On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors – Search Engine Journal

On-Page SEO: How To Optimize Pages & Beat Competitors – Search Engine Journal

Learn how to audit and optimize your on-page SEO, compare your on-page SEO with competitors, and use an AI tool to get the best results.
This post was sponsored by SE Ranking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
Whether you run a large website or are launching a simple landing page, your goal is the same – you want it to hit the top spot on the SERP.
To make this happen, you need to ensure that your page quality is on par with its direct competitors – or better.
To claim a top SERP position, the best technique is to offer more value than any other page optimized for the same keywords.
Also, you should make sure that your targeted page doesn’t suffer from critical SEO issues that can affect its performance.
These techniques fall under the realm of on-page SEO.
On-page SEO can be performed easier and faster by using an on-page SEO checker.
Tools like on-page SEO checkers are specifically designed to:
But for starters, let’s run through some basics.
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing page elements for specific keywords.
When we say “page elements,” we mean things like:
Most of these elements can easily be improved, meaning that the page can be optimized for a particular search query.
While this type of optimization works for any page type, including home page, product page, blog post, or landing page, this post will focus on optimizing landing pages.
Page elements are the primary points of connection between you and your users.
Improving them helps improve their experience.
It also tells search engines more about your pages.
Well-optimized on-page SEO can help improve page rankings and thus increase traffic.
In addition to improving rankings, these page changes help you to hold a user’s attention and more accurately target their queries, making your traffic more meaningful.
On-page SEO can include a variety of tasks that you’ll need to perform on many different elements.
They can be easy to miss, so make sure you have a thorough checklist and documentation about how to update each element.
In this article, we will give you insights into what to check for in your on-page SEO strategy and how to better target your keywords.
We’ll also show you a great tool that can help.
Because there’s so much to check, an automated tool can be extremely helpful.
The first step for performing on-page SEO is to run an audit.
There are almost 100 elements to check, and some are more important than others.
For landing pages, some of the most important factors are:
Other checks include:
Checking each element individually may take a long time, and it can be difficult to identify errors and fixes.
This is why automated tools are so helpful.
After you uncover changes that will boost your optimization scores, it’s time to decide what to change first.
The weight of each parameter is defined by its effect on your page’s ability to rank on SERPs.
Some examples of important, on-page SEO errors that should be highly prioritized are:
Low-priority changes would be minor items, such as a missing favicon, which is less urgent.
How Do I Identify High-Priority Changes?
Tools can be your friend here.
They can speed up the process and help you climb to the top of the SERPs faster.
You want to look for sophisticated tools that can provide flexible recommendations based on individual page types, instead of a standardized list.
The deep analytics that come with more modernized tools can compare target pages with similar search results and calculate the range of recommended metrics.
This way, the recommendations are based on direct competitors’ metrics and take into account niche specifics, instead of offering generalized SEO standards.
Such methodology makes them much more accurate and practical.
One of the more advanced AI-powered tools is SE Ranking.
This on-page SEO checker can help you check and optimize your pages.
To run an audit:
Then, let SE Ranking do its magic.
It will check 94 on-page SEO parameters.
Perk: You can choose the depth of analysis – your page can be compared against 3 or up to 50 SERP rivals.
With SE Ranking, it takes only a couple of minutes to run an audit.
Once the check has been completed, you will see the results – every priority change will be listed on one dashboard.
Check Your Quality Score
The tool calculates the page quality from 0 to 100.
The better the page is optimized for the target keyword, the higher the score is.
Your quality score gives you a clear picture of your on-page SEO health, helping clarify if off-page factors are the issue and not poor on-page optimization.
Note that backlink-related parameters, which are also located on the dashboard, do not impact the page’s quality score.
Tackle Your High-Priority Issues
Your next step is to examine the list of issues found on your analyzed page.
SE Ranking’s report includes insight into the page’s content quality, keyword usage and density, page experience and usability, links used on the page, and the page’s backlink profile.
