On-Page SEO: How to optimize blog content for search engines

Every blog owner dreams of getting more traffic from search engines. To do this, its pages must be in the top ten of the search results, otherwise, when searching for information, people simply will not get to view the resource. Achieving better search engine rankings is the goal of on-Page SEO, which we’ll talk about below.

On-page, or so-called internal SEO, is the process of optimizing the pages of a website. It includes a range of targeted marketing strategy practices and techniques that are applied to the content of web pages. This allows them to rank higher in organic search.

The peculiarity of this type of promotion is that the optimizer’s focus is not only on the essence of the content available to users, but also on the HTML code, on the site structure and on improving usability. Result – search robots should easily analyze the content of the blog, as well as display it higher in the search results.

Before optimizing content, it is highly recommended to conduct an SEO audit, which will reveal the weaknesses of a particular blog and its critical problems. The audit will also help to understand the scope of the tasks that lie ahead.

1. Criteria for quality content: checking the content of the blog

If you already have content on your blog and you want to optimize it for search engines, first evaluate the materials according to these three criteria.

1. Relevance 

It is she who is an important component of on-Page SEO. First, it is important to determine the intentions of the user looking for the request, and only then optimize the pages for the result or create content from scratch.

So, if a blog reader is in research mode, then his queries will be suitable for ranking the post by search engines. But if he is configured to purchase a specific product or a specific action, then it makes sense to filter out those queries that do not correspond to search intentions and give out the most relevant information.

In the example below, the query “how to make a presentation cool and memorable” drops mostly content from blogs. That is, people are ready to read about it and analyze the material. If we entered a query, for example, “leather jacket”, the probability of getting to the page of an online store or price aggregator would increase significantly. And if the blog is about leather goods, then you need to select key queries with long tails so that the right target audience clicks on them.

An example of the relevance of a query in the top

Fig. 1 ‒ An example of the relevance of a query in the top

Moreover, this criterion has three components: the type, format and method of content presentation.

For a blog, the content type can be a single post (post) or a page of posts sorted by category.

The content format is most diverse in blogs. So, it can be presented in the form:

  • news material;
  • review;
  • instructions;
  • list;
  • opinions.

Almost any content with the word “ideas”, “checklist”, “top ways, how…” are lists, and “How to choose…” are reviews. Most of the results for the “reinstall Windows” series are instructions. Adapt the format of the content to the optimal perception of the audience of the topic on which you are blogging.

The method of the content is presented reveals the topic through the correctly chosen format. Thus, news stories are often presented in text format. The instruction may be the most popular, both in the form of a list and a video. You just need to choose the method that turns out to be the most useful and, accordingly, will attract more traffic.

For example, below the demand for the query “how to make a cappuccino” is evident in the format of step-by-step instructions, video and text. Search engines bring them to the top.

An example of the demand for a request in the top

Fig. 2 ‒ An example of the demand for a request in the top

Subsequently, the blog content will need key optimization. 

2. Readability

In addition to the obvious answers to the questions “For what audience is the blog content created, how do search engines rank its queries”, the readability of the materials remains relevant. Search engines will only improve ranking results if user behavior confirms the quality of the content and its ease of perception.

Use subheadings up to 70 characters to visually divide text into easily readable blocks. Structure material with numbered and bulleted lists, insert images. If the content is created for professionals, then abbreviations and terms will come in handy, but they can scare newbies away. It is better to leave 2-3 sentences in a paragraph, not more.

3. Memorable presentation features

There are few blog topics that can offer truly unique material. But often they are not required. In popular topics that are in the top, you can always beat the improved characteristics of something, suggest new solutions, give unique examples or look at the problem from a different angle.

Here’s an example of a gaming blog that won’t get confused by users or search engines.

An example of unique blog content presentation

Fig. 3 ‒ An example of the unique blog content presentation

The clearer and more detailed the content is, the more behavioral signals will work in favor of the site. Accordingly, it makes sense for search engines to show it more often, raising it higher in the search results.

2. Optimizing blog content for search engines

The technical component is as important for on-page SEO as the quality of the materials. Based on ranking factors, we optimize content for search engines. These factors, in addition to the quality of the content, which we have already talked about, include:

  • well-written keywords in texts;
  • page loading speed;
  • mobile optimization (responsive design that fits the screen size);
  • user experience (bounce rate, time on site);
  • human-readable URLs;
  • meta tags and subheadings;
  • micro-markup.

Let’s consider the main ones.

  1. After analyzing the quality criteria of your content, you can start optimizing the keys. SEO specialists research keywords on search engines to find topics that interest users and use the data to plan future content publications. For this, they constitute the semantic core.

But you can check the popularity of keywords yourself. Enter a query into Google and see what options it offers.

Example of search suggestions

Fig. 4 ‒ An example of the search suggestions

This will help you understand how users actually search for information, and what is the best blog post in the future. After seeing the top articles of a competitor on demand, we need to make sure it is blogging content and check their headlines on Google again. There are services that speed up this process.

In the example below, the text content intersects the keys “roller slalom ‒ base”, “roller slalom ‒ teaching basic elements”, “basic slalom elements”.

Keyword Crossing Example

Fig. 5 ‒ Keyword Crossing Example

The thematic relevance of the content can be improved if, in addition to the main keywords, there is also secondary content in the material, which is also necessary for a deeper understanding of the topic.

This can be helped by the information obtained during the analysis of competitors’ blog pages in the top of the search results on one topic:

  • the link that unites these pages: the correctness of terms, general subheadings;
  • keys that intersect between multiple pages;
  • subtopics among the keywords of relevant pages that rank in the top.

