10 Essential On-Page SEO Elements

1. Choose a Descriptive Keyword

When creating a new page think about a descriptive keyword that relates to, or encapsulates what the page is about, this is called your focus keyword.

Consider what your audience will be typing in to a search engine to find this page.

For example, if the page you are creating is about a specific event your main keyword should be the name of the event.

2. Include your focus keyword in the title tag

The title tag is the one of the most important factors relating to how your page gets indexed. It helps the search engine to understand the topic of the page and assess its relevancy to the search term. The title tag is also used to display your search listing’s title.

When entering the title tag, make sure that you include your focus keyword at the start, then anything you may want to add. For example:

Focus Keyword | University of Canterbury

3. Include keywords in meta description

The description meta tag is another important element to add when creating or enhancing a web page. It provides the user with a quick blurb as to what the page is about plus helps search engines again assess its relevancy to the search term. For example, if your focus keyword was ‘temporary accommodation’ your description could read:

<meta name="description" content="Find out about the temporary accommodation at the University of Canterbury" />

4. Make your <h1> headline the same as your title/focus keyword

After the meta data your <h1> headline is the most important on page element which sends a strong relevancy signal to search engines. It helps the search engine determine what the page is about and what search queries it relates to.

5. Include the keyword in the URL

Many search engines take into account the URL of the page. When setting up a new page use your focus keyword. For example, if your focus keyword was ‘temporary accommodation’ your URL could be:


6. Include the keyword in the first paragraph of your content

To help your page rank highly try include your focus keyword in the first paragraph of the page content. But of course, when you do, make sure that it reads naturally.

7. Include keyword in image ALT tag

Quite often this little step is missed but really helps with not only on page SEO but website accessibility as well. The ALT tag is a little text that appears with a cursor hover over an image. It used to describe the image to users but also helps search engines define what the page is about.

8. Link to other relevant pages on the site

Not essential to do but if possible try and link to any internal relevant pages. This contributes to the page rank for the linked pages as well as helping to provide good user experience and keeps readers engaged longer.

9. Write a good amount of content

The length of your content can affect its rankings. If you only have two or three lines of content on a page, not only does it look sparse but search engines will view it as less relevant due to the amount of times the keyword is mentioned.

10. Consider page loading time

When creating a new page, think about the number of images and other elements you are planning to have on your page. The longer a web page takes to load not only can have an impact on your page rankings but also the engagement from your audience. If your page takes too long to load, users are more likely to click off the page and go somewhere else.