To help with understanding priorities, your list of tasks is divided into several columns:
Now, you can start building your workflow and prioritizing fixes.
Power up your on-page SEO repair tasks by doing some competitor research.
This step will help you clarify what keywords to target and new ways to improve your page further.
Assessing your competitors helps you understand what works and where your page needs improvement most.
A great way to start is to put the keywords you rank for into Google and examine the top results.
What do you notice about them?
Take note of:
Think about the ideas they convey, their approach to the content, and what keywords they use and where.
You’re looking to learn how the most successful pages do it. But you’re also looking for flaws.
Are there any areas that you think you can improve?
Do you see any gaps or unaddressed elements of a query?
Try to identify any patterns you can about the most successful results and compare them to your page.
Make sure that you’re not only fixing things that are missing but also looking for opportunities to improve existing on-page elements.
If you want to get more granular, this is another place where a tool like SE Ranking can help.
A robust tool like SE Ranking can help you benchmark your results against your rivals to better understand how they got to the top of the SERP.
You can easily compare important on-page SEO parameters against your direct competitors without having to dig through the SERPs and evaluate each result, one at a time.
For example, on the screen below, you can check which keywords competitors used, study their titles and headings, and assess their technical metrics.
All the critical data is at your disposal to ensure that you’re not missing opportunities for improvement.
Quickly See Competitor SERP & Traffic Stats
In the Terms tab, you will see the list of words that were found on your competitors’ pages, along with their search volume potential, count, density, and page elements.
From our experience, using proper keywords on a page while striking the density balance is crucial for landing pages.
The tool shows how many times and in which elements of the page a primary or secondary keyword is used: title, description, main copy, URL, etc.
This helps you identify keywords with real search potential and add them to your page.
You can also fix the keyword density of some search queries that are already on your page.
Leverage Competitor Keyword Flaws
Finally, you can add keywords to relevant page areas that need them.
You will probably notice that SE Ranking makes a distinction between primary and secondary content, just like Google does.
Tools that don’t may unintentionally lure you into keyword stuffing, making you add extra keywords to your main content.
By now, you’ve run an audit and performed competitor research.
You should have a good idea of:
You’ve made lots of discoveries!
What’s next?
First, create your list of individual tasks.
Start by listing tasks out by priority.
You can either use your own task management system or an on-page SEO tool to organize your list of tasks.
As a rule of thumb, you should prioritize anything that’s missing.
If you haven’t specified things like title tags and meta descriptions, search engines will generate them for you.
You want to be in control of what users see about your page on the SERPs; be sure to add them yourself.
Next, focus on anything that has changed about your keyword priorities.
Did you find new opportunities during your research or discover adjustments you should make to keyword density? These are important too.
Go ahead and start fixing the issues!
We’re happy to say that most issues with on-page SEO can be fixed from within your CMS.
If you need help prioritizing and tracking your tasks, SE Ranking can do that all within one tool.
Switch to the SEO Tasks tab.
SE Ranking provides you with a step-by-step plan based on the issues found on your website during the audit.
The tool groups tasks by priority, category, or status:
Start with the most urgent ones. This should give the most tangible result.
You can also add your own custom tasks and assign any priority to them.
For example, if you have been examining the competitor’s page and found something worth adding to your own page, just create a new task.
And vice versa, ignore tasks that you consider irrelevant to your landing page.
After fixing an issue, click on the completed checkbox. The tool will reassess the page quality, and you will instantly see the new score.
The more tasks are completed, the higher the score will be.
There’s no doubt that keeping up with the competition and having your pages optimized is hard work.
But with the right tool in hand, it becomes much easier and faster.
With On-Page SEO Checker, you can measure overall page performance, identify and fix issues that could impact your rankings, enhance your content based on what works for the SERP leaders, and keep track of all the on-page tasks on your agenda.
This will help you move up the ranking ladder and beat your rivals.
Image Credits
Featured Image: Image by SE Ranking. Used with permission.
SE Ranking is a cloud-based platform for SEO and online marketing professionals that provides a complete set of tools for …
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