it makes Google’s job of ranking it easier.

Just remember that Google is a relevance machine.

So your job is to feed it the relevance it wants.

At a minimum, place your primary keyword in the URL, title, meta description, H1, and first sentence.

Then, use this on-page SEO checklist to take your game to the next level.

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Nathan Gotch

Nathan Gotch is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He's the founder of the #1 SEO training program in the world, Gotch SEO Academy. And the author of The SEO Entrepreneur. Nathan's SEO expertise is featured on Semrush, Ahrefs, and Search Engine Journal.