Google favors on-page SEO. So do we.

On-page SEO for Google rankings

On-page SEO matters to Google, so it matters to us. Topical relevancy is king in organic SEO, and will be even more paramount in the future, as evidenced by Google's massive investment in natural language processing and machine learning engines.

On-page SEO makes a big impact

Here at, we make on-page SEO a huge focus in any search engine ranking strategy. Why? Google has repeatedly signaled that website content, specifically topical relevance and E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) signals, will override other, more easily-gamed approaches.
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What is on-page SEO, exactly?

On-page SEO is a jargon-y term for improving your website content to appeal to your target audience and to search engine bots at the same time. It’s not enough to merely put up a website for your brand. In order to attract organic traffic, you’ve got to optimize your website content around topical relevance with the right content structure.

On-page search engine optimization is NOT about throwing every conceivable variation of your target search term onto your website. That approach is so 2010. In 2021, Google search is intelligent enough to recognize semantically-related terms and synonyms, which means you don’t need to fixate on the strategic positioning of exact-match keywords on your webpages.

On-page optimization is key for organic SEO

On-page SEO makes up the lion’s share of an organic SEO campaign, which makes sense: to attract organic search traffic, you've got to follow an SEO strategy that optimizes your website around the terms you hope to rank for. To be sure, you must create an optimal user experience by serving quality content that appeals to humans. At the same time, you want Google to index your webpages as highly relevant to all topics related to your target keywords.

On-page matters for local SEO as well

Even though local SEO emphasizes your Google My Business listing, on-page SEO plays a huge role in the Maps rankings of local businesses. This is because Google Maps algorithms use your website content (specifically, the webpage linked to your GMB) as a significant ranking factor when serving up Maps SERPs in response to a local customer search query.

On-page SEO components and concerns

When building an on-page search engine optimization strategy for your brand, here are the primary components you need to consider.

Website content structure is important

Your website content should have an intuitive architecture that addresses the topics you want to rank for in a holistic fashion.

Most businesses parcel out their webpages—and the associated content—haphazardly, based on what they want to tell the customer. Here at, we take a very different approach. We research what people are already looking for, analyze how a brand's offering splits apart into different topics organized thematically around high-volume search terms, and create a natural content hierarchy around customer interest. We then create menus, webpages, and URL structures around this blueprint.

A webpage for each topic (but not each keyword)

Once we've sketched out a content schematic based on human search intent, we create a webpage for each topic we've identified as a natural, stand-alone entity. We then write high-quality content for each webpage. This content creation phase involves considerable research in which we write for Google entities, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, and many other SEO factors.

While we do split off topics to have individual webpages, we do not split off individual keywords. Rather, we cluster keywords together that have natural affinity for our chosen webpage topic. Again, this mirrors Google's own natural language processing abilities.

Internal linking structure

After creating individual webpages devoted to topical clusters, we internal links to connect topics together with appropriate anchor text. While external link-building as a primary SEO driver is fairly outdated, internal link-building is extremely powerful when used correctly.

Technical SEO elements

Website content structure, high-quality content organized around topical clusters, and internal linking: these are the three pillars of good on-page optimization. Everything else is secondary. 

Unfortunately, many an SEO agency doesn't grasp how much Google has evolved and continues to push the same old title tags, meta descriptions, keyword stuffing, and other SEO techniques from a decade ago.

Of course, including meta descriptions, image alt text, title tag keywords, avoiding duplicate content, and other basic SEO practices is good sense, but it's no longer going to significantly move your organic search rankings.

What will give major gains in the SERPs? Writing for people AND search engines simultaneously—a delicate needle to thread, but a worthwhile one.

Other technical SEO initiatives that boost our on-page efforts include JSON schema markup, creative uses of image optimization and Google image search, some slick video embed techniques, and a few other tricks.

A Google-eye perspective

Why do we yammer on about on-page SEO so much, especially regarding the creation of valuable content that appeals to your target audience and is also Google-optimized?

Because that's the direction Google is going, and any search engine optimization agency worthy of the title should be investing heavily in understanding Google's Rankbrain machine learning processes, natural language processing, and how search engine algorithms are evolving by leaps and bounds to understand user intent and fulfil it with relevant content.

The most major factor in organic rankings is topical relevancy. And the biggest determinant of topical relevancy is a brand's on-page (website) content.

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