SEO is a big, never-ending game.
Especially when there is a practically unlimited number of levers that contribute to the ranking of a web page for a specific search query.
This sheer complexity also results in a lot of misinformation when it comes to different SEO practices.
It’s because Google never sets the record straight (obviously it won’t, otherwise people will start gaming the system). And the output of SEO effort is different for different people, depending on which lever they are turning up and down.
In such a scenario, many people start believing outlying results as standard principles.
This not just spreads misinformation but also results in severely impacting the output of Search Engine Optimization campaigns for those who believe in such misinformation.
That’s why, I have written 7 such myths related to on-page SEO which I found to be totally untrue.
This blog post is based on my 5 years of experience in handling multiple SEO campaigns, both for professional and personal projects.
7 On-Page SEO Myths to Debunk for Higher Search Rankings
#1. On-page SEO is a thing of the past
There is a common belief amongst a genre of marketers that on-page SEO is a thing of the past. Rather, they focus only on off-page SEO techniques, especially link building.
Well, I don’t completely agree with this.
What’s dead are the old on-page SEO techniques (like keyword stuffing). It’s because the way the internet evolved in the past decade required a key shift in the way search engines rank content pieces, and hence a shift from old practices.
On-page SEO is far more important than it was ever before.
On-page SEO includes content, HTML and technical elements (also called on-site SEO) of your webpage, and together they serve as the foundation of any SEO campaign.
Strong focus on off-page SEO with weak on-page optimization won’t let you maximize your returns.
#2. On-page SEO is a one-time effort
On-page SEO is not linear. Plus it’s both an art as well as a science.
What it means is that on-page SEO is not just about doing some defined set of activities and then forgetting about them.
Rather, on-page SEO is about following a set of ever-evolving guidelines and building on top of them, in a never-ending manner, to capture top ranks in search results.
Internet is evolving; your competitors are evolving.
You need to remain updated and stay on top so that your website comes as the preferred result against your competitor.
This is exactly the motive behind launching OnPage Champ: to help you stay ahead when it comes to on-page SEO.
OnPage Champ helps you explore those on-page elements that can help you rank better, at the same time run intelligence to figure out how your competitors have structured their on-page SEO.
With these insights at hand, you can build a strong foundation for your on-page SEO campaigns.
#3. On-page SEO is just about keyword optimization
There is no doubt that any successful SEO campaign starts with the right keyword research.
However, on-page SEO is not just about pumping these ‘right keywords’ in your content.
With Google’s Rankbrain deploying Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to judge the quality of any content, what matters now is how natural your content is and how relevant it is to a search query.
Your keyword needs the support of good quality natural content, along with HTML optimization.
That means you are answering a question naturally, using multiple keywords/ideas that closely relate to the main idea. In addition, you have structured your content in a way that it’s easy to explore, consume and understand by an end-user.
All these steps collectively form the bulk of on-page optimization, and which are beyond just keyword optimization.
#4. On-page SEO is not required if you have great content
By great content, we mean content that answers a search query in the best possible way and in the least amount of time.
It’s true that if you have great content, Google will eventually find you and start ranking you.
However, this is just a part of the story. In the absence of on-page optimization, Google may take more time to rank your page or Google may not rank you right on the top while your content deserves to be there.
Always keep in mind:-
Quality content + Right SEO strategy = Better ranking
You are not doing justice to your content if you are not following the right SEO strategy, and that starts with optimizing your pages for on-page and on-site parameters.
#5. On-page SEO is only about textual content
In its early days, Google used to rank a web page based on the number of times a keyword occurred in that content. That’s the reason keyword stuffing was prevalent.
Fast forward to today, the relevancy of the content to the search query is more important than the length of the content.
No doubt a lengthy blog post may signal a detailed viewpoint on an article, but a better result for that query might be a video or just a short article.
Therefore, focus on the quality of your content than the quantity. And then optimize the on-page attributes of that content asset (blog, video, image, podcast, etc.) so that Google picks the right signals.
#6. On-page SEO is highly technical
That was true when the internet was at its nascent stage and the content management systems were not too end-user friendly.
But this is not the case anymore, especially with CMSes like WordPress where incorporating almost 60% of the on-page parameters is like a breeze.
True, you may need some special technical skills for on-site SEO (like improving page load speed or mobile responsiveness), but most of the on-page optimization can be done by a layman.
#7. On-page SEO is secondary, off-page is primary
This was indeed the first thought with which we started this blog post.
Most of the SEOs focus entirely on off-page activities (like link building and generating social media signals) and ignore on-page SEO completely.
This may work for them, but they forget that this reduces the effectiveness of their SEO campaign considerably.
Right on-page SEO strategies work as a solid foundation to support your off-page SEO strategies. Without one, there is a high chance that others don’t reach their true potential.
When it comes to Search Engine optimization, there is no single strategy that can help you rank on the top.
You need to follow multiple guidelines and run numerous experiments before your web page ranks on the top.
As a result, there’s no single answer to whether to follow on-page SEO or off-page SEO.
You need to start building your website using the right components (also called as on-site SEO or technical SEO). Thereafter, you need to create quality content and optimize it for both your user and the search engine (also called as on-page SEO).
Once done, the next step is to disseminate and spread this content to generate backlinks (ie. off-page SEO).
All 3 steps happen together, continuously and in an unending manner. That’s when the needle starts moving for your SEO campaigns.