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The 12 Best On-Page SEO Practices for 2024

On-page SEO encompasses all the optimization techniques you can apply directly on a web page to improve its rankings in search engines. With proper on-page SEO implementation, you can boost your website’s authority, improve user experience, and help pages get discovered more easily by search engines like Google.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the top 12 on-page SEO best practices you should follow in 2024 to maximize your search visibility and traffic.

Why Proper On-Page SEO is Crucial

With over 63,000 searches performed every second, appearing on the first page of Google is invaluable in driving relevant organic traffic to your website.

Implementing on-page best practices enhances a page’s ability to rank for its target keyword by making it appealing to both search engine bots and human visitors.

Here are some key reasons why you should optimize your web pages for on-page SEO:

  • Increases click-through rate (CTR) - Well-optimized pages tend to have higher CTRs in search results. Higher CTRs signal search engines that a page satisfies user intent.
  • Boosts time on page - Optimized page experience and content keeps visitors engaged for longer, reducing bounce rates. This metric helps improve rankings.
  • Builds authority - Properly optimized pages send search bots signals that your page provides value on a topic. This earns you authority in the eyes of Google.
  • Supports voice search optimization - On-page SEO also encompasses optimizing content for voice assistants like Alexa, Siri etc. This allows you to tap into the fast emerging search segment.

Now that you understand the importance, let’s look at the best practices you should implement:

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research should form the basis of your on-page SEO efforts. After all, you want your content to rank for searches your ideal audience would use to find your offerings.

Make sure to identify keywords with sufficient search volume and low difficulty score for targeting. This ensures your pages have enough search visibility potential while being able to realistically outrank existing top results.

Helpful keyword research tools:

Make sure to gather a list of seed keywords along with longer-tail variations for targeting. Track rankings regularly to see which terms deliver results and double down on those over time.

2. Optimize Title Tags

Your title tags (also known as page titles) are displayed as the clickable links in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This makes them prime real estate to incorporate target keywords and compel searchers to click through.

Title tag example

Follow these title tag SEO best practices:

  • Keep titles between 50-60 characters - Longer titles may get truncated in SERPs
  • Place primary keyword closer to the start of the title
  • Create compelling, descriptive titles that indicate the topic
  • Avoid using duplicate title tags across pages
  • Use title case capitalization for readability

Also check title tags on competitor pages ranked on the first page to identify what works best for your niche.

3. Meta Descriptions

The meta description provides a summary of what the page covers. They appear as snippets under the blue clickable links in results.

Craft compelling meta descriptions to improve click-through rates. Avoid simply stuffing keywords.

Meta description example

Best practices for optimizing meta descriptions:

  • Keep under 155 characters to prevent truncation
  • Incorporate primary and secondary keywords naturally
  • Use persuasive language to entice clicks
  • Create unique descriptions across pages
  • Provide enough context on what the page offers

Ensure meta descriptions align well with the content focus of your pages.

4. Optimize URL Structure

Search engines pay close attention to URLs for understanding what specific pages are about.

Optimize your URLs following these best practices:

  • Keep URLs short and clean by removing unnecessary parameters
  • Separate words using dashes instead of underscores
  • Avoid excessive keywords stuffing which raises spam suspicion
  • Where possible, incorporate primary keyword close to start of URL
  • Maintain URL formatting consistency across site

For example:


Readability for bots and users should be the main focus over trying to over-optimize.

5. Use Readable Link Labels

The anchor text used for internal links and external references play a role in indicating relevancy.

However, avoid overusing “click here” type generic labels. Instead, use descriptive readable labels.

For example:

Good: <a href="/what-is-seo">What is Search Engine Optimization</a>

Bad: <a href="/what-is-seo">Click here</a> to learn more

Make sure link labels flow well within surrounding body text. This results in a better visitor experience.

Using target keywords as link anchors periodically is also a good SEO practice. But don’t force them in unnaturally or over-optimize.

6. Optimize Page Content

Optimizing content for target keywords helps search bots better understand the topic and assess page relevance.

Here are key on-page content optimization best practices:

  • Focus content around selected primary and secondary keywords
  • Include keywords in the first 100 words on page
  • Maintain keyword density of 1-3%
  • Feature keywords in subheadings H2 and H3 tags
  • Create useful, original long-form content above 2000 words when possible
  • Break text using bullet points and numbered lists for scannability
  • Use target keywords 4-5 times in the opening and closing paragraphs
  • Embed relevant outbound links to trustworthy external sources
  • Include related images and videos in the content where suitable
  • Publish new content regularly - at least once per month

Finally, ensure all page content aligns to the keyword and title tag to avoid topic mismatch issues.

7. Optimize Site Navigation Menu

An intuitive linking structure that enables both crawling and discovery is critical.

Apply these tips to optimize site navigation:

  • Use meaningful text labels in main site-wide navigation
  • Limit primary navigation links to under 10 items
  • Ensure all site content is accessible through logical linking paths
  • Set up facetedIA secondary category and tag-based navigation menus
  • Implement breadcrumb trails on inner pages
  • Set up RSS subscription option on blogs
  • Submit XML sitemap(s) in Google Search Console

Double check for any broken links across pages leading to 404 errors periodically.

8. Implement Responsive Design

With over 50% of searches now happening on mobile devices globally, having a responsive website is no longer optional.

Make sure your website seamlessly adapts to fit desktop, tablet and mobile phone screens.