In addition, you can see the “People are also searching” blocks. They also contain information of interest to users.

As for the texts in the blog, depending on the length of the article, keywords from the semantic core should be evenly distributed every 400-500 characters.

2. Website loading speed has been considered one of the key ranking factors for over a decade. Few people will wait for the page to load, even if it is at the top of the search results, most likely, it will switch to a faster one.

An example of checking the website loading speed

Fig. 6 ‒ An example of checking the website loading speed

3. Pay close attention to the H1-H3 tags, meta descriptions, title and alt. It is important to place high-frequency keywords in them, which emphasizes the relevance of the request, which is important for users.

The page title is a link on the search engine results page. It determines whether the page matches the user’s search query, which means whether its click-through rate will increase and whether it will be possible to attract traffic to the page. Therefore, it is important to make the title attractive, the keyword can be declined if necessary. The optimal length for this tag is up to 100 characters.

An example of a capacious and useful tile in the article

Fig. 7 ‒ An example of the capacious and useful title in the article

Meta description, also known as description, is a short description of pages, possibly prompting action. It can be seen in search results along with the page title and URL.

Description requirements:

  • contain keywords;
  • must accurately describe the page information;
  • ideally increases click-through rates;
  • the optimal length is 160-200 characters.
Example blog home page description

Fig. 8 ‒ An example of the blog home page description

Title tags not only make your content easier for users to read, but also make it easier for search engine crawlers to index your blog pages. These are the elements of the HTML code of the site that represent the headings on the page and are arranged in a hierarchy from top to bottom. Each blog page must have a unique set of heading tags.

Tags as headings allow you to structure the page and divide it into sections and subsections. This helps search engines process the content and present it in the SERP.

Example of a subheading in a blog article

Fig. 9 ‒ An example of the subheading in a blog article

Using Alt to describe images will help optimize them. They can also rank in the SERP by driving traffic to your blog pages. Alt text is an attribute that describes an image if the site cannot display it graphically.

What is required to optimize images:

  • concise name that reflects the essence;
  • a short description, but do not allow over-spam with keys;
  • if the size of the image is large, it should be compressed to a medium size.
An example of a spelled viola for images

Fig. 10 ‒ An example of a spelled viola for images

  1. URLs for pages that should be short but informative. Google has been known to truncate long URLs in search results.
An example of a valid URL

Fig. 11 ‒ An example of a valid URL

Despite the fact that the importance of URL with keywords has already been denied by Google employees, a correctly composed, so-called human-readable URL will help optimize content for search engines.

  1. Search engines index page content better when using Schema.org micro-markup.  

The results are called extended snippets. They are displayed with star ratings, reviews, images look much better and make you want to click on them. In addition, they structure the data on the site for search engines. Therefore, let this factor affect traffic and traffic indirectly, but you need to keep it in mind. 

An example of micro-markup

Fig. 12 ‒ An example of micro-markup

Schema.org has several types of markup: for example, Product, Review, Recipe, FAQ, or How-to. 

  1. If the main function of the blog is informational, then you can optimize its content for blocks with answers. They are at the top of the search results and briefly answer the user’s question, literally in one paragraph. To do this, this short answer paragraph must be created in the content. However, the answer to the question may look like a table or a list.
An example of an answer to a question in a block with answers

Fig. 13 ‒ An example of an answer to a question in a block with answers

According to a study by Advanced Web Ranking, quick response snippets provide about 33% CTR, which means that getting into quick responses affects website traffic.

3. Helpers for on-page SEO. Looking for tools

For internal SEO, the following list of tools will be useful:

  1. Google Keyword Planner или Yandex.Wordstat ‒ these services will show the frequency of search queries for keywords and make it possible to check whether all key variants have been taken into account.
Google Keyword Planner

Fig. 14 ‒ Google Keyword Planner

  1. Explorer Ahrefs ‒ the Organic Keywords report will also help you find your competitors’ keywords.
Explorer Ahrefs

Fig. 15 ‒ Explorer Ahrefs

  1. Плагин Yoast SEO ‒ allows you to fill in meta tags for blog posts. All in One SEO Pack and The SEO Framework are similar in functionality.
Yoast SEO

Fig. 16 ‒ Yoast SEO

  1. MetaTags.io ‒ provides SERP previews of title and meta description tags, as well as URLs.

Fig. 17 ‒ MetaTags.io

  1. At the stage of assessing the readability of the content, the services Аdvegо and Главред will be relevant.

Fig. 18 ‒ Аdvegо


Fig. 19 ‒ Glavred

  1. Page Speed Insights ‒ Page Speed ​​Insights is a tool from Google that allows you to easily check the website loading speed and evaluate its effectiveness for both versions of a web resource, mobile and desktop. 
Page Speed Insights

Fig. 20 ‒ Page Speed Insights

  1. Ahrefs SEO Тoolbar ‒ analyzes the structures of other pages that rank in the top. 
SEO Тoolbar

Fig. 21 ‒ SEO Тoolbar

  1. Google Trends ‒ shows an increase or decrease in user interest in selected queries.
Google Trends

Fig. 22 ‒ Google Trends

  1. ShortPixel ‒ serves to compress images and helps to optimize them. 

Fig. 23 ‒ ShortPixel

Using these services and programs will help optimize your blog content for search engines and achieve better rankings. It is important that all its factors, from the authority of the content to the correct filling of the meta tags, are worked out, then the chances of getting to the top will significantly increase.

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