Key elements to optimize for mobile UX:

  • Avoid horizontal scrolling on mobile
  • Increase text spacing and tap sizes of buttons
  • Keep navigation menus under 8 top-level links
  • Limit page lengths or implement pagination
  • Optimize site speed by minimizing HTTP requests
  • Tag screen reader text for accessibility
  • Setup dedicated mobile pages if needed

Conduct user testing on various devices to identify any responsive issues early.

9. Improve Site Speed

Faster loading pages keep visitors from abandoning, boost dwell times and conversions. More importantly for SEO, Google now uses page speed in rankings, making performance critical.

Site speed impacts

Apply these optimization tips:

  • Enable compression and caching
  • Minify CSS, JS and HTML files
  • Optimize images sizes and enable lazy loading
  • Remove render blocking resources
  • Load 3rd party scripts asynchronously
  • Defer non-critical JS
  • Serve assets from CDN
  • Remove unnecessary redirects
  • Upgrade hosting plan if needed

Use tools like PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest to measure improvements over time.

Aim for load times under 2s on mobile and under 3s on desktop.

10. Create Keyword-Focused Pages

Having dedicated, comprehensive pages targeting individual search queries is an impactful SEO tactic.

Such keyword-focused pages better satisfy user intent compared to trying to rank broad website home pages.

For example, an SEO content agency can create dedicated pages targeting various keywords:

Here is the continuation of the article draft:

  • SEO blog writing
  • SEO copywriting
  • SEO article writing
  • SEO web content
  • SEO website content

Rather than targeting all these disparate searches targeting “SEO content” on one page, separate pages provide more relevance.

Dedicate each keyword-focused page by:

  • Crafting unique title tags and meta descriptions
  • Including the target phrase prominently
  • Expanding on the topic in long-form
  • Answering related searcher questions

Over time, go after keyword variations including location modifiers, long-tail versions and question formats.

11. Provide Multimedia Content

Pages that solely consist of walls of text tend to have higher bounce rates. Break up content by incorporating relevant images, charts, graphs and videos.

Multimedia elements enhance engagement, word counts and dwell times. Ensure you optimize the media elements for SEO with relevant file naming, alt text and captions.

12. Monitor and Refine

SEO is an iterative process. After implementing on-page best practices, track website analytics to identify pages attracting the most organic traffic.

Fix any existing issues dragging performance down before moving focus to lower traffic pages.

Set up rank tracking for target keywords to gauge your progress. Refine page content periodically to keep it updated and relevant.

With constant monitoring and improvements over time, your web pages will attract more organic visits from increasingly higher rankings.

On-Page SEO Checklist

Follow this comprehensive checklist to audit pages for proper on-page optimization:


☐ Conduct keyword research

☐ Include keywords early within content

☐ Optimize keyword density at 1-3%

☐ Feature keywords in subheadings

☐ Embed relevant outbound links

☐ Add related media

☐ Publish new content regularly

☐ Follow content formatting best practices


☐ Short, clean URL structure

☐ Keyword used in slug (optional)

☐ Readable internal link labels

☐ Proper heading tag structure

☐ Fast page speed (<2s on mobile)

☐ Responsive design across devices

☐ Enable compression and caching


☐ Unique title tag optimized for keyword

☐ Compelling meta description including keywords

☐ Keyword used in image file names and alt text

☐ XML sitemap submitted in Search Console

☐ Intuitive internal linking structure


☐ Pages tracked in analytics

☐ Rank tracking set up

☐ Regular UX testing

On-Page SEO Comparison

Here is a comparison of key on-page optimization factors:

FactorLow OptimizationMedium OptimizationHigh Optimization
Title TagGeneric “Home”Some keyword targetingPrimary keyword early
URLDynamic parameters onlyPartial keyword usageKeyword prominently
Headings (H1, H2)No targetingSecondary keywordsPrimary keywords focused
Content Length< 1000 words1000-1500 words2000+ words
Outbound Links0-23-5 contextual5-10 relevant contextual
MultimediaLittle incorporationSome images/chartsImages, graphics, videos
Site Speed> 6s load time4-6s load time< 3s load time
Mobile FriendlinessNot responsiveResponsive but needs improvementSeamless mobile experience


What are the 3 most important on-page SEO elements?

The 3 most critical on-page factors are:

  1. Optimized Title Tags - Include primary keywords naturally
  2. Body Content Optimization - Target keywords without over-stuffing
  3. Quality Link Building - Embed relevant links pointing authoritative domains

How much content is enough for SEO?

Ideally 2000+ words focusing on the core topic and target keywords. However, focus first on creating useful, engaging content rather than only chasing word counts. Even 500-1000 words may suffice if you comprehensively cover a topic for users.

Can I update old content instead of creating new?

Absolutely. In fact, constantly updating existing content to keep it fresh is a smart SEO play. You retain the existing backlinks pointing to those pages while keeping content topically relevant.

How often should I optimize my site’s SEO?

Monitor site performance weekly but schedule comprehensive optimization every quarter. This gives enough time for rankings changes from prior efforts before the next round.

What’s better: a few long posts or lots of short posts?

Initially, shorter posts allow testing a wider variety of keywords faster. But for established sites, longer pillar content targeting various keyword clusters works better for deeper topical authority.

Hopefully this guide covered the most essential on-page SEO fundamentals to apply for 2024 and beyond. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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